Monday, September 22, 2014

What-Cha, Nepal Second Flush 2014 Sencha Green Tea

Well Labelled Sample
What-Cha Description:
The best Sencha we have come across from outside of Japan, it has a lovely algae nose and a light grassy taste.

We are proud to source all our Nepal teas direct from Greenland Organic Farm, who are very much at the forefront of a burgeoning Nepali tea industry dedicated to producing high quality artisanal teas. Greenland Organic Farm are completely pesticide and chemical free farm dedicated to producing tea in an ethical and fair manner. Greenland Organic Farm is located in East Nepal in the shadows of Mt. Kancghenjunga at an altitude of 3,000m.

Sample provided by What-Cha

My Review:
Miss me yet? I haven't posted in a long time. Our construction is over and things are beginning to settle back to normal. That means I have a lot of catching up to do with reviews. I think I can handle that!

Kind Of Makes Me Think Pine Needles
I have not had a lot of Japanese Sencha, so my ability to give an honest comparison, to this one from Nepal, is not likely. What I can do is taste it and tell you what I think. Once again, the sample is well packaged and clearly labelled. I really appreciate not having to go to a website to get recommended steeping parameters. I also appreciate the sample is large enough for me to experiment if I think tweaking the time and temp will give better results.

The leaf on this one is long slender twists that are dark olive green with some lighter green sprinkled throughout the mix. It has a nice fresh grassy scent.

I used 1/3 of the 10 g sample in my press and added filtered water heated to 167 F. I let it steep for two minutes.

A Light Yellow Liquor
The reward for my effort is a very light yellow cup. It stays roughly that color even as it cools. The leaf a steamed spinach aroma to my senses. What-Cha says the brew has an algae nose. It really didn't strike me that way but possibly that would be your interpretation.

I love the taste. It reminds me of Chinese Mao Feng or possibly Xinyang Maojian. I don't have either on hand at the moment to do a comparison. It has a sharp bite with the good kind of bitter that really tastes refreshing. It is followed by a smooth moment of grassiness that begins to be overtaken by a mineral type taste but before the transition fully occurs it moves on into a bright finish. It does have some moderate mouth drying but not the stomach burn I associate with astringent black teas.

If you sip slowly, this takes your tongue on a nicely complex roller coaster ride. Does it taste like Sencha? As I noted at the beginning, I have no idea. I can say it is exactly the kind of green tea that catches my attention.

Wet Leaf
The one negative I would mention is the wet leaf appears to contain a lot of pieces rather than whole leaves. By the appearance of the dry leaf, this surprises me. I am not sure if or how it affects the flavor, but if you are one of those odd people like me, who play with their leaf, you notice such things.

I am not sure how many cups this will produce but I am about to go for a second. I have really missed my time with tea lately. I am so happy to see I have grabbed a good one today.

The second cup produces a cup of similar color as the first. I payed closer attention to the nose. It doesn't smell like seaweed or ocean to me but, yeah, I can see how this could be considered to have an algae aroma. The taste is lighter but that may be my fault. I didn't really time it as I was typing.

I enjoyed this tea - thank you What-Cha for sharing it with me.

You can find Nepal Second Flush 2014 Sencha Green Tea here.

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