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Recent Tasting Notes
Ippodo tea indicates that Sencha should be steeped for 60 seconds at 176 F (80 C). Suggested ration of tea to water is 2 Tbsp (yes, Tbsp!) to 7 ounces (210ml) of water. To cool water to the proper temperature, Ippodo suggests transferring the water once by first pouring into a cup and then the tea pot. A second and third pot can also be brewed at 176 F (80 C) water with no steeping time.
I had a WONDERFUL cup of cold-brewed Hosen at the Ippodo shop in Kyoto. I think that this was the first time I understood the meaning of “umami” – it was unlike anything I’ve ever tasted. Any Japanese green tea can be cold-brewed by steeping 2 Tbsp in 7 ounces of chilled water for 15 minutes. A second and third pot can be prepared by brewing the second pot for 7 minutes and the third for 3 minutes.
Ippodo tea indicates that Gyokuro should be steeped for 90 seconds at 140 F (60 F). Suggested ration of tea to water is 2 Tbsp (yes, Tbsp!) to 3 ounces (80ml) of water. To cool water to the proper temperature, Ippodo suggests transferring the water three times by first pouring into a cup, transferring that to a second, then third cup, then the tea pot.
My favourite matcha so far – I’ve had 2 bought in London, 1 from Edinburgh and 5 from Tokyo. For me, this one is the smoothest and creamiest taste and doesn’t go bitter when making with water or milk. Actually use 1/2 tsp for 1 person.
Flavors: Creamy, Green, Smooth
This review might be a bit unfair as I received the tea from my cousin, and I’m not /certain/ how old it is or how well stored it had been. That said, it did appear to be stored in a tightly sealed container.
Ippodo is not kidding around about the umami flavor. It dominates over the vegetal tones and I couldn’t detect a hint of bitterness. There was an odd sharpness to the aroma that I’m not certain I enjoy. Still, this is an intriguing tea, and I recommend investigating it for yourself.
You know how sometimes you’re about to run out of something and you save just an teensy tiny bit so that it’s never really gone? That’s the only purpose this tin is serving right now, to keep my happily delusional about the fact that I drank all this up long ago. It was thick and delicious. It was bitter too, but there was more than enough flavor to compensate. The vibrant green and the smooth texture were also memorable enough to keep that tin in my closet until I can justify another purchase.
so i had some of this tea today, and i still think its an awesome tea!
i was thinking while drinking this tea:
boy, it sure is raining p’s and q’s! someone in the world must not be minding their own business. oh! that’s you reading my review! ha ha ha ha just kidding. i’m glad you are reading my reviews :D
little Glass pitcher method (grandpa style):
when i smell the leaves dry, they smell nice! roasted, toasty and crisp
when i smell the leaves wet, its the same as above but also has a aged smell to it (in a good way)
when i smell the brewed tea, it smells same as above but also has a coffee/espresso taste to it! :D
When i taste the brewed tea, it tastes like all of the above! :D
WHAT A WONDERFUL TEA!! :D Hojicha is my new #1 favorite Japanese tea!many thanks to my wonderful friend Paola for this wonderful tea!
Flavors: Coffee, Espresso, Roasted, Toasty
The tea has a rather smokey aroma and this also reflects in the taste. The bitterness of the tea leaves and the bitter scent of the smoked aroma collaborate nicely to imbue the tea with a strong refreshing, thirst quenching and revitalising character. A hint of acidity can also be derived, but isn’t at all overpowering. The overall aroma of the tea quickly fades and doesn’t linger in the mouth. It’s liquor is dark brown with a dark red distinction. Visually, it appears somewhat close to the liquor of a black tea.
Overall, it is a fairly easy tea to enjoy and easy to brew. It is a great thirst quencher and allows itself to be infused in large quantities at a time, making it a great tea to drink throughout the day. As the amount of caffeine contained is also neither to low, Kyo-Bancha can be consumed at basically any time of the day and by any person ranging from very young to old.
Flavors: Bitter, Smoke
Tancho-no-mukashi is an aromatic Matcha with great color and texture. Easy to sift and easy to foam up. This Matcha is according to Ippodo suitable for both Usucha and Koicha.
Prepared as Usucha it has a more one dimensional taste which nonetheless results in a harmonious overall taste.
Prepared as Koicha the taste had slightly vegetal bitter notes which lingered for a long time on the palate. With the first sip I could taste some sweet notes that then were easily covered up by the bitter notes. It is definitely not a Matcha which I prefer prepared as Koicha. But for its price Tancho-no-mukashi is making a good everyday Matcha.
Read the full review with photos:
Flavors: Bitter, Smooth, Sweet
The color of the dried Matcha powder is a vivid dark green.
This Matcha is suitable for Usucha and Koicha.
Prepared as Usucha it foamed up really nicely with a very bright green foam.
Sipping this Matcha resulted in an overwhelming sharpness in the beginning that turned in a sweet and aromatic body and ended with a light umami aftertaste. Maybe I should mention that I’m very sensitive to sharpness. The texture was very smooth.
Prepared as Koicha this Matcha wasn´t my liking at all, too much sharpness.
Read the full review with photos:
Flavors: Seaweed, Spicy, Sweet
I purchased the one-pot-size.
The dry needle shaped tea leaves were dark green and turned mushy with a small leaf size after steeping.
The fragrance of the dry tea leaves were sweetish vegetal. My Steeping Instructions were 10g per 90ml water, at 60-80°C for 10sec-2,5min. 4 Infusions were possible.
The liquor was slightly turbid and yellowish green with an umami-rich taste which was slightly salty and sweet, smooth and slightly viscous.
Conclusion: An umami-rich tea, which changes its flavor profile slowly.
After brewing this Gyokuro you can enjoy its used tea leaves by adding a little soy sauce and citrus juice.
My tea leaves were mild, a little bit sweet and a hint of seaweed was still there.
One of the better and full Genmaicha teas I have experienced. Its soft and pleasant flavor of the quality sencha leaves balances out nicely against the round and full scent of the roasted rice.
Flavors: Caramel, Rice, Roasted, Sweet
Been drinking green tea from Japan for many years. Even had some decent tea from this company. My opinion of this tea was very poor no matter how I prepared it. Even with good quality bottled water this tea tasted and smelled like old socks. Unfortunately we purchase quite a bit because Shincha, or new Sencha, is usually tasty. This was not and we wasted a lot of money.
Just like the Rimpo at the Kaboku Tea Room in Kyoto. :) I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to replicate the full-bodied umami taste at home, but Ippodo’s recommendations have been on point. My shiboridashi is smaller than the kyusu used for brewing at the tea room, but I used the same amount of leaf (10g) and brewed it same way. A lovely gyokuro for treating yourself on a relaxing afternoon.