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Recent Tasting Notes
Method: 3.75 grams of leaf to 150 ml of water in a kyusu
(please bear in mind that when I describe the color I’m using a cup with a slight blueish tint. I find it brings the color out in an elegant way.)
The Color of the dried leaf is a deep green, it’s simply beautiful. The Leaf itself is quite finely cut, but with it being medium steamed this is not all that surprising. On the dried leaf in the preheated pot, you can smell the umami. The scent is sweet, but in a thick, umami-grass-seaweedy way (am I making sense yet? :) ).
1st Steep (45 seconds): The Color is a bright emerald green. It’s not supremely deep, but it’s a splendid color, and definitely something you’d expect from a Japanese green. The Smell is much like what I was getting off of the dry leaf, but with a slightly more vegetal tone to it. The Taste is sweet in the beginning, but it transforms into a pleasing bitterness halfway through. The Aftertaste has some residual bitterness on the back of the tongue. I may have used water that was too hot (don’t have a variable-temp kettle, so working off feel and guesswork here).
2nd Steep (30 seconds): Right off the bat, the Color is a much deeper shade of emerald, I love it! The Smell has toned down the vegetal in favor of something like umami-seaweed. The Taste is far improved (likely since I dropped the temp significantly). It’s grassy and seaweed-y, but there’s a distinct umami-sweetness that lingers in your mouth through the Aftertaste. There’s also just the right amount of bitterness and astringency, ever so slight bitterness in the taste, and some light astringency during and following the aftertaste.
3rd Steep (1 minute): The Color’s slightly lighter than the last steep, but that’s only to be expected, and I’d probably say that this is holding up better than a couple Japanese green teas I’ve tried. The Smell also isn’t as full as it was in the last steep, but it still has all of those characteristics. Meanwhile, the Taste has barely degraded, if it has at all. It’s still got that nice seaweed favor with the umami. The Aftertaste has dropped some of the bitterness and astringency, but it’s gained a slight sweetness; not umami, but definitely pleasing and not at all out of place.
Summary: This is a beautiful green tea. It’s flavorful and delicious. It’s colorful and vibrant. Not to mention that it durable. I’ve happily steeped this four to five times. I steeped it six once, and in honesty it wasn’t too bad. This is a perfect beginner’s sencha (please pay attention to temperature, unlike me), and it’s exactly as O-cha sells it, a cheap daily drinker that anyone can enjoy and is relatively easy to brew!
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
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.
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.
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.
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!