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100
drank Kabuse-Cha by Marukyu-Koyamaen
2179 tasting notes

Right on the heels of my cheap-o experiment comes one that is not so cheap…

I was recommended to try this tea by the shop person in Japantown who assured me that the green tea I’ve been buying at the grocery store is complete crap. :) I’ve had a few senchas but never a kabuse-cha. I did not get the chance to try this out before I bought it (silly me, it was $22 for 90g).

This is probably the most greenish, young and fresh green tea I have ever tried. The leaves are emerald. I really think I will eat this leaf after I am done drinking it… Supposedly this is halfway between a sencha and a gyokuru.

I used about 1 tsp of leaf and steeped at 160 F for 2 minutes in about 6 oz of water (yes, I used a thermometer to double check temp). I drank this out of a glass mug and it brewed up to a nice Chartreuse color (it is neon green, I am not joking).

Second steep – 30 seconds with a slight loss of flavor. Third steep, getting kind of weak. Will probably get 3 steeps out of it.

This is a very mild, very vegetal and soft tea, very much more sweet than bitter. The aroma is a lot like spinach. This is 18,000 times better than the cheap stuff I was drinking. So sadly (for my wallet) the salesperson was right, my brain is practically vibrating now. I will definitely be saving the rest of it for a time when I need a mental boost. This tea is shade grown for two weeks prior to harvest which is supposed to increase the theanine content.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Jim Marks

Yes, kabusecha is a shaded green, like gyokuru, but not for nearly as long, making it, in a sense, a halfway between that and a sencha.

If you make your first steep shorter, 60-90 seconds would be enough, you’ll get a better third steep.

Note: most of that mental vibration is caffeine. Semi-shaded and shaded green teas have some of the highest caffeine content of any tea. The act of shading puts the plants under stress and so they produce more caffeine to defend what few delicate, tender leaves they’re able to produce.

$22 for 90g is fairly price competitive. TG charges $36 for 100g and $55 for 100g of gyokuro.

ScottTeaMan

If you have a slightly larger teapot you could use a little more tea amd decrease your first steep to about 1.5 min.then you may be able to do 45 sec. steeps for 2nd and 3rd steeps, while possibly only slightly increasing temp by 5 and 10 degrees. This will allow your later steeps to have more flavor. I don’t think bitterness will be an issue.

TeaBrat

@ Jim – thanks for the comments. It is definitely a nice buzz. I will try the first steep for a shorter time with my next go around. The same place sold gyokuru that was a bit more pricey…

ScottTeaMan

oh I didn’t see Jim’s post, but I agree with him.

Jim Marks

Yup, “jade dew” is expensive. But worth it.

TeaBrat

I’m glad you’re both in agreement.. :)

ScottTeaMan

Curiosly…what cheap green tea were you drinking? That’s the good and the bad when you buy the quality stuff—-it is good, very good & you wont want to return to the cheap stuff. The bad is, it is usually harder on your wallet. Did you get a brothy cup. The best way I can describe it is that the liquer in the cup bubbles somewhat & develops a green sheen (like what a frother does to an espresso). The flavor just “pops” in your mouth. I love it when I get a cup like that.

TeaBrat

yes I did see a few bubbles, actually!
For the cheap -the standard sencha by maeda-en

Jim Marks

I like knowing people who talk about sencha as “cheap” tea.

ScottTeaMan

My Bro in Law brought tea home from Japan when he was there for business about 6 yrs ago, and my Sis & he gave it to me for Christmas that year. I think it was an Ito En Sencha, and it was the first green tea that
“popped” for me.

ScottTeaMan

At least it wasn’t that Gawds awful teabag green at your local supermarket.. You’re completely wasting money there-I’ve done that!

TeaBrat

I meant the Japanese grocery store…. hee hee
And I don’t mind drinking cheap tea but sencha is a bit too bitter for me

ScottTeaMan

Do you mean you don’t drink Sencha, or just the cheap Sencha?

ScottTeaMan

In your review you said it was between a Sencha & Gyokuru…so it’s not a true Sencha…right??…thats why I asked the last question.

TeaBrat

Generally I do not drink sencha

ScottTeaMan

I’m gonna go eat and have a few cups of Nahorhabi Assam tonight, look for a review soon….:))

ScottTeaMan

Last question…….Do you like Genmai Cha tea?

TeaBrat

You are full of questions today, Sir! As for Genmai Cha, I like it ok, I can’t say it’s my favorite thing but I do enjoy it sometimes.

Amariel

I know you didn’t ask me, @ScottTeaMan, but I love genmai cha! I ordered some on a whim from Adagio years ago, and it is one of my favourite green teas. :)

Jim Marks

I like genmaicha with food, but generally not simply as a cup of tea.

“Cheap” sencha should not exist. Anything cheap claiming to be sencha should be considered suspect.

ScottTeaMan

I recently purchased and sampled a Genmai Cha sample from H & S and liked it alot. Review coming soon!

Jim Marks

PS: “brothy cup” sounds like when you make matcha properly. Getting a similar result with a leaf tea would suggest that the cutting and packaging process has left a lot of tea leaf dust present which is frothing/foaming during the steep.

Not a bad thing, of course. Matcha is highly prized stuff.

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Comments

Jim Marks

Yes, kabusecha is a shaded green, like gyokuru, but not for nearly as long, making it, in a sense, a halfway between that and a sencha.

If you make your first steep shorter, 60-90 seconds would be enough, you’ll get a better third steep.

Note: most of that mental vibration is caffeine. Semi-shaded and shaded green teas have some of the highest caffeine content of any tea. The act of shading puts the plants under stress and so they produce more caffeine to defend what few delicate, tender leaves they’re able to produce.

$22 for 90g is fairly price competitive. TG charges $36 for 100g and $55 for 100g of gyokuro.

ScottTeaMan

If you have a slightly larger teapot you could use a little more tea amd decrease your first steep to about 1.5 min.then you may be able to do 45 sec. steeps for 2nd and 3rd steeps, while possibly only slightly increasing temp by 5 and 10 degrees. This will allow your later steeps to have more flavor. I don’t think bitterness will be an issue.

TeaBrat

@ Jim – thanks for the comments. It is definitely a nice buzz. I will try the first steep for a shorter time with my next go around. The same place sold gyokuru that was a bit more pricey…

ScottTeaMan

oh I didn’t see Jim’s post, but I agree with him.

Jim Marks

Yup, “jade dew” is expensive. But worth it.

TeaBrat

I’m glad you’re both in agreement.. :)

ScottTeaMan

Curiosly…what cheap green tea were you drinking? That’s the good and the bad when you buy the quality stuff—-it is good, very good & you wont want to return to the cheap stuff. The bad is, it is usually harder on your wallet. Did you get a brothy cup. The best way I can describe it is that the liquer in the cup bubbles somewhat & develops a green sheen (like what a frother does to an espresso). The flavor just “pops” in your mouth. I love it when I get a cup like that.

TeaBrat

yes I did see a few bubbles, actually!
For the cheap -the standard sencha by maeda-en

Jim Marks

I like knowing people who talk about sencha as “cheap” tea.

ScottTeaMan

My Bro in Law brought tea home from Japan when he was there for business about 6 yrs ago, and my Sis & he gave it to me for Christmas that year. I think it was an Ito En Sencha, and it was the first green tea that
“popped” for me.

ScottTeaMan

At least it wasn’t that Gawds awful teabag green at your local supermarket.. You’re completely wasting money there-I’ve done that!

TeaBrat

I meant the Japanese grocery store…. hee hee
And I don’t mind drinking cheap tea but sencha is a bit too bitter for me

ScottTeaMan

Do you mean you don’t drink Sencha, or just the cheap Sencha?

ScottTeaMan

In your review you said it was between a Sencha & Gyokuru…so it’s not a true Sencha…right??…thats why I asked the last question.

TeaBrat

Generally I do not drink sencha

ScottTeaMan

I’m gonna go eat and have a few cups of Nahorhabi Assam tonight, look for a review soon….:))

ScottTeaMan

Last question…….Do you like Genmai Cha tea?

TeaBrat

You are full of questions today, Sir! As for Genmai Cha, I like it ok, I can’t say it’s my favorite thing but I do enjoy it sometimes.

Amariel

I know you didn’t ask me, @ScottTeaMan, but I love genmai cha! I ordered some on a whim from Adagio years ago, and it is one of my favourite green teas. :)

Jim Marks

I like genmaicha with food, but generally not simply as a cup of tea.

“Cheap” sencha should not exist. Anything cheap claiming to be sencha should be considered suspect.

ScottTeaMan

I recently purchased and sampled a Genmai Cha sample from H & S and liked it alot. Review coming soon!

Jim Marks

PS: “brothy cup” sounds like when you make matcha properly. Getting a similar result with a leaf tea would suggest that the cutting and packaging process has left a lot of tea leaf dust present which is frothing/foaming during the steep.

Not a bad thing, of course. Matcha is highly prized stuff.

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My profile pic is of a pink dahlia at Golden Gate Park.

Hobbies include: tea, making art, animals, vegan things, buddhism, nature, creativity, books, writing, cooking, meditation, yoga.

I am a fan of many different teas but my favorites are blacks and oolongs, chai, also like darjeeling and pu-erh. I’n always learning and expanding my horizons!

Dislikes include: bergamot, jasmine, highly tannic or bitter teas, overly judgmental and bitter people. :)

Live in San Francisco, I’m a SINK (single income, no kids) and love the urban life, but traveling out to the middle of nowhere is always fun too.

I tend to not drink things I know I will hate so a lot of my tea ratings are on the higher side. Here’s my rating system, sorta

95-100 I love this tea and would like to keep it around

94-90 An excellent tea which I may or may not repurchase

89-80 Pretty good, above average

79-70 Acceptable

69-60 Mundane – Will probably drink it if I have it

59-50 Ick

49 and below Nasty

Location

San Frandisco

Website

http://sanfrantea.teatra.de

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