2 min read

Ichiban Sencha (Harney & Sons)

Over the past 18 months I haven’t really reviewed many pure greens. Be they Chinese, Japanese or otherwise green deliciousness. This classically grassy Shincha is something special.

Quick Info

FAB* Rating 4/3/4
Company Harney & Sons
Blend Name Ichiban Sencha
Blend Base Green
Country of Origin Japan
Package Type Tin
Price per Package $39 USD
Quantity ~ 4 oz
*Flavor, Aroma, Boldness

If you’ve not seen a “New Tea” from Japan before, you’re in for a treat! This tea is a bright grass green. Its leaves appear as extra-thin slivers of leaf with lots of powdery leaf particles and provide a clearly vegetal and grassy aroma that hints at artichoke.

The leaves are picked earlier in the season than those of a standard Sencha. They produce a lighter sweeter brew trending toward artichoke and hints of steamed bok choy.

This Ichiban Sencha from Harney & Sons produces a wonderfully vibrant yellow-green liquor. It comes out a bit cloudy from the ‘dusting’ leaf particles. But otherwise is as expected.

While the cloudy appearance can be off-putting for some at first, the flavor is wonderfully fresh. A clear vegetal astringency exists for this Ichiban Sencha, though it’s certainly softer than the bite from a Bancha or a standard Sencha.

The boldness from this tea is different than that of a black tea. While I’ve rated this teas’ boldness a 4 out of 5 I wouldn’t add any milk, sugar or honey to this. I would also steep this tea, perhaps three times at most. The flavor dies off quickly after the second steeping.

I heartily recommend this Ichiban Sencha or “First Sencha” to fans of Shincha new teas from Japan and other Japanese greens such as Gyokuro, Bancha, Matcha and Hojicha. Fans of Genmaicha may find this tea too astringent.

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