Japan's shincha crop this year has been riddled with problems stemming from frost and the coldest March ever. This tea was shipped later than expected- pretty much the norm this year.
This tea generously came from Chado Tea House and was the first handpicked five centimetres of tea from this garden in the Shizuoka region. Only 25kg of these young tea leaves came from the 1200 square meter tea plantation.
Water comes to a boil and then sits a bit while one unwraps the tea and cuts open the bag.
The dry leaf smells sharp and sweet with an underlying mellow freshness. A light scoop of these leaves makes their way into the pot. The cooled water follows.
The first infusion reveals mellow cantaloupe notes in a creamy broth. The lips numb with a feeling in the mouth that covers it. The sweetness is slight and manifests mainly on the breath.
The second infusion has more of that round cantaloupe tone that fills the mouth. Being the second infusion, this one feels a touch fuller in the mouth with a slight chalkiness.
The third infusion is longer than the first few and pushes out much of the same. It's flavour gravitates to more of the typical lime green tea taste than the mellow melon flavours. It is less creamy and mellow too and more chalky. It finishes sweet.
The fourth infusion moves from chalky to sweet then to a slightly acidic citrus flavour. There is also those lime flavours that reach in.
This tea is even taken to fifth and sixth infusions where the tea is mainly just creamy, chalky, and smooth with still some mouthfeel worth exploring. The lack of flavour indicates the end of this session.
While cleaning the leaves from the pot one feels focused and relaxed.