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Fukujuen Rose Sencha

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Rose is one of my favour­ite flor­als. It didn’t use to be — the heady pot­pourri from my child­hood set me off to a rocky start — but now, the del­ic­ate scent of rose fla­vour­ing black or green teas is pleas­antly pal­ate cleans­ing. This here is Fukujuen Rose Sencha, a tea house spe­cial­ising in sen­cha in Uji, Kyoto.

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Steeping one teabag for 2 minutes in 200 ml of 75°C water yields a pale yel­low liquor. The sen­cha has a mel­low veget­al fla­vour with rose-scen­ted notes that emerge from the first sip and build through pleas­antly into the after­taste where it lingers briefly as a faint hint before dis­sip­at­ing quickly. The rose notes are prom­in­ent, but bal­anced — scen­ted without being heady — mak­ing this rose sen­cha the prime pal­ate cleanser. A second steep at the same time and water tem­per­at­ure pro­duces a tea that still has prom­in­ent rose notes, but the sen­cha is brisker in the body and lingers as a slight astrin­gency in the after­taste. It’s the per­fect tea to pair with a sweet dessert as the rose com­ple­ments, but also provides relief from, the sweet­ness.

The box recom­mends infus­ing one teabag for 1 minute in 100 ml of 100°C water, which I have not tried. The quant­ity of water is out of habit, but gen­er­al tea guidelines sug­gest a water tem­per­at­ure of 80°C for sen­cha. I almost always infuse below even that tem­per­at­ure at 75°C as it res­ults in a more mel­low and less brisk fla­vour that I find more enjoy­able.

This box of Fukujuen Rose Sencha con­tained 5 tea bags. The tea ori­gin­ated in Japan and was pur­chased in Uji, Kyoto, Japan in 2015.