I think it’s no secret that I love to drink tea; a lot of pastries I post on here are created just to pair with a cup of hot tea. When I’m craving a hot, soothing drink, but not a jolt of caffeine, green tea is definitely my beverage of choice.
Ito En had sent me some of their tea products to try, and I couldn’t wait to start experimenting with them in recipes! In the summer, I always get their bottled unsweetened teas (my favorite is the Teas’ Tea Unsweetened Green Jasmine) for a refreshing beverage on the go. I wasn’t aware that they also carry a huge collection of loose leaf teas on their website with many interesting twists on the traditional green teas. I brewed a pot of this yuzu sencha last night to enjoy while I was relaxing and reading. It has a pleasantly grassy aroma (which is characteristic of sencha, but not in an overwhelming kind of way) with a bright hint of citrus from the yuzu. The taste is smooth, flavorful, and very refreshing whether served hot or chilled over ice.
Brewing temperatures for different kinds of tea vary. Since this is a green tea, the water should be at around 176°F. The tea leaves should not be steeped for too long, otherwise the tea becomes bitter and astringent. Ito En recommends one teaspoon per six ounces, and an infusion time of two minutes.
I was looking for an alternative way to cook salmon, and decided to use the yuzu sencha to smoke the salmon filet I had. Tea-smoking is an interesting cooking technique, and if you’ve never tried it, you’d be surprised by how easy it is and the amount of flavor the smoking ingredients impart to the fish. Because sencha is a green tea leaf, it’s not as overpowering as it would be if using black tea.