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Recent Tasting Notes

87
drank Uji Gyokuro Gyoku-Hou by O-Cha.com
42 tasting notes

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

Preparation
150 °F / 65 °C 3 min, 0 sec 10 g 5 OZ / 140 ML

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90
drank Toyo Mukashi by O-Cha.com
11 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 tsp 2 OZ / 59 ML

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85
drank Uji Sencha Miyabi by O-Cha.com
11 tasting notes

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!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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90

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!

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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90

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

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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95

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.

Preparation
140 °F / 60 °C 2 min, 0 sec 6 g 200 OZ / 5914 ML

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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.

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72
drank Organic Sayamakaori by O-Cha.com
8 tasting notes

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

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 0 min, 30 sec 0 OZ / 0 ML

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Only after my O-Cha matcha starter kit arrived and I started brewing did I realize…I think this may have been my first real cup of matcha! A bit of a revelation for a ‘genmaimatcha’ and matcha dessert junkie. If only it hadn’t been prepared by a rookie (who did read the O-Cha instructions and watched a youtube video – yay youtube). I have absolutely nothing to compare it to, but it was delicious. I can’t wait to start having a cup every morning. It just had so much of that bittersweetness I love. Even just opening the liner bag, the tea exploded with a sweet green scent.

It may be bad enough that I compare everything to Bigelow teas, but I’m going one better here. The only times I’ve tasted a really discernable matcha flavor like this one has been in one ice cream at a soba place in NYC and the Il Laboratorio gelato. I’d mostly given up on ever finding that flavor again whether at Starbucks or in that miserable Hagen Dazs version.

So in a field of one, this tea has set the bar for me and made me excited for future matcha adventures.

UPDATE: Usually, when I find a general kind of tea I like, I want to taste them all until I find a favorite. Not so with this one. I just want this tea every single day. Luckily, I already have the non ‘supreme’ version of this for later comparison, but when that’s gone, I think I just have to get a monthly subscription on this. So, so good.

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91

My first organic Matcha and the least expensive Matcha from O-Cha, and for that it’s supremely delicious.

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83

My first matcha after my fiancee ordered a chawan, chasen, and chashaku for Christmas. I’ve had this about 3 times now, the first 2 times unsifted. The 3rd time I was able to work up a light but thick froth that made the experience quite enjoyable. I think this is an appropriate beginner’s matcha. The flavor profile is slightly sweet with an underlying earthiness you would expect from green tea. It is not overly complex and really helps to bring you into matcha.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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83

Warm and invigorating. A round mouth-feel, lots of body.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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83

A deep-steamed sencha, so a bit more robust than my usual drink, but this is very excellent. A wonderful aroma and flavor, slightly nutty. The deep steaming gives this sencha more body than my usual light-steamed, which is nice in the colder weater. No bitterness at the temperature I used.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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67

My dad drinks his green tea (gyokuro) so strong we often joke it is like matcha. So this year for fathers day I thought I would cut to the chase and source him some real matcha. Which may or may not have just been a convenient way of scratching my own itching desire to try matcha myself and getting a fathers day gift out of the way at the same time (yes I have one of those ’hardest fathers in the world to buy presents for).

As a lover of green tea and Asian (especially Japanese) culture matcha and the tea ceremony has always held a special allure for me. So needless to say this was a step in my tea-drinking life I was excited to take.

I scoured the internet for a high quality, traditional, but not exorbitantly expensive matcha and O-Cha’s Organic Matcha Kaoru Supreme was what I found. I’m concerned about ingesting pesticides etc at the best of times, so for matcha, where you are actually eating the leaf, one of my fixed criteria was that it be organic. This was the tea I went for, and these are the tasting notes:

Aroma: Vegetal and very grassy. Slightly roasty undertones (like the toasted rice in an Gen Mai Cha). Not surprisingly, the nose is like a concentrated gyokuro or grassy sencha.

Palate: Wow. Like a fist full of green tea in the face. Loads of up-front green grassy flavour backed with an astringent bitter edge. Gives way to a well rounded toasty backbone but that lingering bitterness is ever present and stays with you long after your last sip. This is definitely not a taste for everyone! Of the four of us who sipped on this particular morning, the responses went something like this:
Dad: ‘Mmmm, bitter but great’
Me: ‘Wow – full on. I like it but would have to be in the mood for some serious tea action’
Mum: ‘Ooh no. I’d drink it for a tea ceremony, but not because I like it!’
Girlfriend: ‘Oh my. Yuk’

Overal: As a matcha virgin I don’t feel overly qualified to comment on the quality of this particular variety. However as for matcha itself it is certainly not for the faint hearted, but a pretty incredible tea drinking experience. I love the process (even without the full tea ceremony) of making this tea and I like that macha packs way more green tea goodness into one drink. In short, I think I’ll get myself some matcha, it wont be my every day drink, but I’ll look forward to the ceremony, the experience, and the extra caffeine on a weekend morning!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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67

Being medium-steamed, it has a bit more robust of a green flavor than the lightly steamed senchas I normally have. A deeper green color as well, with bits of tea at the bottom of the cup to add a bit of punch to the last sip. This is currently my morning cup, a bit more robust to help with the cooler mornings.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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99

I feel like it is very balanced: delicate, smooth, and gentle, yet this is where it definitely stands out from other matchas. It could be a beautiful daily matcha, if your wallet goes deep deep deep. Would not be a taste that you can get bored with, but more like simple and delicious that you would want to just drink again and again. I like that there is no after taste and the mouth always stay fresh. I want to also prepare this matcha as thick matcha, I am not a thick matcha person but this invites me try.

Manten matcha is perfect every time. Very worth it.

Please check out my full review with photos!
http://matchagirlparis.blogspot.com/2013/08/matcha-review-tsuen-manten-via-o-chacom.html

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 0 min, 15 sec
yyz

loved your blog! I haven’t had much Matcha, but this one sounds like one I’d love to try.

MatchaGirlParis

thank you! i try my best! i hope you will have a chance to try it! :)

yyz

It looks like this one’s back in stock! Shaktea.ca has two of their lower grade matcha’s available if you were interested in trying them.. There web-store is only set up to sip to Canada and the US but it looks lie they’ll ship internationally if you contact them.

MatchaGirlParis

thanks for the advice, i will go check the site out surely, have you tried them out? :)

yyz

I haven’t tried them.

Here’s a link to their places reviews.
http://steepster.com/places/2680-shaktea-vancouver-bc

There are some reviews on this site for some of their teas but not for their straight greens. They carry some of Tsuens green’s as well.

MatchaGirlParis

i heard they have tsuen branch in cananda and supply to tea shops. thanks for the info and i will consider in future, that is very kind for your suggestion! :)

The Thieving Magpie

Fan of your blog, keep up the good work. Manten is very impressive, but I have noticed an aftertaste in my recent batch, which I did not notice before.

MatchaGirlParis

thank you Magpie, i will keep trying my best.
that will be interesting to keep in mind the next time i try the manten again. i am curious of the new aftertaste you found, i hope it was delicious and keeps the mouth fresh and not too strong. please do let me know :)

The Thieving Magpie

It was delicious, yep, but tell me if you notice anything in the next one.

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84

Dark, cloudy and brothy with a deep umami taste. Delicious.

Preparation
145 °F / 62 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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82

Deliciously light and grassy. Very wonderful aroma and color.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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82

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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97
drank Chiran Sencha by O-Cha.com
7 tasting notes

I’ve found my daily sencha. I had been getting the Kagoshima Yutaka Midori from O-cha, which is excellent. When I found out that this is a variety of the same tea, but for less cost, I wanted to find out more.

The appearance of the leaves is definitely more broken. However the taste is sweeter and slight astringency than what I experienced with the Yutaka Midori. The only major difference is that it lacks a very slight depth and butteriness. The vegetal, sugar snap pea taste lingers. The third infusion is not so bad either.

For the price, I think this is an exceptional tea.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 1 min, 15 sec

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