Wednesday April 18, 2007 | 49 comments
Let me start with a brief summary.
Tenbu (Dance in Heaven) and Tenbu Fuka (Dance in Heaven Profound) are unique sencha teas grown in Kagoshima Japan. These are organic, half-shaded teas that are covered a few weeks prior to picking, allowing only 50% of the sun’s rays to reach the plants.
Tenbu Fuka and Tenbu teas are the best selection from the very 1st picking. Only the very best selection of these fresh, small tea leaves from the first April picking contribute to the Tenbu Fuka and Tenbu tea stock: Less quantity, higher quality.
Recommended steeping temperature is: 60Âº C – 65Âº C/140Âº F – 143Âº F.
Recommended steeping times are: 60 sec; 15 sec; 15 sec; 15 sec; 30 sec.
My notes for Tenbu Fuka (TF) and Tenbu (T) Senchas:
I used water filtered through our Tersano Lotus Water Filtration System. I used the recommended temperatures, times and amounts with both teas. I used a 6 1/2 oz ceramic, side handled Japanese pot to steep the tea and a white porcelain tasting cup to better see the color of the liquor.
I very much enjoyed both of these teas. Although I haven’t taken the time yet to experiment with higher temperatures or longer steep times (I am hoping that those who did will post their comparisons), I found the recommended times and temperatures provided a delicious experience.
I noticed that the dry leaves of the TF were more uniformly cut and darkly colored than the T, although there was still some variation. I found the dry leaves to be very aromatic right out of the bag, with a slightly sweeter fragrance when following Phyll’s recommendation of heating the cup first. The color of the wet leaves of the TF were also more uniform in color. The wet leaves had a lovely mellow roasted aroma with little detected grassiness. The liquor was brightly green in both, with the TF appearing slightly more muted to me. I noticed that both were initially cloudy upon pouring due to the fine fannings that made it through the screen ending up in the cup.
The taste of both teas was quite delicious, with the TF having a detectably more pronounced sweetness with the first steeping. I found that the roasted aroma carried through into the taste that added a richness to it. I detected no bitterness with the T and only slightly with the second cup of the TF. They both held up quite well to subsequent steepings (I stopped at 3) but found the T to be more uniform in taste over steepings. For some strange reason I found the TF to be very sweet with the first infusion, less sweet with a slight bitterness on the second and sweet with no significant bitterness on the third but with a slight sharpness that I really couldn’t quite figure out.
I think I particularly enjoyed these teas because of my unique taste profile of having an over abundance of bitter receptors on my tongue inextricably linked with a tendency to crave sweetness (found in a percentage of the population). Although I assume that some of you, preferring a stronger mouth feel due to the higher concentrations of polyphenols/tannins in other teas, might find these teas too mild, I loved the sweetness without the bitterness.
TF – 4Â Â Â Â Â T – 4.5
Please post your tasting notes as comments below. I hope you all enjoyed our second tasting and thank you all for your participation.