Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Tea Review: Hachijyuhachiya (88th Night) Sencha 2022 (Charaku)

Hachijyuhachiya (88th Night/八十八夜) Sencha - 2022 Shincha
Type: Green
Origin: Japan, Miyazaki Prefecture, Kobayashi
Product Description:
The annual tea harvest in Japan begins 88 days after Risshun, the start of spring on the traditional Japanese calendar. Drinking tea picked on this day has always been considered auspicious and believed to bring good health throughout the year. Often reserved for family and friends, this tea has naturally limited availability. Charaku Fine Japanese Tea is pleased to offer Hachijyuhachiya Sencha this year! This Asamushi (light-steamed) Sencha from Kobayashi in eastern Miyazaki is smooth with low astringency. We hope it brings you health and good fortune this year!
Temperature: 165° F
Amount: 3 grams
Steeping Time: 45 seconds-2 minutes

The dry leaves have a deeply savory, broth-like aroma with nutty and green notes and a hint of sweetness.

The light green liquor has a thick, savory, nutty, and almost salty broth-like aroma.  The flavor is thick with umami and spring green, nutty, and edamame notes followed by a long, green, almost sweet finish.

The dry leaves smelled so savory that I could (and did) eat them.  They tasted a bit like sunflower seeds before the intense green tea flavor came through.  The umami-filled aroma and taste of the steeped tea reminded me of a rich ramen broth.  I used the recommended water temperature of 165° F and the high end of the recommended steeping times (1st: 2 minutes, 2nd: 1 minute, 3rd: 45 seconds).  While the first two infusions were thick with savory umami, the third infusion was light and filled with amami (sweetness) with a long finish that left my mouth feeling refreshed like closing a meal with a piece of fresh fruit. 

This experience is the reason I try to buy Hachijyuhachiya every year.  The subtle differences between production years are interesting to discover and a tasting session with this tea is guaranteed to be delicious.  

A note on the packaging: Charaku's packaging keeps the tea fresh for up to two years.  This is especially helpful for people like myself who might not be able to dive in as soon as the tea arrives and still wants to experience the springtime notes of the very first of the spring harvest.

This tea was purchased by me.

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