” 7132 ”, for those who are very familiar with the Japanese tea, here are four digits like a promise of a unique and surprising tea fragrance. More exactly ”Shizu-7132” designates cultivar No. 7132 developed at the research center on tea of Shizuoka.
The series bearing number ”7000” refers to tea plants developed from the late 60s and early 70s from Yabukita seeds. Briefly, Yabukita receiving pollen from various other cultivars (the tea plant cannot receive its own pollen, which means that a crossbreed between two identical varieties is not possible as they have the same genetic inheritance). Thus this series also includes cultivar such Yamakai, or Kurasawa (less famous, but it is the ” father ” of the very famous Kôshun).
But 7132, which is supposed to have as a ”father” a foreign cultivar, has not been officially registered, so it has no official name.
It was first used in mountain areas due to its high resistance to frost (it was also called ”shimoshirazu”), but had no success because its manufacturing difficulty. It indeed has very thick stems, making rolling difficult, and ideal harvesting period is short.
More recently it has been noticed again for its unique fragrance. Indeed, a high concentration of coumarin gives it a sweet scent reminiscent of pickled cherry leaves made Japanese pastries called ”sakura-mochi”. So sometimes this cultivar is nicknamed ”Sakura-kaori”.
Of course, Shizu-7132 is very rare, and mainly used in Shizuoka. This strong and typical perfume is truly unique.
The first 7132 cultivar sencha I will present is a very reasonnable tea from Warashina (Hon.yama, Shizuoka).
The dry leaves let appear clearly the thick stems of this cultivar. The scent of the leaves is very intense, powerful, it has obviously the famous ”sakura-mochi” perfume with something more suave, almost alcoholic, because that would remind fermented grape and rice.
One can also feel almond notes and anise.
With the first infusion, the nose and mouth leaves an impression quite similar to the flavors of dry leaves. Thus, from the point of view of flavors, this tea is very powerful, rich and intense. Yet the liquor is relatively pure and light. We do not receive any very strong umami, and absolutely no astringency.
The after is strong, with a good length, very nice.
With the 2nd and 3rd infusions, aromas significantly lose strength. The scent is more simple, sweet. In the mouth, the liquor loses in intensity but gains in purity, without any rise of astringency, or even bitterness, and one can then enjoy a sencha still very nice and silky, flowing gently in the throat. Delicious sweet aromas are preserved in aftertaste, always with a good length.
This is an entry-level tea which gives a very good example of the rich and typical aromas of Shizu-7132, which allows performing multiple infusions for a beautiful light green tea, very pure, just lovely. This is a perfect opportunity to test this cultivar.
With the following sencha we grade up several ranges with high quality Hon.yama tea made from Shizu-7132, mainly from Tawaramine and Kiyosawa. Indeed, the long, thin and glossy needles, with deep green color, show a sencha of great refinement. Their scent is more subtle, with something greener, a more typical mountain steamed green tea. But behind this, the Shizu-7132 cultivar perfume is also very intense.
This tea is worth preparing with a good amount of leaves, the water warmed to 60-65 ° C, steep for about 90 seconds.
The result is a very fragrant but delicate liquor that mix with delight the fragrance of ‘’sakura mochi’’ to a more typical mountain tea scent a little green and sweet.
In the mouth, umami is present, and Japanese confectionery flavors of pickled cherry leaf come as a perfect complement. In a more subtle way than the tea from Warashina, this sencha has intense aromas, although ultimately may be more simple. Rather than highlighting the special features of a cultivar, we have a very good Hon.yama tea with the richness and strength (after, length) of Shizuoka mountain tea, in which 7132 tastes come to give a stronger personality.
At least 4 infusions are possible. This sencha still keep power and body. A light touch of astringency comes to bring a balance to the umami mellowness, which is more discreet, while the Japanese pastry notes fades giving way to menthol notes.
It is above all a great Hon.yama sencha.
Two sencha certainly from very different grades, but which share a very unique cultivar flavors, but which also express themselves in different ways.
Finally, here are two teas which could be great prepared with cold water.