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Recent Tasting Notes
This tea seems to be falling short for me this morning. It’s a good tea but it seems to be lacking the strong umami , seaweed, & sweetness that’s part of sencha. First & second steeps were fairly week compared to what I like in a sencha. Third steep is nothing more than a generic green tea. Maybe I needed to have less water and more leaves. I used 1 tsp and 8 oz water at 175F first steep for 30 sec. Second steep was 6 oz of water 175F 10 sec. Third steep was 6 oz water 185F for 1 min.
At least I got to try this tea. Not every sencha can be my favourite and I’m a bit relieved this one isn’t.
This is one of a few organic Matcha which I really enjoyed so far.
Suitable as Usucha and Koicha with an intensive scent.
A slightly lighter body with a creamy texture, a sweet flavor, no bitterness at all and a nice taste of umami which was not too overpowering.
Read the full review with photos:
Flavors: Seaweed, Sweet, Umami
This tea has incredible flavor. I was sent two samples of this by Yunomi. They are packaged in little 1 gram foil pouches that are strip-shaped, so the tea could easily be poured into a cup or water bottle or wherever you want to put it really. The first one, I simply dissolved into about 5 ounces of warm water in a cup. The second one I decided to prepare like matcha, whisked in a chawan with just about 2.5 ounces of water.
Of these two methods, I really prefer the second. The result is a beautiful emerald green drink with a seafoam green froth. The mouthfeel is very milky, thick, and full, and not at all drying. The flavor is incredibly rich and green. It’s very nutty with hints of pistachio and edamame. The warm, nutty flavor really fills your mouth and nostrils. I wouldn’t say this tea is sweet. It’s more savory than sweet, but it is definitely mellow. There’s very little bitterness to this tea even mixed so strongly.
I have a lot of difficulty describing green flavors like this, but I think the emphasis is on a rather mellow, nutty kind of flavor more than a vegetal one.
When mixed into more water the first time I had it, the flavor was rather subdued, so I feel I may have used too much water. That time. The packet didn’t say how much water you should use it with. Maybe 3-4 ounces is ideal.
Flavors: Green, Nutty, Soybean
Considering how many senchas there are out there and how many I’ve tried, I am a real newbie to any Japanese tea. Here’s my review anyway.
The dry leaves are a dark green. First bewing was 6 oz, 185F, 30 sec. The first cup was a light green colour. It was very pleasant and I could have had every cup just like the first. It was a sweet, grassy with just a bit of umami. The caffeine level was fairly low on the first brew too.
2nd brew was 6 oz, 185F, 10 sec. Wow, only 10 sec. I tried to get it out of the tea pot fast enough but the leaves had expanded and kept covering the little infuser over the spout. As a result it took a few seconds of shaking the pot and squeezing out all the water. This brew was stronger than the first! Yunomi explains why the second brewing is only 10 sec. The leaves have opened up and there is leftover water clinging to the leaves from the first infusion. This cup was very good too. A much stronger umami note than from the first infusion. Much greener & grassier but this time with a hint of bitterness.
I have a feeling there are probably no bad senchas at Yunomi. I don’t know where this one falls in quality of senchas but it seems to me to be a very high quality one. I can see how sencha could be part of my everyday tea but I still prefer the lighter caffeine from the Chinese greens. Sencha seems to have more infusions than Chinese greens before losing it’s flavour. Will follow up later when I have more infusions.
Flavors: Grass, Sweet, Umami
Dark green, needle shaped tea leaves which turn into mushy small leaves after steeping. The Fragrance was sweetish vegetal.
The liquor was light cloudy with a vibrant yellowish green. Very rich in umami and amami and smooth like a good Gyokuro. It would be a waste not to enjoy it like a Gyokuro. So my steeping instructions were: 5g per 80ml water, at 60-75°C for 10sec-2min, 4 Infusions were possible
Before you read my review, just know that I am brewing this the traditional Japanese way, which is very flavor-intense and different than the way most Westerners brew Gyokuro.
Here’s a very short article about what the difference is:
And the brewing method is here: http://everyonestea.blogspot.com/2010/10/how-to-brew-gyokuro.html
It is also the same leaf to water ratio that was recommended in the gyokuro tip sheet Yunomi sent me with the teas… so I guess this is at least a somewhat common method in Japan.
I mention this because my first gyokuro review had a lot of people wondering why my experience with the tea was so much different than theirs. This is primarily why.
That said, on to the review. I drank this prior to writing this review so I don’t have it right in front of me and I didn’t take notes. All I can say is I actually didn’t taste a significant difference between this one and the last one I tried “#04 Standard Gyokuro (Kabusecha)” from Kurihara Tea Farm other than this one was slightly less bitter. The umami flavor is intense, fills your mouth very quickly, and it takes a long time just to sip a tiny 20-30ml cup of it. It’s a really interesting experience. It resteeps okay once, but after that you’re digging into the bitter flavors in the leaf quite a bit so I really only drank two infusions of it.
It made a delicious green tea salad afterward.
I’ve decided not to rate Gyokuro teas unless I find myself really loving one. I believe in trying to appreciate them with the traditional method of brewing instead of diluting it to suit my tastes, and so far the traditional method is just so new and abstract to me that it is very difficult for me to tell if I enjoy it or not. I think the quality of these teas is good, but I cannot particularly evaluate them because the flavor and feeling of this tea is just so unlike anything else I’ve ever had. It can be a little overwhelming, but it is also very savory and enjoyable in some aspects.
If you’ve never used the traditional method to prepare gyokuro, I recommend doing it at least once. It’s a trip.
Flavors: Grass, Umami, Vegetal
I slightly overleafed this since I didn’t have enough to justify leaving any leftover leaf when I made my pot of tea this morning. To compensate, I took the steep time down to 2 minutes rather than the 3 minutes I tried previously.
The tea was still a tad bitter, but otherwise not bad. Slightly umami and astringent, but nothing too overpowering. I’ll see if I can get a resteep out of this.
This is a really delightful, soft, sweet tea. Very subtle and gentle – so subtle, in fact, that I ended up resteeping this for 3 minutes, since the first steep at 2 minutes didn’t really make an impact.
Beautiful bright green leaves, lovely sweet smell, absolutely no bitterness…this was quite enjoyable.
Sipdown (126)! I took the rest of this sample (a heaping tablespoon) and cold brewed in one of my water bottles. It’s probably more leaf than I would’ve used and I left it in there for quite a while on accident (maybe 12 hours or so?), so it had a pretty strong roasty taste by the time I tried it out. I did enjoy it, though, and I think it was the right idea to try a less roasty houjicha for cold brewing. I will miss this one, but not too much because I still have tons of it’s sister (dark roast) lying around waiting to be sipped on.
I only have a couple servings left of this, and the rest of the leaves are started to resemble coffee grounds a bit. I think the sample packet just got a bit crushed, oops! That in combination with accidentally letting it steep for quite a few minutes made the tea pretty strong today. It actually didn’t get bitter, but it was more roasted tasting than usual. Anyway, was loving this as usual, but I have a bunch of the dark roast houjicha, so I won’t be reordering any houjichas for a while.
I wanted to have something a little less caffeinated for the afternoon since I’ve been having some sleeping issues lately. This nice, roasty houjicha fit the bill! It has a slightly fishy taste like dried anchovies or dried seaweed, but I like that. I prefer the dark roast (which I recently ordered a ton of) because this one does not have as strong of a roasted taste, but I’m enjoying what I have left of this!
I’m rapidly falling in love with Japanese green teas and hojicha in particular. This hojicha had a lighter color than the others that I’ve tried. It also had a slightly less roasty taste and was closer to other Japanese greens in my opinion. I drank this while eating something spicy and a little sweet, so the roasted, savory taste went well with the food. I’m starting to realize that all the Japanese green teas I’ve tried so far have been good for drinking while eating food.