Sakura Season is well and truly underway and sadly it will be coming to an end soon, but before it does I wanted to make sure I featured all of the Sakura teas and tisanes I’ve had the chance to sip on throughout this year’s Sakura season. The next three posts in this series will feature three different Sakura based blends from Obubu Tea. Today I’ll be featuring their Hoji Sakura Sencha, a sample of which was very kindly sent to me by my friend Cameron (@tea.n.pugs) over on Instagram.
”This limited herbal Sencha is a blend of our delicious Kabuse Sencha with Wazuka’s roasted wild Sakura (cherry tree) leaves and blossoms. This light roast version of a unique blend of Wazuka’s Kabuse Sencha with dry cherry blossoms and leaves. An enchanting cup of spring with dark chocolate notes.” – Obubu Tea
Tea Cultivar: Yabukita (tea) Yae-sakura (cherry blossoms)
Processing: Lightly Steamed, Rolled, Dried
The session with this tea was just one of those sessions where I knew I was going to end up loving a blend before I had even opened the packet and experienced it in any way. It combines two things I love, sencha & sakura and adds an extra layer of cosy loveliness by roasting the sakura elements. Together they make one of the most delicious sakura blends I’ve ever had the pleasure of trying. At this point I’ve tried multiple sakura senchas and we all know I have my favourite but this one would probably place in that exact same spot beside it because it takes sakura sencha and adds a level of uniqueness to it and for that it stands out.
The sencha used in this blend provides a base that is bright, bold, lively and grassy and floral and usually when steeped on it’s own it does have a light astringency to it, however the addition of roasted sakura blossom and leaves in this blend strip that astringency away, amplifying the floral notes and the natural sweetness.
Before trying this blend I had actually never tried a blend with roasted sakura blossoms or leaves in it, nor had I tried either of them steeped on their own so I was interested to see how the roasting of the sakura elements in this blend would affect their usual sweet, soft, creamy and floral flavour profile. Thankfully all of those notes were still present, however there were additional notes that just took this tea to a whole new level, including notes of dark chocolate, toasted rice, and vanilla fudge.
I was beyond thrilled to see that the roasted leaves and blossoms made such a impact on the flavour profile because I have another blend from Obubu that pairs them with mint that I was already really excited to try, that I am now even more eager to sip on as soon as possible.
In terms of texture this tea is medium bodied, delectably smooth, well rounded and a long finish with those sakura notes lingering for quite a while. Since I only had a sample of this I chose to steep it hot for this session, but I would love to continue to experiment with this tea and see how cold brewing it might change how it tastes, so I will certainly be ordering so much more of this tea as soon as I possibly can. It’s simply just too good to not have a permanent space in my tea collection.
As you can see from the picture of the dry leaves of this blend at the start of this post, they were a mixture of medium-long length glossy leaves, brighter green broken matte leaves of all sizes and sakura blossoms of varying sizes that were a roasted peach pink colour. Upon steeping, all elements of this blend seemed to transform the sencha leaves, unravelling and becoming much larger in size that I had anticipated given the sizes they were when they were dry.
The same goes for the sakura blossoms and leaves, the matte leaves added such a vibrance into the pot and the blossoms truly bloomed with the addition of the hot water, floating across the water so beautifully. It was one of those teas that was really relaxing to watch steep from start to finish. I really wish I had steeped this in a glass pot so I could have experienced it further. But like I said I doubt it will be long before I buy more so I’ll make sure I do that next time.
The first note I wrote down in my notebook while taking my first sip of this teas was and I quote ”I need 1000g more of this tea”, and I think that just goes to show how much I truly enjoy this blends and if you love sakura blends too, you should immediately add this right to the top of your must try list.
If you want to find out more about this blend you can find it over on the Obubu Tea website here. You should also make sure you take the time to follow Cameron (@tea.n.pugs) who gifted me this sample over on Instagram, because her feed is beautiful and you will not be disappointed.
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