Masters Teas’s Shincha Sencha

Shincha Sencha by Masters Teas
Green Tea / Straight
$29.00USD for 1.5oz (43g)

Masters Teas has provided me with Shincha Sencha for the purposes of writing an honest review.

First Impressions

When you get asked if you’d be open to trying out brand new, just harvested this year teas, the answer is always a resounding yes. Even if I wasn’t a fan of green teas, I would have said yes – because it’s a rarity and a treat to get to experience such a new tea. So this is Shincha Sencha from Masters Tea by way of Shizuoka, Japan. Like all of Masters Teas’s products, when you head over to the Shincha Sencha product page, you’ll find out information about the tea farmer that grew this tea – which I think is so amazing.

The leaves of this Japanese green tea are beautiful – dark green, thin, flattened leaves. There’s a light fruity note and something about it that reminds me of a sharp burst of citrus brightness. Whatever it is, it’s smells like summer.

Preparation

Masters Teas recommends steeping Shincha Sencha with 165°F (74°C) water for 2 minutes. Now, my variable temperature kettle doesn’t accommodate 165°F, so what I did was heat to the lowest possible temperature (175°F/79°C) and allowed it to cool for about 5 minutes prior to steeping the tea for 2 minutes.

First Taste

Shincha Sencha steeps to a beautiful spring yellow-green color. The aroma is a mix of grass, citrus, and other fruity notes. There’s a nice sweetness to it, that mingles with some umami qualities that I find delicious. For the initial steep of just 2 minutes. I found zero bitterness or astringency, and a nice crispness to the tea and it made for a smooth cup of tea.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Shincha Sencha five times, adding an additional 30 seconds for each subsequent steep. I found the flavour got bolder in the first two resteeps, and started to wane after that. The remained pretty consistent with the initial steep, I think you could probably successfully go beyond five resteeps if you wanted to.

My Overall Impression

I loved Masters Teas’s Shincha Sencha. It’s such a lovely cup of tea with some great spring/summer flavours and aromas in it. It’s very light tasting, a bit delicate, and certainly resteeps well – which is something I would highly recommend doing, especially given the cost of the tea being on the higher end. So tasty, I would recommend resteeping it or even cold steeping it for an even sweeter, crisper cup of tea.

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Masters Teas’s Rohini First Flush

Rohini First Flush by Masters Teas
Black Tea / Straight
$19.00 for 2oz

Masters Teas has provided me with Rohini First Flush for the purposes of writing an honest review.

First Impressions

When a tea company asks if you’re interested in trying the very first harvested tea of the year, the answer is yes. There’s some fantastic flavours that can come from harvests at different types of the year – it all depends on the amount of sunlight versus shade, water, altitude, fertilizer. Everything comes into play when you get into single origin teas.

Rohini First Flush was harvested this year – late February and processed in March 2020. This black tea is from Darjeeling, India and came to me in a sealed, resealable pouch that I’ve come to be familiar with when it comes to Masters Teas’s packaging. The tea itself doesn’t look like a typical black tea. There’s a myriad of different colours, lots of fuzzy leaves mixed in, and I honestly thought it was either a green or white tea just based purely on appearances.

There’s a really pleasant aroma to the leaves – it reminds me of a mix of floral and honeycrisp apples (which I love!). Rohini First Flush consists of only black tea leaves.

Preparation

Masters Teas recommends steeping Rohini First Flush in 212°F (100°C) water for 2 to 3 minutes. I opted to do an initial steep for 2½ minutes.

First Taste

Rohini First Flush steeps to a pale yellow for the initial steep. There’s a sweet floral note to it that’s quite inviting. I found that it was smooth, with just a slight bite at the tail end of each steep. The flavour is nice – the honeycrisp apple aroma translates well to a fruity flavour in the steeped tea, while the floral notes add a nice sweetness to the tea itself. It reminds me of a milder version of a breakfast tea, which I find traditionally has a robust, astringent flavour to it that really needs to be tempered down with some evaporated milk or sweetener at times. Rohini First Flush though doesn’t have nearly as strong of an astringency to it, or maltiness. It has a pleasantly smooth flavour that is only met with the slightest of astringent notes at the end of each sip.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Rohini First Flush three times (four steeps total), adding an additional 30 seconds for each subsequent steep. The tea steeps to a more golden colour for the subsequent steeps and has a stronger apple/fruity flavour to it. Rohini First Flush remains a pleasant, smooth cup of tea.

My Overall Impression

I loved Masters Teas’s Rohini First Flush. For a black tea, it was a truly unique experience from leaf to steep with this first flush tea because of the nuances in the flavour and the behaviour of the tea itself. A pleasant experience and delicious to boot, since I do adore honeycrisp apples. This is definitely a black tea that you should enjoy straight up with no added cream and sugar – and be sure to resteep as it does well and you can get more flavour of the leaves.

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Masters Teas’s Huang Shan Mao Feng

Huang Shan Mao Feng by Masters Teas
Green Tea / Straight
$17.00USD for 1.5oz

Masters Teas has provided me with Huang Shan Mao Feng for the purposes of writing an honest review.

First Impressions

Huang Shan Mao Feng is a Chinese green tea from Masters Teas that came in a sealed, printed and resealable pouch. There was some information on the packaging, the rest I gleaned from the product page online. The leaves are dark green and wiry that have a mix of light fruity and floral aromas.

This tea originates from Anhui, China from the farmer Liao Xiao Juan. This straight green tea was grown at 800m elevation above sea level and harvested in April 2019.

Preparation

Master Teas recommends steeping Huang Shan Mao Feng at 170°F (77°C) for 2 to 3 minutes. I heated my water to 175°F (79°C) and allowed it to cool for 5 minutes before doing an initial steep for 2 minutes.

First Taste

Huang Shan Mao Feng steeps to a very pale yellow colour after the initial steep for 2 minutes. I found that the flavour was surprisingly more complex than I had initially thought it would be. Huang Shan Mao Feng has a well-balanced flavour profile that has both sweet fruity and floral flavours, as well as a hit of grassy notes at the tail end of each sip. I found that this green tea has a thickened mouthfeel to it, and it’s an easy tea to drink.

A Second Cup?

Masters Teas suggests that Huang Shan Mao Feng can been steeped up to seven times, so I did six resteeps with the same leaves. I found that the flavour got more savoury with each steep, losing that fruity and floral sweetness slowly and gaining more grassy and vegetal flavours as I continued with each steep. The tea itself also became more of a golden yellow in colour.

My Overall Impression

I loved Masters Teas’s Huang Shan Mao Feng. I really enjoyed the delicate complexity in the flavour profile of this Chinese green tea, and really enjoyed the texture in this tea as well. I loved that it started out sweet before giving way to being savoury and more grassy, which was fun to experience. I would definitely recommend resteep Huang Shan Mao Feng, because the leaves so do well with being resteeped and you can experience the different flavour notes and how it changes with each steep..

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