Popular Teas from YamamotoyamaSee All 34 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
This is a very strong-tasting genmaicha, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. Very umami, somewhat astringent, really brothy.
I may have oversteeped this, though – the directions I was given said 1 tbsp for 30 seconds to 1 minute at 176-194F. I did it for 1 minute at 177F. I’m really having trouble finding a genmaicha I like, it seems.
Like bancha, hoji-cha has a completely different personality and taste from sencha. At one point I was somewhat addicted to this tea, but I have not consumed any in a long time. Happily, in my recently discovered cache, I found a full, hermetically sealed bag of this tea, in addition to the remains of another bag. This tea is roasted (and looks like little pieces of dried wood!), so I decided to brew up the remains since roasted tea generally holds up better over time than unroasted.
The result was good. The liquor is a dark apricot color and the flavor is exactly as I recall hoji-cha having been. I’ll report back once I’ve opened the other bag, which should produce an even better pot.
This tea is very inexpensive (hoji—cha in general, but also this brand in particular), yet the flavor is unique and appealing to me. It’s not that I like everything, mind you. I dislike the taste of barley tea, for example. People who are expecting something along the lines of sencha or another green green tea may be disappointed with this beverage, as it bears little resemblance to anything but itself!
This “everyday” sencha from Yamamotoyama is an excellent example of why I love Japanese products. Supposedly this is the analogue to Lipton in Japan, where people drink sencha many times each day—and tea is much more frequently imbibed than coffee. So one might surmise that the flavor would be mediocre. Not so! It’s a very decent quality sencha, and the price is ridiculously low. I have consumed my share of these bags over the years, but when the Japanese grocery close to my former place of residence closed down, I pretty much moved on.
While moving, I discovered a secret cache of a Japanese tea, including this one, and though it is old (albeit unopened and stored in a tin box far from heat and light), it still tastes very good and brews up a delightful greenish gold. I’ll be plowing through this bag in no time, and now that a huge megaplex Asian market has opened up within walking distance of my new place, I’m sure that I’ll be exploring the higher grades from this brand as well—in addition to some more obscure offerings in the tea aisle—which is vast!
I suspect that the naysayers are not following the prescribed instructions (which I added to the profile). Note that Yamamotoyama indicates that a tablespoon (not a teaspoon) should be used for 200ml of water. Also: a very short steep is key to success with this tea. Finally, there are some small particles amongst the leaves, so you need to use a very fine-gauged sieve or filter to remove them in order to avoid bitterness.
second infusion: very good!
third infusion: still good! now bright yellow.
I purchased this at the PAT Asian market yesterday while at the vet (they are right near each other). I wanted to try a different Genmai cha . I looked for a package that didn’t have clear cellophane to let the light in thinking that if the company did that, it’s going to be better quality. This one was about $5 for 200g. When I checked out the brew times I could see there were decent brew temperatures too.
I checked the reviews first before having it and was disappointed it had some bad reviews. That was because there are two Genmai cha’s on Steepster. One with a hyphen and then this one. This is the one I’ve got. Matches the package.
Opened up I could see it was a nice sencha not a green tea. Some of the rice was popped too. I haven’t had a lot of genmaicha so far but I think that’s a good sign it’s a decent quality.
Brewed at 190F for 30 sec. This one has a deep grassy vegetal taste from the sencha along with the toasty rice. A nice balance. Some genmaicha’s are more toasty rice but I didn’t get that from this one. There seems to be a lot less caffeine than the other genmaicha I have too.