Hey there Teacups! I’m back today with another Let’s Talk Tea post and this time around I’m going to be reviewing the Japanese Green Tea Co’s – 22K Gold Leaf – Issaku Kuradashi Sencha. The team over at the Japanese Green Tea Co very kindly let me go through their website and pick out a tea I wanted to try, when I came across this particular tea it intrigued me so much because I had never seen a green tea with gold leaf in and I knew this had to be the one I tried. Aside from that the fact that the Sencha used for this is also award winning, I just had to try it for myself and see what it was about this particular tea that made it so good.
Here’s what the Japanese Tea Co have to say about this tea over on their website: ”For a limited time only, We are offering premium Issaku with 22 karat true gold leaf.
Yes, the tea has real 22 karat gold leaf in it! This tea is (possibly?) the most luxurious Japanese green tea Sencha you can get in market. This is a very special type of green tea that is only consumed at the New Year in Japan. It is called kinpaku-cha (金箔茶）
It is oftentimes offered as a gift for very special people at the New Year. The tea we used is called Kuradashi, and it is the first crop Issaku (yes, the Global Tea Champion tea), which is being aged like fine wine. One of the most luxurious green tea types, it is only available after aging through autumn. Grown in sugarcane soil the rich and quality dirt makes the tea naturally sweet and healthy.”
Tea Tasting Notes
Now there was definitely a point in my tea journey back at the start of it all when I wouldn’t have even tried a tea like this because I never used to be a fan of straight green teas, however over the years they have definitely become my cup of tea (pardon the pun). I think its because my palate has become much more refined and so I can really appreciate these teas and all of their nuances. The series I did at Christmas featured a lot of straight/pure green teas and through doing that I was able to educate myself and gain a new love for teas like this. For this tasting session I steeped this western style, I would have rather done a Gaiwan tasting session with this but again I’m still not well enough so I took the easy route this time. I used 1 and a half tsp for my glass teacup and I steeped it for 2 mins at 85°C.
As you can see from the picture above the liquor was a vibrant green with a tinge of yellow which I have come to expect from most Senchas it seems to be something they all have in common. It had a mostly grassy vegetal aroma with a hit of sweetness but it was definitely easier on the nose than a lot of Senchas I have had in the past. When I took my first sip it was quite heavy on the vegetal front but not overpowering and off putting, it was also much more naturally sweet than I expected it to be but because this is the first crop it has more amino acid in it which is the prime component of the sweetness and the umami element, and the addition of the sugar cane in the soil probably contributes to that as well. There is some astringency to it but I’ll be honest I expected that as well as most of the Senchas I have had have been like this. I think the natural sweetness of this probably helped when it came to that as well.
It’s unbelievably smooth, somewhat buttery and far from drying, its much richer than I expected it to be but not heavy at all. It’s got quite a light yet smooth mouthfeel and it’s so easy to drink and I could easily go through the canister I was sent in absolutely no time but I think this will be once I save for special occasions. This is probably one of the best Senchas I’ve had and it just feels so special to me with the addition of the gold just to top it all off. I definitely understand exactly why this tea has won many awards, it wholeheartedly deserves them. They recommend cold steeping this and I will definitely try that out because I can imagine it would only make this sweeter and I’m so ready for that (so make sure you check my Instagram for updates).
This is one that I would definitely repurchase in the future though I can imagine this canister will be lasting me a while as I will be saving this for special occasions. I can’t wait to ring in 2021 with this delicious tea and I’m hoping 2021 will be a better year for all of us. If you are a lover of Sencha I 100% recommend you give this tea a try, I promise you that you will love it. I can’t wait to try more of the Japanese Green Tea Co’s teas (especially their matcha) because if they are all as good as this I am definitely in for a treat.
Overall Teacup Rating: 5/5
If you want to check out the Japanese Green Tea Co and purchase some of this amazing Sencha for yourself, you can do both here. As always if you have any questions at all either stick them in the comments or send them to me on Twitter/Instagram @teaisawishblog and I’ll do my best to answer them all as soon as I can.
Speak to you all again soon. Happy Steeping – Kimberley
*The tea featured in this post was gifted to me for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own and have not been paid for.*