Obubu TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
I have taken up fighting games again! So a bit of backstory, not sure the exact cause but a couple years ago my hands decided that playing fighting games and beat’em ups was not going to happen, all that movement was stupid painful. I gave up playing them and just delved deep into watching the pros play them at tournaments, but that seems to have changed. Ben got Killer Instinct on a whim (it has a free character that rotates so you can try it out, which is handy) and I played a bit, and what do ya know, no hand pain! Now I have to get back in shape, maybe in a year of grinding I can go to a tournament and play with the pros! Guess all the hand exercises and Ark playing paid off.
Today I continue on dreaming of spring teas (mine are still slowly making their way to me) by drinking the last of my stash from last year. Presenting Yunomi’s Obubu #4 Sencha of the Earth Spring Green Tea (2015 specifically) I love the names for Obubu’s Sencha, it is their names that has made me go along and try almost all of them, I think I have two left I have not tried yet. This tea is called this because it is made from Zairai plants, and those are tea plants grown from seeds taken from a tea plant before it was recognized as a specific cultivar. These specific plants are over 30 years old, and the strength of the earth is celebrated in the strength of the plants, because tea that tells a story is awesome in my book! They were not kidding when they said this tea is potent, the aroma is sweet like broken hay and sweetgrass with a very tiny touch of cotton (like the plant, not like the fabric) there are also green notes of course, blending edamame, bell pepper skin, and cut bamboo leaves. At the end there is a touch of dried seaweed and rice giving a bit of starchy and sea air quality to it.
I love how vibrant Sencha leaves get once steeped, they go from pine green to summer grass and its so pretty! What I don’t love is the deafening roar of the lawnmower outside destroying my ability to think, one day I will live in a place that doesn’t have grass…my yard will be moss, clover, rocks, and flowers! Anyway, the aroma of the soggy leaves is so green! It smells like crisp bamboo leaves, clover leaves and flowers, edamame, and sea air, it smells to me like summer. The liquid is light and sweet, like clovers and honey with distant cut grass and broken vegetation, it smells refreshing.
The first that that struck me about this tea is the really pleasant mouthfeel, it has body kinda like an Oolong, being thick and smooth. Usually I find Sencha to be fairly light, so this was a fun change of things. The taste starts with a blend of starchy rice and edamame with a gentle sweet quality to it, this moves onto the more expected green notes of broccoli and cut bamboo with just a subtle edge of mown grass adding a subtle bitterness. The finish is distant flowers and sea air, and I am sorry I cannot remember the name of the specific coastal flower I am thinking of, but it is light and a bit like sweet pea flower.
I steeped this tea a couple more times, jacking the heat up and flash steeping it for a double punch of intense sweetness at the front and bitterness at the middle with a lingering honey sweet finish. The thickness of the first steep stuck around which was fun, and later steeps bring out spinach and stronger ocean notes. As much as this was a spring tea it really reminds me of summer, late May when everything is lush and warm but the heat of summer has not started doing its worst yet.
a bit too dusty/bitter tasting for me, but it smells wonderful — flowery, sweet, and after three steepings i ate the leaves with salmon furikake (wish i had rice as well) and that was wonderful. it’s a bit too light with the 160F temperature so i went up closer to 180 for shorter steepings, which is when i got a stronger astringency and vegetal taste.
2015 Autumn batch:
I’m pretty sure this may be different than the past years. The leaf is large for a Japanese sencha.
https://instagram.com/p/9NFnYExYCN/ (middle left)
There are roughly four different shades between the leaf as it is dry as well which looks pretty before being steeped. This is a smooth and easy to brew sencha, but I believe the reason that this would be something to get over the other ‘Sencha of the" series would be it’s slightly less vegetable taste which is replaced with a tiny bit of dryness that reminds me of fall leaves.
I enjoy that the ‘fall’ / ‘autumn’ taste of this tea is not provided by a roasted taste, rather it is done by having the taste of the dry leaf that is somewhat dead; not that this doesn’t taste fresh, one just has to try it.
I ended up drinking all of this within two days and it is one of the few sencha that I have resteeped as well.
Very vegetable and pure. The liquid comes out darker as you rebrew it, which is rare for me to do with sencha. I brewed this three times and was quite happy every single time, it was close to a gyokuro without the buttery texture. The smoothness and size of the leaf of this tea when combined to its color… makes it certain that I will have my first flush sencha from Obubu on preorder come February 2016 :)
While drinking this I was able to pick up some astringent notes that are typical when it comes to Japanese sencha and me, but this tea just continued to make me want more of the Sench of the Wind because that one has seemed to be the best of the four that YUNOMI puts in their sencha set. I highly recommend trying multiple senchas though because everyone has their own taste preference and this may just be the one you want :)
Tonight I finished packing over 1.2kg of tea to send out to people to discover new teas :)
What a process that was… however, Netflix helps a lot
Anyways, I was packing this tea up and realized I never actually drank it so I decided that I needed to. WOW talk about an instant flashback… drinking this reminded me of the tea that Japanese tea houses in Tokyo provide when you sit down inside. Normally the liquid is very green and has some bitterness to it because they don’t offer their highest tea or gyokuro but free tea is free tea :)
What I really enjoyed most about this is how pure it is. This is nothing but Japanese bancha and that is something to embrace. It isn’t the best and it isn’t bad, it is simply good. Everyday teas are quite a beautiful thing!
My best friend picked this out of the 4 samples I got from YUNOMI for sencha… unfortunately this one tasted a bit funky. I know I brewed it correctly, and twice at that, however something was off with this tea and I am unable to place it because I describe it as a sour fruit which shouldn’t find its way in a sencha. I believe this is just not as vegetable as I was hoping for a sencha nor was it as light as I like mine.
Generally I like my sencha to be like fresh dew off of a tea plant… which is what gyokuro reminds me of :)
One of my other press samples. It came with an origami crane. :)
Happy Summer. Though I made my first iced tea today, I have still been having it hot. This has a nutty/ roast scent, with some sweetness. The flavour is kinda caramel nut, with a rich roast almost coffee taste. There is a little grain/ toast as well.
Flavors: Caramel, Nuts, Nutty, Roasted, Toasty
Happy Solstice everyone! This was my choice to sit on my patio and enjoy. I absolutely love all of this company’s green teas. This one was not an exception. The dry leaf consists of very dark and faded green. This isn’t as vibrant as most of their spring harvests. I was discouraged at first by the leafs color, but I could tell it will be a treat by the aroma. The long dark green leaves carried a smooth deep umami and vegetal aroma. I placed these inside my warmed kyusu and shook them up a bit. The scent from my brewing vessel was very light. I could hint at fresh vegetables wrapped with a light floral tone. I brewed these up with very delicately heated water. The steeped leaves deepened to a robust spinach scent. The liquor was a pale iridescent jade. The initial sip was fantastic. This is truly a spring fiery brew. The flavor is light and floral with just the right amount of vegetal and umami. This brew carries a sweet honey undertone and is deeply refreshing. The brew became deeper and more full of darker tones as the steeps increased. I was able to pull three flavorful steepings out of my kyusu. This was a perfect smooth and beautiful brew for this summer solstice.
Flavors: Floral, Honey, Smooth, Umami, Vegetal
Origin: Obubu Tea, Kyoto, Japan
Harvest: Summer 2014
So I received a new houhin from O-Cha and decided to break it in with this Sencha. I haven’t been that impressed with many of the Japanese teas I’ve had this year even though Senchas are probably my favorite kind of tea, so I was a little cautious about this tea even though it is from Obubu Tea being sold by What-Cha.
Dry Leaves: I think this is a machine harvested, judging by some of the smaller tea leaves. This isn’t as uniform tea as I like for Sencha, there are quite a few bits that would not stand out from Long Jings, while others are tightly coiled and sill there are some smaller fragments. I wasn’t too impressed by the leaves, but they had a lovely green bean aroma and a nice spectrum of colors. There were more yellows and blues in my sample packet.
Brewing Time: One Minute
Aroma: Vegetal and Camphor
Flavor: Sweet Grass, Seaweed and Spinach
Tasting Notes: The first steeping was bitterer then I expected, although I did not find it entirely unpleasant, at first I thought I used more tea leaves then I should have, but in subsequent infusions the tea started to shine. Besides the bitterness this first infusion felt very much like a run of the mill Sencha.
Brewing Time: One and a half Minutes
Flavor: Wet Grass, Vegetal, Hay, Citrus and Savory Bitterness
Tasting Notes: While it wasn’t as bitter as the previous infusion, it still had some bitterness, although it became much more pleasant. I was quite surprised, while I wasn’t that shocked to find a Japanese tea with some initial bitterness, I was amazed by how quick it became pleasant. Otherwise it started to develop a sweet finish.
I was quite fond of this infusion even though I liked the previous, this time it had a nice balance.
Brewing Time: Two Minutes
Flavor: Grass, Savory Bitterness, Buttery and Sweet
Tasting Notes: It became much more simple than the previous infusions, and not as nuanced, although it was still quite pleasant. Even though the flavors were not as complex or as crisp as previous infusions, this was my favorite of the three infusions.
Overall I was impressed with this it was rather enjoyable for a summer tea. And at $8.80 for 50g (at the time of writing this) it is well worth the price. I am not sure if I would recommend this tea unless someone was familiar with Japanese greens. I haven’t had many summer senchas that start out as strong as this one then become sweeter in subsequent infusions which was a rather interesting transition for a sencha. While it may not be a daily drinker for everyone, it certainly s for me I can easily see myself buying more of this as my morning tea. I got about five infusions out of this tea although I might stop at four the next time.
After hike tea – I am trying to get back into shape and have been walking more but today it was a super intense hike. I am tired and wish I could kick back with some wine but I still have things to do today.
So tea it is ;)
This came from my Obubu sampler pack, I found it in my box of samples. I thought I finished the Obubu samples a while ago but found this one. This is a really delicious green tea, though it reminds me more of Chinese green tea than of a deep steamed Japanese green. It is yellow-ish gold in color and has a nutty flavor along with deep vegetal notes, a bit like a dragonwell. There is a mild bittersweetness in the finish. Something about it seems very soothing, which is good because I wanted a little boost but don’t want to be awake all night. A nice one from Obubu! I’d consider getting more of this sometime.
HAPPY EARTH DAY!!
I know I’m late :/ I was so swamped yesterday I never even got the chance to sit down. So, better late than never. I picked this tea to celebrate and I chose the perfect brew.
The leaves are small and a rugged green with yellow strands. They seem a lot more rough and slightly dry compared to other Sencha. I gave these small wiry emeralds a short sniff and could hint at spice and autumn. I placed them in my warmed Kyusu and watched as the scent filled my tea room. I brewed up a cup of this delectable earthy brew. It was so pale it almost looked like the spring water I had just poured over these leaves. The taste matched this colour in subtly. It was a fresh vegetal tone with a spice and mineral undertone. It gave me a powerful tingling mouthfeel with soft and warm umami. This reminds me of the smooth tones of the earth. It tastes of early buds, first leaves, young roots, small pebbles, and light ocean waves with a little sunshine. The next brew the flavors aged and became more prominent. The liquor also turned into a serpentine jade. I enjoyed this tea a lot and it succeeded in celebrating the earth! The Obubu Tea Farm will never disappoint.
Flavors: Pine, Smooth, Spices, Umami, Vegetal
My latest sample. Decided to have this while watching anime, and playing Harvest Moon. The tea smells like seaweed, and a little spinach. There is a very seaweed- like flavour as well. It reminds me a little of wakame soup. (Will try again with sushi.)
Thanks for the sample, Yunomius.
Flavors: Green, Seaweed, Spinach
Awesome, another Obubu tea that had yet to be added to the directory. I’m happy to be the first reviewer.
The leaves of this sencha are very tightly rolled and very deep, dark green. I’m brewing about 3g per 100 ml of water in a Tokoname-ware Kyusu. I added 5C degrees each infusion. Half the time on second infusion, then increasing from there.
The scent of the warm leaves in the kyusu reminds me of sweet grass and foliage. As the leaves brew, they have immediately changed to a very bright emerald green. The brewed leaves smell more vegetal and still quite sweet. The tea liquor is a bold yellow, just a tinge green.
The flavor is intense, with a really rich umami and sweetness. There is only a slight bitterness in the finish. A difficult flavor to describe, there’s a bit of a fruity tanginess to it, like berries. I can definitely taste notes of melon, and there are subtle hints of mint or camphor in the aroma. The sweetness and umami of this tea really linger in my mouth, making me salivate quite a bit.
There is a top note that hits just a little bit strong, and combining with the bitterness tastes a bit soapy. It’s not overwhelming, but it could be offputting for some people. The second infusion is a little more bitter than the first, and has a definite melon note.
The third infusion is lighter, sweet and with less bitterness. More of the same flavors.
All in all, a really unique and interesting sencha, definitely one of the best I’ve had from Obubu if you’re not opposed to a bit of refreshing bitterness. This is one I will more than likely purchase again.
Flavors: Berry, Bitter, Melon, Sweet, Umami, Vegetal
I received this as a sample from Yunomi.us. This was admittedly my first taste of a bancha but I was pretty impressed. I always read about how bancha is supposed to be one of the lowest grades of green tea so I wasn’t expecting anything that good.
Honestly I did find this to be an extremely drinkable green tea. It had a much lighter green taste as compared to most green teas. It had a slight sweetness to it with some very slight green hints. I may try to steep a bit more at a time next time and see what that produces. Overall this was a pretty good tea experience.
Flavors: Grass, Sweet
This was included in my Yunomi order :)
I decided I should try out some warm water steeping for this, so I gave it a shot. I ripped open this package to take in my surprise. I pour out some astonishing long emerald shards. They vary in color from forest green to a lime topaz. The aroma of these leaves is pure vegetal. This tea evokes growth! I prepare my kyusu for a pleasant brew. The first steeping was a translucent nectar. The syrup was softly sweet with notes of light grass. This brew carried a bright spring scent of a vegetable garden in full swing. The next subsequent brews gained more and more depth. This drink became grassy and full of umami. I was able to get four steepings from these leaves (which is a lot for japanese sencha). I love this tea and I cant wait for this years harvest!
Flavors: Buffalo Grass, Nectar, Umami, Vegetal
Got a brand new teeny tiny Kyusu from Yunomi today! It is perfect for me and my tiny tea needs. Pictures forthcoming!
I used this tea to introduce my new teapot to the world. I couldn’t find my Lotus Farms sincha so, this is one that I chose at random. It was a part of the ‘spring sencha’ sampler pack from Yunomi’s Obubu tea section. And by the way this one looks and tastes, I am real excited to try the rest. The tea was savory and rich. Just like biting into a fresh Napa cabbage. It is slightly nutty, and still really fresh, despite being a sample from tea harvested almost 10 months ago. I can’t wait until the 2015 spring harvests, I hope a newer version of this tea shows up, I would love to taste it side by side. I like my greens on the savory side, and this one is a really good balance between a touch of vegetal sweetness and all out salad buffet
Thank you, Zack S., for this tea!
Opening the bag of this tea I loved how rich and earthy it smelled. I couldn’t believe how dark the leaves were-everything about this tea seemed to say that this was a black tea.-even when brewed up. But alas, I looked it up on the website and it is indeed a green tea. Apparently it is virtually caffeine free due to the roasting process, so I saved this tea until after work around supper time. I’ve been trying to work 6 days/week in order to pay off my credit card and save money and although I do not work a physically demanding job, I do need a pick me up after work. This is nice because it’s “real” tea (i.e not a tisane) but without caffeine. I love the depth of flavour and the smokiness. My only concern is if my stomach can handle it- it does have a bolder flavour and sometimes my stomach can react poorly to certain foods/drinks. I’ll keep an eye on my stomach, but I’m definitely going to continue drinking this as an after work pick me up. Love it.
Flavors: Smoke, Wood
Yay! My computer is kinda fixed! I successfully replaced the broken jack and discovered that I also need a new cord, luckily Ben’s mom has a Toshiba and is letting me borrow her cord for a few. Now I just need to get a new cord, so more waiting, but at least I know it is not a permanent problem. Unlike Ben’s who I am pretty sure has a massive corruption somewhere. I am practically giddy to have my machine back, it might be a real piece of crap, but it is mine and I love it.
So, today we are having a look at one of Yunomi and Obubu Tea’s rather romantic sounding Sencha, Sencha of the Autumn Moon, I just love the names of the various Sencha put out by Obubu, they are just beautiful. You might remember, a while ago I reviewed Sencha of the Summer Sun, it is my goal to try all the beautifully named Sencha, in theory in each season, but I was a little late with this one. So, about the name, this tea was harvested under a bright full moon, specifically the moon in late August early September during Otsukimi, or the Moon Viewing Festival. This festival is celebrated in several Asian cultures and I absolutely love it, personally I mix it up a bit when celebrating by incorporating different culture’s traditions. The aroma of the fairly massive leaves is very green, a mix of edamame, spinach, and a bit of hay and grass. It is not the most complex Sencha I have ever sniffed, but the aroma is strong and a good blend of sweet and green, I enjoy it and can certainly see this being an excellent tea to sniff while focusing on the moon.
Into the Kyusu it goes! Man, I really need a special occasion to bring out the amazing Somayaki Kyusu I have, it is so pretty but needs an unveiling, maybe having the computer fixed will be the occasion. Anyway, the aroma of the now very soggy leaves and stems is a bit nuttier, the edamame and toasted soybeans (I love snacking on those, so good!) aroma taking the forefront, while the spinach, hay, grass, and general green notes take up the rear. The liquid is sweet and green, blending sesame seed candies, hay, grass, and bamboo leaves into a nice green blend. Green is definitely the keyword with this tea, it is one of the most ‘I sniff in colors’ teas I have run into in a while.
The first steep is delightful moonlight pale gold, like a moon coming up over the horizon! The taste is really quite mild and subtle, it might be the most subtle first steep of a Sencha I have run into. The mouth feel is very smooth, it starts off with the green taste of grass and stems, this moves into the very distinct taste of bamboo leaves, and after that we have sweet hay and a finish of edamame that lingers. The first steep is relaxing, I could almost see myself sipping this before taking a nap.
The aroma of the second steep has a very similar feel to the first, balancing green and sweetness, though this time there is more focus on green with a stronger bamboo note and a touch of sea air. Like the aroma, this steep is much more green, with stronger notes of bamboo leaves, a bit of fresh grass, broken stems, fresh spinach, and just a hint of savory kelp. Ah, I do love it when a Sencha has that kelp note, it just makes me happy and reminds me of my much beloved seaweed salad. I enjoyed how mild this Sencha was, I think it will be a perfect addition to my Moon Viewing festival, it has enough of a presence to be noticeable without distracting you from the glorious autumn moon.