Review: Sugimoto USA Sen Cha

Green Tea, Japanese Tea, Sencha Tea, Sugimoto USA Add comments
K’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"A very economical sencha."
K’s Teaview: 7.1/10
Other Teaviews: Geoff gave it 6.9/10
Your Reviews:Add your review »
sugimotasenchaI adore a good deep-steamed sencha, or fukamushi, but they're not something that everyone can enjoy very often. The price per brewed ounce can get very high very quickly, especially since my preferred brewing method is 1 gram per ounce of water. This particular sencha isn't very pricey, but it also isn't so cheap that you can automatically brush it off as sub-par. If the flavour lives up, this could be a very economical choice.

Steep 1: 8 grams (around 3 heaping teaspoons) leaf in an 8-ounce pre-heated kyusu, 158°, 30 seconds. While I generally advocate using a few tea devices as possible, but lately I always use a thermometer when brewing fukamushi or any quality sencha.

The tea smells mostly nutty and lemony. It tastes nutty, buttery, smooth, and rich. There's a touch of lemon at the end of the sip, an easy cup to drink, and while solid and quite good, it isn't particularly inspiring. Then again, I don't always want an awe-inspiring sencha. Sometimes I want a simpler, easy to drink, yet still interesting Japanese green.

Steep 2: 165°, 25 seconds. This is my least favourite steep. It is somewhat harsh without a lot of flavour to back it up.

Steep 3: 175°, 60 seconds. This is clean with a strongly lemony taste and finish. It's an unexpected flavour following the first two cups, and it's a wonderful cup. Steep 4 is 185°, 90 seconds. It is vegetal and sweet while my 2-minute, 212° is, as expected little more than a sweet tea water.

This ended up being a very economical sencha, after all. It's simple enough that you can sip it without thought, yet it is complex enough to keep my interest. I'd definitely buy this as a cupboard staple.

— To purchase Sugimoto USA Sen Cha, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

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