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Recent Tasting Notes
A very “green” tasting Matcha.
Flavors: Green, Vegetal
I’ve been drinking this today in preparation of my driving lesson. I was in no mood to drive but had to regain focus so I had three or four bowls of this before my lesson. It was a good plan because my instructor said if I continue to drive like that I will pass my exam :D
I reviewed the sweet, cow milk version with pictures on my blog and honestly going from that blend to this one was difficult. This one is much less sweet (which I decided would be better for my diet) and I prefer soy milk anyway in general. So less sweet, more dry (from the soy I believe) and with a nutty sort of light after taste. I adored the sweetness so to adjust I did have to start using sweeteners. Now I’m happy with this ‘au natural’.
The Matcha itself tastes mild but with enough grassy and warm umami tones to be pleasing and recognizable. More soy than Matcha in terms of flavour depth but it’s nice and if it helps me stop the sugar intake then I cannot complain. Would buy this one again for sure.
It arrived!! Ok, actually it arrived Saturday after the Tea Fest, but I was a little distracted by the awesome to play with it. Ben bought me (ok both of us) some new toys, specifically a wax sculptor’s kit for sculpting Green Stuff and a helping hand magnifying glass. I know, I have a giant Otte light with a magnifying glass, but it is kinda massive and hard to use, the tiny helping hands will help with sculpting. So far my sculpting escapades have including making a wooden floor for my Jakob Lynch Malifaux mini, Jakob Lynch who in my color scheme is old west Shang Tsung from Mortal Kombat, because win.
Matcha time! Yes, it time for Matcha Monday, and today I am looking at Yunomi’s Factory Direct Matcha. This powdery green goodness hails from Kyoto and was shaded for four weeks before being harvested in the Spring, you know this might be the first Matcha I have reviewed that tells me how long it was shaded, extra information makes me immensely happy. The aroma of the Matcha is so very green, delightfully so, blending sweet hay, sweet grass, wildflowers, bamboo leaves, and a touch of sesame seeds. It reminds me of the smell of spring time and growing things, it is quite excellent. Once whisking the Matcha, the aroma that wafts out of my chawan is delectable, blending sweet wildflowers, sweet sticky rice, straw, and a touch of bamboo leaves. It balances out green and sweet notes pretty well.
The Matcha starts out a touch bitter like kale and Brussels sprouts and then within instants the taste explodes into sweetness and fresh green notes! It was pretty abrupt and impressive how quickly that initial bitter green notes switched to sweet, there are notes of honey and straw, these move to spinach and bamboo leaves, with a finish that is both nutty and kelp umami notes. The aftertaste is sweet and slightly floral, it lingers for a bit. This is one of my favorite everyday Matcha, it has a great presence and balanced taste.
I decided, on a whim, to try this Koicha style…it is not really intended for that, but I am still kinda curious what it is like. One day I will be able to afford the really fancy stuff that is actually created for Koicha! The taste is something else, it starts out intensely bitter, like a mouthful of kale and unripe persimmons, like the Usucha it switches almost immediately to intensely sweet, like honey and wildflowers. This transitions to a rich umami blend of kelp and spinach with a slight finish of bamboo leaves. That was certainly an experience, not entirely unpleasant, but not entirely pleasant either, maybe I should stop drinking Matcha in ways it is not intended!
This is one of the best Hojichas I have ever had. It’s not pedestrian stuff, it took me two different times to get used to it. It’s slightly smoky, slightly sweet as it cools and roasted and toasty to it’s core. I highly recommend cooking with it! I made some bomb pork chops with it.
I had some the other night with my man, and he likened it to ‘you know, schwag weed.’ which may be completely accurate.
This Matcha is highly aromatic in its scent especially during the whisking process.
Its taste profile is one of the crisp and vegetal Matcha teas with an alga-maritime flavor, a full body and persistent, with an astringent and rich finish.
Flavors: Umami, Vegetal
I didn’t follow the typical brewing methods from Yunomi for this tea this morning. I just wanted it simple using a cup and infuser. I used 185F , 1 tsp and brewed for 50 min.
It’s quite delicious. Very good umami. Very grassy & sweet with only a hint of bitterness. There’s also a bit of nutty flavour that comes through too. This might have been even better if I brewed at 175 which I will try next time but was still good at the 185F. Their recommendation is 158F. My tea just cools down too quick at that temperature.
I would buy this sencha again from Yunomi.
Flavors: Grass, Nutty, Sweet, Umami
Matcha Silver makes a good everyday Matcha with a mild body and a long vegetal finish.
There wasn’t any astringency and bitterness but some crispy notes were here and there.
The texture was silky and smooth.
Flavors: Green, Sweet, Vegetal
An organic blend of spring and summer harvest from Kagoshima and Kyoto.
This Sencha is high aromatic in its scent and fills the air with a complex aroma of umami and amami.
The liquor is a cloudy green with yellowish nuances in the cup.
Up to 5 infusions were possible, however, the flavor began already to fade with the 4th infusion.
The flavor was full-bodied and complex with a good balance of sweetness and umami.
The finish was vegetal with a refreshing astringency that gains more intensity in the following infusions.
Flavors: Astringent, Sweet, Tannin, Umami, Vegetal
I got this with my last Yunomi order. I had ordered their surprise New Year package which includes 4 teas. It seemed like a good deal so I went for it.
The leaves are a very dark green but that’s not unusual for a good sencha. I brewed this at a really low temperature – 160F for one minute. It brews up a rich green colour and the taste was sweet, very grassy , & a bit bitter. I just didn’t like the bitterness but otherwise enjoyed the cup. I haven’t been feeling too well so didn’t go for a second infusion until later this afternoon. I expected the 2nd cup to be better than the first. I was wrong. It was really bitter even though I still only brewed 1 min and at the same low temperature.
Now that I look at some of their brewing notes online, they do say the 2nd steeping should be shorter. There’s a few different steeping techniques so I’ll give a few of those a try next time.
Flavors: Bitter, Grass, Sweet
It has taken some trying for me to like Hojicha. The first time I tried one the roasted flavor was off putting. This one has a fairly pleasant roasted flavor. It is not too strong. I find myself drinking it at night because of the low caffeine content. This one states it is pesticide free and spring tea which I admit it tastes like, meaning the spring taste. I don’t think you can taste pesticides one way or the other. Yunomi definitely has some good teas, so far everything on my order has been good. Regardless, hojicha is an acquired taste.
I brewed this one time in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and 175 degree water for 2 min.
This is my first hojicha, so I can’t really compare it to any others. It’s a green tea, but I really like it. It’s nutty and toasty without tasting at all burnt. The aftertaste is sweet. But it’s kind of a light sweetness, more like a pinch of cane sugar than honey. It has none of the bitterness associated with green tea, and it’s not at all grassy or vegetal — a really really great green for someone who doesn’t love most greens. There is really nothing at all unpleasant about this flavor. I don’t want to add anything to it.
I know that hojicha usually has twigs, but the Yunomi site lists only tea leaves as the ingredient. This is the first green tea I’ve ever really really liked.
The only issue is that green tea usually makes me nauseous. I drank this tea with a meal, and I’m feeling slightly off… But I’m not sure whether this is a reverse placebo thing, or if I’m genuinely having negative side effects right now. I will reserve judgment on whether or not this tea will be okay as a regular in my rotation. But I hope that I can drink it because it’s really really good. I’m tempted to buy some more right now — it’s that good.
I have read that Serious Green Tea Drinkers don’t take hojicha seriously, but I don’t care. It’s inexpensive, low in caffeine and really delicious. Perfect with meals. I’ll monitor how I feel for the next few hours after I finish drinking it — hoping the nausea ends quickly.
I also have a sample of Den’s hojicha on hand. I opened them both, and this one smelled a little sweeter and a lot less smoky, so I decided to try it first. The dry leaves smell kind of like roasted almonds. The wet leaves smell a bit like basil, but i tend to notice that about a lot of wet leaves with a lot of different kinds of teas, so I’m not sure it’s really significant here.
I thought that I would mainly think this was preferable to other green teas — I thought I’d think it was just okay, but honestly it’s one of the best new teas I’ve tried recently. I love it — must get more if it doesn’t make me sick.
Flavors: Almond, Coriander Seed, Green Wood, Nutty, Oak wood, Roast nuts, Roasted, Roasted Barley, Roasted nuts, Smooth, Sugarcane, Sweet, Toasted, Wood
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The powder is light green with white pieces amongst them, dry milk perhaps? It smells toasted and grassy though mild.
Following the instructions on the packet, I put two and a half spoons of Matcha blend into my bowl and added 100ml approx of warm water (around 85C).
Once steeped (and well mixed) the liquid is a light green that looks rather milky and has a toasted grass scent.
Flavour is surprisingly good! It’s sweet and toasted with cream and grass tones. Soft and delicate but I’m really understanding the latte description. Perfect for me as I am allergic to milk and drinking it gives me stomach ache, though small doses is fine. There are little bits in the drink that are chewy, petal like as they are soft. The bits are not great, I would prefer it smooth.
The raw leaves are a beautiful blend of green tones with some yellow stems and brown sticks/twigs present. They smell fresh, sweet and grassy with toasted flowers.
Leaf – 5g
Water – 180ml
Temperature – 65c
Steeping time – 1 minutes
Once steeped the tea is cloudy green in colour and has a warm seaweed and grass scent.
In flavour It’s mild yet sweet with light grass and umami tones that come through in the after taste. Some dryness too.
A second steep reveals deeper grass and seaweed flavours with an increased dryness. The umami is present though remains minimal and slightly perfumed. As it cools I can also taste white cabbage.
A third steep brings out some astringency though it remains full of flavour. Though the dryness is increasing and feels powdery.
Overall: It was nice and the Organic factor made it extra special but I found this Sencha became dry too quickly for my liking.
I bought a jar of this for my birthday which is in a few weeks time but I also received another jar of this tea from my fukubukuro bag from Yunomi. So I figured I may as well try it now and have the other jar on my birthday as planned.
Colour is bright green and foams wonderfully.
Flavour is smooth and very creamy, lightly grassy and sweet. Very light in strength, incredibly easy to drink and wonderful sweet grass tones in the after taste. The last sip had light umami tones.
The powder blends well with the water and it makes each sip consistent in flavour and texture.
I think this is the smoothest Matcha I have tried, it’s taste and colour is stunning. No chemical flavours or astringency at all. Will have to do a detailed write up of this with pictures I think at some point.
Having this tea this morning. Brewed at 185 , 8 oz, almost a min. Meant to go 45 sec but couldn’t get to it in time. Anyway, I’m really surprised with my last review. This morning this tea is pretty good. Not the best sencha I’ve had but still a decent quality one for the morning. I’ve upped my rating.
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
Enjoying this one this morning. I love sencha but it has such a caffeine kick. This morning I need it because I didn’t get enough sleep. This is the last of my sample on this one. It’s a great sencha and I will miss it but I have lots of great teas in my cupboard to sip down.
Not leaving any details on it since I did that on my first review of this tea.
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