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Recent Tasting Notes
Sipdown no. 59 for the year 2014. A teabag from the work stash. (Gyokuro in a teabag? Whoa.)
There are two other entries for Maeda-en Gyokuro teabags in the Steepster database, but one is for “premium” and one is for “supreme.” Mine was simply called “Green Tea Tea Bag” so I created a new entry for it.
I attempted to get my water from the spigot at work down to something approaching 140 degrees by letting it sit after dispensing for five minutes.
The teabag smells terrific, sort of like buttery spinach, and after steeping it smells even more like that. The liquor is a very light chartreuse color. The tea’s aroma is very subtle chlorophylly smell.
The tea has a very light flavor, not as deep and vegetable-like as the few other gyokuros I’ve tasted, but still mellow and not bitter. It has a touch of butter, but not a lot, but it’s also not grassy. It has a nice umami aspect, that is present but not thick. I suppose it does suggest seaweed, though as I mostly eat seaweed in connection with sushi, I don’t usually focus on the taste. To me, it’s suggestive of spinach.
I have to wonder whether there would have been more to this under better steeping conditions. It was pleasant, but lacked the fullness of the other gyokuro’s I have tried.
Flavors: Butter, Seaweed
Sipdown no. 46 for the year 2014, with a caveat. This is the only teabag I have of this. It’s from my work stash. But I may have some Maeda-en Sencha in loose form at home.
This is a solid sencha. It’s everything I have come to expect from sencha plus a little more. The flavor isn’t bitter, except for a bit of grassiness that seems to be a characteristic of sencha. On the contrary, I find it to have a bit of sweetness. There is some roastiness as others have said, but to my tastebuds it’s only enough to make the suggestion and not nearly as prevalent as in the genmaicha or the houijicha. It gives this a unique character. I find it quite tasty.
Sipdown no. 40 for the year 2014. A sample teabag from the work stash. Again guessing at temperature. Split the baby on time between the suggested 30 seconds to 1 minute and steeped for 45 seconds.
I don’t think I’ve ever had houji-cha before (and now because of the thing… you know, the phobia…) it might be a long time before I have it again unless I have some other samples tucked away somewhere.
Which is a shame because this is delicious. The aroma after steeping is wonderfully roasty, almost like an oolong but not as strong and with clear whiffs of green tea vegetalness. There’s a sweet toastiness to the flavor, too, but without reminding me of popcorn like genmaicha does. I don’t get any bitterness, just a bit of grass in the finish that lets me know this is a Japanese green tea despite what my senses might be telling me.
This toastiness is more like what you get from roast vegetables. Though I wouldn’t go so far as to call it caramel, I can see where that thought originates. It’s the same sort of roasted sweetness you get from carmelized vegetables, like onions.
just your average genmai-cha.
Nothing too special about this, I just decided that it’s been so long since I’ve had this! It’s in my timolino and I’ll be taking it to class with me. It really isn’t tea weather though.. way too warm but OH WELL. DON’T CARE.
I’ve got a midterm within the next hour and I just need my tea with me :)
Roommate came home like an hour and a half ago and she does the same thing every time: Walk through the door, stops midway and just laughs at me. Then she closes the door and asks what tea I’m drinking this time ahha. At the time it was my Jasmine Silver Needles and I was in the middle of making a tea sampler pack for my roommate from Florida!
Fun fact: I have a set chair in the dining room. This is the chair that my roommates will always find me in. The one in the back of the dining room, facing the door, right next to a plug where my laptop charger and my kettle is always plugged in. They know that it’s a heavy tea/study day if I have all my teas laid out taking up the entire dining table. I haven’t even known half my roommates for a month and one of the things they know about me I take my tea very seriously hhehe. I love them to death though, and a lot of the times I offer to make them tea and sometimes they say yeah. Aww roommate bonding.
I legit opened up my school textbook and went to the online quizzes, and I saw the date that the quizzes were due AND THEY’RE DUE NEXT WEEK. Oh this is just great. I was definitely going to make another cuppa before this but.. I got distracted.
I think this is my final cup of tea for the night! It’s nearly 1am and I’m just celebrating because my least favourite class is cancelled for tomorrow, and it’s at 10am! Yeah, not early at all haha. But at 1pm I’m taking my Chicken Butchery Practicum and I AM SO EXCITED.
It’s been exactly a month since I’ve moved out of my apartment in Florida so I think it’s only fitting that I’d finish the night off with one of my favourite teas that I bought there! This Genmai-Cha that I bought from Japan in Epcot :)
Definitely a great tea. I’ve had other roasted brown rice teas before, but this I feel is the most flavourful. Brown rice tea is one of my favourites! It definitely has a very unique flavour, something that other teas just can’t match :)
Dude it’s 1am. I apologize. I ramble.
(backlog) It took me forever to find this tea on Steepster! Mainly because ehh I’m too lazy to actually //look//
But yes. This tea is the genmai-cha that I bought from Japan in Epcot! Pretty much your basic roasted brown rice tea. Definitely much tastier than the genmaicha that I had from the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf from my aunt so long ago.
Another tea sachet from the work stash. Since I’m not at home I’m not entirely sure whether this is a sip down or not. I know I have some Maeda-en teas at home but I’m not sure whether this is one of them. Now, if I had a spreadsheet like some of you very organized people I would not have this problem. Oh well.
I hope this isn’t a sipdown because I’m enjoying this. It’s roasty toasty ricey in aroma and even moreso in flavor. The liquor is a greenish yellow. The toasty rice is the main event, but the tea is sweet, not at all bitter, and plays a nice supporting role.
The flavor of genmai-cha always reminds me of popcorn even though it probably should remind me of puffed rice cakes. I’m thinking it would be a good accompaniment to a movie night at home.
ETA: Apparently I did not order this in quantity, so this is sipdown no. 35 of 2014.
Mugicha and Korean oksusucha are very similar to my palate so I’ll kind of review both of them. This type of grain tea is very smokey and drinking it is almost more like eating a snack than drinking tea because there is a satisfaction that comes with it. I think it can be too heavy if paired with meat or something like that. I’ll always know it as a summer drink associated with happy memories from my time in Japan where the cold bottled and canned versions are very popular. Overall this tea is good for any time of the day or year depending on temperature or what food it goes with.
Not sure if I had this, even though it was from Maeda-en and sencha. The bag was different, although that could’ve just been updated. It could’ve also been a sort of ‘fancy’ type. Anyhow.
Was a bit disappointing. It was green, I give it that, but otherwise very thin taste. No matter how many different variations on temperature and steeping time was it tested with. Just couldn’t grasp it. It was sencha, but ended up nothing more than worker’s tea for me. Took me three weeks to drink all hundred tea bags with a fellow student while we worked on our artist books and prints and after that during lectures. Then again it provided me a bunch of tea bag papers to use for my works. So nothing was done in vain.
I’m slowly turning into a matcha smoothie addict. This is what I drink for breakfast on the weekends and sometimes for a snack. I vary the fruit a lot but today it was frozen pineapple, banana, a fuji apple and some soymilk. It’s a great way to get in your servings of fruit and your tea at the same time — I love it!
I got this at the Japanese grocery store a few weeks ago, I am planning to do a blog post on Matcha soon because I have a really nice matcha bowl now. This particular brand of matcha I got more for blending into smoothies in the morning. Today I’m having it with blended with banana, pineapple and hemp seeds and it’s terrific! I have a Blendtec and I use it a few times a week for an easy breakfast or dinner. I will wait to give it a numerical rating until I’ve had the chance to try it plain.