280 Tasting Notes
I made a small cup of this (maybe 6oz) with 1/2 tsp of matcha…it was better than my first attempt. I have just been using a small whisk in my tea cup (not ready to really get into it with all the proper tools/matcha bowl, etc), so that could effect how well it mixes and tastes.
However, my wife and I had vanilla icecream the other day and I sifted a heaping 1/8 tsp of it onto the top of each bowl. That was very good, though I probably could have used even more since the vanilla flavor was so strong.
Based on the look of the picture and the description, this sounds exactly like Gyokuro Blend Sencha by Yamamotoyama. The leaves have big pieces in them, that look like Kukicha/Karigane (the twigs and bottom parts of the leaf), but also a lot of very very small leaves, which looks like Fukamushi (deep steamed) which breaks up the leaves further into smaller pieces like that. I’m curious now to see if it is the same….
What is up with this tea?
Yesterday I tried a suggested brewing parameter for Sencha (I’m considering this a sencha, since Yamamotoyama calls it a gyokuro ‘blend’ sencha) that is supposed to be more along the lines of Japanese tastes (stronger)…
So I did 4 tsp in 16oz water (one 8oz cup for me, one for my wife), at 160 for 1 minute. By the time it was done steeping, I could tell by the color it was going to be way too strong. In fact, it was SO bitter I dumped both cups out and re-steeped the leaves, hoping the 2nd time through it would be better. This time, it tasted like water!
So I dumped out the leaves too, put 2 tsp back in the pot, and covered them with ice. Unfortunately, had to wait for it to melt. But it’s much better today, just like last time I did shinobicha on this tea.
Either these are very sensitive leaves and you’ve got to be an expert to get it right, or it’s just not good quality tea. I’m going to try 2 more things to see if it improves… 2 tsp in 12 oz at 160 for 1min, and 2 tsp in 12 oz at 140 for 1.5 min.
Put some 3 tsp of this in a bag in 16oz water in the fridge last night.
This morning I had a very yummy bottle of tea waiting!
I shared some with a coworker, who said it tasted like mango — I had never noticed a fruity taste to it, but sure it enough, it had a very fruity, mango-like flavor. It was very refreshing and a fun way to brew this.
Ok, I tried this again, and it came out ENTIRELY different.
First, I did the Shinobicha method, of Ice-brewing the tea—go here if you want to know more: http://188.8.131.52/search?q=cache:agAyOfC0rPgJ:www.mellowmonk.com/2009/08/gongfu-girl-makes-mellow-monk.html+shinobicha&cd=3&hl=de&ct=clnk&gl=us
It tasted wonderful and refreshing and much better than the other attempts.
Then I steeped it a 2nd time in 160 degree water, for just a few seconds and poured again…this time the flavor was as I had originally expected it to be, full, ‘vegetal’, umami…Mmmmm
So I’m putting this one higher up…80
I bought this also at the local Japanese store.
This tea is very good, and for a simple fukamushi has a surprising amount of fullness to the flavor, even umami. It leaves a nice aftertaste in the mouth, and makes one want to make another cup!
The color is a nice deep green, and the loose tea has a delicious flowery smell. I love opening my tea cannister every time.
For Fukamushi: 88/100
For Green Tea: 80/100
Bought this at the local Japanese grocery store.
I’m not sure whether to brew like Gyokuro or Sencha…I’ve tried both and both times it has come out fairly bitter or tasteless. It smells good, but this was not a good one to try for my first ‘gyokuro’… If I were you I would just pass.
(gave it a 50/100)