Spring is officially here and I’m ready to celebrate with H. R. Higgins Japanese Cherry tea! Technically the Japanese cherry blossom season doesn’t start until late March (the 21st of March is the current prediction for Sakura in Tokyo), but the trees are starting to blossom here in the UK and that’s all the encouragement I need.
H. R. Higgins approached me via Instagram a while back to gift me this tea and two other blends. I did a cute reel and Instagram feed post about them, in return for the gift. This tea review, however, was not part of the deal and as such, I consider it to be unpaid for.
Read my thoughts on the flavour and aroma of this tea below, along with where to buy it online and a little extra information about the brand.
H. R. Higgins Japanese Cherry Tea at a Glance
- Blend: Japanese green tea with rose petals and cherry flavouring
- Flavour: A mellow and subtly sweet green tea with fruity notes and strong floral flavours
This tea is refreshing and drying with an intense perfume from the rose petals. Notes of plum and apple appear more than cherry, but overall it’s a really pleasant and well-balanced green tea.
Full Review – Cherry Blossom Green Tea
- Type: Loose leaf
- Tea: Japanese green tea
- Additives: Rose petals, cherry flavouring
- Flavour Notes: Mellow, hay, subtle sweetness, plums, apples, cherries, rose, cherry blossom
- Aroma: Fresh green tea, cherry sherbet, refreshing, bright, rose
- Milk or Lemon: Neither
- Where to Buy: H. R. Higgins Teashop
Opening the packet, I am struck by how fresh and spring-like this tea is. The green tea provides a bright and grassy note upon which there’s a generous helping of sweet and vibrant cherries – it reminds me of cherry sherbet. Among these sweet and fresh notes, there’s also a fairly subtle note of rose petals.
Once brewed into a clear and bright yellow-green colour, the aroma fades to almost nothing. There’s a mellow hint of hay and a touch of sweetness, but not much else going on. I’m not sure why this happened, as the aroma of the dried tea leaves as well as the flavour were vibrant and rich.
And oh, what a flavour. The green tea is surprisingly more hay-like than grassy, which hasn’t been my experience with Japanese green teas in the past (see Tokyo Tea Garden Sencha). There’s some subtle sweetness going on with a fruity tone – it reminds me of plums and a touch of apple, but there’s also a cherry-like hint to be found.
However, the dominant flavour that really overpowers everything is rose. The rose petals in this blend are perfume-like and pungent. I am not a huge fan of rose, but I can drink this tea fairly easily thanks to the fruity sweet notes that contrast a little with the floral element.
How to Brew Cherry Flavoured Green Tea
This is a delicate tea so use water that’s around 80°C – H. R. Higgins actually go one step further than usual by recommending that you don’t pour the water directly on the tea leaves either. Instead, either pour around your infuser or fill your mug before popping the infuser in it.
The instructions for Higgins Japanese Cherry Tea is to use 3g of tea leaf and let it brew for 3 minutes. Serve hot or cold, without milk.
I followed these instructions perfectly, but I’d actually recommend reducing that down to 2g. You won’t be able to resteep the leaves as many times to get a strong flavour, but the overall cup is more balanced. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
As for when you should drink this tea, it strikes me as an early-afternoon blend that you can sip in the spring sunshine in the garden or on a picnic at the park.
Why Shop at H. R. Higgins London?
H. R. Higgins are a UK London-based merchant that have been operating for over 80 years. Beginning in 1942 in London’s West End (there’s still a shop you can visit in Mayfair), Mr Higgins would roast coffee during the day and work as an air raid warden at night.
This brand has a long and very interesting history, but it mostly concerns coffee. Tea appears to be a relatively new line for the business, and I am impressed with the quality! Many high-street brands that start with coffee but venture into the tea business fall flat (Costa, I’m talking about you) so it is refreshing to find a coffee business source fine quality teas and give the beverage the respect it deserves.
Now, taking a closer look at the tea leaves of Japanese Cherry, I can see that they aren’t the silver-tipped green tea leaves that Mr Higgins claims they are. This looks suspiciously like simple Japanese sencha to me, with a handful of rose petals thrown in. All the fruity notes are from flavouring too, which I’m not keen on.
Ultimately, I really wish that this tea contained real blossoms from Japanese cherry trees. I’m fairly certain this is possible, especially after reviewing Umi Tea Sets Peach Blossom Tea. But regardless, it is well blended and a decent quality. I’d say it was comparable to Whittard of Chelsea or Kusmi Tea.
This is a fresh, well-blended and fairly unique tea that I have thoroughly enjoyed sipping hot. When the summer months arrive, I am really looking forward to try H. R. Higgins Japanese Cherry tea iced as well. I think a small teaspoon of honey will really work well with the flavours.
If you’d like to try this tea, the only place to buy it online is from H. R. Higgins directly – use the button below to go straight there.
For sipping this tea and enjoying the spring sunshine, you just have to use a dainty teacup of some sort. If you’re looking for something new, my Japanese Patterned Tea Bowls are ideal. You can use them for serving tea or even small snacks. Check them out in the Immortal Wordsmith Tea Shop or our Etsy Shop for US shipping.