Musashi is a long time fave of mine. I must have ordered it at least once every harvest over the past 6-7 years. I even reviewed it along with Matt in this video. Let’s dive right into it. 🙂

Background

Musashi is a karigane sencha from the Tsuen teashop, and it is distributed online by O-Cha.com. Grown in Uji, this tea consists of Yabukita sencha and gyokuro stems. (Sencha leaves + Gyokuro stems = Karigane, for those who didn’t know.)

karigane - sencha leaves with gyokuro stems

Interestingly, Musashi comes in a 140 gram package. The leaves are a dark shade of green, and the twiggy gyokuro stems are slightly tinged yellow.

Brewing Parameters

Sometimes I get a little intimidated when I brew a type of tea I am not familiar with. If you aren’t familiar with karigane, you need not worry about brewing Musashi. It’s very forgiving and straight forward.

Leaf: 4.2g (1 1/3 tbsp)/125ml
Temp: 79C(175F)
Time: 1:10 min

(Karigane is brewed like sencha anyway, so you have nothing to fear. 😉 )

I’ve found a nice balance when using 4.2g of leaf per 125ml, a temperature of 79C(175F), and brewing for 1:10. However, the sweet spot for Musashi spans a few degrees and a few tenths of a gram — you can’t go wrong.

It would seem intuitive to use a lower temperature because of the gyokuro stems, but the hotter temperature brings out a richness in the tea that gets muddied otherwise.

Thoughts and Observations

The liquid is a translucent green with a hint of yellow. It’s not a very aromatic tea, but the gentle aroma is lovely nonetheless.

Musashi first infusion karigane sencha

Musashi is built on an earthy flavour that is clean and crisp. The taste seems to register in the middle of my flavour palate. There are notes of citrus blossoms, a slight grassiness, and a “tartness” that the vendor is keen to point out.

Later Infusions

Musashi yields four excellent steepings. Brew the second infusion for 20 seconds at the same temperature as the first. For the third infusion, brew for 45 seconds with water that’s 5 degrees hotter. For the final steeping, use water that’s a few degrees short of boiling, and brew for 1:45.

Final Thoughts on Musashi

If you want to experience a nice, middle of the road karigane packed with value, look no further than Musashi. It’s medium-earthy flavour will pleasantly accent the grassier sencha selections that may exist in your tea stash. Be sure to give Musashi a try. 🙂

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

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Christina

    I bought this at my local Whole Foods and raelly love it! Anyone who likes green tea should try this. I have a Kureg and I use its hot water for brewing my green tea, but (unless I’m in a rush) I usually don’t use it for teas that require a rolling boil.

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