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92

Dry leaf – GRASSY, VEGETAL, SWEET: dewy grass, cooked sweetcorn, pine nuts. In preheated vessel: vegetal aromas intensify – corn, sundried tomatoes; dried dill and parsley, hint of tangy tropical fruit.

Smell – GRASSY, VEGETAL: warm wet grass, tomato vine, corn, wilted spinach

Taste – GRASSY, VEGETAL, SWEET, MARINE: Arrival is new grass, sweetcorn. Develops into vegetal sweetness, cooked spinach, with notes of sweet butter and cooked pears. Finish is salty and marine, with the expected savory umami finish. Aftertaste has tart freshness of green apple and fresh mint.

Great tea. It’s like a little pouch of springtime. What I appreciate the most about it is its three distinct flavor profiles: thick, sweet grassy flavor that finishes in a mouth-coating marine brininess, which eventually transforms into a fresh and pleasant tartness.

In summation – the leaves look like green snuff, the brew achieves a glow-in-the-dark Ecto-Cooler green, and it tastes delicious. What’s not to love?

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec 3 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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90

Dry leaf: SWEET and VEGETAL (sweetcorn, sweet tomato vine, sun-dried tomatoes, stone fruit, melon)

Smell: VEGETAL, GRASSY, SWEET (sweetcorn, edamame, sweet grass, cooked spinach, hints of peach and baking spices)

Taste: VEGETAL, GRASSY, FRUITY, and much MORE! (edamame, corn, spinach, tomato vine, nori, mulched grass, honeysuckle, fresh peach and apricot, cantaloupe and honeydew melon, hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, cherry wood, minerality, brine, vanilla extract, mint leaf, canned pineapple juice). Thick in mouth – flavors are long-lasting and develop considerably from arrival to finish to aftertaste.

This is the perfect tea with which to lie in ambush at work. As someone dunks a green tea bag into their mug, bust some of this stuff out and let its aromas and beautiful green leaves work their magic. Then, casually remark, “Oh – I like green tea too!” At this point, watch their dismay as they behold your radiant green tea wafting of melon and springtime as they take their mug of boiled sawdust back to their desk.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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95
drank Chiran Sencha by O-Cha.com
34 tasting notes

I’ve been out of school for the past couple weeks, hanging around Boston and now Santa Monica. Since it finally feels like summer, time to move into summer teas!

So this is the first shincha I’ve ever had, and I’m loving it! The color is this brilliant nuclear green, with little flecks of tender leaf. I’ve had little to no success brewing this in a gaiwan—instead,the best method I’ve found is 2g of leaf in 8 oz water, and 1 minute steeps.

Flavor wise, this tea tastes like eating buttered grass, it’s so smooth and sweet. Different sort of grassy than white tea, which tastes like tender grassroots. This is more like full grown, vegetal grass. Delicious!

Also, the other day I tried eating the steeped leaves with a little soy sauce, as per o-cha’s directions. It was surprisingly good! Sort of like spinach with sauce. I just got a few weird looks from my family…they don’t know what they’re missing.

Matu

Yea, just ignore all the strange looks ;)

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This was a shincha originally bought back in 2014 and stored until just recently when it was time to revisit. I’ve got to say that even with age this is just as amazing as I remember. The usual grassy goodness but also so much more…like a buttery miso soup. I have several other Japanese green teas stored and will slowly start to drink them down and share if there is interest in older stored green teas. This was a shared tea session which is always nice and a great excuse for larger teaware.

6g of beautiful bright green leaf, 290ml Masaki Tachi Shigaraki Kyusu, with a 20s first steep at 190F, second at 5s, third at 10s and a fourth and fifth at 200F for 45s and 60s. Served in an
Oni hagi warikoudai yunomi by Yamane Seigan.

Part of "A Week of Tea Exploration” suggested by Lion on Steepster, day two of seven, green tea.

The session:
https://instagram.com/p/BFxQ_zxBUrQ/

The tea:
https://instagram.com/p/BFxTA0PhUvB/

The teapot:
https://instagram.com/p/BFxU40TBUi2/

Preparation
6 g 10 OZ / 290 ML

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Flavors: Broccoli, Umami

Preparation
140 °F / 60 °C 2 min, 0 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

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85

Tasted at Josephine House in Austin, TX.

This was our pre-meal tea and it was deeply enjoyed. The tea was a beautiful vibrant green and although it was very grassy in flavor, it was very soothing, like the smell of a field after it rains.

Flavors: petrichor, Sweet, warm grass

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87

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

Preparation
140 °F / 60 °C 2 min, 0 sec 15 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Single Origin Teas

Welcome back to the tea world! I mailed you some tea samples I thought you would enjoy.

Lion

Oh, thank you! I am excited! :D

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76

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

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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76

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Flavors: Grass, Hay, Vegetal

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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83

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

Preparation
7 g 4 OZ / 112 ML

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95

The first brew for this tea is incredible with overwhelming umami notes of fried chicken and seaweed, but they are nowhere to be found in subsequent brews :(

Flavors: Chicken Soup, Grass, Seaweed, Umami

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 7 OZ / 220 ML

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85

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

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 30 sec 2 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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95

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.

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95

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

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 360 ML

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Decided to drink some of this in the hopes something could get rid of this annoying cold. I think I didn’t wait long enough for the water to cool though, as the brew turned out bitter not like its usual greenness. Note to self, be more patient next time.

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yummy sweet grass. its getting me excited for spring – for the smell of freshly cut grass. helped me warm up after a rainy morning run/jog to get back into the swing of things after winter/injury/running break

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Strong chlorophyll, green vegetable notes. Didn’t taste bitter to me at all, but not sweet either. I had some issues getting it to foam, but maybe its because I let the water cool down too much. Going to try it again and report more further.

Flavors: Vegetables

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84
drank Chiran Sencha by O-Cha.com
43 tasting notes

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95

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.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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85

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

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 1 tsp 3 OZ / 100 ML

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87
drank Uji Gyokuro Gyoku-Hou by O-Cha.com
86 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
14 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
14 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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