Shimizu (east of Shizuoka city) teas by Mr. Yamamoto are now classics of my selection (although this may not always be for good reasons). To the cultivars Yabukita, Kanaya-midori, Oku-yutaka, Sayama-kaori, was added a few years ago a Kôshun.
Here comes an Ômune this year. It is a rare, very ancient cultivar, selected from seeds of “zairai” almost a hundred years ago in Kiyosawa (Shizuoka, on the Warashina River area of Hon.yama) by a certain Mr. …. Ômune. This cultivar was once a cultivar supported and recommended by the authorities, but never really spread. It doesn’t has very strong characteristics, and could be confused sometimes with Yabukita. So much so that some today think that many Yabukita of Kiyosawa and the region of the Warashina River would in fact be Ômune. Nevertheless, it is important to note that developed from zairai seed, Ômune is one of the few cultivar which have no genetic link to Yabukita.
But let’s go back to our Shimizu Ômune that was added to Mr. Yamamoto’s cultivar bouquet, to make it upgrade in rank as it comes rather to replace his Yabukita in my offer.
The dry leaves have a rich but simple sencha fragrance, contrasting fresh grass and sweet aromas with a caramel notes.
The infusion features mineral fragrances, moist soil, and again caramelized notes and nuts. In the mouth it is very fluid despite a powerful impact, a very strong presence. We have a light umami, no astringency, and an after-taste very sweet but also vegetal, contrasting with the perfumes of this tea due to a roasting (final drying hi-ire) relatively strong. This after-taste is very long in the mouth. This length perfectly sums up the characteristics of this sencha: a very pure and typical sencha, with lots of body, robustness.
So it’s a tea that should bring a lot of pleasure to beautiful mountain teas lovers, and also those who appreciate good mountain Yabukita could we even say.
This confirms the impression given by the Ômune from Morokozawa, that is to say that it is a cultivar with even greater force than Yabukita, which is also expressed mainly in the mouth but whose contrast between vegetal notes and more empyreumatic notes seems to distinguish it from Yabukita.
Here is a sencha that perfectly finds its place among the other teas of Yamamoto-san, bringing a different impression.