Steeped Asanoka #80
Here’s a quick compare and contrast of the three newest Japanese green tea arrivals:
Each tea was steeped three times in the following manner:
10 grams of tea, 10 ounces of water
1st Steep – 1 minute, 160°f
2nd Steep – 1 minute, 175°f
3rd Steep – 1 minute, boiling water
(There’s many more ways to steep than what I did. Don’t judge me or take it as gospel. It was just my mood at the moment).
Asanoka #80 - Buy it here
This tea is my favorite of the bunch. Asanoka is the name of the cultivar. It has a long-leggy, deep emerald green appearance. The steeped leaf aroma has a slight roasted grain quality to it without being toasty. The cup is DARK and savory – a real mouthful! It has a mushroom-like quality that warms the mouth and travels to the gut well. If you don’t like it, that’s too bad, because that aftertaste is going to hang on a long time. A silky textured body fully hangs on for the second steep and only barely declines after the third. This tea will go the distance.
Asanoka #80 liquor
Sencha #35 - Buy it here
This is an excellent tea for the price. It’s made of the popular Yabukita cultivar and contains mostly small particles (which is not uncommon in Japanese tea). The aroma and flavor are notably floral. It packs its punch quickly and fades to a more sweet, slippery body. Because of the small particles the second and third steep thin out quickly and the liquor turns a charming incredible-hulk opaque green. This tea is double or nothing.
Incredible Hulk Sencha #35
88th Night Shincha - Buy it here
Classy stuff! The dry aroma is seaweed and rye. It has those deep green long leaves that produce a heavy, brothy body that reminds a Midwesterner of buttered corn. A mushroomy undertow warms up the mouth and gut, but a floral quality holds on if you breathe out your nostrils. It thins out a little for the second and third steep and starts to bring forward a melon/floral sweetness that almost wants to get sharp, but doesn’t. When you start talking about the intentions of the tea you know it’s time to hang it up. Turn off the jukebox and cut this guy off.
-Michael Lannier, Operations Manager