Usually, I think flavored teas, especially flowery concoctions are a waste of good tea, but I decided to buy the Sakura Sencha to prove myself wrong. I've loved most of the tea I've gotten from Kevin so far, so I took a risk. I'm glad that I did. This tea has a sweet and a vaguely tarty flavor, reminding me very much of the Otsuu-san Karigane Sencha from Tsuen. Unlike the Otsuu-san, it has no savory component to its flavor. The sakura blossoms add some sweetness to the tea, but their effect is largely aromatic. The aroma makes this tea very approachable to japanese tea novices, while the flavor would not disappoint a more experienced tea purist.
The taste is not very strong, nor is it complex, nor very rich, nor full, but that is not the point of this tea. It is a nice smooth and easy-going infusion.
Kevin's brewing parameters are very on the mark here. This tea expands rather quickly, and approximately 45-60 seconds seems to be enough to let it 'bloom.' This tea allows for higher temperature (175-180F) quite easily, as it is completely lacking in bitterness. I suggest using between .6-.7 grams per ounce (erring on the heavier side).
The second infusion tastes almost identical to the first, which is incredibly rare, and was quite exciting to me. This infusion should be done within similar parameters (with a slightly higher temperature- 180F -and for a slightly shorter time- 30-45 sec).
The tea is very cheap, although it should be noted that it is sold in 50 grams (the less-frequent, smaller bag offered by O-Cha), and should be considered a $15 tea, not a $7 tea.
Advantages: Cheap ($15/100 grams).
Smooth. Easy to brew, good for beginners. Sweet, somewhat tarty. Second infusion is almost identical to the first. Nice aroma.
Disadvantages: Not very complex, rich, or full.
No savory taste (umami) like a Karigane.
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Ratings and Reviews of Sakura Sencha
James Grovejanv. 14, 2013, 12:00
Liane-Tsun Hornmars 6, 2012, 09:00Very pleasant bright appearance. Just had 3 cups of it. The sencha element is no frills and straightforward along with a nice tartness from the sencha stems, both of which complements the sakura well. Very refreshing.
Maria Rozonfévr. 27, 2011, 09:00I just made the Sakura Sencha for the first time and am on my second cup. It is an excellent tea and just like others have said before, don't let the cheap price fool you. I will definitely order this one again.
Griffin Earlemars 26, 2010, 09:00I've just enjoyed 4 infusions of it, and it is really good! (If I hadn't bought it, I don't think I would ever have guessed it was a $7 sencha!)
Very nice, smooth, and a great aroma. The scent really reminds me of spring. (If, like me, you had wondered what the Sakura aspect is like, if you can imagine flower petals, it's like that.)
In case you've skimmed over it, I'd like to point out that this is a 50g package. (Perfect for those who are experimenting with new teas). I will definitely be ordering this again!