Ah the lazy days of summer. Sitting out on the patio, going to the beach, viewing the stars at night — all wonderful summer experiences. Over the past few weeks, I’ve done all these things while sipping on a cup of Okumidori from Chiki Tea. I think it’s time for a review. 🙂

As mentioned in my previous post on their Asatsuyu, Chiki Tea sent me a couple bags of sencha to review. I want to be clear that I was not paid for this review, nor am I under obligation to give this tea a good rating.

With that said, let’s begin. 🙂

Chiki Tea Packaging

Background

Okumidori is a deep steamed fukamushi from Kagoshima, a southernly prefecture of Japan.

The packaging indicates that this sencha is sweet, fresh, and summery. The aroma concurs. Sweet grassy scents entwine with subtle vegetal notes. There is also something I can’t quite put my finger on. Perhaps a hint of barley, but I’m not entirely sure.

Leaves of Okumidori

The leaves are a medium shade of green. Their shape consists of crumble and slender needles.

Brewing Parameters

Okumidori is easy to brew. Its sweet spot is easy to find. The tea is quite forgiving if the brewer misses their mark.

Leaf: 4.3g (1 tbsp)/125ml
Temp: 75C(167F)
Time: 1:00 min

The parameters used feel like home plate to me. 4.3g of leaf, 1 minute of brew time, and a temperature of 75C (167F) is a good starting point for any high quality sencha. In the case of Okumidori, I didn’t have to change anything. Through experimentation I have found any brew near these parameters will turn out well.

Japanese teapot and cup of Okumidori

Thoughts and Observations

The liquid is a light green with a yellow tint. There is almost no cloudiness. A nice, subtly-sweet aroma radiates from my cup.

Cup of Okumidori

The taste is refreshingly clean. There seems to be three levels to the flavour profile: a brothy/vegetal base, an intricately sweet mid level, and a top level consisting of grassy highlights.

While the base is brothy, it isn’t a driving factor. This keeps the astringency low, and gives the tea a snappy feel. The mid-tones make the taste dynamic. A complex mix of mid level flavours gives Okumidori a sweetness that registers almost like apple on my palate. On top of all this is a splash of grassy and light vegetal notes. This creates a fun and refreshing atmosphere.

Later Infusions

The second infusion is fairly cloudy, and a darker shade of green. Brew it for 20 seconds, a couple degrees hotter than the first.

Second infusion

For the third infusion, steep for 45 seconds at a few degrees hotter. For the fourth, brew for 2:00 minutes at roughly the same temperature as the third.

Iced Okumidori

I went to the beach earlier in August. I figured Okumidori would be the perfect sencha to take along. 🙂

Okumidori at the Beach

To make the iced sencha, I used the technique described in our cold brewing sencha guide. Okumidori makes great iced tea. When brewed cold, it is very bold and flavourful.

Final Thoughts

Whether it’s summer holidays, Christmas, or my birthday, I want a high quality tea to go along with memorable occasions. I decided to trust Chiki Tea’s Okumidori when taking it to the beach, and during many other special summer moments. Okumidori delivered in spectacular fashion. As a fun, playful, and refreshing sencha, I couldn’t ask for a better tea to accompany me throughout the height of the summer. 🙂

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

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