25 Tasting Notes
The first steep of this smells so sweet and the first sip is so creamy! Oh my gosh. Cream, mango. In the second steep, once the leaves have expanded, there is less cream and more of a floral fruitness. By the third steep I’m getting a much more tea leafy flavor. The creamy sensation is still present, although the fruit and cream flavors have mostly dissipated. I’m still getting a creamy aftertaste. No time to explore this any further today but I’ll be having it again soon.
Flavors: Cream, Creamy, Mango, Sweet
Somebody tell me how to feel right now. My initial reaction to the aroma of this one is pure confusion. It is, after all, my first time having a genmaicha made with something other than green tea, and my first time having black and oolong blended together, and one of my first times having cocoa blended with tea. I can definitely smell the black tea in this, and I feel like I can really taste all of the ingredients. Every flavor is distinct, and the cocoa and jasmine rice particularly stand out to me. I’m really appreciating the bittersweetness of it. It’s got a nice sense of decadence without the overwhelming richness that can sometimes put me off something that I would describe as such. It’s also got a nice lingering flavor. I will definitely be having this again soon!
Flavors: Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Nutty, Toasted Rice, Toasty
Hmm…so I decided to not follow the brewing recommendations for this and I’m thinking that was a mistake. I did drink this one on previous occasion, but I don’t really recall how it tasted. It didn’t really stand out much in my mind, though. I brewed it with about 5 grams in around 90-100 ml of water and it mostly tastes like burnt rice. I can’t really taste the tea at all, but there is quite a lot of rice mixed into this, more than what I’m probably generally accustomed to with genmaicha. Tried another steep since the rice was not soggy, basically the same. I will make sure I steep according to their instructions the next time I try this.
Flavors: Burnt, Rice
5g/~100 ml, ~1 minute steep @ 70C, second steep around 15 seconds at 80C
This tea has the wonderful, umami, vegetal aroma that I’ve quickly come to know and love from kabusecha with a flavor to match. It does differ from the other kabusecha I’ve been drinking. Maybe this sounds kind of basic (and obvious)…but it tastes…stemmier. Like the difference between eating the leafy part and stemmy part of a dark green. The flavor is slightly less in your face, slightly fresher. I know Holly spent a lot of time sourcing this tea to find one that didn’t have an overly-fired taste and it shows! I’m not sure which green I would most liken this too, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out as I drink my way through the 95g I have left!
Flavors: Umami, Vegetal
I swear, my excessively useless talent is closing tabs and windows without my notes getting saved. ::sighs:: So let’s try this again.
When I first opened this package, the smell of rum filled my nose. I expected a rummy aroma, but it still managed to surprise me! And this tea surprised me, yet again, when I poured water over it and was hit with the smell of mushrooms. At first I thought it was shiitake, but then I realized it smells almost exactly like bunashimeji to me.
The liquor is dark and the mushroom aroma is strong, but the taste is not at all overwhelming. It’s very smooth going down, and has a very pleasant, rather light bunashimeji taste on the first steep.
The second and third steeps bring more mushroom aroma and flavor. The more I let it cool before drinking, the more the rummy notes come through, along with a touch of sweetness. After the third steep I notice a coffee-y, dark chocolatey aftertaste left behind.
The fourth steep tastes sweeter than all the previous ones to me, blending pleasantly with the other flavors. The following steep tastes the rummiest to me, and I—unfortunately—don’t get a chance to go beyond this before the day comes to an end. I definitely have enjoyed it, though, so this will be on the list to drink again soon.
Flavors: Coffee, Dark Chocolate, Mushrooms, Rum, Sweet
Drinking this for the second time, decided to change up the steeping a little bit.
Still used 5g for 90 or so ml of water. Instead of brewing it and pouring it out of the gaiwan as usual, I just stuck the strainer into my gaiwan, poured the leaves in there, poured water over and let it steep like that. I guess because of how fine these leaves are, they mash together and block the liquid really easily if I try to do what I would with other leaves.
1st: ~60 seconds at 70C
Still has that great umami flavor and it’s a bit more moderate instead of as in my face as it was yesterday.
2nd: ~10 seconds at 80C
About the same taste I got during this steep yesterday.
3rd: ~30 seconds at 80C
Also about the same as what I got on the same steep yesterday. The flavor is continuing to gradually mellow out. I’m noticing these leaves are super absorbent. They end up holding a lot of the water that I pour over them, so I end up pouring less water than I intend to, as I don’t notice it getting soaked up until after I’ve looked away for a while.
4th: ~30 seconds at 90C
Still getting some umami notes this steep, along with the bitterness that one would eventually expect. I forcibly pushed the rest of the liquid out of the leaves for this final steep, so I’m sure doing that brought some more of the bitterness out. I’ll give saving these leaves for lunch a shot today, too! Overall, I think I liked the way I steeped yesterday better.
Flavors: Green, Spinach, Umami, Vegetal
Curse me. I forgot to save the dang note before shutting down the computer earlier. ::sighs::
Well, I remember the important details, such as the fact that this was a rich and deep tea that had flavors I’d like to further explore. A nice dark liquor with a great accompanying scent. I am not really familiar with brandy, but definitely got an “alcohol” burn in the back of my throat during some steeps. Each steep tasted of spices to me, a bit earthy in a woody kind of way. There was even one steep that left a very green tea-like aftertaste that lingered for quite a well, and it did give way to some sweetness as I continued steeping.
I oversteeped by a looooooot twice, and every cup I had still tasted good. I definitely look forward to better familiarizing myself with this tea!
Flavors: Alcohol, Spices, Wood
5g, ~90-100ml water
I received this tea from Chiki with a recommended drink-by date of November 16, so I expect to do a lot of experimentation with it between now and then. For this first try, I’m going to follow Yunomi’s kabusecha brewing guide and brew for 90 seconds on the first steep. I’ll be using my gaiwan with the lid off and pouring into a preheated cup.
These leaves probably have the greatest sense of delicacy of anything I’ve brewed recently. The dry leaves are a deep green with a potent vegetal aroma.
The aroma of the first steep is mouthwateringly strong and the flavor does not disappoint. Green and umami. It’s like a savory veggie medley. Despite drinking green tea for years and even living in Japan, this is actually my first time having a kabusecha. I am blown away. The moutfeel is, indeed, dense, but smooth. I can’t help but think this tea would make an unbelievable bowl of ochazuke. As I get closer to the sediment at the bottom, a bit of bitterness is hitting the back of my tongue. Just the right amount, in my opinion, paired with just a bit of astringency. The wet leaves look just like steamed greens, which I suppose makes perfect sense!
The second steep has the perfect easy drinking flavor. If the first steep was like a treat to be enjoyed in moderation, the second is something that I could continue to drink all day, which I suppose is illustrated by the fact that I drank it down pretty quickly.
The strong aroma is still present, but that overwhelming flavor is giving way to something more mellow and sweet in the third steep. I’m loving the lingering sensation that’s left in my throat. I feel like I probably could have gotten a bit more flavor out of this steep, so in the future I’ll try letting it go a bit longer.
In the fourth steep the aroma still continues to linger and the flavor continues to mellow out, so I think I’ll call it done for now. Next time I try this, I may try hotter water for the 3rd and 4th steeps to see how that turns out.
1st: 70C, 90 seconds
2nd: 80C, 10 seconds
3rd: 80C, 30 seconds
4th: 80C, 60 seconds
Edit: So, the brewing guide I used threw out the idea of eating steeped out kabusecha leaves, so I mixed it into my lunch (rice and veggies). That was a very, very good idea. Definitely will do it again.
Flavors: Green, Smooth, Umami
Dry leaves smelled like sweet tea to me. The first steep is pretty complex and the liquor has a deep color. I can’t quite separate all the flavors, but I’m definitely getting a spiced sense, and it leaves a hint of faint honey sweetness on the tongue. The more I drink, the sweeter it gets. It’s smooth in the mouth and a unique sweet scent clings to the empty cup.
The second steep is definitely sweeter and the aroma is rich in a somewhat woody/earthy kind of way. I got a good few more steeps out of this one with the same good flavor. I definitely look forward to exploring this tea further!
Flavors: Honey, Smooth, Spices, Sweet, Wood