280 Tasting Notes

79

This was a good genmaicha with matcha. It has a nice sweet aftertaste that gets more strong on the 2nd steep, and it lingers several seconds which is very nice. (I think the matcha covers this sweet aftertaste in the 1st steeping).
I enjoyed this tea, but it seemed fairly standard to me, nothing exciting, though no real faults either. The leaf itself is very small; it looks like a fukamushi, but I’m not sure.

Thanks to LiberTeas, for sending this surprise sample!!

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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91
drank Top Leaf by Mellow Monk
280 tasting notes

Thanks to LiberTeas for sending me a sample, especially of a tea she really loves!

I’ve never had guricha (or tamaryokucha) before, so this was a new experience for me and I have been excited to try it. For this first time, I went ahead and followed the exact instructions on Mellow Monk’s website. I hope to experiment a little with the 3g – 5g left or so…

The loose leaf actually gave off an aroma like a freshly plowed garden. Yes, even like soil a little. That didn’t scare me off, because even though that isn’t an aroma that sounds edible, it reminded me of going to a nursery or walking through a garden, and those are good kinds of smells.

As for the tea itself — this is definitely different than regular sencha! There is no hint of that fresh bitterness, or grassy/vegetal flavor. Instead there is a bit of flavorful earthiness, it is definitely fruity, with a mix of mint and pine in the background. Perhaps its more like the smell of pine needles, but very muted, with mint in there somewhere.

I hope to compare it to some other gurichas, too, to see if this is a pretty unique tea, or if it’s typical of guricha. Either way, it’s delicious! There’s a good chance it could go on my shopping list in the future.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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84
drank Green Kukicha by Den's Tea
280 tasting notes

Very sweet, with quite a nice roasty aroma. Certainly not a roasty aroma like houjicha, but enough to make it smell deliciously sweet.
The dry leaf gives off more aroma (that I can detect at least) than most teas, and the wet aroma follows suit.
There is a hint of grassy, but for the most part it is sweet.

I have very little experience with kukicha; just this and Rishi’s fukamushi kukicha (which is also a different varietal, gokou). This isn’t as good as Rishi’s but I still like it.
It seems like Den’s tea needs to add another kind of green kukicha, perhaps one from a high quality tea like gyokuro or tencha stems.

Thanks to oOTeaOo for the large sample of this! It’s definitely an enjoyable one.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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83
drank Mecha by Den's Tea
280 tasting notes

I’ve had a hard time placing this tea, but after I’ve probably had something like 10 cups (4oz cups), I think I can give my impressions.

I’ve found the first cup to be somewhat creamy, which is really nice. It doesn’t seem bitter, unless you use too hot water or too much leaf. But, it does have a bit of astringency that comes in the 2nd or 3rd steeping.

It feels like an everyday green, but the brewed leaf smells good, again somewhat creamy, and strongly vegetal. As others have said, the taste is semi-sweet grassy. The main downside is that after the 1st steeping, it seems to go flat and lose any depth.

Looking at the loose leaf appearance alone, it seems like it would be a pretty low quality tea. I’m sure from a grocery store it would be. But after seeing the brewed leaves and actually tasting the liquor, it’s surprisingly pretty good. I don’t know if I’d make it a regular for my cupboard, but it would be a good everyday green.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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85

This has been on my ‘to try’ list for a while, and what’s great is the fact that a local cafe carries it! So I can try it without having to get a full 2oz.

My taste buds aren’t working too well, as I have a bit of a cold, but this is awesome.
I think Den’s Tea should not only label their Organic Sencha and Genmaicha as “Organic” but also as a higher quality version of each. I’ve found the Organic Sencha to be excellent; one I could easily drink every day. This Organic Genmaicha is very similar. Yes, it is $3 more or so for 2oz compared to the non-organic version, but I think it would be worth it.

Even though my tastebuds (well I should say, my nose, I can’t smell much of anything) aren’t working properly, the sencha is fruity and delicious. I’ve found that genmaicha, especially with matcha, usually hides the sencha/bancha base, but not this one. It nicely balanced and the best genmaicha (w/ matcha) that I’ve had thus far.

The next time I’m looking for genmaicha, this will be on my shopping list.

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79
drank Princess Blend by 52teas
280 tasting notes

A big thank you to Frank you shipped this to me extra fast to make it in time for a Father-Daughter birthday tea party.
I highly recommend 52teas, they have AWESOME customer service.

I was a little afraid of a bubblegum flavored tea, but I figured the little girls would like it.
But it is blended very well; it’s not at all like the bubblegum icecream you might find in 31 flavors or another shop like that. It tastes like the flavor you get from a piece of bubblegum, but the honeybush is still very present and nicely balanced. I personally wouldn’t drink this all the time, but it was perfect for such an occasion. Surprisingly, all the fathers enjoyed it more than expected, too.

52teas

I am so glad we got it to you in time for your event, and that you enjoyed the tea.

If you have any left, you should totally try it iced.

Shinobi_cha

Yes, thanks again Frank! There is lots left, but it was a gift to the host (and girl having the birthday), but I have told them your suggestion.

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88

Thanks to oOTeaOo for the swap of a pyramid bag of this!

I think this must be the same exact leaf as the loose Organic Sencha. It has that same fruity note that is really good, semi-sweet, and earthy.
Even though I’d buy the loose leaf version simply because it’s more economical (same price, but you get more tea I think), I rate this the same because it is just as good.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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93
drank Kabuse Sencha by Obubu Tea
280 tasting notes

I had to try an ice brew method with this one, because I know it is so successful and wanted to give Obubu’s highest quality tea the best shot possible.

I may not have needed to do so, because every steeping was really delicious and overall the tea seemed pretty unique (in a refreshing way!). I’m surprised it is aracha, because it seemed to be only leaf (small whole leaves and broken pieces). There were so many small pieces in the dry leaf, I’m also surprised it wasn’t a chu or fukamushi.

I couldn’t figure out why I liked it, but it didn’t have the typical gyokuro flavors (nor the typical sencha ones)… it wasn’t strongly marine flavored or vegetal, or super sweet or bitter, or fruity, and yet somehow it was full of flavor and gave 5 good infusions.

I’ve finally finished the sampler from Obubu, and overall I wasn’t too impressed, but they do carry a couple that I found to be pretty good – this and Sencha of the Earth I can think of off the top of my head. Those might be good enough to pick up 100g some day. If they sold them in 50g sizes, I would definitely put them on the shopping list, because it would not only be cheaper in that amount, but 100g is just a lot of tea! (I get tired of the same one after a while, so it’s nice to have something different to try, and 2 – 2.5oz seems like the sweet spot for me).

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more

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71

I’m having trouble rating this one because while I enjoyed it, I couldn’t tell the difference between this and any other houjicha… it seemed somewhat bland.
The dry leaf smelled very good and even had a hint of green (not much but the wet leaves looked more amber colored instead of that dark brown, like raw umber). The smell reminded me of Tencha-Kuki-Houjicha by Den’s Tea, which is a lightly roasted tea that I really like.

The flavor, as I said, was fairly unremarkable, at least in my opinion. I was hopeful that I would really like it, because I hoped more of the green characteristics of the tea would come through. Instead, it seems, that neither the green, nor the typical roasted flavors came through. It is solid, but it seemed average.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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92

So far, none of Obubu’s teas have really made me think, ’I’ve got to try that again some day (or rather, order a bag of it at some point)’.
But this one will make me reconsider. Nice to have Steepster, so I can look things up that I enjoyed.

The dry leaf smelled faintly peppery and sweet. The wet leaf in the pot was fantastic — it smelled more strongly of pepper, which quickly dissipated, then gave way to creamy notes and I even smelled what I would describe as plantains.
The tea itself was delicious – it had a light, almost playful sweetness up front, like sweet cream (and yes, the creaminess in the aroma was present in the taste!), then was perhaps fruity, like the smell of apricots.

The 2nd steeping, the wet leaf smelled like pesto — olive oil and basil are probably the best ways I could describe it. The taste had less creaminess to it, but was still sweet and more strongly like apricot again.

I tried an ice steeping as well, and it had more of the traditional balance of slight bitterness, marine, vegetal, and sweet that I’m used to, but it was good as well.

This is quite a unique sencha and I wish Obubu had a better description of it. It sounds somewhat bland or uninteresting from their website, but I still hoped it would stand out (I guess because I’m down to my last samples, and I was hoping this other of their higher quality teas would be really delicious). Well, my hopes weren’t for naught.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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