Tonight I’m celebrating my last day living in Washtenaw County (after 5 1/2 years) by visiting a few of my favorite tea houses. To start off, I hit up Cafe Ollie and the Ugly Mug in Ypsi, then somehow i made my way to TeaHaus in Kerrytown.
Kabusecha is a fairly common, though expensive and exclusive refined Japanese Green tea (better known as “sencha”). Kabusecha has a delicately sweet, greeny aroma replete with traditional Japanese notes (I like to call this this kind of sencha the “Ayame” style, though that’s just my invention); it’s scent is almost the best part of this tea. Kabusecha has an equally appealing yellow-green color that balances well (in the language of feng shui) with TeaHaus’ black and pea green decor. In taste, Kabusecha is a thin, highly caffeinated Green with very few specifically identifiable qualities. Kabusecha has a decent amount of astringency/bitterness, but not too much.
Kabusecha is a tea, like Gyokuro, grown in the shade to heighten its sweetness. It is possible for a tea to be too refined for all occasions, and that’s possibly what’s happened here. The thing with Japanese tea is: they’re almost too delicate–one needs to brew it at 170 degrees F or less for no more than one minute (and my barista wasn’t quite as concerned with its presentation as she might have been). Nevertheless, it’s an extremely wonderful tea that I wouldn’t hesitate to prepare for visiting Japanese guests (if i ever had any…), or recommend to tea lovers.