Drinking tea picked on the 88th night after the start of spring in the lunar calendar (May 2nd this year) is considered a blessing that grants longevity and good fortune. Beyond tradition, tea picked on this day since it is very early in the harvest season is very young and delicate, creating premium quality.
Kuma-san's artisanally crafted sencha this year is simultaneously delicate yet provides a strong umami aroma and flavor. While initially smooth and sweet with hints of lemon, melon, and a slight toastiness, the astringency arrives a minute after drinking.
On second steeping, one usually expects a much strong astringency because the water is so hot, but a leaf as young as this has very little...still very smooth.