Monday, March 25, 2024

Tea Review: Shourai Hachijyuhachiya Hand-picked Sayama Ichou Sencha (Charaku)

Shorai Hachijyuhachiya (88th Night) Hand-picked Sayama Ichou Sencha - 2023 Shincha
Type: Green
Origin: Japan, Saitama Prefecture, Hidaka
Product Description:
Shorai (literally, the "Sound of the Pines") is a most special tea from Bizenyacha in Saitama Prefecture that we are proud to offer a limited quantity this year. The leaves of three varietals are picked from their nogien (naturally-grown tea garden), slightly withered, and hoiro-roasted (a special form of hand-roasting) to bring out the best of the teas' aroma and create a harmony among the three distinct varietals.

This tea has the distinction of being served to Their Majesties The Emperor and Empress during the dessert course at a visit to Koryo Shrine in 2017. It continues to be a most special tea year after year.

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.

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 Ichou (withered) Sencha fromthe Sayama tea-growing region is a most special tea. We hope it brings you health and good fortune this year!
Temperature: 160-194° F
Amount: 3 grams
Steeping Time: 5-50 seconds

The dry leaf aroma has nutty, marine, and grassy green notes.

The light yellow-green liquor has a rich, buttery, nutty aroma with edamame notes.  The taste is sweet green and savory with notes of cooked edamame, nuts, with a long refreshing green finish. 

For this review, I followed the brewing recommendations on the packaging, brewing for 50 seconds at 160° F for the first infusion, 5 seconds at 176 ° F for the second, and 50 seconds at 194° F for the third.  The first infusion had almost delicate fresh green notes evoking Springtime.  The second infusion was sweeter with more up-front green notes and a refreshing clean finish with sweetness moving to the front by the third infusion. The results were refreshing throughout!  

This tea was purchased by me.

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