Monday, February 17, 2014 and Takeo Family Tea Farm: Spring Sencha Teabags, A Tea Review

I am eating the most delicious bread before I get into my tea. It is a Ciabatta that is baked with Feta cheese and Kalamata olives and it is to die for. I also gained enough points using Bing's reward thingy (I do a lot of searches related to tea, no surprise there) to get a gift card for Amazon, so I bought a (used) book I have had my eye on. Read and Write Chinese by Rita Mei-Wah Choy, I like it because it is really well organized, has both Mandarin and Cantonese, and you can look up character by Chinese, English, and stroke count. It will be so useful for translation. It has been a good day and I am happy.

Today's tea is Spring Sencha Teabags from Takeo Family Tea Farms and As I am sure you can glean from the name this tea is harvested in spring time (first harvest actually), but who wants to just stop at that little nugget of information. The tea was harvested in the Mie Prefecture, which is part of the Kansai region on the island of Honshu. This beautiful coastal prefecture is home to the Meoto Iwa (Wedded Rocks) which is really high on my list of 'must see places' list. The aroma of this tea that is in a bag is faint but distinct. There are notes of gentle sweetness, spinach, and fresh grass. Primarily the aroma is more of a savory sencha quality than a sweet one with a very slight finishing note of fresh pine needles. Luckily I did not notice the teabag itself adding any aroma to the tea, it is always so annoying when I can smell bag.

Once the tea gets a steeping in some nice warm water the aroma becomes stronger and quite spring like blending vegetal spinach and grassy green with a bit of kelp. There is also a slightly sweet citrus finish as the teabag is pulled away from my questing nose. The liquid is quite sweet, smelling more like fresh hay than veggies of any sort. There is a very slight hint of kelp hiding under the hay.

The taste is at first that of kelp giving it an umami quality that is quite appealing, especially as it fades to a fresh grass sweetness in the aftertastes. Of course there is a midtaste in between, and it is a blend of spinach and kale, but without the bitter quality that kale has when raw. This tea is quite good for bagged tea and is, of course, the quality I expect from I received the teabag as a sample in a previous order and could see myself ordering more for when I travel or don't feel like breaking out the Kyusu and making a big deal of drinking my Sencha.

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