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Recent Tasting Notes
I wanted to make this tea over two and a half hours ago, but I’ve had a sleeping kitty on my lap. How could I move and force him to get up when he’s soooo cute? Cutest kitty on the planet!
He must be super tired or super comfortable, because he won’t budge despite my yelling. Why am I yelling? Well, you see, I’m watching 24. If you’ve seen 24, that’s enough of an answer right there. If not, Sean Astin just walked on screen. Without pausing to think, I shouted, “IT’S SAMWISE!!!!!!!!!”
Frodo, my kitty, jolted awake on my lap and then calmly laid his head back down and promptly returned to napping. In case you couldn’t already tell, I’m a wee bit obsessed with The Lord of the Rings. But Frodo didn’t seem fazed by my outburst, so I had to wait him out for another 40 minutes before making this tea.
I can say though that the wait was definitely worth it! The brewed tea aroma is roasty toasty houjicha! Ah, how I love roasted green teas. Oh yum! It’s just so yummy! I’m getting caramel and almond notes, and a bit of milky creaminess too.
This tea is awfully tasty for being nearly one year old. This is renewing my love of houjicha. I’ve been drinking a crappy, minced, bagged version of houjicha lately, and I’ve gotten sick of it. I’d forgotten how wonderful real, fresh houjicha is.
For those of you that haven’t tried houjicha before, GO! DO IT NOW!! BREW PEOPLE BREW!!! But really, try it! It’s nothing like regular green tea. The grassy vegetal flavor is roasted right out of the leaves, and it turns into a soft, mellow, toasted cuppa. Soooo good! Thank you Mercuryhime for yet another amazing tea experience!
I tried to rebrew, but I just couldn’t like this tea. It tasted one dimensional to me. Mostly twigs, like a kukicha, which I am not the biggest fan of either. To each their own.
A very mild genmaicha. The rice flavoring is nice and lightly toasty. I prefer greener tasting, like Den’s Tea. I’ve been wanting to sample this, since the rice is different than other genmai based teas. Is this sticky rice?
This is slight sweet with a somewhat hay-like flavor. It’s moderately dark and has a short finish. It’s a light tea, not strongly flavored but pleasant.
Wow this tasted horrible. Just green bitterness, no sweetness at all.
I just received this sample as part of the Owners Club Gift. I don’t like it at all. Very green and bitter. I tried it using the warm and then standard methods of steeping and didn’t care for either outcome.
Another from my Steepster Selects box!
I was hesitant with this one because of the smokiness. I’ve smelled a few off-puttingly strong smoky black teas before and didn’t like that at all, so I was wary of a smoky Houjicha. I really shouldn’t have been. This is delicious. Absolutely delicious. It is perfect on a dreary cold afternoon (we get a lot of those in Halifax this time of year), and the roasting takes the caffeine out so that makes it great in the evenings as well. It steeps up beautifully and with no bitterness that can sometimes happen with other greens. The smoky flavors are muted in the steeped tea, but are still there in a sweet delicious way.
I think this one might be one of my new favourite greens. SUPER glad to have received this one since I know I would have by-passed it simply because of the smoky roast if I had come across it in a tea shop.
The final of the three teas from the December Steepster Select Box. A very good Houjicha, I’ve tried a couple of the Houjicha teas from Obubu but this is my first experience with the smoky roast. I am not usually fond of strong smoky flavors, but it works very well with the roasty toasty flavor of the houjicha, and I am enjoying this quite a bit. The smokiness really stands out.
Im not really getting smoke some from this. It reminds me of charcoal roasted Tung Ting. I was expecting something else I guess.It might also be me. My allergies are flaring up a bit so I can’t really smell. I will probably have to try this again when I feel a little better. I just could not wait to try it…
Smoky with a faint sweetness in the back of the throat. Toasty tasty. Not a favorite, but very glad I received enough for several cups. Might buy more!
This was the second piece of my December Obubu CSA shipment. Fresh from the minute I opened the pouch to the instant I whisked and drank it. It’s got the trademark bitter leaf taste that is, well, matcha, but it’s not so bitter or flat that it makes you want to set your cup or bowl down. Sweetest variety of matcha I’ve yet tried that wasn’t labeled as ceremonial grade. Nice emerald color, not as chalky as restaurant grades. Love it.
I was able to put some pics and more thoughts on my blog, with a picture of the yanagi bancha leaves as they were steeping (the other part of the shipment). http://bit.ly/ufFqKX
I actually brought my tin of Gokou Matcha with me to the office to enjoy as a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. It’s that refreshing, at least for this matcha fan.
This was part of my December Obubu CSA Club shipment, along with a sample of Gokou matcha (which smells fantastic). This is a lovely everyday green, the flavor is much sweeter than I was expecting from a tea grade described as being “low” – not as buttery as the other grades of sencha, but still that vegetal “hearty” green tea flavor that steeps into a pleasing bright yellow. I got two great steeps out of my first pot.
The dry leaf is also fun, light greens and dark greens and twigs here and there – a sign that it’s fresh. Reminds me of childhood when my grandfather farmed hay and made handmade brooms. Will hopefully get a pic on my blog up soon.
Once again, a well-crafted tea, even if it’s just a ‘lowly’ bancha. Very grateful that Obubu has made their teas available via the CSA club.
Very light tea. Rebrews 3 times. It has a nice sweetness. Not as complex as I usually like, just straightforward tasting. I used up my whole sample, I might have liked the boiling brewing, since I think the warm water method didn’t make it strong enough for my tastebuds. It has a white tea lightness.
I made this gongfu style so take that into account. I wanted to try it this way as I was trying other teas today like so.
It’s good. I like it. The taste is hard to describe. It’s pleasantly sweet and reminds me of barley. It’s light but with a lingering finish, mostly on the front of the tongue.
While I am trading most of my ITFA teas (not that they’re bad, they have all been great quality! Just not favorites for me), I think I’m going to keep this one. Thankfully the sample is huge in this tea club and it’ll last me near forever :D
I definitely suggest trying it if you get the chance!
On first sip I don’t think I like this at all. The smell is very much a burnt smell. A sweet light burnt taste with it.
I can see how others may like it but I cannot stand it.
I prefer this brewed with the Standard method, not so think on the tongue. GREAT WITH SUSHI!
Very interesting tasting sencha. Thick tasting on the tongue. Just brimming with something…like how some meats are gamey. There’s like no touch of bitter, which makes it weird to me. I enjoy it though. Very calming. Has a seaweed taste to it, would go great with nori wrapped sushi I bet. Mmmm, I just thawed some sashimi salmon and scallops for my lunch tomorrow. This should rock with it!
Compared to the spring and summer, I didn’t like this like this tea as much. Lots of twigs, so I was interested in the flavor. I felt it was more bitter than the other samples I’ve had so far. Grassy. It was just simple.
I am really loving this one. When I think of a sencha, this is what I want. It’s medium-strong flavor, great balance of savory, sweet, and astringency. Perfect iced and hot. Rebrews quite nicely. I could easily buy more. Very tasty, this is going to ruin other sencha experiences for me, since they all will have to live up to this. I am really loving this, and all I had was a tablespoon sample. This so far is my favorite tea from the sampler, but I have a few to go through. So fresh, it agrees with me.
I don’t know why I’ve been drinking this so much. I guess I’ve been it the mood for something toasty. I added a pinch of vanilla honeybush and it took on a vaguely chocolate taste. Vanilla Is awesome.
Oh no! My cup is empty! Time for a refill. :)
I had been saving my sample of Kabuse Sencha this past month until I had a nice calm evening to really sit quietly and enjoy the flavors of this wonderful tea. The aroma of the dry leaves is phenomenal and I decided to use the Wazuka, or Southern Kyoto steeping technique which Obubu Tea describes in their brochure and on their website. My small kyusu teapot was used for all, after being warmed first and 5 grams of tea added.
1st (concentrated) steeping: Only 3 oz or 80 ml of 160F/70C spring water, for 1.5 minutes. Brews up a “sencha espresso” that is very sweet, nicely vegetal and tastes like spring. Aroma and after taste have just a hint of a savory character.
2nd through 4th steeping: Full 6 oz or 180 ml of spring water gradually increasing the temperature and time with each steeping. The flavor and aroma become less sweet, and more vegetal with almost no detectable bitterness or astringency. Very nice balance, and truly enjoyable.
The leaves are so tender and hydrated after steeping, that they can easily be eaten. I used mine to make “green rice” for dinner. Simply added the leaves to some pre-cooked brown rice with just a touch of soy sauce and a few green chives on top.
Now I know why this tastes so familiar! This tastes like roasted barley tea!