Yunomi

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Recent Tasting Notes

I finally drank this today. (And finally caught up on my notes!!!) I wasn’t really sure how to approach it. Since it is made from roasted tencha—the leaves generally used to make matcha—does that mean one prepares it like matcha? I spent time contemplating and researching this in the past and didn’t get anywhere, which is part of why I’m only trying this now. Being lazy and short on time, I decided to just pour in the minimum amount of water recommended on the package and whisk to stir it up.

Did that. This tea looks like the ugliest matcha you can imagine. But it tastes just like houjicha. There is a bit of a sour note at the very front, and the rest is roasty with a lingering creamy finish. And unlike my usual go-to houjicha, which is a karigane type (which equals even less caffeine than usual), I definitely felt the caffeine in this. So I could see it serving as an alternative to matcha when I need a boost in the morning.

Flavors: Creamy, Roasted, Sour

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 g 4 OZ / 105 ML

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76

Seaweed flavor, a little salty. Not much bitterness, very pleasant overall.

Flavors: Seaweed

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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95

Received as a sample from Yunomi

This product is so new it’s not even on the website before. I admit, I hadn’t heard of this benifuuki tea before. When I added it to the database I classified it as “matcha”, but I’m not sure if it is. Either way, it sure is tasty.

I’ve tried it both hot and cold. I LOVE cold-mixed matcha, but it can get a little intense if I use too much. I do not really like hot brewed matcha because it’s just too intense. This Benifuuki is both tasty hot AND cold because it’s a much more milder tea. It’s a very muted taste. I would say if you like the STRONG notes of matcha, you are gonna be disappointed. But, if you want something to put in your water bottle and drink for the day, this is not a bad tea at all. I’d say it almost tastes more like a white tea than a green tea. Maybe as it cools it tastes slightly more green with vegetal notes, but honestly it’s really tough to tell.

Another benefit is that it’s supposed to have some hay fever properties to help with allergy season? Hey man, with my allergies as bad as they are I’ll take what I can get. I’ve also been taking pollen too in hopes it will help. This year is gonna be rough.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C

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Drank the last of this today. Got some of the good creamy chestnut notes along with a lot of strong, grassy vegetal notes and astringency. The remainder of the leaves here were pretty dusty coming from the bottom of the bag, so not surprising, and they were a pain to strain quickly enough.

Flavors: Astringent, Chestnut, Creamy, Vegetal

Preparation
8 g 4 OZ / 117 ML

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Not sure what I did, but I got a lot of bitterness out of this tea this morning! Might be my vessel, which is not the same one I was using last week. I might need to just leaf lighter in it. Could also be that I ate some sweet peppers before this, which is affecting my tastebuds.

Very deep green liquor with a beany flavor in steep two, and the bitterness is reduced to a pleasant bite in the background. A very different experience than the previous sessions, but still good.

Flavors: Bitter, Soybean, Umami, Vegetal

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5g in a 100 ml vessel today. Definitely a good idea.

Flavors: Sweet, Umami

Preparation
5 g

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Leafed a lot lighter than I normally would, following the directions for a typical sencha with 2g in a 100ml kyusu, steeped for about 1 minute to start.

I haven’t had one of these aged senchas before, so I was interested in seeing how the flavor of this would compare. Immediately upon wetting the leaves I could tell that this has a stronger, sweeter scent than an everyday sencha, and this translates well into the flavor of the tea. The liquor is a light green from the first steep with a distinctly sweet and umami vegetal flavor. Very well-balanced. It’s quite light since I used such a low leaf to water ratio, but I find it refreshing. I could see myself enjoying this cold while outside on a warm afternoon, but for drinking in the morning I plan to leaf heavier in the future.

It’s still very good, though. Smooth, fragrant, notes of chestnut, no bitterness or astringency, even when I accidentally oversteeped the third round. Very good!

Flavors: Chestnut, Sweet, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Drank the rest of this one this morning, and stuck with lower amounts of water for the entire session. Definitely better flavor doing it that way in my opinion, and this was good, but it wasn’t my favorite.

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Got 10 grams of this from Yunomi a while back, and since I don’t have any other shaded greens open, figured I’d try this one! I leafed lighter than what I usually would, since I only have 10 grams and would like to get another session out of it, so I also decreased the water in the first steep. The liquor poured a mostly yellow green as the first steep often does, and it hit the tip of my tongue with sweetness while coating my mouth with umami and briny broth. A hint of bitterness develops at the back of the tongue, and a buttery aftertaste remains in my mouth until I refill my cup.

I use a bit more water in the second steep since there is usually a lot of trapped flavor ready to come out, and the flavor in this steep is more vegetal and light, with a hint of something that seems almost fruity, but I can’t quite place it. The texture is very smooth. Next time I have this one I think I’ll keep the water down in all steeps, as I prefer a more concentrated flavor. Also, that odd fruitiness leaves its aroma behind in the empty cup.

Steep three is almost identical to steep two. Liquor in the last two steeps was a bit of a light green, but stayed more sencha-like than anything else. I will need to give this one another try, but while this one was good at the start, I think I prefer kabusecha and mecha (which is like gyokuro made from buds) over this so far. But I know mecha is known for having more steeping longevity.

5g
1st: 62ml/50C/155s~
2nd: 102ml/80C/20s~
3rd: 50ml/80C/45~

Flavors: Fruity, Sweet, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
5 g

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Got this as one of my “almost free” samples for Yunomi. I didn’t read the package clearly and realized it was TWO samples instead one. So I poured the whole packet in there and brewed it as instructed only to find it was WAAAAY too strong. So I diluted it with hot water and that seemed to do the trick.

Hot, this tea isn’t bad at all. But I decided to let it cool in the fridge to see how that went. And I have to say it’s a very pleasing tea chilled. It’s got a nice blend of vegetal, sweet, and umami. Maybe a little bit on the grassier side but not overwhelmingly so. I think it makes a really nice chilled tea. Even dilluted it is a bit strong, so maybe next time I might steep for 45 seconds instead of the full minute.

Preparation
140 °F / 60 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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First steep: 5g, 80ml, 50C, about a minute
Decided to drink the rest of this sample today, and it came out very different from yesterday’s session! A much sweeter, gentler, creamy flavor, with an umami body and vegetal undertones. Really, the sweetness is the star here.

Second steep: 70ml, 90C, about 20 seconds
Again, the aroma really burst forth in this steep. A mouth-watering blend of sweet and vegetal, and the flavor does not disappoint! Chestnut sweetness, asparagus and umami all in balance, with a bit of bitterness rounding it all out.

Third steep: 90C, about 30 or so seconds
This steep still had a good amount of flavor and was a good end to the session. Forgot to measure the water, just filled to about the same point as before. All in all, I definitely was more impressed with session two of this. Quite good!

Flavors: Asparagus, Bitter, Chestnut, Creamy, Sweet, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
5 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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First steep: 5g/104ml, 50C, 90 seconds or so
First steep of this came out a slightly cloudly yellow, with a subtle, sweet umami aroma and a matching flavor. This embodies the great umami, vegetal combination I love without that distinct brininess (which I also love). I did slightly less water and a slightly longer steep than they recommend, but I think I would have enjoyed this steep even more with even less than what I used. The texture is thick and viscous, which I love.

2nd steep: 70ml, 90C, 15 or so seconds
Much less space for water in steep two since the leaves absorb so much of it in the first steep. In the second steep, the sweet, umami aroma and flavors become very prominent. There is a nice creaminess that hints at that characteristic chestnut that Japanese greens can sometimes offer. Still very thick and smooth with just a bit of a drying sensation at the end. The very last mouthful of this steep was super creamy and sweet with just enough of a light bitter bite to remind me of the matcha truffle I recently had.

3rd steep: 70ml, 90C, 30-40 seconds
The umami has toned down in this steep, bringing the sweetness and vegetal notes to the forefront. Overall, really have enjoyed this one!

Flavors: Creamy, Smooth, Sweet, Thick, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
1 min, 45 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 104 ML

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65

This was a sample sent with my last Yunomi order. First brew on this was at 60C for 30sec. The tea was very grassy, astringent and bitter.
Second brew was at 80C for 10 seconds. Still bitter, grassy & astringent. The colour of the tea was a deep murky mossy green. I was not very happy with this sencha. It was too bitter even at low temperatures and the grassiness was too extreme.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Grass

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25

There’s a taste to this that I really don’t like, but I can’t put my finger on what, exactly, it is. I had expected that I would really enjoy the sweetness of the fukamushicha, but I found it sickly and just really unpleasant. What a shame!

Flavors: Green, Spinach, Sweet

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

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Just drinking the other bag of this sample so I can remove it from my inventory and justify opening some new greens soon.

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So, Yunomi threw this in as a free sample in one of my orders, but I’m not sure if it’s #1 or #12. It came in a brown tear bag with a foil interior and contains two teabags, but they don’t look like the #12 bags.

I don’t usually do teabags, but trying to sipdown greens I’ve opened or green samples that I have in the morning. Sort of chose this one at random. Steeped in probably somewhere around 140 ml of water heated to 70C, but then it took me a bit to actually pour, so probably cooled a bit, and steeped a bit longer than 2 minutes.

The resulting flavor is nice and light. Has a sweet chestnut aroma and flavor with a hint of creaminess and a bit of umami in the background. Pretty good. Second steep at 80C and probably about a minute max. Very light and smooth, creamy with a vegetal aroma. Not going to try for a third steep, but this wasn’t bad!

Flavors: Chestnut, Sweet, Umami, Vegetal

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

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74

This was a very interesting and different tea that I greatly enjoyed sampling. I’ll most definitely be acquiring some to have on stock in the future.

I started off with 5g of tea. The dry leaf was not uniform at all. There were pieces that looked like small flakes, needles, and just powder. Some leaves were light, but most were a deep green. The aroma was very nice. Very typical sencha. Sweet and vegetal with a slight acidic side.

After steeping for 1 min with 250ml of 160 degree water the leaves took on a wet seaweed appearance. Fuzzy and hay like. All clinging together. A light green color. The aroma was typical sencha with a tendency towards acidic and sour notes.

The liquor of the first infusion was an even pale, dirty green. A nice puke green, but in an appealing sort of way. I know, it sounds weird. The aroma was very faint, but my sinus’s were congested as well so that could have been part of it.

The taste was very different and unique. My first impression was umami, but with a strong astringency as well. Lots of bitterness, but not overpowering. It was a strong yet enjoyable bitterness. There were also very very slight notes of earthy smokiness maybe. Not sure exactly. I’ll have to try again when I try this the second time around.

The second infusion was stronger, more bitter, with hints of smoke and sourness. Still easy to drink. Not overpowering and very enjoyable.

Ratings (from 0-10)

7 – Dry Leaf Appearance
8 – Dry Leaf Smell
5 – Wet Leaf Appearance
6 – Wet Leaf Smell
7 – Liquor Appearance
7 – Aroma
8 – Taste
9 – Value (Is this taste, aroma, and overall experience worth the cost.)

= 73.5 = 74

Rating Multipliers

0.5 – Dry Leaf Appearance
0.5 – Dry Leaf Smell
0.5 – Wet Leaf Appearance
0.5 – Wet Leaf Smell
0.5 – Liquor Appearance
3.5 – Aroma
3.5 – Taste
0.5 – Value (Is this taste, aroma, and overall experience worth the cost.)

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Smoke, Sour, Umami

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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60

A very mild sencha with a gentle bitterness at the tail end. It has a strong aroma of steamed zucchini and squash (not the pumpkin kind, the little yellow kind we get in Australia) and tastes slightly vegetal and green – the bitterness is really the star here. I don’t love it, but it’s not bad either.

Flavors: Bitter, Green, Vegetal, Zucchini

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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78

I really enjoyed this gyokuro. Great umami while having a lingering taste and notes of green beans, brussel sprouts and a hint of saltiness (I know, maybe my brain made that part up).

To start, the dry leaves were a wonderful deep green. They were very fine and spindly and mostly quite uniform. The aroma was a deep deep sweet umami.

I started with 5g tea in 75ml of 120 degree water for 2 minutes. The first infusion produced a pale yellow liquor. It was nothing too special, but it did look nice. The aroma of the the liquor was of deep umami. The taste was very strong umami. Very deep, full, with a lingering in the back of the mouth.

The second infusion with 250ml of 190 degree water for 15 seconds produced a beautiful bright green liquor. The aroma had strong scents of seaweed and a slightly saltiness in the the back of the mouth. Saltwater. The taste was full, rounder, and had a bite throughout the mouth compared to the initial infusion.

The third infusion (steeped as the second) was mellower. Started to lose flavor. Had a slightly astringent bite. Slight sweet green bean taste. Perhaps notes of brussel sprouts.

Rating

8 – Dry Leaf Appearance
8 – Dry Leaf Smell
8 – Wet Leaf Appearance
9 – Wet Leaf Smell
6 – Liquor Appearance
8 – Aroma
8 – Taste
5 – Value (Is this taste, aroma, and overall experience worth the cost.)

Total = 78

Multiplication factors

0.5 – Dry Leaf Appearance
0.5 – Dry Leaf Smell
0.5 – Wet Leaf Appearance
0.5 – Wet Leaf Smell
0.5 – Liquor Appearance
3.5 – Aroma
3.5 – Taste
0.5 – Value (Is this taste, aroma, and overall experience worth the cost.)

Flavors: Green Beans, Salt, Seaweed, Umami

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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78

To start I would like to say I’m trying out a new rating system listed at the end of this review. I’m a math person so it’s pretty systematic. It’s an attempt to standardize my ratings and reviews. It might be tweaked as I go along, but for now it is how I will be rating all my tea reviews.

This was an enjoyable tea. My initial reaction to the dry leaf was it’s variety, yet uniform look. It consists of a mix of longer slivers and short flattened pieces of leaf. However, there is not much between these sizes, so it is also fairly uniform. It was a lovely dark green color. Not as dark as a fukamushi, but very close. The smell of the dry leaf was of very sweet grass.

The initial steep was at 150 degrees for 75 seconds with 200 ml of water.

The wet leaf lightened from the dry leaf surprisingly. Not as appealing. The aroma, however, was a lovely fresh, damp seaweed smell with a slight bite. The liquor was a pale, greenish yellow, although definitely more green than yellow. The aroma from the liquor was like sweet grass, seaweed, and green beans with a slight bite detected in the back of the throat. The taste was a pleasant balance of umami, sweetness, and astringency. There was a nice full feeling in the mouth with a slight bite in the back of the mouth, although neither was overwhelming.

The second infusion was for 15 seconds at 175 degrees with 250ml of water. The aroma lessened quite considerably with this infusion. The taste become more mellow. Almost zero astringency. Notes of walnuts. Vegetal, but sweet at the same time.

Overall a great sencha. I enjoyed it quite a bit. Definitely in the range of high quality everyday senchas.

Rating

7 – Dry Leaf Appearance
8 – Dry Leaf Smell
6 – Wet Leaf Appearance
7 – Wet Leaf Smell
7 – Liquor Appearance
8 – Aroma
8 – Taste
8 – Value (Is this taste, aroma, and overall experience worth the cost.)

Total = 77.5 = 78

Multiplication Factors

0.5 – Dry Leaf Appearance
0.5 – Dry Leaf Smell
0.5 – Wet Leaf Appearance
0.5 – Wet Leaf Smell
0.5 – Liquor Appearance
3.5 – Aroma
3.5 – Taste
0.5 – Value (Is this taste, aroma, and overall experience worth the cost.)

Flavors: Astringent, Green Beans, Seaweed, Walnut, Wet Moss

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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88

This was part of a secret santa tea gift from inkay, which was incredible, by the way!

This was my first matcha latte ever, so preparation was a little iffy. I’ve never even had a professional one, so I kind of made it up. I started by making a paste with 170 degree water, then I used my espresso machine to make milk foam. I just kind of made up how much milk to add and stirred.

I wasn’t really feeling it plain, and my chat had recommended adding some vanilla, so that’s what I did. The result was what I would imagine green bean ice cream to taste like. It was weird at first, but it grew on me. It definitely has a different flavor than my usual matcha.

Less sweet, a little more bitter, and more vegetal, yet still somehow smooth. Very nice! Thanks inkay!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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80

I haven’t tasted very many hojichas, but this is lovely. It’s vegetal but distinctly toasty, which would be a perfect blend for a chilly winter morning, which, incidentally, I’m experiencing quite the opposite of. The liquor is quite a bright green upon first pouring the water, but it brews to a dark yellow. It reminded me a lot of a forest – dark and damp and full of vegetation, with a distinct sweetness and rich roasted flavour. Really nice.

Flavors: Forest Floor, Green, Sweet, Toasty, Vegetal

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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70

My goodness, that name is quite a mouthful. :-) This tea features short grass-like pieces of leaf a lovely dark green. For this review, steeped at around 170F for about 2 minutes. First steep was a cloudy yellow-green that tasted quite broth-like, noticeably salty with a slight sourness. Something like a seaweed broth. The next steep was sweeter, with the saltiness replaced by a more grassy sencha flavor with some bitter notes creeping in, but overall weaker in flavor. The third steep had little flavor left.

A quality tea, and a good price, but the savoriness is not my favorite flavor profile.

Flavors: Broth, Salt

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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75

Basic sencha in my opinion. Easy to drink. Well balanced. Nice light green/yellow color. Nothing special or spectacular though. A very good average, but it also doesn’t surprise you or offer anything special. Seems like a great everyday tea though.

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

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