Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Cha Do Raku Yume - Icho (bihakko fukamushi)

Country of Origin: Japan
Leaf Appearance: needle-like, deep green
Ingredients: green tea
Steep time: 1 minute
Water Temperature:185 degrees
Preparation Method: kyusu
Liquor: vibrant green, almost opaque in 2nd and 3rd infusion

Earlier this year I attended a fantastic class taught by the owner of Cha Do Raku about oxidized Japanese green teas. It's a category of tea that I've become very interested in. The leaves are withered prior to steaming, making something akin to what would be called a yellow tea in China. I had a hard time choosing tea to take home that day but finally settled upon this one. They had me at fukamushi! I love the depth of information that is provided about each tea. Very few vendors tell us what variety was used (Yumewakaba in this case). The first thing that caught my attention was the aroma of the leaves. They had a decidedly more floral lean than I would have ever expected from a sencha. This orchid-like note was echoed in the taste along with a cooling, almost minty finish. There was a quite a bit of astringency but it was not bitter or unpleasant. My second and third infusions were so green they were almost opaque. One or two more kyusus of tea probably could have been squeezed out if I extended the steeping time a bit. Cha Do Raku also has some pan fired oxidized green teas that I am hoping to try soon.

Yume - Icho sample purchased from Cha Do Raku.
A photo posted by Nicole Martin (@teaformeplease) on