Sae Midori – sometimes referred to as SM – is a deep steamed sencha offered by


Sae Midori is grown in Kagoshima prefecture at the southern tip of Japan. It is considered to be one of’s finest deep steamed offerings (along with Miyabi and Yutaka Midori). Out of the three, SM is the easiest to brew, and the sweetest.


The dark green leaves vary in shape, but in general, they are small and crumbly. The aroma of SM is strong, sweet, and grassy.

Brewing Sae Midori

Leaf: 4.3g (1tbsp)/125ml
Temp: 76C(169F)
Time: 0:50 sec

SM is an easy sencha to brew.  For this reason, the brewing parameters are not strict.

Nonetheless, I found the best result by using 4.3g of leaf (roughly 1 tbsp) per 125ml, and a brewing temperature of 76C.

japanese green tea on a scale-with-spoon-and-clock
pouring green tea blue hagi cup

Thoughts and Observations of SM

The first sip of Sae Midori reveals a refreshing taste that is sweet and grassy. With very little astringency, the tea has a nicely balanced flavour. The aroma carries the grassy notes, as well as vegetal subtleties that are reminiscent of the ocean.

The colour of the liquid is a beautiful deep green. In fact, the second infusion is so incredibly green and cloudy that it begins to rival matcha for colour.

sae midori sencha tea from kagoshima japan

Later Infusions

Brewing the second infusion at 76C (169F) for 15 seconds yields good results. The second steeping is an incredibly cloudy brew, which will delight the eyes as much as the taste buds.

Brew the third infusion for 30 seconds, and the fourth for 1 minute. Increase the temperature by 5 degrees each time.

Wrapping it Up

Sae Midori is a compelling sencha offered by Along with Yutaka Midori and Miyabi, SM is a must for all lovers of fukamushi sencha. With a reputation of being easy to brew, Sae Midori is also a great choice for beginners who are looking to try a heavy-weight sencha.

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

This Post Has 10 Comments

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  2. François

    My belated thanks, Griff!

    My order of Sae Midori arrived today and I followed your instructions as best I could.

    I did notice (in this and other reviews) that you use a lot more leaf than o-cha recommends. For instance, in this case, o-cha would recommend using 2.5g per 125ml, whereas you use 4.3g for the same amount, O’ sensei of the cha.

    The taste is grassy and vegetal, as you mentioned, though I was expecting a bit more sweetness… Then again, this was my first try at it. Nonetheless, very pleasant and refreshing tea that keeps it simple!

    1. Griff

      Hi François, I’m glad you found the article useful! 🙂

      I find O-Cha’s recommended leaf to water ratio too light, especially when it comes to fukamushi. I think they pick a ratio that is most suitable to those new to Japanese green tea (after all, who is most likely to need specific brewing directions?)

      If you’d like your brew to be sweeter, I’d recommend dropping your temperature a bit. If you are going by my brewing parameters, try 72C and 1 minute for the first infusion. 😀

  3. Consolarificus

    Hi Griff and other SM enthusiasts,

    One year later or so, O-Cha’s Sae Midori is still the horse I cannot tame.

    No matter what I do, I usually get a very bitter result. I thought using a proper kyusu (which I now own) would help as opposed to using a glass kyusu, but I still usually “fail” my brews.

    The reason I keep on trying is that, when I get it right, this tea is quite simply divine.

    Everything is preheated (except the cups – don’t think it matters), the water is set to 76C and I start pouring at 45 seconds on the first brew and at 10 seconds on the second brew. The reason I am 5 seconds early (based on Griff’s parameters) is that my kyusu takes 10 seconds to pour everything out (minus some drops), so I figured I would at least get a 5 second head start. I have been meaning to discuss the issue of pouring timing in the forums…

    I suppose I should also mention that I combine my first and second brews (in a large preheated glass container), as we are two drinkers. I don’t think it should matter if each brew is done correctly. It sure doesn’t matter with other senchas I drink.

    Any insights? 🙁

      1. Consolarificus

        No – I use 8.60g for 250ml. Does the amount of leaf usually stay proportionate or should I cut back (perhaps for fukamushi in particular)?

        What baffles me is that I get varying results for this so-called “easy brewer”.


        1. Bnjmky

          I’m preety sure that problem is your water. Biterrnes and brewing time significantly vary with different kinds of water. Try to experiment with different brands of bottled water.

        2. Griff

          Sorry for not getting back to you sooner, I lost track of this comment until Bnjmky replied. My bad. 😳

          Your leaf/water proportions look good. I think Bnjmky has made a good assessment — maybe try a different water source?

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