Anyone that knows me and my journey in tea would know that after several false starts (with
tea bags…errrr…. garbage), my interest was first genuinely piqued when I first discovered loose leaf sencha. From there the rest is history… and now my real journey has begun.
This led me to a tea session today with a Japanese sencha called Eiju. This tea arrived on my doorstep last week from UnyTea.
Japanese teas are some of my favorites so I was excited to get to brewing!
Name: “Eiju” Japanese Sencha
Origin: Wakane Township, Shizouka, Japan
Leaf Plucked: unknown
Type: Sencha Green Tea
The tea is noted as being “slightly roasted.”
The packaging instructions offer two different options:
“Japanese style” brewing: 1 gram per 100 mL at 94 (C) degrees (201 F) for 1 minute and + 20 seconds per each additional brew.
Gong Fu Brew: 3 grams per 100 mL at 94 (C) degrees (201 F) for 15 seconds and + 5 seconds per each additional steep.
Mmmmmm… my mouth is watering at this point. Okay, the water is almost to temp…
Steep 1: 60 seconds
Yellow-greenish liquor. Slightly grassy with a hint of umami. Creamy, almost buttery. A slight astringency left my tongue a little dry.
Steep 2: 80 seconds
Held up well on resteep. (I will confess I was a little skeptical this would be the case, especially given the high temperatures.) No umami in this steep — more of a vegetal taste. More astringency that brew 1, but very tasty!!
Steep 3: 100 seconds
Good flavor is still there, albeit slightly lighter. Slight vegetal flavor. This tea is delicious, I decided! It was also in this steep that I decided that the tea reminded me somewhat of an oolong with its smooth/clean taste.
Steep 4: 120 seconds
Still pleasant… less flavor, however.
At this point I put the tea aside, I thought I was done. However, a short time later I sat in on a Live Session with UnyTea on Instagram where I was discussing the tea with Jeff. He suggested I push it further… Okay.
Steep 5: 140 seconds
Seems to have lost a little flavor from steep 4, however I wonder how much of this was due to the time that had elapsed from steep 4 (~hour or so). In lieu, I pushed on…
Steep 6: 160 seconds
The liquor color is much lighter than where it began. Still has flavor though… more noticeable than the 5th steep.
Steep 7: 180 seconds
There are slight slight vegetal notes… oddly I find the scent of grass in my nose.
Steep 8: 200 seconds
Still a little life…
Steep 9: 220 seconds
Tea is dead.
I absolutely loved this tea. I thought it was delicious. It was a very smooth tea, somewhat buttery to start, with tasting notes of umami, grass, and other vegetal notes. I was particularly impressed that it was able to hold up under such a high heat — I am used to brewing my sencha teas closer to 80 degrees. I was also surprised by the number of resteeps that I deemed to have acceptable flavor. I highly recommend this tea and look forward to my next session with it! I will opt for the stronger brew next time to compare.
To read more about the different types of Japanese tea, click here.