December 09, 2014

Tea Review: Ippodo Unro and Hosen Senchas

Have you ever used 212-degree F water to prepare a sencha? I have, with an Unro Sencha from the Ippodo Tea New York. I steeped the leaves for 30 seconds as instructed. The liquor had classic sencha notes - creamy, grassy, sweet, slightly astringent but not as bitter as I anticipated given the water temperature. Also, in order to use a gaiwan - I halved the recommended amount of leaves and water. I need a kyusu teapot. Did you know that Unro is a bestseller at Ippodo's NYC shop?

The second sencha, Hosen, called for a lower water temperature. I steeped 1 tbsp in 176-degree F water. The Hosen has a rounder flavor than the Unro. It is slightly sweet and the astringency is less pronounced. The Hosen is classified as a premium sencha and ranks richer than the Unro.

Image: Ippodo senchas: Unro (left), Hosen (right)

I did not notice a difference between the dry leaves but the steeped leaves of the Hosen were more intact.

Image: Ippodo Unro Sencha

Image: Ippodo Hosen Sencha

Infusions from both warmed me on a bitterly cold afternoon. I look forward to drinking these senchas all winter long - and I hear it's going to be a very cold one. The Sencha Set ($44) would be a good gift for your favorite pure-leaf tea drinker.

Thank you to YC Media for the Ippodo teas.

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