REVIEW: Tombo Tea – Zen Sencha


Tea and origin: Sencha green tea from the Maruyama Tea Estate near Mt Fuji, Japan
Website: Tombo Tea
Twitter: @tombo_london
Link to Zen

Last week I enjoyed reviewing Tombo’s Bonsai tea (Genmaicha with Matcha). Today I’ll be tasting Tombo’s Zen Sencha. Sencha is one of my favourite green teas, and I love that this tea has various degrees of grassy, sweet and salty flavours depending where it is grown. Let’s see how Tombo’s Zen Sencha stacks up.

Tasting notes

Dry leaf: The dry leaf largely consists of broken leaves, although there are a few larger, needle-like leaves scattered throughout the tea. It has a sweet, grassy aroma

Infused tea: The tea cups out a cloudy green liquor (although the liquor clears once the bits of tea settle to the bottom of the cup). Like the dry leaf, the tea has a grassy aroma and flavour. The predominant flavour in the body and finish of the liquor is grassy, but there are some slightly sweet undertones. It is medium-bodied with very little astringency

Infusion tips: I used a small teapot (150ml) with 80C water and three grams of tea. For the first infusion, I steeped the tea for one minute, and then 20 seconds for the second infusion. You will be able to get two to three infusions out of this tea. Since this is a Japanese Sencha, I would highly suggest that you pay close attention to water temperature and infusion time, or you will get a very bitter cup of tea

Conclusions: This is a real easy-drinking Sencha: it has a nice grassy aroma and flavour, and it isn’t overly vegetal or bitter, which might turn off some. What might not appeal to some Sencha connoisseurs is that the tea doesn’t have a strong salty/ umami punch. I did not detect any umami in the first infusion, but I did pick up a little in the second. This is a great everyday Sencha, and at a very good price. Better yet, it is from a single estate, and it is leaps and bounds better than many Senchas stocked by tea shops or supermarkets, and far superior to any Chinese Sencha I’ve tasted

Retail price: 50 grams for £6.50 / 15 tea bags for £5.20


About teaxplorer

I grew up in the Midwest of the US and was introduced to tea at a very young age - unsweetened iced tea, that is! It was not until my early 20s, when I was seeking a lighter alternative to coffee, that I took tea drinking to a new level. I still remember my mother suggesting that I try putting milk in a cup of black tea (something that actually sounded a bit repulsive at the time, but I gave it a go). I quickly became tired of supermarket tea and started ordering teas from shops and companies all over the US. Throughout my 20s and now into my early 30s, pursuits in higher education studies, work opportunities and marriage have given me opportunities to live in the UK, Canada and Germany and travel around the world, which has sparked an even greater interest in tea and the culture of tea. This blog is my outlet to discuss my love of tea and show off some of my photos. All images and opinions on this blog are my own, unless stated otherwise. I retain copyright on all photographs, but please do not hesitate to contact me at if you wish to reproduce any of my images. Likewise, if you would like me to review and photograph any teas for you, please get in touch. I would be happy to hear from you. Thank you for stopping by my blog, and I hope you return many times! Happy drinking! Drew B (@teaxplorer)
This entry was posted in Japanese green tea, Sencha, Tombo Tea and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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