I received this sample from Sugimoto Tea.
It’s not on their online tea store. Single cultivar sencha is something that they’re trying out with their wholesale clients.
Asatsuyu is a very interesting cultivar. It’s often called “natural gyokuro” because it has a high umami flavor without the need of undergoing the shading process like gyokuro does.
I had tried a tea from this cultivar so many years ago, that I honestly don’t remember much. That’s why I’m happy to get the chance to taste it again 🙂
Tasting Asatsuyu for the second time
To be more precise, this is a fukamushi sencha. It’s easy to tell because the tea leaves are broken down into tiny pieces.
The leaves have an intense green color, it’s a good sign.
But the best thing so far is that the aroma of this tea is richly sweet and creamy.
The package doesn’t say much about the tea, but I think that it’s from a first harvest. Because it smells like shincha or a good gyokuro.
I’ll prepare it as a fukamushi sencha, which means 3 grams of tea for 60 ml (2 oz) of water at 80 °C (176 °F), with an infusion time of 40 seconds.
The wet leaf aroma is not as intense as I would have imagined. I’ll describe it as slightly sweet and fresh, with hints of seaweed.
I served it and enjoyed its wonderful green color.
It was a bit darker than you see in the picture, because by the time I took it the sediments had collected at the bottom.
And at last I took a sip of this green tea.
It’s very different, a lot of body with a strong umami flavor. I’m very impressed.
I’m not sure how to describe it, but I feel that it has a deep taste. And it isn’t astringent nor bitter. Not very sweet either.
I then made a second infusion, but for 20 seconds.
The liquor became greener. While the umami taste had diminished, it still had no bitterness and astringency.
Also a good cup of green tea.
For the third infusion I infused for only 10 seconds.
It tasted like a normal fukamushi sencha. Still quite good.
The fourth and last infusion was in boiling water, no longer than 5 seconds.
Amazingly, the green color was just as strong. Another good cup of tea that wasn’t astringent nor bitter.
I can’t say much more about this tea, except that it’s excellent.