Here in my selection is a new tea from Kawane by the Tsuchiya’s. The Tsuchiya estate, perched at an altitude of 600 meters, which is rarer in Kawane than in Hon.yama or Tenryû, is known for the excellence of its senchas. This one comes from a plantation located at another place, lower in the mountain, a garden that they recovered from another producer without successor. It is indeed a rare but interesting cultivar that it will be a shame not to exploit, Inaguchi. It is a variety selected by a private producer (I mean not a development in a research center), Mr. Inaguchi, among tea plants from Yabukita seeds. Tsuchiya Tetsurô makes with it an excellent mountain sencha, unshaded.
The scent of the brew is green, very fresh, slightly floral, and also gives a creamy and sweet impression. There is also, very subtle, a smoky touch.
Even if in the mouth the first attack, very brief, gives a touch of astringency, the result is immediately sweeter, with first these creamy notes, then more fresh and vegetal notes. We only perceive a subtle umami, and it is rather sweet flavors that we enjoy with this tea. This is confirmed in the length in the mouth, first green, then sweet, quite present.
One might expect a second infusion to be more astringent, but this is not the case, the sweetness and creamy impression of this sencha are even more perceptible, precisely released from the subtle tannic texture of the first infusion. The third infusion regains strength, always very aromatic and “gourmand”, leaving even potential for a very pleasant fourth infusion!
It is a balanced tea, rich, with a lot of presence, while remaining relatively light. It is not so common to see a sencha that remains as good, even better as one process to successive infusions. This Inaguchi cultivar does not give extravagant aromas, but it is clearly different from a Yabukita, while remaining in a close field. It is, for me in any case, a very pleasant discovery, which could become a standard on Thés du Japon.