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the metropolitan tea company japanese sencha

January 19, 2010

I was in the mood for warmth, for peacefulness. I wanted to savor my last day off before going back to the restaurant world, where chaos is as much a part of our lives as the daily special. So I decided to chill out with a cup of Japanese sencha. The Metropolitan Tea Company, so far as I can tell, has an abundance of high-quality tea at their disposal. It is no wonder they are a sought-after wholesaler of globally procured teas.

Straight out of the package, my nose detects the earthy, slightly sweet smelling leaves. A vegetal aroma, not unlike spinach, or broccoli, wafts up. The tea is fresh, clean smelling, and promising.

The tea brews a pale green-yellow. It smells sweet, green, broth-y. I like the smell, it reminds me of the fragrance of the grass in a sun-shower, or leaves with morning dew. I don’t know where it’s coming from, but I also sense a subtle aroma of freshly baked bread. It’s very delicate, but its presence is felt.

My first sip is not surprising. I am familiar with sencha. But it is deeply satisfying. My palate is processing all the familiar flavors of the green tea. The slightly grassy, vegetal scent. The sweetness of the leaves. The earthiness. It is very smooth, very consistent, very balanced. Slightly oceanic. The finish is very clean, pleasant. I also sense a little nuttiness, like the crust of a Montreal-style bagel with toasted sesame seeds.

I can’t say that the tea has completely banished the edginess in my mood tonight. But the interlude that it offered, the time out from my thoughts, the little momentary break, helped. I moved my focus from myself to the tea. And that is about all I can ask for tonight.

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