Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Tea Review: Musashikaori Ichou Sencha, Sayamacha (Charaku)

Musashikaori Ichou Sencha, Sayamacha - 2023 Shincha
Type: Green
Origin: Japan, Saitama Prefecture, Iruma City
Product Description:
We are pleased to bring back Sayama-cha, teas from Southwest Saitama Prefecture, after a long absence. This particular tea is special as an Ichou (Withered) Sencha created by Shimizu-san of Bizenyacha in Hidaka, Saitama. 
The techniques of allowing a short withering period and then mild roasting creates a tea that is still Japanese green tea, but starting to lean towards an Oolong. Some call these teas Japanese Green Oolong. 
Musashikaori is a bit more withered and roasted than the Fukumidori, giving it a faint woodsy aroma and light green color, but still well-balanced and smooth. The first infusion opens up with amami (sweetness) and a slight notes of citrus and salinity, but very little shibumi (astringency). Subsequent infusions take very little time and produce a deep color green along with more roasted flavor and aroma, but also more umami (savoriness) and shibumi. Ichou Sencha. from Sayama will give you a new flavor and aroma experience in Japanese teas.
Temperature: 194° F
Amount: 3 grams
Steeping Time: 5-50 seconds

The dry leaves have an aroma that is light, sweet, and nutty with a hint of marine green.

The light green infusion has a savory aroma with notes of nuts (almost roasted) and a hint of sweetness in the back.  The taste is smooth and savory with notes of nuts, green veg, edamame, and nori with a long sweet finish.

For the purposes of this review, I followed the brewing directions provided on the package, with a first steeping at 30 seconds, a second steeping at 5 seconds, and a third steeping at 50 seconds with beautiful results throughout.  I was especially impressed by how much complexity there was in the initial infusion.  The color brightened as expected by the second infusion, becoming more rich in flavor and aroma with sweetness moving forward.

This tea was provided as a free sample without guarantee of a review.

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