Kaboku is a high quality asamushi sencha sold by Ippodo.

Background of Kaboku

This was actually my first time ordering from Ippodo, so a lot of information about their tea and products was new to me. However, Kaboku seems to exemplify the light, high quality asamushi Ippodo is known to offer.

Oddly, this tea came into my possession by pure luck. I originally placed an order of only matcha. As I waited for my package to arrive, I began to regret not trying out any of their sencha. After a week passed, I decided to check their website to see the shipping status. This was when I realized that I missed a step in the payment process, and had not completed the order!

I took this opportunity to add the 50g package of Kaboku. πŸ™‚

kaboku sencha tea leaves

The leaves have a nice aroma that’s similar to seaweed, with some grassy notes. There are hints of earthy tones as well. The shape of the leaf is long and thin, and the colour is a medium shade of green.


The brewing instructions that came with the order suggested using a lot of leaf, high temperature, and a brew time of one minute. Although I did have good results with this, I enjoyed a better cup by dialing back the amount of leaf.

Leaf: 1 1/3tbsp/125ml
Temp: 80C(176F)
Time: 1:00 sec
The instructions suggest using two heaping tablespoons per 210ml. This translates into quite a bit of leaf. Eventually I settled upon one and a third tablespoons per 125ml.

A relatively short and hot brew does this sencha well. I have found that lengthening the infusion time diminishes some of the clean taste of Kaboku.

Thoughts and Observations

The colour of the brew is a pale green that is very transparent. The aroma after being brewed has a grassy-vegetable edge to it.

ippodo kaboku sencha ultra premium

The taste of this tea is beautifully light and elegant. With a delicate flavour, this asamushi sencha is incredibly refreshing. Kaboku charms the palate with an all around sweet taste, along with smooth grassy notes.

Later Infusions

Second and third infusions of Kaboku are pretty conventional by asamushi standards. Brew the second for 30 seconds, at a slightly hotter temperature than the first, and the third for 45 seconds, at a hotter temperature still.

I have found it important to keep the temperature up on later infusions, as lowering it seems to result in excessive astringency.

Final Thoughts on Kaboku

As a fan of fukamushi, I’m often looking for a bold, grassy flavour. Even so, the light taste of Kaboku has won me over. Not only would I consider this to be an excellent sencha, I would consider it one of my favourite asamushi.


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

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