2012 Sencha Kaori & Some Thoughts on “Perfect Teas”



Christmas holiday,
finally. At last, I should have enough time to talk about all the
interesting teas that have been accumulating on my shelf for quite a
while.
Let’s start with yet
another Katahira – or let’s get back to Katahira, to be more
accurate. Here’s a tea from this great Nunosawa, Shizuoka-based
producer I haven’t talked about yet – a tea, which is, among his
classic Senchas, presumably of the highest grade.





Purchased from Pu-erh.sk
quite a while ago, Sencha Kaori was picked in May 2012 and is a blend
of four different breeds – 30% Ó Iwase, 30% Meiryoku, 20%
Yamanoibuki, 20% Saemidori.
Its leaves are long,
light-steamed shiny green needles, very beautiful and obviously
processed with great amount of care. They have a sweet, fine smell;
one that is fresh, fruity and creamy.
  


  
The first infusion is
light-yellow in color and gets gradually more opaque as it cools
down. Its taste is sweet, very refined, deep and complex – from
tones of ripe fruit, such as pears and gooseberries, to sweet cream,
milk and vivid umami, almost reminiscent of half-shaded or shaded
teas. These notes are continued in a long, mouth-filling aftertaste,
again very deep and sweet, though also fresh and very fruity.




The second infusion is
yellowish-green in color, very clear and slightly cooler in taste.
Again, tones of fruit, sweet cream, umami, deepness and overall
refinement. A medium-long aftertaste; slightly lighter than before,
more refreshing and, for a second brew, still very sweet without any
sharp notes.
Two more infusions are
made of these leaves; the third one still a deep, complex brew with
sweet fruity and creamy notes, getting just a bit drier in the
ending.
The fourth, the final –
light green color, a lighter, drier and simpler taste, less deep,
though still mostly fruity, creamy and very clear. This taste stays
in the mouth for along time, the aftertaste still doesn’t get any
less refined. All the sweetness and creaminess previously
encountered, still not planning to leave. Impressive.  




































I’ve purposely made the
taste notes shorter this time to get to the question already
mentioned in the name of this post – this tea seems almost perfect.
Sometimes I think it’s too perfect, actually. There’s this thing
about such high-grade, traditional Sencha teas, especially the
blended ones – they are very refined and good from all points of
view, mostly, which, actually, detracts a bit of surprise from the
experience. It is important to say that this has nothing to do with
quality of tea in any way – it’s just a matter of personal
preference. I seem to enjoy teas that are able to surprise me, teas
that get stuck in my mind for whatever reason more than teas which
are just great – in a classic, conservative, traditional way. Just
one example, purposely from the same producer – Sencha Tsuyuhikari.
This tea, Sencha Kaori,
tastes exactly how it’s supposed to taste. Exactly how a Sencha of
such a high grade is supposed to taste. There is absolutely nothing
wrong with that.
It’s just that sometimes I
think tea is quite similar to people. When you’re around someone who
is perfect all the time, there is quite a high chance you are going
to get bored.
Of course, these teas are
not meant to be consumed every day, so such case probably isn’t going
to happen.

This is definitely a great
tea. Try it, drink it, enjoy it. You won’t be disappointed.
You might not be
surprised. But, after all, that is not what these teas are meant to
do.

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