Name: Japanese Sencha
Brand: Harney & Sons
Type: Green tea
Form: Silken pyramid bags
Review: I’ve always found Japanese tea to be a tricky brew: I love the mouth-filling qualities of a good Japanese green, but often manage to produce a bitter, disagreeable brew when I try to make it for myself. Fortunately, our friends at Harney & Sons have sourced a lovely Japanese Sencha that even I can make properly.
Harney & Sons sells this tea in several forms, including paper tea bags and as a loose leaf tea. (I chose the version in little individually wrapped pyramid sachets.) I gave the dry leaf a sniff, and appreciated its fresh, sweet, slightly vegetal nose. After preparing it with fairly cool water (check out my preparation tips below), the infused tea’s nose was more intensely vegetal, and its liquor was an (almost startlingly) bright yellow-green.
Because I infused this at a relatively low temperature, it was ready to drink right away. This tea has a medium-full body with some definite creamy notes. The taste was quite fresh, somewhat spinach-y, yet also remarkably soothing. While I detected a slight bitterness in the finish, it was not offensive, and gave the tea a bit of character.
Recommendation: If you are looking to get started with Japanese green teas, this may be a good one to start with. If I can brew it correctly, anyone can. Also, its pretty green color is most appealing, and it makes a very tasty and robust iced tea.
Preparation Tips: I advise using cool water to make this tea. I took the temperature to 140F, and steeped it for about a minute. This resulted in a very tasty cup. Keep in mind that Harney & Sons pyramid teabags are intended to infuse 12 ounces of water, rather than the 6 or 8 ounces that are standard for many teabags.
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