This tea is the second of my series of 2015 “Uji tea” (please consult the previous article if you do not understand the reason for the quotes), a Meiryoku cultivar sencha, again from Wazuka. More precisely, it comes from the Ishidera area, cultivated by Mr. Kagoshima (! Nothing to do with the Japanese prefecture of the same name, but which is written with different characters). Here is a short overview of this sector:
This is the first time I present the Meiryoku cultivar, a crossbreed of Yabukita and Yamato-Midori, a variety which tends to give lightness and freshness.
Having sourced this tea directly as aracha, I chose not to make leaves cut (something that seems useless for a tea that is not intended to be blended) and not to sort stems (they are discrete). Very light hi-ire drying.
It exudes a fresh and invigorating fragrance with notes of mashed potato.
After brewing (prefer not cool down too much the water) gives a tea with fresh scents, with hints of conifer and there boiled potato yet.
In the mouth, the first attack is a little astringent, but the liquor is very airy, very pure and clean. It follows a great density of flavors, rustic feel and a very mellow after, which remains for long time in the mouth, making drool, and enhanced by a touch of astringency. After a few minutes it becomes a more sweet as a candy.
The following infusions tend more towards “green” aromas, flowery too. There is never any excess in the astringency, although it feels a little tannin on the third infusion. But the aftertaste is always exceptional, fresh, and really enjoyable. Everything is always very fine, flowing smoothly into the throat, while still having power and impact.
While it is mild and sweet, this tea shows no excess of umami, I would even say that umami is very subtle, surprisingly and original for a “Uji tea”. Yet without either excessive astringency, this sencha still manage to have body and strength. Finally, if the tea appear at first simple and classic, it also have something quite unique, specific to Meiryoku probably, in its freshness, lightness, and strength, which stands out as a different expression of sweetness of Yabukita that could seems little similar at first.
This is a sencha on which we want to come back, a tea that can be associated at any time of the day. This Wazuka sencha is a tea that has a place of its own in my selection, a place that no other tea had occupied until then.