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I just wanted to drink a delicious tea today and the Handpicked Honyama Sencha seemed the right tea for the job. I was on holiday last week and visited Stockholm and Eskilstuna in Sweden. There was no time to drink tea or do anything tea-related so I did not take any tea or teaware with me. That’s why today I wanted to sit down and relax with a nice tea. I picked the Handpicked Honyama Sencha Teamania sent me several months ago.
Handpicked Honyama Sencha
As you can already tell by its name, this is a Japanese sencha from the Honyama region. This area is suitable for high-quality tea because of the cool nights and misty mornings. The narrow valleys also provide natural shading for the tea fields.
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This version of the Handpicked Honyama Sencha is from 2020 and was fully handpicked. This implies that the leaves are handled more carefully and thus remain whole, leading to less oxidation. The leaves keep their fresh character because they are not bruised during picking, which can happen if leaves are machine-picked.
- 5g for a 150ml Tokoname Kyusu
- Water 70°C
The leaves are bright green, really long, thin and needle-shaped. It has a warming aroma as it smells buttery sweet. There are also some hints of grass coming through.
Infusion 1 (30 sec): this one has a light green colour with a yellow hue. It’s a pleasant infusion that has some umami to it and some hints of grass are also coming through. Nothing too fresh as it’s nicely balanced. It has a bit of an umami aftertaste as well; especially after two minutes.
Infusion 2 (25 sec): this one is definitely more yellow and it packs a punch. It has a certain freshness at the start and this slowly transforms into a light and grassy sweetness. It’s a bit astringent, but the finish and aftertaste are good. It really feels like a summer breeze.
Infusion 3 (30 sec): the colour is a warmer tone of yellow. It’s quite different but I think the infusion wasn’t long enough. There is a combination of grassy and sweet notes. The finish is a bit underwhelming, but the aftertaste is really good. The aftertaste feels like the summer breeze I also experienced after the previous infusion.
Infusion 4 (45 sec): more intense right from the start. It’s less sweet and more about verdant flavours now. This one is the most refreshing infusion of the session. It’s less sweet and definitely more about the green flavours. It’s also a bit astringent.
I had a lot of fun during this session and it was exactly what I needed. This Handpicked Honyama Sencha makes me want to buy and drink more Japanese green teas. I’ve had some bad experiences with this type of tea, but this one shows that it’s a rewarding category of tea if you take the time to explore and look for the right one.
I mostly experienced a combination of umami and sweet with some grassy notes. The aftertaste felt like a summer breeze on a hot summer’s day.
If you’re interested in this fantastic sencha, click here.