Saturday, July 19, 2008

Marukyu-Koyamaen Aoarashi Matcha

The producer's name Marukyu-Koyamaen (or Seh San Won in Korean) means 'Small Mountain Hill”. The company's website details the long history of this well known tea produced from the hills it got its name from in Uji, Japan.

If one hopes to fully appreciate the top grade matcha from a producer one should first appreciate the lowest grade.
If one can drink the lowest grade matcha and still enjoy it for what it is, then surely one can fully enjoy the highest grade.

Today, one mindfully prepares the lowest of ten tea ceremony grades from Marukyu-Koyamaen, Aoarashi matcha. It's name means “Blue Mountain's Energy”. One can assure you that it has just that.

As one pops the lid and then carefully peels it off, the rich green smell of fresh matcha lifts into the surrounding air. The smell is almost smokey, not pure, and not entirely sweet, emulating its dark green colour. One can already smell the bitter elements of the tea overcoming most of the sweet.

This tea is prepared in ceremony, thanks is given, then it is consumed.

The layer of froth resting atop watery green sludge is thin, the density of bubbles low. As the tea makes way into one's mouth, green with a smokey, roasted, bitter-sweet taste sticks to the roof of one's mouth and the front of one's tongue. The mouthfeel is thin and drys out these targeted areas in the mouth.

The chaqi of Aoarashi is different than most. Its energy is soft and subtle, at first it is barely detectable then, as minutes and hours tick by, it slowly and softly builds up, like climbing one's way up a mountain top to experience the rising sun. This tea softly radiates “Blue Mountain's Energy”.


No comments: