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Recent Tasting Notes
Maeda-en web site indicates 1 tbsp of leaves, brewed in 9-12 ounces of hot water (160 to 190), for 1 minute, but their packaging indicates 1 tsp of leaves, brewed in 8-12 ounces of hot water (160 to 190), for 1 minute. I veered towards a stronger brew.
Dry leaf: A mild sweet green aroma, with a deep green color. Leaves finely broken up.
1st Brew: 4 teaspoons tea leaf for 8 oz of water at 180, brewing 1.5 minutes. Tea Liquor is a cloudy yellow with mild green color. the aroma is sweet. Slightly pungent, mild flavor.
Infused Leaf: is finely broken and falls to bottom at a good rate.
2nd Brew: 6 oz of water at 180, brewing 2.5 minutes. Tea Liquor is a cloudy yellow with mild green color. the aroma is sweet. Mild flavor. At back of palate nice vegetal flavor lingers.
3rd Brew: 6 oz of water at 190, brewing 3.5 minutes. Tea Liquor is still cloudy yellow with mild green color. very slight sweet aroma. Flavor mildly earth. Slight astringency.
Note: Acceptable, very economical Fukamushi in a pinch, although not very exciting, deep or lively.
Went with the boyfriend to a place called “Rollboto” where you can make your own sushi. Sort of like a Chipotle but sushi style. I also picked up this green tea as a drink because it looked exotic. Of course, afterwards I do some homework and realize its quite common (and cheap) but no big.
Tea was not bad. There was definitely a roasted quality to it that I wasn’t expecting especially since the bag made no mention of it. I prefer more straight greens, but it’s definitely drinkable.
What amazed me was that I got 3 good steepings out of this puny bag. Okay, more like 2.5 since the third was kinda weak, but for a measly tea bag I’ll take it.
Rating 95, 10-29-2012 :
This was my Go To Everyday Tea. It is very reasonably priced for its rich flavor palate. +- 5.50 US dollar for 5.3 oz
1st Infusion: A rich green grassy aroma. The 1st brew is very satisfying, with a slightly woody upper palate. Tannin upper palate taste is also present. Delivers every time a rich, deep, complex palate.
2nd Brew: I use slightly hotter water +-190 and let it steep 5 minutes. A slightly milder taste but still complex, mossy green color.
Update for December 2012 purchase:
I had rated this tea at 95, but unfortunately I bought two packages of this tea in December which were very disappointing. Possibly I got two very old dried out batches (although the package indicates best by 04Nov13. I may call the company to find out how to read the packaging date. This had been my go to everyday green tea. The last two batches were subpar not tasting green at all rather more like brown boring tea. I will try another package later in the Spring. Now I am on the prowl for other everyday sencha’s.
This is an excellent new crop tea. I wish I had more, highly recommended. I enjoy my green teas somewhat strong so steep longer than most. Also, for the past year I’ve chosen to enjoy almost exclusively quality Japanese Senchas.
1st Brew ; A light delicate very young green flavor. It has a mellow slightly earthy sweetness, with upper palate flavor and very slight bitter after taste (if brewed strong). Color of the brew is lime to mossy green depending on strength. The tea is very fine and young so leaves settles at the bottom of the vessel nicely.
2nd Brew; lighter but nicely green and sweet. Leaves a desire for greater depth, but has nice green after taste on upper palate. Sweetness in mouth. Still lime green color.
Sipdown…finally finishing this up after it’s sat in my cupboard for seriously about 3-4 years. I’m enjoying this last cup, but I don’t think I’ll restock it. I’d rather have a whole leaf, fresh houjicha. Not much more to say about it than what I have in the past. See my other tasting note.
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.
Reading all these posts about matcha really makes me want some! The closest thing I have at the office is this bagged, minced green tea. When I say minced, I mean shredded into itty bitty tiny dust particles. And yes, that means they escape from the fine mesh of the bag. Still, it’s green tea (or close enough to it) so I can’t complain.
I used the tap at work, which says the water is about 200°F. I then let the cup sit for a little while before adding the bag, so I can’t say for sure what temperature the water was. Definitely not hot enough to scorch the leaf particles. After a three minute steep, I removed the bag and took a sip.
Just as I remember, it’s vaguely grassy swampwater. Not terribly sophisticated but could be worse. I gulped it down and promptly re-steeped the bag. Sometimes all you need is tea! And now I’m a couple minutes closer to the end of the work day. :)
We usually get this tea for my work. Everyone really enjoys it instead of their usual cup of coffee. I like it was well but for me the taste is a little bit too bitter and “roasty”. All in all it’s not a bad tea! When it’s on sale at Japanese Market’s it’s well worth it :)
This tea is noted as steering me to the other side of the tea world. Away from black tea bags from my early upbringing (of which was not the end of the world, it still was pleasant and exposed me to tea at an early age), to the wonderful experience of loose leaf.
For some reason, I love Sencha! Its hard for me to relate to the distaste that some have for the more grassy notes. That is one of the things that draws me to green teas in the first place!
Its nice sometimes to get away from the fermented, flavored and roasted teas. Back to the beginning and the basics, where one finds green tea with many of its fine qualities.
This tea does not disappoint! It may not be the highest grade in all of the know world, but it certainly isn’t the lowest either. Its a nice in between, everyday type of tea. It carries many of the beautiful qualities that you would expect to find while drinking a green tea. Smooth, certainly vegetal and will bite back if you forget about it and either steep it too long or use a higher water temperature. There is a definite clarity of mind and pure natural energy to give you the extra pep needed to finish the day.
There is no reason to overlook this fine green tea, if you are needing an economical cupboard filler for an everyday use! You won’t regret it.
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.
I tend to steep this Houji-Cha a little longer than the 30 sec recommended time. I prefer: 2 min 30 sec @ 175 degrees Fahrenheit. This produces a pale amber colored cup, with a light honeysuckle nectar with a lasting toasted almond notes. Reminds me of a weaker Phoenix Dan Cong oolong; also, lingers like some the dark teas (pu-erhs). This is a great option for one that wants to mix it up a bit and still stay with a straight tea.
I have some loose leaf houijcha at work but I wanted some today at home, so I picked up this little package of 10 teabags in Japantown. This is a mesh teabag which is a little bit better than the paper ones. This houijcha is made from roasted sencha.
The instructions on the package say to steep for 30 – 60 seconds, but that seemed a bit light so I ended up going for 90 seconds in the end. The aroma is delightful and flavor is pretty good. It has a very caramel, burnt sugar flavor but I’m detecting a tiny bit of vegetal bitterness in the finish. The other houjicha I have is a loose leaf from Den’s Tea that’s made out of roasted bancha. I have to say I prefer the Den’s version because it is sweeter and more aromatic (and it’s loose leaf, which makes a difference as well). But this is still a nice everyday tea, and good for the evening because there’s less caffeine. I need to try cold brewing it sometime! Yummy!
A nice dependable genmaicha, not my favorite that honor goes to genmaicha with some matcha thrown in, but still very dependable. It isn’t the gold genmaicha so I would like to try that as well, I’m sure it has some fancy sencha or something. I first had this tea in one of my favorite sushi places and I still want sushi with it every time I make it at home.
Appearance: dark (almost forest) green broken leaves with some golden yellow pieces. I really like the color of a shincha – it just seems like green tea is supposed to be this green. Liquor: mossy green. The liquor is more green than a lot of Japanese greens – hooray for the freshness (April 2012 harvest). Like most sencha there is some sedimentation, so a good strainer is recommended. Smell: very vegetal, with creamy high notes. Having lived in Japan, the smell of sencha is powerfully nostalgic. Taste: again, very vegetal, like spinach almost, but it’s sweet, creamy, and has nice nutty (chestnut) undertones. The aftertaste is grassy but only mildly astringent. I like the grassiness of a Japanese green, and this is a great example. Overall I’m really happy I was in Japantown recently to see this one. 9/10.
The aroma of the dry leaf is very grassy, like freshly-cut grass. The flavour is… awwww I screwed this one up too :( It’s sharp and astringent, definitely on the grassy side. I obviously used a bit too much leaf or infused a touch too long (probably the former, I used 1.5tsp instead of the recommended 1). It’s not terrible, but clearly could be better. Guess we’ll see what infusion two brings, although it looks like I won’t get to that tonight, and my experience with fresh greens is that they don’t do well the next day… so it might be a second freshly-brewed first infusion that I rate, now that I think about it.
Thanks for the sample, LiberTEAs!
ETA: Second infusion (170F/1:30, the following evening) is nothing too special. I don’t know if it’s lingering flavours in my mouth, or the fact that the tea sat for a day, but it’s not great. I will definitely have to give this a good second attempt later.
I’m new to loose leaf green teas, and have been trying different Chinese varieties. Picked this Japanese green up at lunch, just brewed my first pot. It is so much more complex and interesting than other greens I have tried. I can taste the “green” of the tea, it is well-balanced, and has a sweet caramel finish. To me, it is to other teas I have had, what a fresh micro-brewed ale is to a can of Budweiser.