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Recent Tasting Notes
Lucky Gold Matcha! I dumped the last half of the gold flakes from my Lucky Gold tea onto my half bowl of matcha, unfortunately a lot of the flakes stuck to my chasen, oops. Didn’t think that thru I guess. Oh well.
It frothed a little more this time, yay! Smooth, rich, creamy, like a nice warm blanket for your tongue!
The question came up yesterday "How much is a scoop?, so I measured it. For me, a scoop is how much wonderful matcha I can cram onto my scoop and I can fit .55g of organic matcha on it. This surprised me because I weighed Den’s Tea’s Kaze and that was 1.04g. Oh well, that means it’s cheaper per scoop and that’s ok w/ me:)
Made half a bowl this morning, 1 scoop per 8oz water. It was wonderful, I just wish I could get it to foam more.
Made this before I leave to go w/ my friend looking for a bridesmaid dress for her dad’s wedding. 3oz water/1 scoop. Wow! The flavors pop even more when made thick! I just wish it frothed a bit more. This may be my favorite unflavored matcha yet, unfortunately it’s also the most expensive.
Curled up w/ this before Prayer + Share this morning. My 4th unflavored matcha, 3rd prepared myself, 2nd from Den’s, and 1st organic matcha. I really wish I had some Kaze left to do a side by side comparison.
The powder is a pretty bright green and the smell is quit strong, stronger that O-cha’s Kiri No Mori and, from what I remember, a bit stronger than Den’s’ Kaze as well.
Half a bowl- 1 scoop/8oz water.
This matcha incorporatesw/ the water a little differently than Kaze. A few bubbles of foam form on the rim of my bowl. Yay! The color is an absolute gorgeous green color.
Wow! Boy do these flavors pop! I wonder if it’s because it’s organic? It’s definitely vegetal like all matchas should be, but it’s also smooth, clean, and… sweet? I’m not sure if that’s the word I’m looking for, but it’s not bitter. Spectacular.
Janefan made matcha lemonade so I decided to make my own variation. I used this cuz I’m getting very low on unflavored matcha.
1 tsp powdered sencha/6oz (minus 2TB) cold water/2TB lemon juice. Unlike Janefan, I didn’t sweeten mine. Approx. ratios of a double portion of Usucha and almost 8x stronger than the suggested parameters for powdered sencha.
Wow… measuring by the tsp sure is messy! I had to be very careful not to spill. I put it in a empty plastic water bottle so I could shake it well. It created a lot of foam that didn’t collapse easily. Lemon and matcha were both very evident. Personally I think I prefer my matcha hot. That and not drinking it from my chawan just wasn’t the same.
This is by far the thickest preparation I’ve made so far. 1 heaping scoop and 3oz water. Wow! It also froths a lot more… so maybe my frothing problems are due to the thickness. The 1st thing I notice is the astringency. This isn’t an overly sweet matcha, although it’s by far bitter. Definitely more of a wake me up vs “oooh this is comforting” preparation. All formulas are delicious!
I’ve had a slamming headache all day and I just can’t move to make tea… this is all I’ve had all day. Made it the way I do a 1/2 bowl of matcha, 1 Chashaku (1.5g!) of powdered sencha and 8oz water. Thick, sweet, vegetal, w/ a hint of astringency that whiskes up very easily even before I use my Chasen and foams slighty. I drank it slower than usual so it gets slightly thicker and stronger as I drink it… yummm….
My 2nd order from Den’s Tea! It was shipped on the 29th and arrived today. Very quick considering yesterday was Sunday!
I spent $34.05 on my order ($3 of that was shipping) which consisted of this (30g), 2oz of Bancha Suruga, organic matcha, Lucky Gold Tea, and I was also surprised w/ the "Sample Tea of the Month: 10g of Premium Sencha Shin-ryoku! (Although it’s not listed as “premium” on their site… I wonder why…) Now that’s value! I didn’t get the Sample Tea of the Month w/ my matcha set in Dec. Maybe that was because I got the sampler instead.
Whoa… mmm… Looks like matcha, smells like matcha too- only stronger. Both the vegetal and sweet aromas are stronger.
I know this isn’t matcha, but I prepared it like it. 5oz hot water, 1/8tsp (although it seems weird using a plastic measuring spoon instead of my Chashaku) powdered sencha in my matcha bowl then whisked w/ my chasen.
The liquor (is this the proper term even though this isn’t decanted tea?) is a gorgeous green color and it whisks up similarly to my Mandarin Matcha only not as thick, although it still does foam up slightly.
I’ve decided that the word to describe matcha and like teas is sensual. Lucious also fits. This is amazing. Stronger than some matchas in both the vegetal and sweet aspect. Each sip is a little different. This is definitely a good matcha substitute.
Beautiful in all respects. & I love the peaceful look of good green tea in a nice cup.
Brewed like Den’s website suggests: 1 tsp/3 oz water. First infusion at 180 degrees for a minute was great, but the second, done at boiling for just 15 seconds, was just awesome.
The mental well-being this tea produces is amazing, too. Made me smile without even realizing it :-)
Shin-Ryoku is a Shincha or “new tea”/“first flush”, essentially the first harvest of sencha in Japan. If I remember correctly, its traditional to only consume Shincha within the first couple months of harvest, regardless of vacuum-sealed packaging and freezing. But, hey, it was a free sample, so I have no real grounds to complain.
Anyhow, this tea is VERY temperature sensitive.
Den is kind enough to personalize each tea’s brewing instructions, on his website. Which calls for 1.5 teaspoons 4oz of water at 160f/71c for 60 seconds.
My first attempt, ended up with 1.5 teaspoons around 170f/76c for 60 seconds, 5 oz of water. It was too bitter for me.
I tried again with 4oz of water at 160f, maybe even high 150f’s by the time I put the leafs in, for 60 seconds. It came out a watery-pale yellow, compared to the more common gold-yellow seen in sencha, that I was worried I under-steeped it, perhaps I did, but I found it to be a smooth with natural sweet notes.
The suggestions for re-steeping on Den’s is not personalized. The FAQ area has some generic suggestions, and not specific to this tea, which recommended 15 seconds for Sencha’s. However this may not apply to Shin-Cha, due to quantity of leaf (for such small quantities of water, its common for most sencha to be only 1 teaspoon, not 1.5 like shincha).
Second steep, I “tried” 170f for 25seconds, and it had the taste I’m more familiar with in sencha, but I found the bitterness to sneaking in. I think the bitterness never left me, following subsequent steep attempts, always sitting on my palate. Re-steep at 185f for 3rd time, 60 seconds, the bitterness started to come in much stronger. By the fourth, 5mins boiling, and fifth 10mins boiling, it was more akin water, despite a strong colour persisting.
From my experience, this tea walks a very thin line between sweetness and astringency, that is ultimately decided on by the water temperature, sure this is common with all japanese tea’s, but in this case, the temps were almost gyokuro levels for me. If I had more of it, I would like to experiment with it further. I’m ultimately curious what would happen if I had kept the water temp low for the second steep. Or just as high, as my “guess”, but with only 15 seconds. Freshly harvested Shincha/Shin-ryoku may also affect the taste, but we’re going to have to wait another 3 months for that.
First off, Den’s Tea is a wonderful company. If you’re considering ordering from them, I say “Do it!” Timely delivery and they included their catalog, a pamphlet about the health benefits of green tea, and a magazine about Japanese cuisine and culture. It’s the small things, yes?
Of course, all of this would be nothing if they didn’t sell high quality tea.
I’ve tried all four teas I bought from Den’s and they’re all absolutely delicious. (More reviews coming soon!) Today me and my housemates celebrated Christmas. It was wonderful. We all went to church, had breakfast together, opened presents, ate a fantastic homemade dinner (each person made one part of it), and, finally, played cards together. No homework, no stress. Just quality time. And I don’t have school tomorrow! (That’s the cherry on top, my friends.) In any case, my housemate Shane got me an awesome elephant teapot. The tea comes out of its trunk! Love it! In fact, I just finished an elephant of Fukamushi Sencha Special.
According to the Den’s Tea webpage fukamushi sencha is steamed at least two times longer than regular sencha. I believe this is the first deep steamed sencha I’ve had. The dry leaf smells full and fresh with light fruity notes. The flavor is deep and complex. Pleasantly grassy with hints of ripe fruits and brine rounded out by a wonderful taste of milk at the back. The aftertaste is milk then fruit.
I think I’m starting to get a hint of what good sencha can be.