Saturday, May 2, 2015

Curious Tea Boxes: Sencha Fukujyu, A Tea Review

This tea rambling is going to start out with an adventure, specifically the adventure the box from Curious Tea went on! A while ago on Steepster, Curious Tea offered a box for review purposes, and I offered my writing and sipping services. The first box vanished into the aether, and as soon as the proprietor and I realized this tragedy, another box was sent, this time it came from its home and London and ended up in customs in Chicago, and here is where the fun begins! According to my app that tracks packages, it went from Chicago to Japan, and then to Korea, and then to New Jersey, and finally it showed up at my door. I was so happy when it did! The tea portions are massive (a whopping 50g of each) with clear instructions and lovely packaging, all things I am very pleased about in a tea subscription box. I do want to say that the customer service was awesome, my box decided to go on an adventure, but Curious Tea was quite supportive and awesome, even sending me a new one, how cool is that? So yeah, combine that with some epic teas and you have yourself a quality subscription service! I want to be a permanent subscriber...just need more money!

So, now that the adventure of the traveling tea has come to a close, it is on to one of the teas in the box: Sencha Fukujyu, hmm, maybe that is why the box went to Japan, it wanted to return to its roots! A bit about Sencha Fukijyu, it has one of the best names ever, it translates to Green Spider Legs, which makes me happy because I adore spiders! Why it is called that, I have no idea, it might not actually be a translation, information on this tea seems to be a bit sparse, but I do have some tasty facts. This tea comes from Shizouka Prefecture and is one of the later harvests, but it has some similarities to Gyokuro since it gets covered in the last part of its growing. The aroma of this Sencha is quite delightfully toasty, with notes of sesame and toasted nori and a distinct note of pine needles. Along with those notes are faint notes of spinach, a touch of broken grass, and a very unique note of mint, but without the menthol aspect, really it smells like broken mint leaves with all the cooling, sharp, menthol notes. It is very peculiar and quite fun!

Into my new and annoyingly chipped Kyusu the leaves go, ah beautiful Kyusu, you would be so perfect if not for that chip you took in the mail due to terrible packaging. Sigh. Anyway, the aroma of the now very soggy leaves (that do not resemble spider legs at all, but do look a lot like chopped up grass) is still very wonderfully toasty, I am such a sucker for toasty teas, add a bit of honey and sesame seeds with a pinch of fresh green pine needs and what you get is a very pleasant pile of leaves. The liquid is mild and sweet with notes of sweet toasted sesame seeds, pine needles, and a pleasant finish of bamboo shoots.

This Sencha is full of surprises! It starts mild and very sweet with notes of honey and sesame, much like those delicious sesame honey candies I rave on about. This immediately moves on toasted nori and those pine needles again. The finish is a blend of sunwarmed hay with an afteraste of grass. I say this Sencha is surprising, I have had toasty tasting Sencha before, but never one with pine needle notes before, it gives it a very clean taste which I am very fond of.

So much so that I went in for another steeping! The aroma of this steep is much nuttier, with a tiny bit of cashews with notes of toasted sesame seeds and a bit of crushed grass. The taste is also a bit grassier this time around, still strong notes of toasted nori and sesame seeds, but now there is the taste of crushed vegetation and broken blades of grass, it has taken on a very green taste. Overall, this would be a great everyday Sencha, and conveniently I have enough to have some everyday...for at least a few days anyway!

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