Leaf Appearance: deep green, needle-like
Ingredients: green tea
Steep time: 1 minute
Water Temperature: 175 degrees
Preparation Method: kyusu
Liquor: deep yellow green
I've heard quite a bit about Lupicia from tea friends over the years but never had the opportunity to try their offerings until now. Right off the bat, I was very impressed with the quality of their packaging and labeling. The tea was packed in a vacuum sealed bag within the tin. Tea in clear plastic bags drives me crazy so it was nice to see that they did not opt for the cheaper option.
The deep green leaves had a beautiful sheen to them. They also smelled liked a sweet, clean ocean breeze. My fiance walked into our apartment to find me with my nose stuck in the bag, inhaling happily. Please tell me I'm not the only one who does that! He's used to that happening by now but I think he still considers it a source of great entertainment.
The taste was refreshing and sweet with a balanced flavor profile. Crisp spring veggies like baby spinach and sugar snap peas came to mind. There was also a savoriness that I found really appealing. Lupicia's description of this tea was simply "Distinctively mellow and full-bodied green tea". While I don't disagree, this tea definitely deserves more flowery language. There was some astringency but overall it was a very smooth cup of tea.
The tristate area was hit by a heat wave when I tried this tea so I couldn't resist giving ice brewing it a try. The result was a syrupy thick liquor with emphasized umami. I usually ice brew right in a kyusu but you can use a western style teapot or any other container that you might have. Glass mason jars are perfect for this purpose.
Sencha Matsuri sample provided for review by Lupicia.