The first time I laid eyes on this sencha from Miyazaki on Kyûshû Island, my thoughts were not very positive: “This is not for Teas of Japan.” While they are not hideous, the leaves are, frankly, not very pretty. Their colour is uniform, but they lack lustre and they are rolled in a relatively rough way. However, it has to be said that this tea is fairly inexpensive. Of course I am going to test it, and also the cultivar is the excellent excellent Minami Sayaka! To top it off, the leaves do smell very good!
Testing method, so with boiling water.
While this is a fukamushi, the liquor remains clear, a yellow that perhaps lacks a little luminosity, but is far from tinged with brown or red. Surprising.
The fragrance is very pleasant, it is almost like being in a candy shop.
The taste, while it is a little astringent, tannin, is also fruity.
And then the aftertaste hits, an astonishing velvety flavour, a creamy sensation scented with peach and apricot. And it is long in the mouth. When we get past its unsophisticated look, this Minama Sayaka is in fact a little marvel.
Try the first infusion at 80°C (176°F) right off the bat, 4 or 5 g (1.2 or 1.5 tsp) of leaves, for about 40 seconds.
A milky, fruity fragrance, the taste is more rustic, with a little astringency but also sweetness… and then, after a few seconds, the fantastic aftertaste appears in the mouth and throat. It reminds me of peach or apricot yoghurt.
Also, the liquor is pretty in the end, relatively clear, a nice green, far from the coarse impression that the dry leaves give.
In short, it is really this very delicious aftertaste that made me select this tea: for that alone it is worth the detour, especially since it is the least expensive sencha I have selected so far. Miyazaki Prefecture is completely unknown and yet it is the fourth-largest tea-producing area in Japan. It grows very high-quality teas, its producers are doing very important work on cultivars, and the absolute top of the top kama-iri chas are made there. I hope that “Miyazaki cha” will succeed in becoming a famous trademark and guarantee of quality, like Shizuoka, Kagoshima, Yame, and others.