Here is a tea, a type of tea let’s say, which is kind of new in my selection: a real good fukamushi from Shizuoka, i.e. not shaded, not of these modern fukamushi aiming only at a very green and opaque color, no, it’s a really strongly steamed tea, whose leaves then become more yellow, and which keeps strength on several infusions.
I’ve wanted this type of fukamushi-cha from Shizuoka for a long time, without finding anything that comes close to the image I had, and it was by chance that I was able to have one last year, making myself at the same time know the Hatsukura sector in Shimada. In addition, it was a Yamakai cultivar that I love so much. I needed it again this year!
Unfortunately, the retirement of the person who made it possible for me to have this tea made matters more difficult. Thanks to the presentation of a grower from Shimada that I know, I was able to obtain two samples of aracha (unrefined raw teas) Yamakai cultivar from Hatsukura. One from the same factory as last year, the other from a different one, and it was ultimately the latter that this year was closest to my expectations. Order, and a few days later the refining is done according to my wishes. No disappointment!
This is of course not the type of tea from which we will expect a strong fragrance, especially since the roasting is quite weak, yet the infusion gives a fresh and sweet, juicy and fruity scent.
In the mouth this sencha is full-bodied, very round and mellow, without being completely devoid of astringency. At the same time, the umami is moderate, and the liquor, although powerful, is not thick and remains refreshing. The aromas are those of juicy summer fruit, with a sweet sensation close to that of melon. On this point, we recognize Yamakai’s personality well, although it is expressed in a very different way from what we find on lightly steamed mountain sencha.
The second infusion arrives in the mouth, less fine perhaps, but even more powerful. We find this particular fruity sweetness which continues in a very strong after-taste, and an incredible length in the mouth.
We will easily make a third equally delicious infusion, or even a fourth.
This combination of strength, mellowness but also fluidity, to which we must add these delicious summer fruits aromas, make this fukamushi sencha Yamakai cultivar a must try, thay might not be appreciate by everyone, but may undoubtedly generate its share of fans. I am one.