Saturday, May 16, 2009

Tea Tasting Saturday #20 - Tencha

Do any of you decorate for Christmas with those mica flakes, the little flakes of iridescent "snow" you sprinkle around a tree or Nativity scene? Well, those are what I thought of when I opened this week's Tencha tea. It looks "flake-y" to me. Or maybe I'm just being flaky!

Category: Japanese Green Tea

Purveyor: Harney & Sons

When purchased: March 2009

Dry leaf appearance:
Dark green flakes of tea leaf.

Wet leaf appearance: Bright green pureed spinach. (Yes, I know. These teas very often look like spinach to me. I would shake things up a bit by saying "collards" but I'm afraid my northern friends might not be as familiar with them!)

Steeping temperature and time: 1 teaspoon of tea, 150 degrees, 2 minutes. And let me just say ... only 150 degrees? Do you remember that song "Hand Jive" from "Grease" where it says, "How low can you go? How low can you go?" I'm wondering "how low can you go" with steeping tea!

Scent: This tea had a distinct vegetal scent like some of the early Chinese greens I tried, and it deepened into something that reminded me of my south Georgia grandmother's famous butterbeans.

Color: Pale yellow green.

Flavor: Hallelujah, we are out of the woods with those roasty/toasty teas (I hope!), because this one had a smooth flavor I would even describe as "buttery." A great mouth feel, and not one smidgen of astringency did I detect. A very, very nice Japanese green!

Additional notes: According to "The Harney & Sons Guide to Tea," Tencha is rarely drunk in Japan because the leaves are ground into Matcha.

Next week's tea: Matcha


  1. yum this sounds lovely! thanks for the review. i will write this down and carry in my purse for next i encounter various chooses of teas. thoroughly enjoy your tea tasting adventures!! big hugs :)

  2. Sounds like Tencha is a tea I'd enjoy - smooth with no astringency. Interesting about how they grind it to make Matcha. Thanks for the review.

  3. You're right it does look like spinach- but I also thought wet, chopped parsley. Anyway, glad to know it tasted so good. I think this is one I'll look for.
    Thanks Angela.
    ~ Teresa ~

  4. You are right, the leaves are pretty. I'll be interested to see how you compare this week and next week's review since they are essentially the same tea leaves only a different size.


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