Still a great basic sencha, though a little too quick to become bitter when cooling. I love how rich and marine it gets when overleafed a bit and steeped – kind of semi-gongfu style. It’s deceptive, how full this can still taste despite this particular package being so old, and despite being served over dinner. It’s starting to taste a bit like bancha, actually…
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I’m trying to be a good girl with the budget so I decided to save money on tea. I bought this at a Korean grocery store in Vegas. The first brew was about 1.5 min, which produced a thick and somewhat bitter brew. I tossed it and resteeped for less than a minute and it wasn’t much better. Tossed that. The water was about 160 when I brewed a third time just for kicks. I could better detect the familiar, fresh marine aroma I love but the tea was weak, considering the water temperature and number of brewings. Still, it was cloudy and very green.
I started over with a fresh “perfect teaspoon” and 180F water. Brewed for about a minute. Smells nice but still too bitter for my taste. I know I’ll get used to it, though. Right now, it’s like Ripple to an alcoholic- you know, when almost anything will do.
YamaMotoYama teas have always been my go-to bagged tea while traveling. You can pick them up at any Asian market for next to nothing, I paid $1.99 yesterday for my box of Oolong at the Olive Farmer’s Market in St. Louis.
What I love about them is that they’re pretty much impossible to screw up even if you leave the bag sitting in your cup for an extra 15 minutes (not that I would ever do that). This tea also doesn’t care that you don’t have the right temperature water (I have absolutely no clue what temperature I used yesterday I only know that it was marginally hot). The tea also works well hot, iced, or room temperature and you can’t say that about a lot of teas.
Even with my poor brewing standards this week I still managed to end up with a really solid cup of tea that had a nice smokiness to it. The only thing I don’t love about this tea is that it doesn’t resteep well, but at $1.99/16 bags you won’t hear any complaints from me.
P.S. I miss my Zojirushi water pot and my ingenuiTEA, I need to stop traveling so much. At least I know that when I get home I’ll have a new tea pot and set of Japanese cups waiting for me to play with.
No notes yet.
Had a pleasant earthy taste underlining it this time. I think this may have been due to a change in water temperature, but not too sure.
It kind of reminded me of the peatiness of an island scotch.
What to say for my first tasting note on Steepster… feels almost prestigious. I have no idea how I came across such a great site full of so many like-minded people. I suppose I can talk more about this in the discussion area and try to keep this note a note; but as my first interaction with the community, I’d just like to show my support for the Steepster team and everyone like me who enjoys the finer things in life.
Now, Yamamotoyama Oolong Tea: My first impression as I opened the packet was the pleasent scent of cigars – I’m not an expert (yet), so I can’t specify what type. I’m also a bit of a newcomer to tea-making etiquette, so I had to use hard tap water and a tea strainer to pour water into the cup. I didn’t measure the temperature but I’d left the kettle to cool for a minute after boiling.
At the start of the steeping process, it took a few seconds before any colour seeped into the water, and when it did it was a predictable golden colour. After about 5 minutes (again, I didn’t measure – a practice I’ll make sure to get into) I removed the bag – and I didn’t squeeze it since squeezing releases harsh tannins and over-steeped water – and left it to cool a little before drinking. The colour after the ~5 minutes was normal black tea colour with a green tint, which I guess is a good indicator of the partially-fermented Oolong leaves.
The first flavours all kind of weave between each other and lightly flow over the tongue. There’s the distinct, smoky and complex character that you notice first, closely trailed by a light creaminess that makes it so easy to drink. To anyone wanting to try this tea: Do not add sugar. It gets sweeter towards the end, but not in the sickly lingering way that sugar does in tea.
Before long I started to taste a round, slightly sour, slightly metallic flavour. I am almost certain that this note was caused or tainted by the water I used and any other contaminants.
And that’s the end of my first tasting note. I think that’s all the complexity I can get out of a bagged Oolong. I might update in the future with different steeping times and temperatures, but I am reluctant to try milk due to the creaminess.
Sorry for the long-windedness, anyone who has read this. I’m sure my future tasting notes will be briefer, and I hope I can get the hang of all of this and become an active member of the community.
Probably the best everyday green tea I’ve tried. Easy brew, much better than most bagged green teas, nice briny taste.
When first brewed the scent of this tea kind of put me off because I smelled a cross between charred meat and charred bread crust, but once that dissipated the tea was pleasant enough. I tasted barley and toasted rice, chocolate (both dark and milk at times), raisins, and prunes. The tea is slightly syrupy and biscuity at the same time.
I saw ashmanra’s post of a hoji-cha and remembered I have this version. For the life of me I couldn’t recall what it tasted like. One sniff of the dry leaf and it all came back. To me its like genmaicha without the puffed rice. Toasted bancha leaf. Well really fannings as this is a very inexpensive bagged version. Still it was quite enjoyable this morning. Yamamotoyama does cheap well.
I looked back at my previous tasting note – it was the middle of the summer and I was all concerned because the mill was talking strike. Oh the simple days, when I had a job, and money. I do have tea and a wife that loves me. Who needs steak.
I just wanted everyone to know that there is still time to follow/comment to win on my site!
I will be choosing a winner tomorrow!
As far as this tea goes…it smells very sweet-puckery green apple! Crisp, juicy, tart!
The flavor is much of the same! The Sencha is savory yet subtle ‘green’ tasting. The flavor steps on top of it. Sweet-puckery-green apple.
Would be even better iced, but not bad hot, especially for a bagged sencha!
This is only my second time having hojicha, it reminds me a lot of genmaicha but less intense. Roasty toasty!
There’s just really nothing special about hojicha to me. If I wanted this taste, I’d more likely go for genmaicha.
The pleasant days have been fostering much tea-drinking, but the transition into springtime is also the transition into harsher school work…
That’s fostering a lot of tea too, but there’s not enough time to write about it! Procrastinating on homework by writing tea notes!
Procrastinating on tea notes by drinking tea!!
Today calls for some mild, easy-going brews. I’ve brewed my sencha to be more ‘supportive’, to complement a light Japanese lunch, and to not be as complex and distracting as it usually is, since I can’t afford to pay as much attention to tea today…
Mild Version (Traditional)
1st: 1min, 175F
Lightly sweet with tapioca notes, very subtle roasted-seaweed flavor.
Fluffy, smooth texture.
Simple, pleasant profile.
Backlog for more info~
Picked some up for when I’m too lazy to brew my loose leaf teas. Love the nutty taste. Nomnom
A reliable Japanese green; seaweedy and sweet-savory, with just enough strength and barely-there bitterness to be stimulating.
It feels suitable to brew sencha generously, as in Japan, than in single-cup servings. When taken suddenly and in small quantities, the tea can be downright fishy with the saltwater notes, especially after recent cups of Chinese green. For me it’s much more rewarding to be fully immersed in the figurative ocean for a pot or three, even more so with good company.
Seaweed and subtle sweetness pervade each cup. The first brew is stronger, and bittersweet like fresh vegetables, while the second brew is noticeably milder, with a marine mineral quality that carries a hint of sugar. The feel is very clean, but there’s a distinct, dry aftertaste that lingers, demanding more sencha. This overall profile can be a bit addictive – isn’t this similar to how salted caramel popcorn works? In both cases, it’s hard to stop once I’ve started!
It doesn’t have much of the fresh, grassy or vegetal quality of other sencha, but it doesn’t pretend to do so either so I don’t mind the loss at all. I just have to take care of this tea as a green, sensitive to oversteeping and to temperature.
This sencha does well when I want a tea in the morning to challenge me into wakefulness, and to keep me going through the day as I settle into it. A specific, but much appreciated friend!
Strong Version (Traditional)
1st: 1min 30s, 180F
2nd: 1min 30s, 180F
Seaweed, sweet-savory, moderate-strong flavor.
Distinct, complex flavor profile.
Received in a swap today from yssah
I can smell the green tea but the roasted nut/rice smell is the dominant one.
Not the best processing…small pieces of torn leaves. These certainly weren’t picked by hand.
Taste is mostly a burnt/roasted flavor with the green tea in the background but present. A little aftertaste but nothing too bad. It’s ok, but perhaps a bit to “burnt” for my tastebuds.
Forgot about this one! It’s delicious though. It still reminds me of a green jolly rancher :)
Appearance: large bicolored brown twigs,
Aroma when Dry: earthy, twiggy, hints of grass
After water is first poured: earthy, roasty, slight twiggy note
At end of steep: warm, roasty, buttery, earthy, hints of cream
At end of steep: grassy green
Staple? Type yes, would buy brand again
Preferred time of day: any
At first?: warm, nutty, roasty, earthy closes on a smooth, almost creamy note
As it cools?: notes get warmer, roastier, a bit buttery, then slight sour close
Additives used (milk, honey, sugar etc)? No
Lingers? With a creamy earthy, nutty texture, bright cream close
good chilled too
Second Steep (4 min):
At first: Buttery, roasty, silky
As it cools: earthy, dusty notes surface
Third Steep (5min):
buttery, silky, salty, light broth close