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.
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.