|"Of the senchas I've tried, it gets the bronze. Tall praise, indeed, since sencha is not my usual cuppa."|
The leaves for Green Tea Lovers' Shizuoka Shincha acted the part of senchas past, like dark green pine needles with a scent of sweet almonds. By golly, I loved that aroma. Some aspect of it was similar to kukicha, only - as mentioned above - sweeter and nuttier. It seemed bright, young, and ready for hot water.
Brewing instructions on the GTL site and on the package differed greatly, mainly because there was a website error. They gave instructions for matcha preparation online. This was - most certainly - not a matcha. The bag provided something nearer to what I was expecting but still decidedly odd. Recommendations were 1 teaspoon per cup (no specs on size), steeped in 176F water for forty seconds. I could understand a 165F steep for a minute or two, but this differed greatly. I shrugged and tried it their way; I had plenty.
There were two things I had to make note of with how this infused: One, this brewed a foggy green more in line with a genmai matcha. Two, it brewed extremely quickly, reaching the foggy green in the allotted forty seconds. The aroma was extremely grassy, kind of sweet, with a nutty finish. The flavor was thankfully more understated on the leafy lean than on smell. Almonds came to mind first, toasted peanuts second, sweetened nuts third. Any vegetal characteristic I expected from the aroma was - to my relief - minor on the tongue.
A second infusion for a few minutes turned up a crisper cup with a citrus character. The color was equally as vibrant. However, it was a tad more vegetable, but not undesirable. Of the senchas I've tried, it gets the bronze. Tall praise, indeed, given all the grand types out there.
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