Sunday, June 21, 2015

Tea Review: Temomi Shincha (Sugimoto America)

Temomi Shincha
Sugimoto America
Type: Green
Origin: Japan, Shizuoka
Product Description:  Temomi Shin Cha is one of the rarest and highest quality Japanese green teas. The word temomi means "hand-rolled". From the meticulous picking of the best young tea leaves to the final process of kneading the leaves to fine needles, the whole practice is done by the hands of elite temomi artisans. A method used in Japan centuries ago, the temomi technique is vanishing due to the adoption of today's machines to produce tea. Temomi Shin Cha is offered to the Japanese Emperor each year in a ceremony celebrating the first tea of spring.

Temperature: 100° F-140° F
Amount: 10 grams
Steeping Time: 1-2 minutes

The dry leaves have a heady marine green aroma with notes of sunflower seeds.

The clear green infusion has an aroma of freshly cut green leaves, macadamia nuts, and a touch of salt.  The taste is thick, nutty, intensely green, and astringent with a long green finish.

For this special tea, I followed the recommended directions provided by Sugimoto America.  The first infusion was steeped for 2 minutes at 100° F and the next two infusions were steeped for 1 minute at 130° F.  I used a wide shallow cup to avoid breaking the leaves and to watch them unfurl.  The first two infusions were thick in flavor and texture with a sweetness developing after the first infusion.  The third infusion was not at all thick and had the fresh, sweet green taste I associate with Spring.  

In the following photos, you can see how the leaves unfurl during each infusion.

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