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Recent Tasting Notes
This was a really mild-mannered and enjoyable gyokuro, really sweet and less umami-rich (savory) than the others I have tried, though I must admit at this point my experience with gyokuro is limited to this one and a sampler I tried of four different ones from Kurihara Family estate.
So, while the flavor this time didn’t have quite the intense umami that really impressed me from my former gyokuro experience, it also didn’t have strong bitterness at the end of the sip like the teas I tried from Kurihara Family. It’s kind of a trade-off. Do I prefer a gyokuro with a really rich umami flavor that packs a bit of a bitter punch at the end? Or one that is sweet and mild with just an average amount of umami flavor, that needs more leaf to have a rich flavor?
It’s hard to say, but it could in fact be the case that the Tsurujirushi represents a high enough quality gyokuro that I could simply use an even higher leaf to water ratio to bring out more of the rich umami flavor… Certainly the lack of much bitterness points in that direction, though I’m already using quite a bit of leaf with 3g per each 20ml of water and a 2 minute infusion at ~50C.
The second infusion of this tea actually had the best flavor and the most richness and depth. I shared this with a group of friends recently who were all enjoying gyokuro prepared the traditional way for the first time, and I was surprised that everyone enjoyed it. I think with the highly concentrated, tepid, tiny serving that you drink when serving gyokuro in this manner, it can be a bit of a strange experience for some tea drinkers. I know it was for me the first time I had it. The flavor was so intense and unlike anything else I’ve ever tasted. Pure umami kick to the tastebuds.
Overall, I would say the Tsurujirushi was a very clean-tasting and sweet gyokuro. Really easy to drink even in the highly concentrated way for beginners.
I think I would enjoy trying a wider variety of gyokuro before purchasing this one again, but to be honest gyokuro is not a favorite tea of mine and I’m simply fascinated by the method of preparing and drinking it, so in that regard, it’s a bit of a novelty to me. For something as diligently labored over and as highly priced as gyokuro, I think you have to really be into it to justify purchasing it more than once in a blue moon.
Despite this gyokuro does seem to be a pretty high quality, the only reason I’m not rating it more highly in my scoring is because I feel you have to really use a lot of it to bring out the flavor… and it’s expensive compared to other types of tea, so it’s quite a commitment.
Flavors: Sweet, Umami, Vegetal
Another green tea redeemed! I had all but given up on this tea due to it’s flat astringent taste. Usually I brewed it between 165-170 F, which is within the standard temperature range for green tea. Yesterday I used slightly cooler water, about 160 F and brewed the tea 1 minute. It tasted like a completely different tea – buttery, smooth, and sweet. Second and third steeps for 25 and 45 seconds respectively, though were fairly non-descript .
Flavors: Butter, Grass, Sweet
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Flavors: Grass, Hay, Vegetal
Now that I’ve spent some time with my O-Cha order and got the brewing parameters for this one down, I thought it was worth a review. I bought this as shincha, so it might be a little different from later experiences, but I have been drinking it for a while. The parameters I settled on were: 82C, 45s/30s/1m30s steeps (it only lasts three, really), 7g leaf:112g water, brewed in the 140ml tokoname kyusu I bought from Zenhodo. As noted in the product description, the umami in this tea is wonderfully intense on the first steeping. When I increased the temperature from the recommended 79C, it was accompanied by a bright, almost citrus-like sweetness. Later infusions have a more vegetal, marine flavor, but are still very pleasant. Highly recommended.
Flavors: Citrus, Marine, Umami
There is a lot going on in this tea. I’m a big fan of zairai (base species grown from seed) since they always provided unique and complex flavor profiles with underlying mineral notes. The leaves a deep rich green and are highly fragrant, both dried and steeped. The liquor is a bright yellow/green. Flavors are uplifting, savory, sweet, deep, and complex, with notes of chestnut, pine, minerals, pistachio, and kale. It is reminiscent of organic upper-tier high mountain Chinese green teas.
Flavors: Floral, Grass, Kale, Menthol, Mineral, Pine, Sage
I’ve managed to drink third of my teas from my cupboard. And ordered some more from Aliexpress (dangerous place). Also I’ve been learning more english while away. My friend says I write (and speak) horrible english, maybe I will be fluent one day. Haha.
Also why O-cha don’t sell this wonderful tea this year. Just when I started loving it.
How come this tea wasn’t in Steepster? It’s awsum.
I have been quite silent for some time since I have been drinking everything from my tea stash so I would have more room to 2015 teas. Also I have been familiarizing(?) with japanese green tea. I have bought my first matcha powder, fukamushi kyusu and this delicious fukamushi green tea, I’m so sold. I have also been learning some japanese and chinese language, yay.I have been also thinking about launching a tea blog, writing these is fun, but I don’t know what language to use.
But to the matter, this is really cloudy and green coloured tea. It’s not clear, there is a lot teeny tiny leaf particles floating around. So tiny they are almost like powder. I think it’s nice addition, I’m really drinking TEA when those leaves come with the brew (or leaf particles whatevs).
My lovable kyusu is 360ml/12oz and I’m using about 2 teaspoons of leaf. Everytime I get 1,7 litres of tea (57,4 ounces), maybe little bit less since the flavour disappears before that, but that awesome color keeps coming.
The flavour is really seaweedy and grassy, full bodied but not too strong. This would be really good as ice tea or cold. It has bit nuttiness and wet leaf has grassy aroma.
This is really worth the price. I will definitely recommend this to everybody.
Flavors: Butter, Grass, Nutty, Seaweed
Ahhh this is a delightful fukamushi from O-cha. It is incredibly grassy and intense. Exactly what I like in a deep steamed sencha. The price is cheap and the fact that it is organic only makes it better. I will definitely be buying this again. You should as well. 170 degrees for 45 seconds is ideal for this beauty.
The description is accurate on this smooth fresh, matcha! Absolutely no bitterness or off flavors, and it’s creamy smooth finish makes want to drink more. For my first authentic Matcha, I couldn’t ask for anything more.
Flavors: Smooth, Sweet, warm grass, Vegetal
Bought this upon recommendation of a tea friend, am trying several O-Cha new spring teas at this time. Still steeping this out after 5 steeps, which is more than the usual steeping parameters for shincha of 3 steeps or so. Used double the leaf of sencha, and I know I got the temps right. I think I was a bit light on the water ratio but I didn’t want to be socked in the face with this if the flavor wasn’t to my liking. I used just a bit more water than a 1:1.
Leaf is very carefully prepared, quality-wise it is splendid.
Taste was all there, so I know I brewed this properly in my mesh kyusu. Tasted primarily of spinach and beans. It is very fine, but I still prefer the charcoal roasted Ashikubo sencha, the slightly smoky sweetness. This tea was not sweet, not sour, not bitter and not salty/mineral. Tastes like spinach. While the fine quality is here, the tea just isn’t to my taste, it is too mild and food tasting, like watered down food.
I know I am not appreciating this enough. But, I’d rather be kicked by a puerh, or if I am drinking a green, I just like Ashikubo roasted green or a salty Korean Sejak or a spicy Hwangcha much better.
Flavors: Beany, Spinach
This has been one of my favorite matchas that I have tried. The price is great for 30 g and the taste is outstanding. Very vegetal and tons of umami. No bitterness whatsoever even if you use more than what is normally used for usacha. I think I prefer this one to the kyou mukashi, but in all honesty, both are quite good. You’ll definitely be glad you bought this. Found that 180 degrees was the ideal temperature to get the best flavor out of this matcha.
This is a very delicious tea from O-cha! It is not the easiest tea to brew in the world but once you get it right, it is quite good. My favorite O-cha tea is their Yutaka Midori but this comes in not far behind. Definitely recommend this one!
Just got the 2014 shincha yutaka midori last week and it is quite amazing. So incredibly fresh and flavorful. It is a shame that they are already sold out of it. I have had the normal sencha version as well and it is just as good. I’ve found that to get the best flavor, use about a teaspoon and a half in 170 degrees for the first two steeps, then much higher for the third. You won’t be disappointed!
I’ve been sipping on this tea for a few weeks now and it has quickly become one of my favorites. So much so that I had to order this years shincha version! The taste of this deep steamed fukamushi is out of this world. I’ve found that I can consistently get three very good brews out of one serving. My favorite is always the first, but I suppose that is with all green teas. For me, the first cup is the true essence of whatever specific green tea you are drinking. With this yutaka midori, the first cup is dark green and has layers upon layers of flavor. The second cup is even more of a brilliant green and still tastes great. The price is also good in my opinion. BUY THIS FUKAMUSHI :)
Flavors: Asparagus, Grass, Seaweed
Wow. This was my first gyokuro and I was blown away. Extremely delicate, so make sure you get the temperature correct. I brewed according to the instructions on the package from O-Cha (2 min @ 55-60 C). Light body, sweet taste and finish. Wonderful sweet grassy aroma. Very impressive.
Being pretty new to matcha, I ordered this (their middle-of-the-road version) and the ‘supreme’ version of it from O-Cha. I drank only the supreme until it was gone. I figured if I don’t know much about matcha, I’ll calibrate my tastebuds to what they consider their top category, then try out others to see if they’re missing anything. Oh, and this is. After spoiling myself with the delicately bittersweet deliciousness of the supreme, this was comparatively harsh, and missing the sweetness, leaving only the bitter. Maybe it’s one of those things where once I become a matcha junkie I don’t much care (you know, the way people who need their coffee will drink – and enjoy – Starbucks, but everyone else is better off with something more delicate), but for now, I’m going to go ahead with a monthly subscription to the supreme. Okay, the Starbucks comparison isn’t quite fair. I could still imagine myself drinking this one every day, but now I’m spoiled. If you’re only getting one, go for the supreme.
I like this tea for its price, JAS organic certification, strong flavors and aroma, and ease of brewing. I thought it would be fun to do a Google Maps search for the farm listed on the sealed packet, which is actually a small temple (Tokoji) in the mountains just north of Shimada. I used the street view function to get a feel of the quaint and charming origins of this tea. It made me appreciate it more.
When I opened the bag I was impressed by the strong scent of the dry leaves. The tea soup is lime green and the steeped leaves are fragrant. The first steep is sharp yet flowery, the third steep has notes of complex minerals and is well balanced, the forth and fifth steeps have a refreshing astringency and still leave a sweet aftertaste.
Flavors: Asparagus, Grass, Mineral, Ocean Breeze, Pine, Tannin