Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Isuzu Matcha

Isuzu Matcha is yet another from Marukyu-Koyamaen. It is the second lowest in quality from the Uji tea producer. Its name 'Isuzu' may suggest a duel meaning since it means either 'fifty bells' or 'fifty drops'. The meaning 'fifty bells' alludes to the story of a Zen monk who achieved enlightenment upon simply hearing the temple bell sounded off its fiftieth time. On the other hand, the meaning 'fifty drops' alludes to the material simplicity of this tea.

When opening this tea, the smell of mild subtle sweetness behind light airy fresh growth fills the air, the nose, the lungs, the mind. It definitely smells less musty, roasted, smoky, and muddled than Aoarashi Matcha.

The tea is prepared and sips are mindfully taken from the tea drinking bowl. The tea is a bit sweet, a bit bitter, but clean, pure, and simple. It lacks the smoky, roasted profile of Aoarashi that one enjoys in lower end matcha but makes up for it in its mere simplicity and attempt at purity.

Its mouthfeel a bit chalky, general dryness coats the mouth, resting mainly on the front of the mouth and tongue. Its energy is simple, gently scooting one in the direction of alertness, calmness, happiness.


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