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Recent Tasting Notes
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!
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.
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!
Adjusting up. I enjoy this tea with salty/greasy heavy foods. I don’t know why.
I have found that brewing for: pre steep 10 seconds, 1 min 1st brew, then 30 second brew, and 1 min 3rd brew works rather well. Very much sweet water after that, but still enjoyable. Had some of the last bits of fuka, what a striking difference between the two flavors. I think I prefer Fuka but this kab is slowly growing on me. And plus it’s nice to switch flavors every so often so you dont get bored. increasing rating.
Deliciously light and grassy. Very wonderful aroma and color.
Amazingly fragrant leaf. The resulting tea is light, delicate and grassy. A tea for savoring, not gulping down.
My morning tea to get the mind going.
Dark, cloudy and brothy with a deep umami taste. Delicious.
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.
I seem to be stuck in a rut, drinking this every morning. But it’s quite nice to wake up with. :)
Still getting bitter-cucumber flavor, but now the first brew smells a shade bit like jasmine flowers.
It too a few pots of this tea to get used to it. I drank it to day after a chawan of Kiri no mori and noticed they tasted very similar, yet different. the sweet after taste of Kiri added some nice sweet complexity to the Kabusecha. Delicious.
Starting to get a little thin, but still a decent amount of flavor and body.
First infusion: 1 min- strong cucumber flavor, slightly on the bitter side. After drinking so much Fula this one just tastes funny. :(
Second infusion: ~30 seconds. Tastes like yummy grassy cucumber. Like cucumber peels. Alot less bitter and tad bit sweeter. Has more of a tea flavor now.
3rd infusion: btw- getting slight matcha sensation in back of throat (but not as sweet and more green) . Same, but less cucumber an more if a perfumey flavor.
Softer flavor. 45 sec.
4th 1 min infusion. Same.
This one tastes different. Don’t know if I like it yet.
Drinking this again. Currently it’s my morning tea. More tea is coming in the mail, which will add variety. But in the meantime, this tea is really nice in the morning.
Not as “thick” as other deeply-steamed senchas I have tried. Very pleasant and clean-tasting.
Soft and warm, nutty and toasty.
お久しぶりです。 One of my favorites, and drink nearly every day. Just enough of a lift to get me going in the morning without overdoing it. A wonderful grassiness.
I tried to like this, but it is too light for me. Not a bad tea, but very light color and flavor. Nevertheless, it does has some sweetness and umami. I brewed at 175 degrees and found it to be too astringent. I recommend 158 (or 70 C).
It tastes to me: Grassy, vegetal (zuchinni/cucumber), Floral (perfume), sweet, Marine (my friend said it tasted a bit like seaweed, it just tastes marine to me), and a slight kick of umami at the back that makes for a very sweet after taste.
the first infusion tastes like sour fish.
I brewed this tea for about a minute, longer than that it becomes too strong. It’s very good but it has a subtle bitter aftertaste. It’s not as sweet as other senchas I have tried.
I admit, I bought this because it was the highest rated from O-Cha. Even so, I find myself looking forward to waking up in the morning so I can make this tea. I never thought I would be excited to switch from dark roast coffee to a slightly creamy, emerald green broth reminiscent of young asparagus. I cannot recommend this tea enough!