It’s November. The weather is rainy, the sky is grey. On a quiet day like this, I could really use something to liven things up. Fontunately, I have a bag of Kirishima Sencha open to brighten up the day. 🙂

Background

Kirishima Sencha is a medium steamed organic green tea from – you guessed it – Kirishima city in Kagoshima, Japan. Sold by O-Cha.com, this southern sencha is of the Yabukita variety.

mid steamed sencha leaves

The leaves are a medium-dark green mixture of small strands and crumble. The aroma is a combination of citrusy, oceanic, and grassy notes with a hint of an earthy undertone. In a way, it seems similar to Yutaka Midori’s scent, though slightly less aromatic.

Brewing Kirishima Sencha

While the vendor states that this tea is somewhat difficult to brew, I have found it to be forgiving enough. However, if you can thread the needle with your brewing parameters, you will unlock a mind blowing flavour.

Leaf: 4.5g (1 1/3 tbsp)/125ml
Temp: 74C(165F)
Time: 0:45 sec

Brewing at 74C (165F) mellows out the taste. Going heavy on leaf and short on infusion time brings out the grassy sweetness of this sencha.

A short steeping is key with this tea. Infusing too long will create a strong vegetal flavour and unwanted astringency.

 

brewing kirishima sencha

Thoughts and Observations

The liquid is a clear emerald green. The taste is refreshingly sweet with a honey flavour. There is a light grassiness as well as a citrus aspect to the taste. A hint of sweetness and astringency is left on the palate after each sip.

organic kirishima Japanese green tea

Later infusions

Kirishima yields 4 solid infusions, with the latter three having more cloudiness than the first.

Brew the second infusion for 15 seconds, 5 degrees hotter than the first. For the third, use water 10 degrees hotter again for 45 seconds. And for the fourth, use water a few degrees short of boiling for 1.5 minutes.

Final Thoughts

Kirishima is incredibly lush and refined. So much so that I am inclined to say it is the best organic sencha I have ever tried. At a decent price, its impressive flavour is a force to be reckoned with in the world of organic sencha. 🙂

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

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Ryan

    I’ve really been influenced by your approach to steep grassy tea’s for a short period of time to bring out that nice light grassy flavor. Your observation that steeping these kind of teas too long brings out too much vegetal nature, I think, is quite good.

    Another grassy tea, the Oku Midori from O-Cha… I do the first steep of this tea for only 45 seconds based upon your findings on the Chiran this year.

    1. Griff

      It’s flattering to know my approach has influence 🙂 I really appreciate positive comments like this.

      I really find quicker infusion times are essential to deeper steamed sencha. It’s almost like making a painting and trying to not mix too many colours into it. As a fukamushi steeps, more and more colours get added to its painting. It’s an art to know when to stop, but in my opinion, less is usually more.

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