I've been trying not to have too many packets of tea open at once (tempting though that is) but seeing as I worked my way through my other bags of Japanese tea (see here and here) and am nearly out of Chinese green as well, I thought it was time to crack open my Yabukita deep-steam sencha that I got in Sydney from the Taka Tea Garden shop at the Strand Arcade (where I also got my lovely tokoname teapot!).
I don't have the time for taking photos myself today but here is the image of the tea from the Taka Tea website:
Because this is a deep-steam (fukamushi) tea that has been steamed for a touch longer than regular sencha, the leaves are more delicate and almost dissolve into mush once brewed! Yabukita is the name of the cultivar, widely grown in Japan for its adaptability.
I love this tea! I brewed about 1.5 teaspoons in my tokoname pot (which holds a bit less than 300ml) for 40 seconds, then 1 minute and then another minute. Each infusion was delicious, but the first two were the best. The dry leaf doesn't smell of much, but the wet leaves have an incredible aroma that I can only describe as toast with strawberry jam... bizarre I know.
The liquor is mildly grassy, with the second infusion having a noticeable fresh artichoke flavour (this diminishes as the tea cools though). The aftertaste is long-lasting, slightly lemony and very sweet, leaving your mouth feeling refreshed. I have just finished drinking my third infusion and am going to add some cold water to the leaves for a few hours to see if I can get anything more from it.
Definitely recommended, a very friendly tea to brew and drink!