Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sencha Sakura (Cherry Blossom Sencha)

Living in Milwaukee, WI and enjoying six months of brutal Winter makes all of us yearn for the first signs of Spring. The smell of wet earth taking in rays of sun, seeing swollen buds on bare limbs and most of all, most of all, hearing birds chirp their sweet little songs.

We dreamily gaze out the window in our office and think of what our dear friends in Japan are experiencing right now. I can see it now, strolling under clear blue skies, amazing green tea in hand, and those sweet little sakura blossoms starting to push their way through the thick skin of their buds. No longer will they be dormant, they will flourish for weeks and fill the skyline with white and many variations of pink.

This Friday brings us the FIRST day of Spring, the Milwuakee Art Museum After Dark evet AND the launch of Sencha Sakura! This is the first time we've offered Sencha Sakura and we are thrilled to do so.

Sencha Sakura is a blend of Sakura cherry flowers and the specially cured leaves of Sakura cherry trees, which accentuate the smooth, sweet and refreshing character of our deep-steamed Sencha.
We excitedly cupped the tea at our office and were unbelievably impressed. A
unique aspect to this tea is that our dear friends who harvested and blended it in Japan used real cherry flowers and specially cured leaves. Unlike other cherry blossom teas we've previously tried, this one contains no oils or flavorings.

The green tea base for this blend is fukamushi, or deep steamed sencha. The small tender leaves are brittle and break through the deep steam process. This aids in the release of flavors and ultimately adds to the rich and creamy mouthfeel this tea is known for. Due to the small size of the leaf, it's important to use a teapot with a fine mesh screen. Here at the office we use the Tea Flower Kyusu and Plum Blossom Kyusu. They both work wonderfully!

Brewed Sencha Sakura after first infusion

We brewed one tablespoon (7 grams) per 8 oz of water at 160 degrees for 1 minute. This was the perfect temperature to release enough of the floral aroma without making the tea too strong. (We also cupped it at 150 but the water was not hot enough to release the floral aroma.)

This tea has a really nice balance of floral aroma and green character. It is not overpowering at all. I would even recommend it to those who are not regular floral tea drinkers.

The vivid green infusion of Sencha Sakura

We cannot wait to launch it this Friday and make it available to our wonderful customers! If you haven't already done so, sign up for our newsletter as we just may include a discount in it...

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