Sunday, June 15, 2008

O-Cha’s Miyabi Shincha 2008 Review

Type: Green
Origin: Uji, Japan
Price: $27.96 for 110 grams (approx. 4 oz.)
Vendor: O-Cha
Brewing Method: Per Instructed – 3.0g of leaves, 8 oz. of filtered water, heated to 150°F-160°F, steeped for 1 minute.
Overall Score: 4.5 out of 5

Miyabi is a high quality Sencha from Uji, Japan. This package of Miyabi is in Shincha form – meaning the first flush of the season. This new harvest means that it is the freshest form of Sencha from this region in 2008. The “first flush” picking of this tea commences between May and July. The freshest form of a high quality Sencha… could there be anything better?

The leaves are very tiny, dark green bits. However, these little dry bits of leaves pack an amazing aroma. As soon as I opened the package, I could smell the grassiness of the tea.

The color of the liquor is a beautiful bright green. This is definitely the “greenest” of the green teas that I’ve tried.

The aroma of the freshly brewed tea is very vegetal with a hint of nuttiness to it. The smell of the brew reminds me a lot of Dragon Well.

At first sip, I noticed the fresh green tea taste – vegetal and grassy-like, but still sweet. Then, I started to taste the nutty flavor of the tea. This tea was a bit on the astringent side, though. According to O-Cha’s directions that were sent along with the tea, Shincha forms of green teas tend to be a little more astringent than other green teas.

It had a drying effect in my mouth, but not so much so that it was unpleasant. I have been drinking only this tea for the past few weeks, so it obviously has not bothered me.

This tea was stronger than other green teas that I’ve had, in which I heard that the Shincha form of green tea tends to be stronger. A second steeping of this tea was notably watered down, but I thought it was still drinkable. It didn’t quite make it to a third steeping, however, but most greens don’t.

This was the first time I’ve had a “new harvest” tea so I was not able to compare it with past years. However, I did enjoy the 2008 harvest and will be ordering some more again next year.

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