Country of Origin: Japan
Leaf Appearance: dark green, small and needle-like
Steep time: 1 minute
Water Temperature: 175 degrees
Preparation Method: kyusu
Love at First Sip is the last of the teas that I have sampled from Oscar Brekell’s Tea Selection. I must say that I’m a little sad to see them go! Even though they were all sencha, each tea has a distinct character. Green tea is never boring if you’re drinking high-quality tea. It has been fun getting to know them all. Love at First Sip was the best looking and perhaps the most aromatic tea of the bunch. Similarly to Misty Mountain, the name is very evocative of what the drinking experience is like.
This tea was made with a new-to-me cultivar called Kōshun. It’s so rare that Ricardo from My Japanese Green Tea doesn’t have it on his cultivar list! This is how Oscar describes it in The Book of Japanese Tea.
Close your eyes while sipping on a Koshun Sencha and you might think that you are standing in the middle of a garden in full bloom. More and more tea drinkers are charmed by this floral aroma, but Koshun also has a pleasant aftertaste that lasts surprisingly long. The fruity notes are balanced by a comparably strong bitterness and in the world of beer you would find the equivalent in an IPA.The Book of Japanese Tea by Per Oscar Brekell
The dry leaves of this tea were strikingly dark green with scattered lighter bits. It just might be the prettiest selection that I have tried from this range of teas. They were also the most aromatic. I found myself letting my nose linger in the bag to breathe in the vegetal and slightly floral aroma. Some sencha can be choppy looking but these had been carefully rolled into impossibly thin needles. This is done by machine but it was obvious that great care was taken. Once unfurled they turned a vibrant Kelly green and still appeared fairly whole.
I opted to brew this tea in my smallest kyusu since it is the perfect size for drinking solo. The built-in mesh filter comes in handy for smaller leafed teas. With green tea, it is a good rule of thumb to use slightly cooler water. Oscar’s recommended temperature of 175 degrees Fahrenheit seems to be a good sweet spot for most sencha. Hotter water does not give more flavor but it will make the tea more astringent.
Love at First Sip brewed up a vibrant greenish-yellow color. The taste was sweet and floral with umami and hints of seaweed in the background. There was a minty and refreshing finish that lingered long after each sip. There some astringency but it came across as very clean and bright. No unpleasantness here!
Have you tried Love at First Sip? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!