Chiran Asatsuyu is an inexpensive sencha sold by O-Cha.com. Named after the town from which it originates, this Japanese green tea is grown in the southern prefecture of Kagoshima.

Background

Sharing the name Chiran with another sencha selection may lead you to believe that these offerings have a lot in common. While they are indeed cousins, they possess some different qualities.

To begin, Chiran Asatsuyu is comprised of the asatsuyu variety of the tea plant (no surprise). In contrast, the original Chiran is yabukita (as of 2014).  Another difference is the steaming process; Chiran Asatsuyu is fukamushi, whereas the original is chumushi.

But moving beyond the differences, Chiran Asatsuyu has very crumbly leaves. Their colour is a deep shade of green.

deep steamed asatsuyu leaves

The aroma is sweet with an interesting mix of a light, grassy bouquet, with a slightly floral overtone.

Brewing Parameters

As Chiran Asatsuyu’s leaves are small, it would be wise to use a kyusu designed for deep steamed tea when brewing. At the very least, a teapot with a large stainless steel filter should suffice.

Leaf: 4.6g (1 1/4 tbsp)/125ml
Temp: 77C(170F)
Time: 1:00 min

To get a full bodied taste out of this sencha, I found 4.6 grams of leaf to be the most appropriate. This is a little more than I would typically use for a fukamushi, but it seems to bring a nice balance to the tea.

The time and temperature are straight forward. Brew for 1:00 minute at a temperature of 77C (170F).

Thoughts and Observations

Chiran Asatsuyu is a bold shade of green. This is emphasized with the liquid’s medium level of cloudiness.

Japanese tea set with sencha

The taste is vegetal with hints of grassiness. There is a slight bit of roughness to the consistency, but this can be forgiven as the astringency is minimal. The aftertaste is a bit tangy, which I found a little unusual.

cup of chiran asatsuyu

Later Infusions

The second infusion is so cloudy that it is practically opaque. Brew it for 25 seconds, 5 degrees hotter than the first. For the third infusion, use water that is 10 degrees hotter and brew for 45 seconds. As for the fourth, use water that’s hotter still, and steep for approximately 2 minutes. A fifth infusion is optional, but take note that the astringency begins to creep out in later steepings.

Final Thoughts on Chiran Asatsuyu

Let’s be honest, Chiran Asatsuyu isn’t a tea you’d be saving for a special occasion. However, it’s price/value makes it a perfect candidate for a daily sencha. This tea is perfect for people new to Japanese green tea, or seasoned drinkers who are looking to maximize their tea budget. 🙂

Griff is the co-founder of The Art of Japanese Green Tea website and video series.

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