I know it's July, so it's a little late for shincha* reviews, but that's the moral of today's post, shelf life. In my experience the best, freshest green tea has a rather short life span. Even within two weeks of opening it, the tea will not be as good as the first few cups.
I've had the midori for six weeks, so its safe to say the tea I drank today is past its optimal prime. This isn't to say it has gone bad, only that it doesn't bake my cookies the same way it did in May.
That being said, this is the best sencha I've ever had. The aroma is sweet, rich and grassy. It smells like you'd want Spring to.
Shincha is bold, so use lower temperature and mind your steeping time. I prefer water at least as cool as 160-165 and will go up from there. I start with a minute for the first infusion, the second I only rinse the leaves, pouring immediately. Yutaka Midori doesn't have the same longevity in my opinion as the Hatsumi, for example; I only get three good steeps generally.
The tea tastes strong but clean, full, moderately sweet, flavorful with little astringency. There's a pseudo vegginess that always makes me think of apples.
*For those who don't know...shincha is the very first tea harvest of the year in Japan, not to be confused with first flush. All shincha is first flush, but not all first flush harvests are shincha.