Here is one of the nicest tea of this season 2017, one of my favorites, and this is still an inzatsu type cultivar. This Fuji-kaori cultivar sencha from Fujieda is clearly far superior to its 2016 vintage.
Mr. Yamamoto is a veteran who was the first to plant this Fuji-kaori cultivar after his development by Mr. Koyanagi (the father of my Fuji-kaori kama-iri producer in Fujieda) and Professor Morizono. He worked very hard to get the better of this particular cultivar processed as a steamed green tea (while it seems more suited to kama-iri) since a time when the market was not yet open enough to this type of very aromatic tea .
This cultivar has for mother (flower/seed) Shizu-inzatsu 131 and for father Yabukita (pollen). This is the inverse crossbreeding of the one operated for Sôfû or Kondô-wase. Thus, it keeps stronger the character, and perhaps the instability, of Inzatsu 131 (is this necessary to remind that Inzatsu 131 is a crossbreed between a variety from Assam and a Japanese variety ?), but this year, like the kama-iri by Mr. Koyanagi, this Fuji-kaori is a wonder for who likes this type of tea.
The dry leaves have a fragrance at first rather vegetal (low roasting), but behind that we soon notice floral and sweet aromas, velvety but very stimulating.
After the infusion, the perfume shows a richer and more lively bouquet, evolving between the small flower like lily of the valley or orchid (recalling then Inzatsu 131), and a more tender scnet like jasmine and white grape.
The attack is a bit astringent, but we find in after-taste powerful umami sweetness, very long in the mouth. The scent’s aromas are also present in the mouth and throat.
If the astringency becomes stronger from the second infusion, the rich floral bouquet is always present, as is the powerful mellow after-taste. A third very hot infusion continues to give complex aromas and a more greenish taste.
It is a very typical tea where the characteristics of “inzatsu” stand out strongly, remaining in fact closer to Inzatsu 131 than Sôfû, but nevertheless with much more sweetness than Inzatsu 131. There is this umami in the after of course, but also a more soft floral, feminine impression that one will not find with Inzatsu 131.
Process as a sencha, Fuji-kaori is a cultivar with which it is not easy to find each year so clearly the qualities. Here is a tea that particularly pleased me this year, like the kama-iri cha and the Inzatsu 131 of Nearai.