Friday, June 19, 2009

Review: Maeda-en Sencha Select

Quickly on the heels of my previous Maeda-en company green tea, I wanted to try another of their senchas: Maeda-en Sencha Select.

The leaves are mildly fragrant, with a fruity citrus high note. They are a very dark green, small, and a lot of broken powder, and they have a nice dry crunch to them, which shows me they've been stored properly, and kept away from the moisture that would degrade the quality.

For this sencha, I steeped at a fairly low temperature of about 70C for 2 minutes, which is the long end for this tea, from the advice found on their Web site. With the low temperature, you can steep longer; and the converse is true, as well.

The liquor is a gold-green with a small amount of fogginess, and it's quite attractive. The aroma matches that of the leaves; very green smelling, with that hint of citrus in the high notes, like a mandarin orange-- a kind of green-gold scent, if you will. The flavor is quite pleasing-- a robust flavor that reminds me a bit of the sea, of freshly mown hay. The vegetable note is quite noticeable. I can only discern the slightest bitterness, and there is a sweet, lingering aftertaste.

Not bad! As with the previous post, this Sencha seems to be a pleasing everyday tea that is quite comforting. I'm not a trained tea sommelier, so I won't hazard a guess as to how to pair this with food, but it is refreshing and clean, bright without being overbearing, and rather relaxed and friendly.