Sakura Matcha Sencha (抹茶入さくら緑茶) is an unusual tea from Japan. This is an expertly blended tea that consists of organic sencha from Kagoshima, organic matcha from Shizuoka and pesticide-free sakura blossom pieces that are also sourced from Shizuoka. This is an interesting take on the popular Matcha Iri Genmaicha whereby the toasted rice aspect is instead replaced by sakura blossom. This results in an intriguing profile with complex flavours that progress from a savoury and salty cherry blossom taste to a more sweet, verdant finish. We source this tea via a specialist refining factory in Shizuoka who work directly with the farmers. They provide end processing and refining at their small factory in Shizuoka but also support smaller farmers in distributing their teas, developing new tea types and improving their techniques. This tea is from a range of harvests, blended in August 2023.
While Matcha Iri Genmaicha is a more common tea that can be found in a variety of places, this Sakura Matcha Sencha certainly is a more unusual take. Also unlike our Matcha Genmaicha, the matcha content in this tea is significantly lower. This results in a taste that is not as strong and that perfectly pairs with the more gentle flavour of sakura. So it definitely has a slightly more approachable green tea flavour and the matcha aspect does not overpower.
Edible and drinkable sakura cherry blossom is quite popular in Japan. Often this can be found as salted, preserved whole cherry blossom flowers that can be made into a ‘tea’. The resulting liquor, while being generally reminiscent of cherry blossom, also tends to feature a very salted taste. In this Sakura Matcha Sencha, instead of using the salted variety of cherry blossom, the producer used preserved and edible but unsalted pieces of flowers and leaves of the cherry tree. The resulting flavour, while having a slightly salted aspect, again is not overpowering and is nicely balanced.
This Sakura Matcha Sencha consists of mixed size sencha leaves that are blended with smaller pieces of sakura leaf with the addition of matcha. This tea has a strong pronounced blossom scent that overlays a light vegetal and savoury aroma. It produces a darker yellow-green liquor. The addition of matcha means that the liquor is quite cloudy with matcha particles resting at the bottom of the cup. The flavours are balanced. There is a stronger start to the taste that is savoury and has notes of salt water, cherry blossoms and seaweed. This is followed by a softer finish that leaves a verdant and sweet impression in the mouth.
It is best brewed at 80°C for 2-3 minutes according to your taste. It can be brewed 2+ times depending on your taste preferences. Since the matcha content is mostly washed off in the first steeping, any subsequent steeping will be much lower in caffeine and softer in taste. This tea pairs extremely well both with traditional Japanese sweets and sweeter western-style cakes.