Maeda-en

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drank Shiki Matcha Powder by Maeda-en
807 tasting notes

I have tried to make matcha I want to be able to make matcha – I watched videos, I read steepster reviews, I am seeing conflicting information and so I went for it and did 1/4 c water 2 scoops matcha powder that didnt work was too dark and murky and tasted odd. ( I have had matcha a few times so have a little bit of an idea what it should taste like ). Then I tried less matcha more water … no go. I just don’t know what I am doing wrong and which video or review to believe on how to make it. No rating – not the matcha’s fault. I also tried two different brands this and one from enjoyingtea.com

Kittenna

Hmm, I guess I’ve only made (and tried) matcha lattes, but I use about 1 tsp per cup. Perhaps you should try making it into a latte? I can’t say I’ve tried it straight (and perhaps won’t).

And I’m wondering if the two scoops + 1/4c water was to initially get it dissolved without being chunky, and then you add quite a bit more water, as that sounds ridiculously strong to me!

LiberTEAS

What tools do you use to make the Matcha?

Azzrian

I have the scoop (don’t know the formal name for it) and the wisk (again I fail to know such words yet) its a small travel CHASEN that’s it :) (proud of myself here) …
I even have a proper bowl – not that I think this matters any.

LiberTEAS

OK. Do you sift the matcha? Here is what I do, I’ll try to take you step by step, but, bear in mind that I’ve been doing it so long that I eyeball it and know what’s going to work … and it usually does.

I use the Chashaku (bamboo scoop. Long handle, looks a bit like a hockey stick made out of bamboo) to scoop out the matcha. I usually use 3 – 4 scoops of this, and I scoop it directly into my sieve. I use a simple sieve that I purchased at the grocery store in the utensil aisle (for about 2 bucks), it’s basically a tiny hand strainer. I use the back of my scoop to push the Matcha through the mesh of the strainer, and sift the matcha through the strainer directly into the chawan (matcha bowl, although any bowl will do)

Then I carefully pour the hot water (I usually use 160 degree F water) over the matcha… just a small amount, and use the chasen (bamboo whisk) to whisk the matcha into a paste. Then I gradually add more water as I’m whisking until I’ve achieved the right consistency. Then I give it a really good whisking until its well incorporated and frothy.

Please feel free to PM me if you still have problems or questions, I’m happy to help you if I can. :)

Azzrian

Thank you – I did use the sifter – mesh strainer thing but I did not add the water little by little – maybe that is my issue! Thank you I will try this as I did everything else in your suggestions well I also didn’t use as much matcha how much water do you use with the four scoops? I will pm you this as well in case you don’t see this and thank you!

Azzrian

Tommy and Krystaleyn thank you – I will watch that vid Tommy. I agree Krystaleyn I thought it was too much to but LiberTeas is saying more matcha – but I PMd her to ask about how much water per 4 scoops.

LiberTEAS

Try about 3/4 cup of water for four scoops. Start with a smaller portion of that, about 1/8 of a cup to make your paste, and then gradually add the rest to make a total of 3/4 cup. After you’ve whisked vigorously and its all incorporated, taste it and see what you think… you can always add a little more water if it is too thick.

Kittenna

Now I wonder how much a scoop is! That sounds incredibly strong to me :)

Azzrian

Thank you LiberTEAS I do appreciate all the help and will give it another go this evening. Krystaleyn – they are not expensive – Den’s tea still has the mini travel chasen with scoop for 5 bucks if you plan to order from them anytime soon.
You may not notice there is a small scoop there in the picture but there is – its hidden inside the scoop and it has a prong in the middle so you can expand its size sorry can’t explain at all but it is a normal sized scoop.

Azzrian

Oh wait or do you mean how MUCH matcha to scoop up? Yeah that is a good question as well – I just watch the videos and eye ball it according to how they do it but every one is eyeballing it lol

LiberTEAS

A scoop is about the size of an average almond.

Azzrian

Ah indeed I did read that somewhere – thanks for the reminder!

Kittenna

Hmmm, that would make a scoop closer to half a teaspoon?

Azzrian

LOL I am going to say yes … just because it sounds good :) I have no idea though I will try making the scoop the size of an almond then put it in a half teaspoon and let you know :)

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I made 5-6 cups of this and sipped it throughout the day. Tossed it into the fridge when it started getting lukewarm and had it chilled later on. Refreshing and satisfying, though it’s a bit of an acquired taste

Jillian

I’ve been curious about this tea, does it taste quite malty?

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drank Shiki Matcha Powder by Maeda-en
2 tasting notes

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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.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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60

The Early July TeaLog Catchup !

So I wanted a plain green tea late at night and wasn’t sure I wanted multiple infusions. When, I don’t know why, I remembered these teabag samples included with the tin of Shincha I won from them. So I took them down, looked through them, and selected this one because two of the others were toasty roasty kinds and the third was sencha which I’ve had been before and are usually nice but not great to me. So I selected the Gyokuro, not knowing anything about it.

The teabag packet had no steeping instructions so I pulled up the Maeda-en website on my phone and easily got them off there. Plus I noted that they described gyokuro’s as rich, grassy, and savory. I opened the packet and omg did that teabag smell good! Rich! Savory! But most seaweedy / kelpy than grassy to me.

I steeped it in 8oz of water instead of the recommended 6oz. Both the first and second steeps were plenty strong. I sipped. OMG sushi restaurant tea!! Awesomesocks!! I drank it, I resteeped, I drank that. I resteeped again in the morning. But that steep was more water than tea. Maybe if I hadn’t let the bag sit overnight it wouldn’t have been.

I want more of this tea. Either in bagged form or loose leaf. It would be so good to drink with Asian takeout.

2nd steep: 3 mins, 165 F
3rd steep: left bag in cup

Rating: 60 (good bagged tea range)

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Mark B

Gyokuro = Love

Take this approach for a spin. Gonna give it a go myself and report back.

http://www.samovarlife.com/how-to-brew-gyokuro-high-end-japanese-green-tea/

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68

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.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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71

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.  

Bonnie

Sounds like fun!

Babble

It is. Although, like many “create your own” things, it can get pricey if you are not careful.

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55

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.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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92

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.

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

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82

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 :)

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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81

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.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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70
Appearance: jade colored broken leaves. I really like the color of a sencha – it just seems like green tea is supposed to be this green. Liquor: green-hued gold. Like other Japanese green teas, there is some sedimentation. Smell: very vegetal. Taste: again, vegetal, like spinach almost, but with sweet and nutty undertones. The price is reasonable, so this is a good staple to have in the cupboard. The price also means I’m comfortable being a little more flexible with experimenting. Today I added some osmanthus flowers, and loved it. Solid flavor, reasonable price, so an overall 7/10.
Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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83

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.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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80
drank HOUJI-CHA Tea Bags by Maeda-en
2816 tasting notes

Tea of the afternoon here. I wonder if houjicha has significantly fewer health benefits than regular green tea due to the roasting process. I couldn’t find any more information about that by doing a quick Google search; if anyone knows, please enlighten me.

Anyway houjicha is a great afternoon tea for me and this variety by Maeda-en is fairly good. I’ve had a few other houijchas that seem slightly sweeter but I’m enjoying it today. It’s also good with soymilk.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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80
drank HOUJI-CHA Tea Bags by Maeda-en
2816 tasting notes

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!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 30 sec
Alphakitty

I really love Den’s Houjicha! And as a flavor it seems to be getting pretty popular, my local Japanese mart actually has houjicha flavored soft-serve.

ScottTeaMan

HOORAY HOUJICHA!! :))

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