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.
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