Among the new teas for December, here’s (again) a sencha from Hon.yam, from the locality of Morokozawa 諸子沢, which is located in Ôkawa (Warashina River part of Hon.yama, while Tamakawa, evoked in the last article, is on the Abe river side). Morokozawa is also the place of production of Kogane-Midori, this unique cultivar with golden leaves, extremely rich in umami. Indeed, if Satô Hiromitsu is well known for Kogane-midori, he’s also growing other cultivars in the Morokozawa Mountains, including this Ômune 大棟 cultivar. It is a very old cultivar, now very rare, developped from a seed of botanical variety (zairai-shu).
This sencha is nothing like Kogane-midori, much more affordable, it is a simple tea, a beautiful mountain tea, whose first peculiarity is to have a strong body.
The stems are not sorted, and the leaves rolled into thick needles. If the whole could seem a little boorish at first sight, one notices a beautiful shine, and that the rolling remains very neat, the leaves well tubular. Satô-san is a very talented producer.
This is typically a tea to be infused with not too warm water, at least 80 ° C.
The perfume is woody, reminiscent of moist wood, earth and leather. But this scent is also sweet, with a subtle tip of citrus, bergamot.
The liquor of this tea has a lot of body, it is also rather round, but an infusion a little too long might bring out a little bitterness, especially if the water is very hot. Despite a weak roasting, this tea does not give vegetal aromas, except for a slight note in the very dense after-taste. The powerful aromas are still in the field of wood, leather, with a mellow feeling more sweet than umami.
It is a dense and powerful sencha, with a lot of impact, but no aggressively. If the first infusion could almost seem “thick”, the following have a remarkable fluidity while remaining full. Finally, it leaves in the mouth a very pleasant “sweetness”, a very good length.
This tea is completely different from the famous Kogane-midori, nevertheless, from the same terroir, it is precisely these differences that make them complementary. It is also and above all a real and good mountain tea.
Landscape of Morokozawa (with Kogane Midori for pleasure)