My friend Chase recently gave me some Japanese grown black tea. This was my first time trying it and I was very excited because of how much I enjoy other Japanese teas.
Here is the Japanese black tea(right), next to some broken leaf Assam(left).
The leaves are similar in size and shape, however the Japanese tea lacks almost any scent at all. If anything it smelled like dry ground.
I used my kyusu because it's a Japan grown tea.
I expected to have an astringent vegetal black tea, that would share at least some qualities with sencha as this tea most likely comes from Yabukita (the cultivar or breed of tea tree that 80% of all Japanese tea comes from). This tea met none of my expectations and left me at a loss for why it tasted the way it did.
It wasn't malty like an Assam is or vegaetal like sencha is. The only word I can describe it with is earthy. It was earthy to the point of shu puerh. It had no fishy taste which was a plus, but it was earthy to the point of not being pleasurable to drink. I will try more Japanese black teas in the future as this is probably an exception rather than a rule.