153 Tasting Notes

Alright, I’ve completed the full Yunomi/Kurihara Tea Farm gyokuro tour!

This time I used the brewing instructions on the packet. I had thought they were the same as the ones I had found online. I like to cross-reference things before I brew something new because I’ve had plenty of vendor suggestions that were flat out awful ways to brew their tea (I’m lookin at you Adagio).

Anyway, Yunomi sent me a printout on Gyokuro steeping method and it is identical to the one on a Japanese blog I found called Tales of Japanese Tea. I used this method for the first three samples and boy was it intense (too much for me)! It took me till the last sample to notice that the printed suggestions on the packets are just slightly lower leaf to water ratio and produce a bit less intense of a result, so I used the printed method from the packet this time. It still makes a very small amount of tea like the other “traditional” methods I found, very thick and syrupy, but not quite as potent and harsh on my poor umami-starved western palate.

The difference in the leaf to water ratio between the two steeping methods I have tried for gyokuro now is about a 40% difference in intensity, so it made quite a difference.

But anyway, with this slightly lighter preparation method, I could really taste and enjoy the umami flavor more without the bitterness overwhelming me. The overall scent of the tea was like sweet vegetation and seaweed, and the taste was like meat or a really rich broth made from boiled bones.

I’m still not going to rate this stuff because it is just so new to me and I haven’t had enough gyokuro to really know the good from the bad. I can say it was a really interesting experience and pretty fun to try. For the price of this stuff though, I highly doubt I’ll ever be buying a full order of it. I prefer more aromatic teas to these heavily umami intense Japanese ones. It’s not that I don’t like it. I do. I just have to really love it for the price these fetch, and I don’t think I really love it… yet.

Flavors: Broth, Meat, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
2 min, 0 sec 4 g 2 OZ / 65 ML
TeaBrat

I got an email from Yunami today that Obubu is 20% off – tempting!

Lion

Yeah a friend of mine was telling me that too! My best advice is to cross-check any teas you might be interested in buying directly on Obubu’s website and not just on Yunomi’s, because their prices are around 30%-60% cheaper than Yunomi’s on every Obubu tea I’ve looked at.

www.obubutea.com

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

This review is mostly a clone of the last one, because the differences were minute in my experience.

Before you read my review, just know that I am brewing this the traditional Japanese way, which is very flavor-intense and different than the way most Westerners brew Gyokuro.

Here’s a very short article about what the difference is:
http://everyonestea.blogspot.com/2014/02/gyokuro-is-not-something-to-drink.html

And the brewing method is here: http://everyonestea.blogspot.com/2010/10/how-to-brew-gyokuro.html

It is also the same leaf to water ratio that was recommended in the gyokuro tip sheet Yunomi sent me with the teas… so I guess this is at least a somewhat common method in Japan.

I mention this because my first gyokuro review had a lot of people wondering why my experience with the tea was so much different than theirs. This is primarily why.

Of the Kurihara Tea Farm gyokuro sampler, so far this one had the least bitterness and some lingering sweetness with the incredibly intense umami that accompanies it. The flavor is intense, fills your mouth very quickly, and it takes a long time just to sip a tiny 20-30ml cup of it. It’s a really interesting experience. It resteeps okay once, but after that you’re digging into the bitter flavors in the leaf quite a bit so I really only drank two infusions of it.

It made a delicious green tea salad afterward.

I’ve decided not to rate Gyokuro teas unless I find myself really loving one. I believe in trying to appreciate them with the traditional method of brewing instead of diluting it to suit my tastes because I’d like to learn how and why this tea is usually appreciated in Japan, and so far the traditional method is just so new and abstract to me that it is very difficult for me to tell if I enjoy it or not. I think the quality of these teas is good, but I cannot particularly evaluate them because the flavor and feeling of this tea is just so unlike anything else I’ve ever had. It can be a little overwhelming, but it is also very savory and enjoyable in some aspects.

If you’ve never used the traditional method to prepare gyokuro, I recommend doing it at least once. It’s a trip. It produces a very thick and syrupy broth that you can sip on very slowly and the flavor will remain in your mouth for literally hours after drinking it.

Flavors: Grass, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
2 min, 0 sec 10 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Anlina

Oh wow, those are some intense brewing instructions. I can see why you’ve found the flavours a bit overwhelming. I generally use these guidelines for gyokuro and it still makes a very intense cup, with much less leaf to water: http://www.o-cha.com/brewing-gyokuro.htm

I really wanted to try the leaf salad after my last gyokuro session, but I was feeling so intensely caffeinated from just sipping the tea, I was a bit afraid to eat more than a tiny bite of the leaves.

Lion

Anlina, I wish I had realized sooner how leaf-heavy the suggestions I used were. The ones Yunomi sent me on a print out were identical to this too. They suggested 8g/80ml. Then when I finally got to the final sample of the set I noticed the print on the packaging recommends 5g/80ml (1/3 cup), which is almost a 40% reduction in the amount of leaf… I tried that on the final one and the flavor was much more reasonable. It wasn’t so intense. I definitely liked it more when it wasn’t so incredibly strong.

Lion

Also, the leaf salad is delicious, and it releases its caffeine in a pretty slow and steady manner instead of all at once like the liquids do, but it is quite a caffeine boost and I don’t recommend eating it if you are really sensitive to caffeine. I am and I had to be careful to make sure I ate plenty of other food with it so I didn’t get too intensely caffeinated.

Anlina

:nods: I’m glad you got to try at least one of the samples with a better leaf to water ratio. I hope this isn’t the end of your gyokuro adventures – I’ve been enjoying your tasting notes.

I was really impressed by how pleasant and not bitter the leaves themselves tasted. I am pretty sensitive to caffeine unfortunately. The last batch of leaves I had probably would have been okay – after I steeped them hot a bunch of times, I cold steeped them over night, which yielded an incredibly caffeinated cold brew (I made nearly 2L, and I still haven’t finished it, because even one cup makes me feel jittery.) So there probably wasn’t much caffeine left in those leaves. But I just didn’t feel like I could chance it. It’s good to know that the caffeine release of the salad is a bit slower – I may give it a try next time.

Lion

I recommend not eating all of the gyokuro salad at once. Maybe eat just a bit of it and see how you feel. You can always refrigerate the rest for later. Another thing I realized is that it will have better flavor if you pull the leaves directly out of whatever vessel they are in and put them into a bowl. The first couple times I tried it I rinsed out my kyusu so the leaves wouldn’t stick and poured all the leaves/water onto a strainer and then pressed them a bit to get the excess water out. All that extra rinsing to get them out of the pot really took out the flavor, so it is better to just pull them out with your hands I guess, even if it is tricky to get the leaves out of the little nooks and crannies of a teapot.

Kittenna

Holy crap. So much leaf for so little water. I probably don’t even have enough gyokuro in my stash to try something like this (or if I do, it’s probably on the old side). Tea leaf salad sounds intriguing though…

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Before you read my review, just know that I am brewing this the traditional Japanese way, which is very flavor-intense and different than the way most Westerners brew Gyokuro.

Here’s a very short article about what the difference is:
http://everyonestea.blogspot.com/2014/02/gyokuro-is-not-something-to-drink.html

And the brewing method is here: http://everyonestea.blogspot.com/2010/10/how-to-brew-gyokuro.html

It is also the same leaf to water ratio that was recommended in the gyokuro tip sheet Yunomi sent me with the teas… so I guess this is at least a somewhat common method in Japan.

I mention this because my first gyokuro review had a lot of people wondering why my experience with the tea was so much different than theirs. This is primarily why.

That said, on to the review. I drank this prior to writing this review so I don’t have it right in front of me and I didn’t take notes. All I can say is I actually didn’t taste a significant difference between this one and the last one I tried “#04 Standard Gyokuro (Kabusecha)” from Kurihara Tea Farm other than this one was slightly less bitter. The umami flavor is intense, fills your mouth very quickly, and it takes a long time just to sip a tiny 20-30ml cup of it. It’s a really interesting experience. It resteeps okay once, but after that you’re digging into the bitter flavors in the leaf quite a bit so I really only drank two infusions of it.

It made a delicious green tea salad afterward.

I’ve decided not to rate Gyokuro teas unless I find myself really loving one. I believe in trying to appreciate them with the traditional method of brewing instead of diluting it to suit my tastes, and so far the traditional method is just so new and abstract to me that it is very difficult for me to tell if I enjoy it or not. I think the quality of these teas is good, but I cannot particularly evaluate them because the flavor and feeling of this tea is just so unlike anything else I’ve ever had. It can be a little overwhelming, but it is also very savory and enjoyable in some aspects.

If you’ve never used the traditional method to prepare gyokuro, I recommend doing it at least once. It’s a trip.

Flavors: Grass, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
2 min, 0 sec 10 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

63
drank Houjicha - Amber by Obubu Tea
153 tasting notes

This houjicha has a really noticeable bitterness in the aftertaste, and seeing that it is made from Sencha of the Summer Sun, it’s understandable. That tea also has a bit of bite to it. It’s hard to describe what sets this houjicha apart from others. It has a bit of that bitter green tea taste that you get from more bitter/robust sencha.

To be honest, I don’t really prefer this to the simplicity of the regular houjicha made from bancha. I like my houjicha to be mild, or maybe just slightly robust, but this one is really robust and smokey/bitter in the finish. The scent has notes of cedar and mustard and the tea itself tastes roasty like a houjicha usually does, but maybe with a bit more of a coffee-like bitterness in the finish. The bitterness really lingers a bit, but it also has a cooling sensation and it is a clean kind of bitterness. It is similar to the subtle bitterness of walnuts.

Not bad stuff, but I think I like the simpler kind more.

Flavors: Cedar, Coffee, Roasted, Smoke, Walnut

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML
Kittenna

Houjicha shouldn’t be bitter, IMO. I probably would rebel against that too. If I’m drinking houjicha, I want a sweet, possibly caramelly, roasty, smooth tea. I’d be happy with smokiness, but not bitter. Sad.

Lion

Yeah, Obubu even advertises their Sencha of the Summer Sun as having “a bitter taste that is strong at first”, and it comes through in this houjicha version of it. I’ve had the sencha by itself and it definitely is robust. It’s good, but it’s sharp unless you brew it with less tea than you might usually use for sencha. Unfortunately, using less tea didn’t really make the houjicha lose its bitterness, though it wasn’t too bad, just not really my thing when it comes to houjicha.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

80
drank Houjicha - Dark Roast by Obubu Tea
153 tasting notes

Why do heavily roasted teas always register as having a dill note to me? Does anyone else get that? I’m not complaining, I love dill, but it’s just such an odd note amongst all the others.

So i was expecting something much more deep and coffee-like out of this Houjicha compared to the basic roast. In fact, it is sweeter and more mellow than the basic roast, which is a surprise to me. It is so incredibly mild it is a perfect bedtime tea. I am not really getting any smoky flavor though, despite Obubu’s description of the tea, but that is A-OK with me. I don’t think this sweet roasty cha would benefit from that.

The flavors are the usual houjicha ones, a roasted, toasted, deep nutty taste with hints of grain. This one has a bit of sweet bread flavor as well. Really delicate for a houjicha. I’ve had some that taste like coffee or cigar smoke. This one is much more mild and sweet. Great!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Grain, Nutty, Roasted, Toasty

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML
Sil

can’t say that i do…but i almost wish i did! haha i love dill

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90
drank Connoisseur’s Matcha by Red Leaf
153 tasting notes

Yes! This is the good stuff! And at a price that doesn’t break the bank!

The dry powder smelled like toasted sesame seeds and honey (African Benne Cakes?). The infusion produces a sweet wet grass smell. The description on the website is accurate in saying it is like the smell after a summer storm. You know that scent of rainwater mists whipped up off of tree leaves and grasses being ruffled by the rain and wind? That’s the smell!

In the flavor there’s a hint of minerality in the finish reminiscent of rainwater. The taste is mostly grassy and dewy, and there’s a lingering sweet finish.

If you like rock oolongs or just rock flavors in general, this may be the matcha for you. It really has a nice wet stone taste to it.

I dig it. This was one of the more interesting and layered matchas of Red Leaf Teas, and it is evocative of refreshing and cleansing weather. The energy of wind and rain is definitely what I feel from this.

If I could change anything the lingering sweetness could be a tad sweeter, and the flavor could be a little more rich. There’s no bitterness at all though, and for me that is a major plus when it comes to matcha.

Flavors: Grass, Mineral, Rainforest, Wet Rocks

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

80
drank Manju Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
153 tasting notes

So I’m about a week or two into my newfound exploration of matcha. I am learning little-by-little, and if someone has a great resource about learning to prepare and drink matcha, please feel free to leave it in a comment or message me. Anyway, what I learned with the last bowl I made is that there is definitely a right way and a wrong way to whisk it for the right foamy texture. Lots of sites give a basic instruction for how to do this but I’ve found a couple of key points that really would have helped me more if only someone had mentioned them. They weren’t pointed out on any sites and I picked them up through observation of videos and through trial and error. More on that later. I will probably make a Youtube video to show the tricks, as it is easier to show than tell. What I learned this time is that the way you drink it is just as important as the way you prepare it.

I tend to close my lips quite a bit when I drink tea, and suck a little stream of it in so as not to dribble or slurp. With whisked usucha matcha, if you do this you are likely to sip at the liquid and leave behind a lot of the foam till after the liquid is gone. This is a mistake. Drink with your mouth open more and suck in the foam and water evenly. Not only will the texture be more silky and velvety, but the flavor will be MUCH less intense/bitter and more sweet and complex.

This was probably my second favorite of the matchas I’ve tried from Red Leaf tea. The dry powder had little hints of sweet lime scent like the one that was my favorite (Tanabata Matcha), but the flavor of this one was more like sweet grass and not much of a fruity taste. In fact, after adding water to the matcha it mostly smelled grassy and the little fruity hints in the scent were pretty much gone. There’s a touch of bitterness in the finish of this matcha, but as I mentioned, if you drink the foam and liquid evenly it really cuts this down to an enjoyable balance.

The more and more I experiment with matcha, the more I think most people who say they’ve tried it and don’t enjoy it just aren’t preparing it right, or haven’t had a good quality one. If you get it right the flavors can be even more sweet and forgiving than a lot of sencha out there, and I’ve met at least a few who like sencha but not matcha.

This was a fun matcha. A little sweet and not overly vegetal or umami-rich. I am finding I prefer my matcha this way. On the other hand, this one wasn’t remarkable. It was sort of an “everyday” kind of tea to me.

Flavors: Lime, Sweet, warm grass

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

94

The dry leaves of this Wuyi Oolong are very different from other Wuyi Oolongs. They are yellow and olivine in color, rather than the heavily roasted leaves that are usually brown or black. From what I can tell, this tea is not heavily roasted like most other Wuyis. The leaves smell fruity like raisins. I’ve decided to brew this tea in my Yixing pot, which is seasoned for lighter Taiwanese oolongs with a fruity/floral/creamy slant. This should add to the flavor of the pot nicely from what I can gather, despite this is not in the same type of teas I usually brew in this yixing pot. The leaves of this oolong came in a tin and were wrapped in a very thin plastic lining inside the tin. They were packed in very well without much room to move, nor had they been crushed and there were practically no broken pieces of leaf whatsoever. These are very well handled leaves.

DO NOT…. I repeat, DO NOT RINSE THIS TEA. Drink the first infusion. It is where almost all of the most amazing flavor of this tea is. Even a single flash infusion discarded will rid this tea of its most incredible qualities. You’ll be missing out on the reason it is so good. Trust me. Drink the first infusion.

The smell of the leaves after sitting for a minute in the warm Yixing pot is heavenly. It mostly smells of toasted almonds and honey, or an almost horchata kind of smell, creamy and mildly spiced. After a 10 second infusion, the leaves smell fruity again, with notes of fig and plum and a strong mineral smell that is to be expected from a Wuyi rock oolong. The tea is a subdued yellow and looks slightly hazy, not cloudy. It isn’t as if there is particulate floating in the tea, it is more like the haze you see from tiny fluffy hairs floating in the liquor of really downy teas.

The tea smells like warm vanilla pudding. The flavor is incredibly complex, with a little more tanginess and mineral quality than i’d expect. It contrasts the aroma so that as you take sips and breathe in between, you get an alternation between the sweet vanilla cream scent and the mildly vegetal corn-like, nutty, creamy, yet slightly tangy tasting tea.

Legend has it that this tea gets its name (which means White Cockscomb) from a moment in time when a monk witnessed a rooster fight an eagle to defend its baby. The rooster, sadly, did not live. In memory of the rooster’s brave sacrifice, the monk buried the rooster’s body in respect and a tea tree sprouted and grew from that spot. This was the first Bai Ji Guan tree, from which all others today are derived.

If ever a tea legend seemed palpable to me, it’s this one. This tea is so complex and graceful, it feels like it could be an expression of a beautiful spirit, a legendary rooster’s swansong. The nature of it is unlike any other food or drink I have experienced. It is otherworldly.

It can be difficult as a tea reviewer to not get caught up in the hype and reputations of a tea, especially when it comes with a serious price tag (shipping costs considered, this tea was close to $1 a gram). It can be hard not to want a tea to be good so badly due to all this that you actually perceive it as something more pristine than it is.

But there are teas that come in huge bags for a few bucks that are incredible, and there are teas that come in small tins for a large sum that are incredible. I try not to consider these things at all when I sit down to have a tea. I clear my mind and focus on the tea alone, not how I got it or what I’ve heard of it. All that considered, this tea is an exceptional work of art on its own.

The second infusion is the same color as the first, with a lot more mineral quality emerging. The brew still smells a bit of vanilla but the flavor of it is more on the tart and tangy side, similar to pineapple or other fruits that are slightly astringent. There’s still a backdrop of cream and nuts, but it is in the background now below the mineral and tangier flavors.

The third infusion is similar to the second, but even more mineral-heavy, tasting more like a roasted oolong, though with the yellow color of the infusion I don’t think this is very heavily roasted tea. The leaves have brewed up a nice green color with red-brown tinged edges.

Over the next few infusions the mineral taste remained strong, but by the sixth or so it died off to a light and fruity taste with a syrupy consistency, like white wine, sharing some of the flavor profile of second flush Darjeeling teas, especially with the hints of grape.

While I think the first infusion is the real show-stealer with this tea, it’s still a nice journey and one I definitely recommend if you can afford it (or rack up some Green Points to spend on it on ESGreen, like I did, or go halfsies with a friend).

Flavors: Almond, Corn Husk, Cream, Green, Honey, Mineral, Tangy, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 6 OZ / 170 ML
Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

Hehe, do not rinse indeed, it would be like pouring money away (not that I ever rinse oolongs anyway :P )

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

This is my first Gyokuro time! Aaaah!

This review will be broken into three parts because I prepared this as Gyokuro first then read that Kabusecha is meant to be prepared like Sencha, rather, so I tried both ways. Last, I took some tips from online and made a salad from the used leaves.

PART I: KABUSECHA PREPARED AS GYOKURO
10g tea per 100ml water at 122F/50C for 2 min

The smell of the dry leaves in the warm kyusu is incredibly sweet and umami. This smells very rich and delicate. After brewing, the wet leaves smell similarly but with more vegetal notes. The brew is very thick, syrupy looking and green-yellow.

Let’s take a sip… and… what… whoa… what the… o___o < – (my face right now)

That is a pure shot of umami in the mouth. Wow. It tastes like a very rich broth. The way the flavor just stays there in your mouth for so long is really impressive. The flavor is incredibly intense and has a pretty nice little kick of bitterness to it.

At first I was thinking it was slightly disappointing that it makes so little tea for such an expensive tea, but as rich as this is… wow. I don’t think I’d want to drink much more than this tiny little tasting cup full. This is intense!

My second infusion was much shorter and produced a translucent bright yellow-green liquor that looks like Mountain Dew. It smells a little more sweet and grassy, and tasting it now it is more of a blend of umami and salt and grassy, whereas the first infusion was just straight up umami in the face.

I did a third infusion and it started to taste more like a regular sencha but with a bitter finish. On the fourth I decided to up the temperature to around 176F to try a hotter brew and bring out some of the astringency. The tea tastes quite bitter and has a seaweed flavor. There is still some umami richness though and a lingering sweetness after sipping it. At this point I think it is undrinkable, but I have done this step to prepare the leaves to make a tea salad. It is necessary to get out some of the bitterness so they will be tastier to eat.

PART II: KABUSECHA PREPARED AS SENCHA
2.5g tea per 100ml water at 158F/70C for 1 min

Flavor-wise, the result is similar to the first method of preparation but much more diluted and more like what we think of as tea, liquidy. It is really similar to Sencha but with a much more umami-rich flavor. It still has the strong trailing bitterness that comes in the later part of the sip, though the umami lingers in your mouth much longer and outlasts the bitterness.

I can really see this tea going either way as far as method of preparation. I say do what you think would suit you best. Do you want it in a small amount and really strong or more diluted with more to drink?

PART III: TEA SALAD

I just took the leaves and dressed them with a Japanese style dressing (3 parts ponzu, 1 part soy sauce, 1 part sesame oil, and some toasted sesame seeds). This is really tasty! I think I like the salad more than I liked the tea (uh-ohhhh, hahaha). I’m kind of scared of the insane caffeine rush I’m going to get from this though, but I wanted to try eating it. I’ve been known to get caffeine-induced panic attacks from matcha particularly. Consuming the whole leaf, especially with these fresh green teas, seems to pack an insane caffeine punch.

It was an interesting experience either way. I’ll have some higher quality Gyokuro reviews up soon, as I have the Kurihara sampler pack, and this was just the gateway in. Kabusecha is the ferryman between Sencha and Gyokuro, after all.

All-in-all, I’ll be honest. This was really hard for me to drink. Something about it was kicking in my gag reflex a little, maybe just the pure foreignness of this type of flavor. It is just really crazy rich and you might get a similar experience from dissolving a teaspoon of MSG into a shotglass of water and sipping it (though I don’t recommend it).

I can’t rate this tea terribly high because it was not one I’d like to drink again, but if you are an umami nut and like some bitterness, this might be one for you. My score is a reflection of how much I liked it, not on the quality of the tea.

Flavors: Broth, Grass, Seaweed, Umami, Vegetal

TeaBrat

hmm, I don’t think gyokuro should be bitter!

Steven Cook

See… On all fronts, I think I agree with you, though, the gyokuro I have had is from teavana.
It’s to much for me… Too rich.

Lion

Teabrat, it is probably because it is kabusecha, which is only grown under partial shade. Gyokuro is much more heavily shaded. I think the title of this tea is a little bit inaccurate, since from what I can tell in my reading kabusecha is not a type of gyokuro, but since it is shaded during part of the growing it is often considered to be something in between sencha and gyokuro. If I could name this tea myself I would not make any mention of gyokuro because by the strict definition of gyokuro this tea is not gyokuro. I think they include it in their gyokuro sampler as a means of showing the cheaper and more accessible entry point into the more umami rich Japanese green teas. The bitterness wasn’t overwhelming, but it was in the same sense that some sencha have a bit of natural bittnerness even when brewed at the proper (low) temperature. I will try the actual gyokuro very soon. There are 3 in this sampler. Can’t wait to try and review them!

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

Oh wow, I had such a different experience with this tea than you, so fascinating! I really loved it :)

Ubacat

I tried a Gyokuro from Yunomis (my first too) and wow, was it ever deep rich. It wasn’t bitter though.

TeaBrat

Lion, ok that makes sense. I definitely remember gyokuro being on the sweet side, at least the ones I tried.

Lion

I’m curious how you all prepared it though. Did you prepare it the traditional way, which produces an incredibly concentrated, syrupy, tea? I’ve prepared three of the teas from this gyokuro sampler now, and all of them had a natural bitterness when prepared this way, some less than others. However, the very strong savory/umami flavor strongly overpowers the bitterness, so the bitter taste only comes in the end of the sip.

Here is a link of the “proper” way to brew Gyokuro:
http://everyonestea.blogspot.com/2010/10/how-to-brew-gyokuro.html

Most western drinkers are prone to brew it like a sencha, which produces a completely different result, a lighter green tea that is very liquidy and umami-rich, not nearly as bitter.

Gyokuro is typically said to have mild bitterness compared to sencha, but I think nearly any tea when brewed to this high concentration is going to have some bitterness.

Lion

You’ll notice in the traditional method of brewing gyokuro, they use so much leaf to water that you only get about 60% of the water back. It is incredibly syrupy and potent. It is intended to be sipped in such small amounts that there is barely any liquid to go down your throat in the sip. The flavor fills your mouth very strongly. Note how little tea is in the cups at the end in the link I posted above. That’s all the tea it makes with that huge amount of leaf.

TeaBrat

I brew mine more like a sencha I am sure. I should try it the potent way someday!

Lion

It is out of this world! I think I like it more prepared like sencha because the concentrated way is so insane. But I also love just how unique and different the taste is when you do it the traditional way. My western palate was not prepared for that much umami flavor!

Lion

Here’s one more resource about it if anyone is curious.
http://everyonestea.blogspot.com/2014/02/gyokuro-is-not-something-to-drink.html

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

80
drank Houjicha - Basic Roast by Obubu Tea
153 tasting notes

This tea is roasty and comforting. It isn’t as sweet as some houjicha I’ve had but it is really mellow. There’s a bit of sweetness in the aftertaste. The aroma gives hints of burnt cedar… and as usual with me and heavily roasted teas there is a note of dill. The flavor is of toast, a little bit nutty, mild and very relaxing. The wet leaves in the teapot smell like cigar tobacco. Now that I’ve noticed that and the tea has cooled some, I can definitely taste cigar smoke in the taste.

Not a lot to say. This is a really great houjicha.

Flavors: Cedar, Roast nuts, Roasted, Toasty, Tobacco

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

Bio

I’m a dedicated student and practitioner of Gongfu Cha and you can usually find me brewing my tea in a gaiwan. I tend to stick to straight teas and scented teas most often, though I dabble in tisanes and flavored blends from time to time. I use a Tokoname-ware kyusu for Japanese green teas and a chawan for matcha.

To me, tea offers a time of peace and reflection in solitude, or sharing and enjoyment with friends. It has become a huge part of my life lately.

Aside from tea, I’m a novelist and creator of all types. I love to cook, create music, write, draw, decorate, and do just about anything creative I can get my paws on. I also enjoy creating beverage recipes.

I am really interested in Asian cultures and have a much deeper interest than my shameless love for anime and Japanese video games.

I’m a friend to animals of all kinds. I couldn’t live in a world without animals. Conserving and respecting them is very important to me.

But I am mostly here on Steepster to talk tea! Let’s enjoy the world of tea together!

My Tea Ratings:
0 = Terrible
25 = Uninteresting or harsh
50 = So-So, I’m indifferent
75 = Enjoyable
100 = Incredible!

:3 <——Kitty smiley face

Location

Kansas City, USA

Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer