Aoi is an asamushi with some special qualities. Being on the more expensive side of sencha, this tea has a lot to live up to. However, it is an experience every fan of Japanese green tea should try at least once.
Background on Aoi
The leaves are dark green, with tinges of blue. This may be where the tea gets its name, as Aoi means blue in Japanese.
The scent is light. There isn’t much of a grassy aroma to Aoi, but there are some subtle sweet tones.
Aoi can be tricky to brew. I had to try multiple times to get it right. However, with a little patients and perseverance, I discovered brewing with a little extra leaf and temperature gives a pleasant taste.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner]
The brewing instructions from the vendor suggest using a cooler temperature. Going down this route, I couldn’t get the flavour I was looking for. Increasing the temperature to 77C brought out more of the flavour, and less bitterness.
To further enhance the experience, I used a generous amount of leaf, with a shorter brew time.
Thoughts & Observations
The blue of the cup throws the colour off, but Aoi is actually a light green with a hint of yellow. The taste is interestingly complex. There aren’t really any grassy notes to this tea. More dominantly, the flavour consists of vegetable tones. Somehow, Aoi is a combination of being light, bold, and refreshing.
As pictured, the second infusion of Aoi is somewhat cloudy. (This also gives a more accurate representation of its colour.) I brewed the second infusion for 30 seconds with a slightly increased temperature.
Later infusions should be brewed for a short amount of time to prevent excess bitterness and astringency. For the third infusion, I find 45 seconds enjoyable, and 1:20 for the fourth.
Final Thoughts on Aoi
With a unique, refreshing flavour, Aoi is something everyone should try. As it’s a higher priced sencha, some more cost effective asamushi would probably give you more bang for your buck. Nonetheless, Aoi is a considerably enjoyable tea.