Kirameki is a high quality asamushi sencha. From Tsuen – Japan’s oldest teashop – Kirameki is available online through O-Cha.com.

Background

Kirameki is the name given to this tea when it is released in shincha season. For the rest of the year, it is known as Ujibashi San no Ma. What we are brewing today is the shincha version, Kirameki.

Grown in Uji, this lightly steamed sencha is the embodiment of tradition and elegance.

long, asamushi sencha tea leaves

The leaves are long and narrow, with some crumble. The colour is a medium shade of green. Gentle aromas of sweet and grassy notes are prominent in Kirameki’s fragrance.

Brewing Kirameki

Leaf: 4.5g (1.5tbsp)/125ml
Temp: 70C(158F)
Time: 1:35 min
Kirameki benefits from a low brewing temperature, and longer infusing time. 70C (158F) is ideal for bringing out the sweetness in this sencha. I’ve found 1:35 is the optimal brew time when using these parameters.

Precision is required with the timing: brew slightly longer, and a subtle bitterness will creep out. However if your infusion time is too short, the tea will end up lacking in flavour.

pouring ujibashi san no ma sencha

Be sure to pour out every last drop. It is said that most of the flavour in tea exists in the last few drops, and this is especially true for a light asamushi such as Kirameki.

Thoughts and Observations

The scent is lovely and light. The taste is elegantly smooth. Along with the grassy flavour, there are sweet honey aspects. The liquid is transparent, and has no traces of astringency.

Kirameki, the Japanese sencha from Tsuen

Later Infusions

For the second infusion, only increase the temperature by a degree (71C or 160F). Brew the second infusion for 30 seconds.

For the third and fourth infusions, increase the temperature by 8 degrees each time. Brew for 45 seconds, and 1 minute, respectively.

A fifth infusion is possible. Brew at near boiling for several minutes.

Final Thoughts on Kirameki

I would recommend Kirameki to anyone who is looking for a classy asamushi experience. Although it is one of the more expensive sencha that I have purchased, it is definitely worth its price. You can taste tradition in each sip, and feel like you’re connecting with the roots of Japanese green tea.

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

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