21 Tasting Notes
I ordered a sample of this in the past and having largely forgotten about the tea ordered a 4 oz. bag. I’m glad I did. The tea, as some before me have noted, isn’t the most complex or aggressively grassy green tea.
I coaxed out its light sweetness with just below boiling water and steeping time of 2 minutes without any problem. The ending notes of nuttiness are also present and enjoyable. Some of the typical green “grassy bitterness” is present in the background, but it is exceptionally smooth for a green tea.
I’ve only had a couple cups of Kukicha so far, but it seems like a tough tea to mess up. Because of its lack of complexity its not the type of tea where you notice something different each brewing, but its also not the type of tea that you love one minute only to find yourself repulsed with the next cup.
I’ve upped the score on this one a bit.
The difference is this time – knowing my last experience found it weak – I used about 3 teaspoons worth rather than 2.
The result is still a tea that is weak in color and not abundent in flavor either. But the flavor is there. Yes, slightly buttery as Adagio and some of the other posters have mentioned. But its a very subtle sweetness. I’m encouraged that some posters have found the second steeping to be better.
So, after finishing three-quarters of this cup at work, and getting some that wasn’t a little too hot, I’ve concluded that my original review stands, even with this brewed at work batch: its slightly bitter and not a huge fan favorite.
The bitterness is comparable to say a light, weak coffee, or dark chocolate (without the sweet notes).
I’ll finish the jar – gladly and happily, its tea, after all – but I’m lowering it grade and I’m not sure I’d order more. But again, its a pretty nice intro to greens for those who are stepping into that pool for the first time or who have been turned off by overly bitter greens in the past.
I’m using this as my “work” tea today instead of Sencha Overture, which is my go-to tea for its predictability and ease of use.
The mug is different. The water temperature is uncontrolled (it comes from a dispenser) and therefore probably different. The result is a much more coppery, light red liquor and a much more pronounced flavor. I’m just at a loss to explain whether I like it more or less.
I may have to go home tonight and brew a cup just to see if I can replicate it.
I had some more of this today. Two steepings worth, and it just confirmed what I had already known – this is probably my favorite tea. Sure, there are lots of teas that I like, and even some that I really, really like, but this is the one that I love. This is the tea that I would take with me if I was going to be dropped on a desert island with only tea (and water and means to brew it, obviously).
Its liquor is a combination of the dark browns and reds you sometimes see with teas with the lighter colors of oolong teas – the result is a nice – very nice – middle ground brown.
The tea itself is flavorful – not to the extent of an Assam – and not overwhelming. Its complex enough to be interesting, but not so complex that its complicated. It doesn’t punch you in the mouth, but it doesn’t hide in the shadows, either.
Its ability and range allow it to be just about anything you want – from a morning pick me up to a more serene, relaxing tea – depending on what you want to bring away from it.
I highly recommend it.
I’ve written in the past about the bitter nature of this tea and how I never find the sweetness that some others have noted.
Well, I’m writing today to update that. I brewed my morning cup at work today. The tempature was a bit of an unknown since it was heated in a water cooler/dispenser, but I brewed it for as little as possible. Probably around 30 seconds.
And Eureka, it has a smooth, mellow, toasted flavor with what could be described as a sweet aftertaste.
One of my favorite greens. Full, deep flavor that is just a bit bitter or grassy.
I’ve seen this tea described elsehwere as “sweet,” but I’ve never found that to be the case. Even when I brew it for a single minute at low tempature, it has a biting grassiness to it. That’s not a complaint, as I said its one of my favorites. But the descrepency is a curiousity.
I’m making my cup today from a fresh batch. To round out my fifth cup of tea (yes, you read that correct) I’m mixing a bit of sencha with Xue Ya Ballad…
… as you might expect, the Sencha completely overwhelms the Xue Ya, leaving only Sencha flavor.
Nice light tea. Its among a family of light green teas that aren’t very bold, but are still pretty nice and would be a good intro to green teas for someone who hasn’t tried them before. One last cup from this order of Xue and I’m all out.
Helped me get through my work day (with some gunpowder tea). Not a tremendously full-bodied tea, but that isn’t all that unusual for a green tea.
One thing I like about this one: Its hard to mess up, unlike some other greens I’ve tried.
I have some teas I keep at home, and some (mostly green) I use at work. Mostly the work ones are ones that are hard to oversteep, in case I get distracted and forget to stop steeping them or that are getting towards the end of the supply and that I won’t use at home much any more. This one fits both bills, as this cup was the last of my supply.