What am I drinking?
A Japanese sencha makinohara. (If you can't say it, just point to it on the menu.)
Where am I drinking it?
Clement & Pekoe, an established favourite for both coffee and tea lovers. Quiet with faux-rustic wooden tables, this is a really pleasant spot in the city centre, with high-quality drinks and fantastic cakes.
What does it taste like?
It's an absolutely perfect cup of sencha – warm and grassy without being astringent or bitter. The baristas at Clement & Pekoe have figured out the perfect dosage and temperature to serve at to ensure minimal astringency – that dry feel you get in your mouth, after drinking tannins for instance – and their work has really paid off.
What does it look like?
Not exactly elegant but it does the job: a black mesh filter in a white mug. It fits the informal surroundings but is a little disappointing considering the beautiful pots, bowls and equipment they have for sale.
The tea itself is the golden colour you can expect from a high-quality Japanese green, and while the big black tubs on the walls don’t give away their secrets, there’s a shelf in the back with jars of small samples so you can check out their scent, colour and leaves.
Where does it come from?
Sencha is a Japanese tea, often called first-flush as it’s taken from the full spring leaves, differing from the Chinese equivalent through being steamed early in the processing which gives a different flavour and colour. This version is cultivated from tea plans in the Shizuoka Prefecture city Makinohara.
What effect does it have?
Very satisfying, especially when taking a relaxing tea break, and gently energising from the moderate hit of caffeine.
Where can I get it?
Clemont & Pekoe is about halfway down South William Street, but there is an online shop coming soon. They also supply wholesale.
Is it worth the try?
Absolutely, a gorgeous tea or just €2.30 with enough leaves for multiple infusions.
If you like this, also try…
You can’t go wrong with good sencha teas. Also try their Organic Sencha, a slightly different flavour but equally high quality.