This is a tea I had been waiting for a long time, one another of my special favorites. Satô Hiromitsu is in Morokozawa (Hon.yama, Shizuoka) the producer of the famous Kogane-midori, this cultivar with golden yellow leaves, but also the excellent Ômune also available on Thés du Japon since December. But Satô-san is also renowned here for the rare quality in Japan of his Wulong teas. His “green” wulong are very good, but for me it is even more his roasted wulong that I greatly appreciate.
It is made from the cultivar Kanaya-midori, variety for green tea known for its milky flavors. It is a first harvest, for which he lets the leaves grow enough to make it a semi-oxidized tea. He rather reserves these leaves for roasted wulong (for non-roasted he uses another cultivar, Satô-wase).
The leaves are not very strongly rolled, but they remain flexible, unlike many Japanese wulong whose leaves are very dry and brittle. Their perfume evokes of course the scents of roasting but also of candied fruit. The firing notes remain tender, without the impression of being “burnt”.
The impressions of the first infusion evoke beyond the aromas of light roasting, a kind of menthol freshness, with something soft and milky in the background.
In the mouth, the brew is very fluid, very clean, leaving a slightly sweet and milky impression.
With the second infusion, many more aromas awaken. The general, milky or even creamy impression appears more clearly. In addition to the sweetness, one perceives notes of cocoa which seems to combine marvelously with the light notes of roasting.
You can also feel something light and fruity.
This sweetened aspect of candied fruits appears even more on the following infusions.
From the fifth infusion, longer durations are required, but even after a very long infusion, this Japanese wulong tea from Hon.yama never becomes astringent, it is always very fluid.
In short, it is not just a curiosity; it is a light oxidized wulong tea, slightly roasted, simply and really very good. Of course, this is produced in very limited quantities.