If you are new to Japanese tea, this collection of differing senchas is an ideal set to begin your tea exploration. By starting with lower priced teas you can freely develop your palate and understanding of the characteristic taste profiles of Japanese green tea.
The four factors that influence the taste of the tea are the quantity of tea leaf, amount and temperature of water, and the steeping time. Also, keep in mind that leaf size will affect taste. A fragmented tea will steep quicker than a coarser tea leaf. The preparation guidelines on the product pages are a starting point but by adjusting these variables, you'll develop a better understanding of each tea and a feeling for your preferences.
Hotter water will bring out more bitterness and cooler water will emphasize sweetness. More leaf, more time or less water will produce a stronger taste.
Total net weight 30 grams. (10g of each) PREPARATION
The first step in creating green tea from freshly harvested leaves is a brief period of steaming. This halts the enzymatic process that degrades the leaf thus retaining the vitality within. The duration of steaming affects the final product and roughly falls within three categories. Asamushi or light steaming, Futsuumushi or regular steaming, and Fukamushi or deep steaming.
Sencha Nakai No.3 is a fine example of a Futsuumushi sencha tending towards herbaceous, fresh pea and fresh grassy notes with a slight sweetness and astringency/bitterness. Recommended for those who prefer a lighter tasting sencha. JAS Organic.
Sencha Tano is a deep steamed fukamushi sencha. The longer steaming causes fragmentation of the leaf and gives it a less appealing look compared the longer needle-like leaves of Nakai No.3. Dry leaf notes of raspberry, puffed rice and basil brew an opaque green liquor with tastes of chard, green beans and spinach. A portion of the harvest is shaded for one week prior to harvest, lending to a mild sweetness and pleasant bitterness.
Sencha Taidana. The richest tasting sencha is produced from the first harvest in May, as are Sencha Nakai No.3 and Sencha Tano. Second harvest teas from June, like Sencha Taidana, use leaf material that has grown coarser in the full heat of summer sun. The result is a lighter tasting, highly refreshing tea with somewhat less caffeine that can be truly enjoyed in its own right.