The light steaming of this Koushun sencha highlights the cultivar's creamy, floral bouquet
Harvest Date: Spring 2020
Growing Region: Shizuoka
Steaming: Asamushi (lightly steamed)
Producer: M. Izawa
Originally developed as a kamairicha cultivar, Koushun was derived from the cross of the Kurasawa and Kanayamidori cultivars in 1970 (although it wasn’t a registered cultivar until 2000). It is known for its heady, wildflower aromas which are preserved with light-steaming and presented quite clearly and transparently in this sencha from Izawa-san in Shizuoka.
This sencha is intensely fragrant with a noticeable but complex astringency. When brewing in porcelain, I found that this astringency could easily become a little too harsh for some. As such this tea definitely benefits from being brewed in Tokoname-yaki, which helped round out some of that astringency while retaining the powerful floral notes. I also found that a lower temperature and longer brewing time brought out the creaminess of this tea the best.
2g/50ml | 90s | 70°C
Taste and Aroma
The first impression on the tongue is one of brightness and creaminess, followed by an immense florality which reminds of lilies and wildflowers. These bright notes are supported by a subtle, yet definitely present umami, and a touch of that incredibly pleasant astringency that I’ve come to love from higher grown Shizuoka sencha.
2nd: 70°C | 0s*
*as short as possible.
This time round, the sweetness and creaminess overtake the floral notes (though they are still very much there), yielding a fuller, rounder, if somewhat less complex taste.
3rd: 80°C | 50s
This infusion had the same balance of florality and creaminess as the second, but with a noticeable increase in bitterness and astringency.
If you love the lighter, more delicate styles of high-mountain Shizuoka sencha or are looking for a markedly different taste profile to yabukita or to an umami-packed fukamushi sencha, then I definitely suggest giving a tea like this a try.