The first 2015 shincha on Thés du Japon is finally available. This is the Saemidori cultivar hand harvest sencha from Kirishima (in the mountainous regions in the east of Kagoshima Prefecture).
This is once again a tea by Nishi-seicha. Although presented as a ‘fukamushi’, this sencha has very pretty leaves, not too broken, very good looking, especially for tea from Kagoshima.
There is a powerful perfume, largely supported by the hi-ire (final drying, kind of firing), slightly vegetal, but mostly sweet and mineral.
This tea is naturally very suitable for warm infusion, 60-65 ° C, for 45 or 50 seconds.
However, conversely, a hot infusion at 80 ° C, shorter, also give a nice result, revealing more clearly its fragrance.
But given the type of tea (hand picking, careful kneading, ‘hasty’ picking of young sprouts) and the cultivar, warm infusion to enhance the sweetness is clearly the best basics here.
Brewed liquor is yellow-green, very bright, just a little muddy. The scent is very light, contrasting with the dry leaves. The contrast is also very strong with the taste. In the mouth, the first attack is very strong, stimulating, with a little astringency touch. But it was immediately overwhelmed by a wave of umami sweetness, strong but balanced and complex, still ‘’natural’’.
The overall is a little greenish, slightly mineral, with an aftertaste with notes of cooked vegetables and starches, but also a dry touch, small defect of this tea, but sufficiently tenuous to be taken as a hint of personality.
This sencha flows smoothly in the throat, and the remarkable point of this 2015 Saemidori is undoubtedly the strengh of the after-taste and outstanding finish, very long. It’s so nice that it is difficult to resolve to take the next infusions.
Yet it would be a shame to pass.
The second infusion, softness and strength of the Japanese tea are still here, the astringency is almost imperceptible.
With the hird and fourth infusions, this sencha becomes slightly different. The fleshy side of leguminous of the previous brew gives way to fresher herby aromas with a simple and slight astringency. But the after is still very present, always with great length. Except now there is less umami, but a slight fruity.
While the first two infusions had fed our gluttony, the following two quench our thirst with delight.
Despite a lack of perfume at low temperatures and a little imperfect something in the mouth, this sencha remains globally, this year again, a great vintage with a smooth powerful taste and complex palate, a very strong after, great length, many possibilities of brewing, and endurance over several infusions which is rare for this type of sencha.
See you soon with Kondô-wase.