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Makinohara Roasted Sencha Tea Tasting (Curious Tea)

Makinohara roasted sencha

Makinohara Roasted Sencha

The Makinohara Roasted Sencha is a roasted green tea from Makinohara in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. Hence its name. In the final stages of the production process, this tea gets roasted. This roasting gives the tea its toasted flavour profile.

Japanese green teas are usually steamed during the production process to stop the oxidation. This way, the tea keeps its fresh and green flavours. After drying the tea leaves, this tea gets an additional roasting to further balance the flavours and add some light toasted notes.

Tea tasting

On their blog, this sencha is described as “tea that undergoes an additional roasting during finishing, imparting a lovely, lightly, toasty character.” I’m really eager to try this one as green tea is my favourite type of tea. I usually drink Chinese green teas so this Japanese green is something new to try.

This is a picture from the leaves after the second steep.

Brewing details

  • Water 80°C
  • 4,5g of leaves for 120ml Tokoname Kyusu. During the tasting, I went from 120ml to 180ml with the same amount of leaves because I felt there was too much leaf for that amount of water.
  • 1 rinse
  • 6 steeps

Before rinse

The leaves have a dark green colour and have a thin shape. If you look at these leaves, it looks like they have been waxed. The smell is a toasted and nutty aroma.

After rinse

The smell of the wet leaves is more or less the same as the dry leaves. It really smells delicious and tasty!

The dry leaves have a dark green color and have a slippery shine to them.

This is a picture of the leaves after the 6th steep.

Steeping

1st steep: this steep is bitter right from the start. There are some subtle nutty flavours hidden beneath this overall bitterness. I generally don’t like bitter but this steep isn’t too bad. Even though it’s bitter, it’s still pleasant to drink.

2nd steep: subtle bitterness at the start and the nutty flavour becomes more noticeable. Mostly nuts in the middle, just like the aftertaste. There are also some light bitter notes in between.

3rd steep: WOW! What a difference! I felt the previous steep was a bit too bitter for this particular tea so I lowered the leaf to water ratio and this didn’t miss its effect! I went from around 120ml to 180ml with the same amount of leaves. Now I’m getting pleasant nutty flavours that are not too intense. These flavours, however, did not stay for long as I didn’t experience a real aftertaste. Started getting some umami.

4th steep: this steep is delicious! Toasted almond nuts from the start and this dies out slowly. During this steep, I’m getting more toasted notes than during the previous steeps. Some umami flavour as well.

5th steep: more or less the same as the previous steep, only less intense. Very light toasted almond nuts. In the middle, the taste is as intense as steep 4 but the aftertaste doesn’t stay as long. In general, this is a pleasant steep with umami notes.

6th steep: this is the final steep as flavours are fading more and more. I only got some light almond nuts with some umami. The umami is barely noticeable.

1st steep

2nd steep

3rd steep

4th steep

5th steep

6th steep


Conclusion

In general, I can say I really like the first tea of Curious Tea’s January subscription box. The first two steeps could have been better but I’m happy I used more water for the third steep. Of the six steeps, number 4 is my favourite because of the flavours I experienced during that steep. If you like toasted and nutty flavours, this tea is something for you. I really like teas that have this flavour profile and in combination with the umami notes, this tea is pleasant to drink; both in texture and taste because of the roasting. The only thing you need to keep in mind is the leaf to water ratio. If I brew this tea again, this is the thing I will be paying attention to.

Interested in buying this tea? Go visit Curious Tea’s shop! Want to read more about this tea or other teas from the subscription box? Go visit their blog.

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