Teance Fine Teas

Recent Tasting Notes

86

Small Taiwanese Tea Bowl / 170 F / ~ 2gms

This evening I chose to experience this tea in a very basic way . . . together we shared an experience with a Tea Bowl. It’s funny how we often get caught up in the business of the day, and forget about the beauty which can be experienced in simplicity. This is a wonderful tea to enjoy in bowl steeping. The leaves gently awaken, and the transitions of flavour as the leaves awaken can be more thoroughly experienced in a most flavourful and visual collection of moments.

The tea this time began as a soft whisper of a delicate green tea . . . with just a hint of sweetness . . .

Slowly the strength increased, but never so much as to bring any bitterness or astringency to the experience. The sweetness leveled off and a hint of fruitless carried through several bowl. Steeping times lengthened from 30 seconds to ~ 2 minutes . . . not so much to retain a discernible flavour, but more so due to loosing track of time swirling the leaves to watch and appreciate the awakened and alive tea leaves.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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86

Package Opening: Aroma and appearance is very much like that of Monkey Picked Oolong. Leaves are a vibrant green, rolled into tight little balls.

4oz / 180 F / Yixing Pot – Heart Sutra / single rinse

1st Steep: 30 sec – Liqueur very pale, resembling more that of a very light green leaf cold steep. Pot smell – resembling that of a monkey picked oolong, yet softer, subtler. Taste – very delicate green in body and initial taste. Nowhere is there any bitterness to be found. Slight hints of toastiness, soft green straw type wisps during after taste.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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95
drank Wako Matcha by Teance Fine Teas
911 tasting notes

Y’all. Seriously, y’all. I got this at my grocery store. A 20g tin. For $3.00. No, not even for $3.00. For $2.99. I kid you not. Teance has this on their site for $37. (As does In Pursuit of Tea… are they the same company?) It’s not out of date or anything. It’s just really, really cheap. Someone was obviously smoking something when they priced this. I knew this tin was a good deal; that’s why I picked it up. I didn’t realize it was that good of a deal. Anyway, on with the show!

Have I ever mentioned that I’m scared of matcha? I would sell my first born for a limitless supply of shincha (Yutaka Midori, please) yet for some reason, matcha freaks me out. The first time I had it was at a tea ceremony my friend was performing at our high school’s culture festival (文化祭) many years ago in Japan. Ryoko, said friend, told me when she invited me that “even the Japanese don’t like the tea in the tea ceremony.” Stellar recommendation. And the tea served totally matched up to expectations. Ick. I think that’s why I’ve not been a big matcha girl. Then, when I finally found the cajones to try matcha again, it was some that I received in a swap and had been sitting on my counter for months, getting icky and not-green, as I tried to get up the nerve to try it. Unsurprisingly, that tasted icky, too. I did have some iced matcha at Teavana at one point. That was okay. But it was iced… and from Teavana. So that was sort of discounted as a typical matcha experience. But when I say this at the store marked $2.99, I figured I’d give another go. Three bucks for potentially nasty tea isn’t that big of a deal. Which brings me to what is currently in my cup…

OMG, WHY was I afraid of matcha??? This is lovely! It smells like a fresh sheet of crisp, sweet, toasty nori. And the taste!! The taste is so mild and creamy and sweet! It’s like sencha, but dessert sencha instead of pungent dinner entree sencha. I know why people make ice cream out of matcha now – it’s so creamy! I could mainline this stuff!

Okay, okay, it’s never going to replace my love of a deep steamed sencha – I just love the rich pungency too much and this is no where even close to pungent. But this is so good. SO. GOOD. Yeah, it could be more complex but honestly, who doesn’t like sencha taste coupled with smooth, creamy and sweet? Green tea ice cream without the cold or the calories, that’s what this is. This is sencha dessert in a cup. With caffeine. And that caffeine is the only reason I’m not making myself another cup RIGHT NOW. And another in five more minutes. And another five minutes after that.

Looks like I have to make an emergency run to the grocery store. I think they had three more tins of this, all at $2.99. Time to stock up!

TeaBrat

Did you whisk it?

Auggy

I did. I don’t have a chasen so I used the one for my immersible blender/wisk/chopper thing and it worked great – nice and foamy.

Shinobi_cha

That is a really awesome find and experience! I have only tried mid-grade matcha, and powdered sencha (two vendors). All of them were good, but nothing like what you describe here. Hopefully some day I’ll get to try the real stuff (ie high quality matcha).

Actually, Sugimoto America’s powdered sencha (I think) comes from fukamushi sencha, it had a definite likeness to pungency, if I remember correctly. You might like it, but I don’t know how easy it is to obtain a normal amount of it (I think they may sell it in bulk unfortunately… I just got it thru a sampler).

Stephanie

Wow..such a great deal!!!

Angrboda

One can’t help but wonder if it was actually mis-priced and was supposed to have been about $30 instead… Their loss though. They probably didn’t know what it was they had.

Auggy

Shinobi_cha, I has some more this morning, this time using about a 1/2 teaspoon for 4oz (instead of yesterday’s 1/3-ish) and there was more pungency, (though still nothing compared to a fukamushi). But still – super tasty! And I’ll have to add Sugimoto’s powdered sencha to my list… they are one place (of many) that I keep meaning to order from but haven’t yet.

Stephanie & Ang, it was a great deal! And yeah, probably an accident in pricing because I can’t imagine them actually meaning to sell it for $3. Sadly the store was out when the hubby stopped by after work yesterday. Hopefully they’ll get more in and make the same pricing mistake so you can be I’ll be keeping an eye out!

Shinobi_cha

Auggy – cool! And if you order from Sugimoto, wait until April, when you can preorder their Temomi Shincha. It is probably the best Japanese green tea I’ve ever had.

Auggy

Shinobi_cha Awesome! I’m a sucker for shincha so thanks for the rec!

E Alexander Gerster

This matcha sounds seriously good! And what a deal! Shinobi_cha has me fascinated with the mention (and review of Sugimoto’s Temomi Shincha) as well. There is a great clip on youtube of this being made: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8k3sfYRqGcQ&feature=colike

CHAroma

Maybe they meant to mark it as $29.99, but someone screwed up…luckily you get to benefit from it! Woot!

Auggy

CHAroma, you pegged it exactly! I saw more there a few weeks later and yep, $29.99! I keep hoping they’ll make the same mistake again, but so far no luck!

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83

Good for tea leaf reading. Delicious and smokey.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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