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Sugimoto America

Recent Tasting Notes

70

Tea of this afternoon is a matcha latte. I used soymilk for this and added cardamom per the suggestion of one of my Twitter friends. I also used my cheapo milk frother. This is just as good as any Starbucks matcha latte for about 1/8 of the price…

Good news also, my fracture is healing according to the doctor. I will be at home for 3 more weeks convalescing and drinking lots of tea. :)

OMGsrsly

Yay! Healing is good. :)

Fjellrev

I’m so glad to hear that it’s on its way!

TeaBrat

thanks, I am happy, finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel

mrmopar

Yay!good news!

TheTeaFairy

Great new!!

caile

That’s great news!

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70

I got this matcha yesterday in Japantown. Normally I go for the Maeda-en standard grade matcha but they were all out, so I thought I’d get this instead. I mostly use matcha in tea lattes and smoothies so I didn’t see the point in getting anything ceremonial grade. I had some this morning when I woke up: in a pineapple/banana/soymilk/chia smoothie. That was super tasty!

Then I decided to try some of this the standard way using the ceremonial matcha bowl and whisk. Drinking it plain, it is definitely bold and grassy with bitterness. When it comes to drinking matcha plain, you definitely get what you pay for. I’ve had some really nice ceremonial matcha that’s naturally sweet and delicate but almost 3x the price. I wasn’t expecting this to be great on its own, but for mixing with other things it’s fine.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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78
drank Sen Cha by Sugimoto America
2160 tasting notes

Lately I feel like I should be trying to drink more green tea just for the health benefits especially theanine. That is difficult when black teas are clearly my favorite!

Anyway I picked this up in Japantown yesterday. I got the mesh teabags but I don’t think I’ll create a new entry for it.

I steeped this for 60 seconds and got a vivid neon green color. This appears to be a fukumushi sencha, according to the Sugimoto website. I’m getting mostly gentle grassy notes with a bit of nuttiness and a slight astringency in the finish… It’s far less “seaweed” like than some other Japanese green teas I’ve had, but not the most flavorful fukumushi I’ve had. You can definitely get two steeps out of these teabags. This is a good everyday tea, however I prefer the bagged sencha from Den’s.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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91

I’ve not had a better Genmaicha. Holds up under rebrewing better than I’d thought it would.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Hoji Cha by Sugimoto America
357 tasting notes

I was looking forward to this part of the day all day. Settling in the couch with the big kid (13) to watch Community and enjoy my toasty tea in my cast iron pot. It used to be a beer. And sometimes still is. But man, these roasty toasty teas are really good for the end of the night! And just slightly healthier…

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drank Hoji Cha by Sugimoto America
357 tasting notes

This is a really tasty Hoji Cha. Could be my favorite so far but I’ve only tried a few. So far the first steep is living up to my expectations

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67
drank Sencha Powder by Sugimoto America
15 tasting notes

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67
drank Sencha Powder by Sugimoto America
15 tasting notes

Being only familiar with matcha powder (Teavana) for my lattes I was a bit hesitant to try anything else, but finding good prices on SA’s sencha, genmaicha and hojicha powders I figured it was worth the risk. I found the sencha powder darker and more bitter than my matcha but am relieved to discover that it tastes just fine in my lattes (tea powder, skim milk, sugar-free Torani syrup). The taste is different, but just as good. (I’m tempted to say “almost as good”, but that may well be because I’m so used to the taste of the matcha.) Obviously a slightly coarser grind than what I’m used to, as it doesn’t clump in the sifter and exhibits a bit of a chalky(?) feel in the mouth towards the bottom of the cup. I don’t know how good this might be prepared traditionally, but in a sweetened latte it’s definitely acceptable.

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73
drank Sen Cha by Sugimoto America
57 tasting notes

*Quick Note

I got this from a Marukai Japanese market in San Diego during my spring break. I thought it was plain sencha until read the back of the packaging and realized it was a fukamushi type.

Anyways, I was pleased with the taste of this tea. It is lightly sweet, medium bodied, a bit nutty, and with no astringency whatsoever.

Very good store bought sencha.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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92

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32
drank Genmai Cha by Sugimoto America
16 tasting notes

I’m pretty sure I’m allergic to something in this tea, so I ended up giving it away. Too bad.

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92

I know I haven’t posted in a while. Shame on me! I haven’t stopped drinking tea, not by a long shot, but I’ve gotten very lazy with the writing. I do still read, though! Avidly.

Anyway, I wanted to make another note about this tea to add my experience with their Genmai Cha POWDER. Yes, folks, the same tea in powder form. Just as easily as with my matcha – I just pour some powder into my water bottle, shake it up, and voila! It’s the same taste, maybe a tad stronger on the toasted rice than I’ve gotten out of the loose leaf version. Delicious.

Cold, warm, hot, doesn’t really seem to matter in terms of taste. I’ve had it every which way, and it’s still the same amount of deliciousness. My only quid is that it’s kinda expensive. Or at least, there’s a fair amount of sticker shock. (The website claims you can get 600 cups out of a 300g bag, but I swear $40 still seems a bit…high.) After I’m done with this “powder sampler” (which includes sencha and hojicha – DELICIOUS) I’ll probably not be ordering it again. Or maybe not until my birthday. But still. SO GOOD.

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78

I received this one in my Steepster Selects box – So Excited to get that in the mail!

Sencha is one of my favourite green teas so I was especially looking forward to this one. The dry leaf has that wonderful and quintessential sencha smell – very ‘green’ and comforting. It steeps up beautifully; more body than a regular sencha – it seemed like the finer leaves stayed in the steeped tea a little like matcha powder. Definitely delicious. I’ve had some time to play around with steep times and while a shorter steep is generally my favourite, a bit of magic happens with the right temperature and a longer steep.

definitely one of my new favourite senchas! So glad I got this in the mail!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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85

This is the first tea that I’m trying from this month’s Steepster Select Box. A really good Sen Cha. Sweet but with a really pleasing savory note. Very light and refreshing, while at the same time, warming and soothing.

An excellent choice for this month’s box, Steepster!

LiberTEAS

The second infusion is just as lovely as the first!

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97

Nice..first one. So when I opened my Steepster Select box this was the first one out of the two that I smelled. WOW…so sweet! I almost did not believe it was green tea. It did not smell grassy to me..something else that I could not put my finger on. I took the box to work with me since I picked it up on the way. Throughout the day I kept smelling the tea…then giving it to others, even one of my managers to smell. They got a laugh out how excited I was. Hmm….maybe a green Jolly Rancher when you take it out of the wrapper? Yeah thats what I got.
The wet leaf was more complex…maybe cooked spinach with nutmeg. The taste followed suit. It was not astringent at all…very smooth. A delight for sure.
Thanks Steepster Select for opening me up to new teas. I would have never have bought this otherwise. Green tea is a new world to me :)

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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92
drank Sen Cha by Sugimoto America
14 tasting notes

Wow, I love this Sencha. This is my first Fukamushi and I’m so impressed. Such a lovely green cup and tastes exactly like it smells. It’s not too bitter or grassy, but lightly sweet and vegetal. It definitely tastes of buttery asparagus with a hints of artichoke, and it’s just a little bit brothy. Divine. I will definitely be purchasing more to this.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 15 sec
Shinobi_cha

If you liked this, I definitely recommend either Den’s Fukamushi Yame, or Sencha from Yame by Thes du Japon, or O-cha’s Yutaka Midori.

Glo

Thanks Shinobi-cha, I’ll have to try those.

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96
drank Genmai Cha by Sugimoto America
66 tasting notes

Picked this up at my local Japanese market and I love it. The tea comes out this bright green and the notes of roasted flavoring from the brown rice blends really well with the matcha. A very mild manner tea that would go perfect with some food or just a nice cup to unwind with later in the day.

ScottTeaMan

Years ago I tried Genmai Cha and didn’t like it, but now my tea tastes and brewing habits have changed. I’m pretty sure I would enjoy it. :)

Anna Vu

You should also try blending grain teas with different teas as well. It’s definitely similar to genmai cha but you get to control the roasted flavoring however you want. I recommend trying some Buckwheat tea with a sencha to start and the blend as your heart desires after. I like a stronger hint of roasted flavoring.

ScottTeaMan

I’always wanted to try Buckwheat Tea, & I really enjoy Sencha. Have you ever tried Soybean Tea? It was so good-so sweet with no sweetener. Then I’d eat the soybeans-usually plain, but sometimes with just a little sugar or honey. It was rather filling, & a good light lunch. :)

Anna Vu

For buckwheat tea, I recommend getting this: http://www.teao2.com/puripan-loose-leaf-herbal-tea-tartary-buckwheat-35061.html
I love Puripan. They used to have a shop open near my house but they closed… :( Luckily I can still find their teas online!

ScottTeaMan

Thanks Anna, I’ll try some soon {bookmarking page}. My Soybean tea is really hard to find, but there are other sources out there, probably are similar.

ScottTeaMan

I just finished my Genmaicaha sample from H & S 10-28-11, and I really enjoyed it. I’m gonna send you a surprise sample from H & S. I really hope you enjoy it….:))

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80

This shincha surprised me because of how deep-steamed that it is. I would pretty much say ‘super’ deep steamed, because there are very, very, few whole needles. I was a bit surprised at that, because typically, if you have lower-quality leaf material to begin with, deep steaming helps to offset that fact and you end up with a pretty tasty tea in the end.

I assume that shincha is comprised of the youngest leaves and buds that have the most nutrients and flavor of all the harvests in the year (ie, pretty good leaf material to begin with), so that is why I was a little surprised at how deeply steamed it is. Is that really necessary?

It makes for a very yummy tea, but it’s hard for me to tell it is a shincha. The thick brothy consistency, the strong veggie and semi-toasted flavors overpower any of the fresh, young, bitterness I expected. Actually, it reminds me very much of two of Den’s Tea: Fukamushi Yame and Maromi.

While I personally don’t know what differentiates this tea from a regular first flush sencha, it is still good and a decent price. There is a little bit of sweetness mixed with a nice astringency in the aftertaste, and though it doesn’t laste long in the throat (like Shincha Houryoku by Den’s Tea), it is very pleasant and enjoyable.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 0 min, 45 sec
Cole

Either they’re using the dregs of the shincha barrel and steaming the crap out of them, or else they really take the “deep steaming” to heart. I usually don’t get as much of that “fresh bitterness” from fuka teas, but I can see where you’d feel like it was a bit of a lost opportunity with the shincha they started with.

I really enjoyed the Fukamushi Yame I had a while back, but was utterly underwhelmed by the sample of Maromi I tried the other day. Sounds like this one isn’t too bad, but I think I’ll stick with the Houryoku for now. Can’t get that aftertaste out of my head!

Shinobi_cha

Yeah, this is good, but both Yame and Houryoku are (esp. the latter) much better. I actually liked Maromi, as it was almost a mix of sencha and houjicha, but not sure I’d order it.

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92

I’ve been fairly ill lately, so I’ve cut down quite a bit on drinking caffeinated drinks like I was doing. Right now I’m limiting myself to two cups of tea per day, instead of the quart and a half or so I was drinking previously. Geez, a quart and a half per day! Crazy!

That said, this tea makes it fiendishly difficult to exercise any form of restraint. It’s amazing! It’s the only tea so far that has beat out Constant Comment and Lemon Zinger as top dog in the race for my tea affections. And those have nostalgia behind them!

My first experience with genmai cha was with Adagio’s blend, from their samurai sampler. I liked it quite a bit, but the bitter finish from over roasted rice was a touch off putting. This one doesn’t have any bitterness at all, even when I oversteeped it (2 minutes) experimentally to see what would happen.

At first glance, I’ll admit I was nervous. This blend has matcha, so everything inside the tin is green, green, green. You can sort of pick up the scent of roasted rice, but olfactorially it’s mostly all about the green tea.

Scooping it into the tea basket won’t do you much good unless you already have it inside the teapot – the matcha goes right through. I tend to let my water cool in the pot before I add the tea leaves, so I had the filter basket on top of my (closed) laptop. Green everywhere! I really should think things through a bit more. Anyway, my fix to this was that I measured out what I needed into the lid of the tin, then poured it into the filter once the water was at the right temperatur. Easy as pie.

It brews FAST. I mean, this much is obvious from the fact that the instructions say to step 30-60 seconds, but it’s even more fascinating to watch. The green pretty much starts swirling out from the word go. I’ll expect the matcha is why. It’s a nice light jade by the time it’s done – not quite matcha colour, though. It’s less opaque.

And the taste! This is what I like to find in a green tea – vegetal, but sweetly delicious! I’m not a fan of the “saltier” seaweedy greens. The rice, which was a bit hidden in the scent, comes out beautifully. It works well with the green tea. And now I know for certain that Adagio’s version is NOT what a genmai cha is all about. No hint of bitterness anywhere.

The tin says to pour to the last drop, and they’re right to say so. As you get to the bottom of the teapot, the tea becomes sweeter and more flavourful. I love it!

One thing I haven’t had the chance to try is whether this resteeps. I have a little collection of ziplocs with genmai cha that I’ve only brewed once, in the fridge. After my little debacle with resteeping Lemon Zinger, I’m shy with all of the teas.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Shinobi_cha

You should definitely rebrew it! But do it right away (after the first cup); you will get less of the sweetness from the matcha, but the sweetness from the rice (and if it’s good quality sencha, from that too) should come through. I’ve only had a little of Sugimoto’s genmai cha, but they have good stuff and I’ve no doubt it would steep well a 2nd time. However, if you let it sit in the frige or in a teapot more than a few hours, I can’t vouch for that….

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87
drank Hoji Cha by Sugimoto America
280 tasting notes

This is an awesome houjicha! Complex, sweet, mellow, smooth, delicious. I’ve had it before, but that was just one tea bag and so there wasn’t enough leaf. It could have gone longer, but it lasted three, full-flavor infusions. As good as the best houjichas I’ve had to-date (with one exception, Tencha-kuki houjicha from Den’s Tea, but that’s almost in a category of it’s own). In summary: thumbs up! Glad I have 2 oz!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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100

Quite possibly the smoothest genmaicha I’ve ever had. I’m definitely going to keep this one in stock.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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