Niatea is a new tea shop from Germany and they were kind enough to send me some samples to taste. One of the teas I received is their Crystal Lake Sencha. I wanted to drink that tea today because the warm weather makes me crave green tea more often. We’re in a heatwave in Belgium so the Crystal Lake Sencha was a perfect match for today!
Crystal Lake Sencha
Crystal Lake is a sencha from Kirishima in southern Japan. It’s made using the Kanaya Midori cultivar and is from the 2022 harvest. The tea went through a light steaming process and is called an asamushi sencha. This is also one of the reasons the tea leaves are bigger than deep-steamed sencha.
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I won’t rinse the tea leaves as I usually don’t do that when brewing Japanese green tea. I just preheat the teapot and put the leaves in it after getting rid of the water. I start with a long infusion to make sure the leaves have fully opened during the infusion.
- 5g for a 150-200ml Tokoname Kyusu
- Water 70°C
The leaves have a uniform green color and I see some brighter tints, but I guess those are stalks because they are sharper than the other needle-shaped leaves. I’m getting hints of citrus when I open the bag to weigh the leaves. I’m also getting some grassy notes with a sweet and nutty undertone. In general, the aroma is predominantly nutty.
Infusion 1 (2 min): the liquor is really clear and has a light green hue to it. There is an umami hit right at the start, but this doesn’t stay around for long. This umami bomb is quickly replaced by a lingering nuttiness that goes on into the finish. The aftertaste feels slightly nutty as well, but a sweetness is also noticeable. The finish and aftertaste are what make you want to drink more!
Infusion 2 (20 sec): the liquor is still clear but the color has become more intense as it’s almost a fluorescent kind of green now. It feels grassy at the start and I’m not getting any umami anymore. The grassiness at the start quickly changes into nutty flavors that become sweeter further into the finish and aftertaste. Overall, it’s a nutty infusion.
Infusion 3 (30 sec): the nuttiness is present right from the start and it gradually diminishes. The finish isn’t as nutty anymore, but the aftertaste is full of nuts and slightly sweet. It sticks around for a long time and it’s exactly what I enjoy so much about this tea.
The Crystal Lake Sencha is a great tea to refresh on a hot summer’s day. It starts with an umami bomb but quickly becomes nutty and sweet. I experienced a grassiness somewhere in the middle, but the finish and aftertaste were predominantly nutty.
It’s a tea with a nutty flavor profile and it feels just right. It has a nice aftertaste, good mouthfeel, and delicious flavors.