Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Yunomi: Obubu #4 Sencha of the Earth Spring Green Tea, A Tea Review

I have taken up fighting games again! So a bit of backstory, not sure the exact cause but a couple years ago my hands decided that playing fighting games and beat'em ups was not going to happen, all that movement was stupid painful. I gave up playing them and just delved deep into watching the pros play them at tournaments, but that seems to have changed. Ben got Killer Instinct on a whim (it has a free character that rotates so you can try it out, which is handy) and I played a bit, and what do ya know, no hand pain! Now I have to get back in shape, maybe in a year of grinding I can go to a tournament and play with the pros! Guess all the hand exercises and Ark playing paid off.

Today I continue on dreaming of spring teas (mine are still slowly making their way to me) by drinking the last of my stash from last year. Presenting Yunomi's Obubu #4 Sencha of the Earth Spring Green Tea (2015 specifically) I love the names for Obubu's Sencha, it is their names that has made me go along and try almost all of them, I think I have two left I have not tried yet. This tea is called this because it is made from Zairai plants, and those are tea plants grown from seeds taken from a tea plant before it was recognized as a specific cultivar. These specific plants are over 30 years old, and the strength of the earth is celebrated in the strength of the plants, because tea that tells a story is awesome in my book! They were not kidding when they said this tea is potent, the aroma is sweet like broken hay and sweetgrass with a very tiny touch of cotton (like the plant, not like the fabric) there are also green notes of course, blending edamame, bell pepper skin, and cut bamboo leaves. At the end there is a touch of dried seaweed and rice giving a bit of starchy and sea air quality to it.

I love how vibrant Sencha leaves get once steeped, they go from pine green to summer grass and its so pretty! What I don't love is the deafening roar of the lawnmower outside destroying my ability to think, one day I will live in a place that doesn't have grass...my yard will be moss, clover, rocks, and flowers! Anyway, the aroma of the soggy leaves is so green! It smells like crisp bamboo leaves, clover leaves and flowers, edamame, and sea air, it smells to me like summer. The liquid is light and sweet, like clovers and honey with distant cut grass and broken vegetation, it smells refreshing.

The first that that struck me about this tea is the really pleasant mouthfeel, it has body kinda like an Oolong, being thick and smooth. Usually I find Sencha to be fairly light, so this was a fun change of things. The taste starts with a blend of starchy rice and edamame with a gentle sweet quality to it, this moves onto the more expected green notes of broccoli and cut bamboo with just a subtle edge of mown grass adding a subtle bitterness. The finish is distant flowers and sea air, and I am sorry I cannot remember the name of the specific coastal flower I am thinking of, but it is light and a bit like sweet pea flower.

I steeped this tea a couple more times, jacking the heat up and flash steeping it for a double punch of intense sweetness at the front and bitterness at the middle with a lingering honey sweet finish. The thickness of the first steep stuck around which was fun, and later steeps bring out spinach and stronger ocean notes. As much as this was a spring tea it really reminds me of summer, late May when everything is lush and warm but the heat of summer has not started doing its worst yet.

This tea was sent for review purposes by the company.

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