|Photo provided by Ippodo. Such pretty packaging!|
Ippodo. They kindly sent me the sencha set, which contains the Unro and Hosen teas. My tasting session created a sunny paradise within the gloomy afternoon. I started with the Hosen tea, which is billed as a great tea for sencha beginners. The brew is light and fragrant, with a mellow flavor of cooked green vegetables. It's a good basic sencha to drink every day. Shall we say...a more bourgeois tea? It is bright with a vibrant balance of sweet and bitter vegetal flavors. The tea has a lovely soothing richness that melted away the chilly December day.
Ippodo labels the Unro sencha as 'a favorite among seasoned Sencha drinkers seeking that unique astringency'. I felt full of suspense after reading that description. Would it live up to the hype? Is it truly an aristocratic tea? The brew blew me away with the strength of an umami tidal wave (strength enough to act as a guillotine?). This tea is strong, with savory, mushroomy umami flavor waltzing along with astringency. I usually prepare my senchas without boiling water, and that's how I first tasted the unro. Later I noticed the directions called for the water to be 212 degrees. After brewing up a batch this way, I was amazed that even more umami flavor was extracted from the leaves. It was a dyamic, zingy brew. Delicious! A tea I am grateful to have in my cabinet.
This was a tale of two senchas from different classes, creating joy in a murky world. A bit more peaceful than reading Dickens, don't you think? Also. much more instantly gratifying.
For more about Ippodo you can visit their website, or read my post about a fabulous tasting I had at the NY store. This tea gift would make a good addendum to my holiday gift guide! It is a thoughtful gift for the sencha lover in your life. Thank you to Ippodo for the samples of Dickensian proportions.