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drank Chakouan Imari Black Tea by Yunomi
859 tasting notes

This is a tasty black tea. There is little malt, bitterness, or astringency. It’s got a nice somewhat sweet, barely perceptible spicy note to it. I’m not sure what to call the sweet note. The website just describes it as mild and fragrant. This is accurate but I’m not sure how to describe the fragrance involved. The dry leaves had an odd smell to them but I didn’t get any of that in the brew.

I brewed this once in a Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and 190 degree water for 2 min.

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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This is an interesting black tea. It’s got something of a spicy note to it that I almost mistook for wet storage taste. But this tea is I think a 2015 black tea so it shouldn’t have any storage taste. The spicy taste has something of a bitter character to it I guess. Not sure if I would buy this one again but it is an interesting tea.

I steeped this tea once in a Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and 190 degree water for 3 min.

Flavors: Spicy

190 °F / 87 °C 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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The third and final tencha sample… so sad to not have any more.

The first one I had was the best by far, the sweet tender taste… so good.
This leaf however would out preform it in regards to being matcha. Why is that? Simple: This leaf keeps the vegetable integrity while having a slight sweetness to it. A combination like that is key for a matcha, but for a loose leaf tea I like my sweets so this ranks in #2. I really like the Yunomi series based teas that are put together. I think I might get suckered into getting the aged green Japanese tea leaf one which is 2014 and 2015 side by side.

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I got the best news from my phone today, clearly the weather gods have heard my cries, because guess what is happening on Friday? Yes, snow! It will only be an inch and technically it is a day after my birthday, but whatever, until I move far to the north (or in the mountains) this might be as close as I get to a blizzard on my birthday! If all goes well it will be late at night so I can get my gallivanting done early in the day and then just enjoy the snowy night.

Today’s tea is a bit of an opposite to the weather, here we are on the cusp of winter, and I am talking about one of the iconic spring teas! Yunomi’s Takeo Tea Farm: Limited Organic Shincha (Isecha), #3 “Ume” it is a Shincha, or the earliest harvest, is probably some of the most coveted Sencha, it is immensely fresh and a bit of a pain to get stateside, I am usually lucky to get a sample of it a year, and this is my 2015 Shincha. I got my sample right at the same time that Yunomi switched website, and my only complaint about the new site is the lack of interesting information, it used to be each of the teas would have a lot of details about them, now only some do…and this particular one is sparse on details. The aroma of the leaves is, well, it is also a bit sparse, very faint notes of kelp and spinach with a touch of fresh lettuce, but really this is a faint, faint, Shincha.

Into my tiny kyusu the leaves go for a nice steeping, one day I will have the shiboridashi I ordered, but slow shipping is slow. I love these tiny leaves, but they are a pain to clean out of the screen, so I look forward to a shiboridashi. The aroma of the leaves is still really mild, notes of spinach and kelp with a gentle grassiness at the finish. The liquid has almost no aroma at all, I was beginning to worry my nose had failed me, but after sniffing some familiar things I was sad to admit that this tea just smells like faint grass water.

I admit to some apprehension, see taste is mostly smell, the olfactory system is so intertwined with the sense of taste (the gustatory system) that usually if it is lacking, the food is lacking. One of the reasons I loathe having a stuffy nose, I tend to panic if I can’t smell or taste properly, not sure if that is an offshoot of my sensory disorder or a normal reaction, clearly I need to take a poll! Ok, enough waffling, this tea did not live up to my past experiences with Shincha…and I find myself wondering if I accidentally ordered the 2014 harvest, but since I remember getting the 2015 and my package did not have the harvest date on it I can’t be sure. The taste is like buttery spinach water and a gentle nutty finish, and that is it. I tried for a second steep just to see if a higher temperature would help, but nope, this tea was just not on its game. This is the first time I have been disappointed by a tea from Yunomi, but I didn’t want the rest of my sample to go to waste, I gave it to a friend who absolutely loved it…proving once again, that taste is subjective and there is a tea for everyone out there somewhere.

For blog and photos:


Poll response: I don’t panic, but I do get seriously bummed. Sense of smell and taste are two of my most favorite things about being alive :)


Your birthday is on Thursday 19th? Me too. Happy birthday to us for then. :)

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Green tea season is over for me due to the weather change, but Yunomi had recently put up this spring harvest sencha with the name dragon in it… I’m a sucker for such things so I picked it up with my banchas for the winter.

Here’s the thing: This leaf is small and ugly, but after trying this… I can safely say that the price was worth it. At something like $20 an ounce (for the sample price) that’s steep. This is the second best Japanese green tea I’ve had, behind the Okinawa shincha which was mind blowing good. The long lingering mouth feel is slimely with a taste of vegetable goodness. What confuses me about this tea is it’s overall taste and aftertaste. I’ve used three cups to taste this because each time I get the sensation that I just ate a cooked vegetable. I’m not sure if I like that or not, but it’s pretty dang cool. The leaf once brewed is still small and ugly, but I’m after taste and it is giving me a wonderful taste with an interesting experience.


TBH, i would not pay that price unless it was 10$/ounce

Liquid Proust

I’m okay paying $1 a gram, just depends on how good the tea is.

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First, I need to just point out that Yunomi is growing to be something much bigger and better than what it was when I had the group buy earlier this year. Their new site, the new cultivators, and just… everything! I’m impressed and excited to see what is to come.

Anyways, I was very excited when I saw a tencha sampler. A must buy for me :)
This is one very interesting experience. The taste is pure Japanese tea freshness. The odd part though is how it taste like matcha which is probably the way everyone has always tencha, rather than loose leaf. It’s somewhat hard to explain without sounding nasty, but to tencha taste like a non thick version of matcha. Smooth with an ending velvety vegetable taste that lingers briefly. This was the first of the three that I have drank and I have no negative remarks beside the pricing of tencha which is understandable.

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I think I have an obsession with Liches (who Ben swears the plural is Lichen, and I am not sure I want to agree with that or not) I just absolutely love them! To me, painting a magical armor wearing or magic slinging skeleton glowing with undead magical energy is just the best thing, I might like painting them more than I do monsters. There are currently more Liches (my blue banshee totally counts) on my tea table then elves and monsters, and I am in the market for more…yep, I totally have an obsession. I blame Tolkien, since I am pretty sure my love for them started with the Nazgul and Barrow Wights…or maybe it came from the creepy Horned King from The Black Cauldron?

Today we are taking a trip to Japan for something beautiful and green, Yunomi’s Obubu #5 Kirameki No Sencha, Shaded Summer Green Tea. From the Kyoto Obubu Tea Farm in, you guessed it, Kyoto, this Sencha is shaded for two weeks before harvesting, giving it a lightness after its strong summer sunlight. The name, Kirameki no Sencha is evocative of shimmering light dancing on water, and that sounds beautiful, and I am a little sad I am drinking this so late in the year, it sounds like the perfect summer drink. Now, before I get into the way these leaves smell, I have to say wow, these are some big leaves! Very large, especially for a Sencha, I was very impressed by their pine needle like appearance and color. Ok, that aside, sniffing time! The leaves are at first nutty and sweet, notes of sesame seeds and a gentle honey sweetness, then it starts to get an umami note of toasted nori which blends really well with the sesame seed notes. The finishing notes are freshly mown grass and a sharp bell pepper greenness which lingers in the nose.

Into my tiny kyusu the leaves go, and the aroma coming of the now wet leaves is quite green! Fresh kelp and toasted nori blended with asparagus and cooked bell peppers. Undertones of fresh grass and a touch of sweet hay cut through the mostly savory notes. The liquid is sweet and warm, like sunlight on a summer day, where it has warmed the grass and hay, blending the aromas of nature. Underneath that is a gentle nuttiness and just the tiniest hint of kelp and sea air.

The first steeping is clean and smooth, the mouthfeel is very light, I can see why this tea is described as one that is good for a summer day, a combination of a lower brewing temperature and lightness would be very refreshing when it is hot. It starts with notes of lettuce and fresh kelp, cut grass and a touch of sea air. Then it moves to gentle sesame seeds and builds to a gentle sweetness that lingers into the aftertaste. The transition between umami and sweet is gradual and not jarring, which I always find quite nice.

Second steeping, the aroma is sweeter, no sea air or kelp to be found, just honey, sesame seeds, and grass. This steeping was smooth like the first, but the mouthfeel is more buttery than light, giving it a bit more depth. It is greener this time around, and not just in color, notes of kelp and spinach with a touch of grass and a finish of sesame seeds at the finish. Usually Sencha makes me feel energized, hilariously right after drinking this one I fell asleep, that was a first!

For blog and photos:

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This is one of the teas Liquid Proust donated to the Herbal and Decaf TTB. Thank you!

I used half of this sample, since it said it made two cups. It tasted mostly like a light barley tea. I could tell there were other flavors in there giving it a bit more depth, but they were so light I could barely tell they were there, and couldn’t really place them. I really like barley tea, so I would definitely drink this again.

Flavors: Roasted Barley

Boiling 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I was planning to review some of my YUNOMI order tomorrow, but I just have to write about this now.

First let me mention this: I only bought this tea because it is an aged Japanese tea, that to me sounds rare/odd/cool/musttry.

My only experience with tea stems went horrible last time because it was quite unappealing in taste and appearance. While this tea still looks lame, it brews out a wonderful cup of calmness. Knowing it’s past midnight, I chose this tea because it was aged to reduce the caffeine content. The taste of stem is surely there and the explanation of ‘slightly roasted’ cannot be worded better . What makes me happy that I bought 100g of this tea is that it is great. This is a through and through an autumn tea. I’ll probably be buying more since I might end up sending this out for others to try.

It’s as if I’m drinking the woodsy remains of a roasted bancha that has settled in time to taste like a falling leaf that has recently became orange with red spots on it. Yeah, that’s how it taste.

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This was an enjoyable, great quality sencha especially for the price. Full bodied and very well balanced sweetness and mild astringency. I started off steeping it at 155 F and then dropped the temperature by about 5 degrees with each subsequent steep. The tea got lighter and creamier as it progressed. On the fourth steep, I bumped up the temperature to 165 F and let it go for 2.5 mins. Still produced a tasty cup. A very refreshing sencha overall!

Flavors: Grass, Smooth

155 °F / 68 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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The smell of the dry leaf and the taste of brewed cup are fishy, similar to bonito flakes with a deeply vegetal aftertaste. Even at the lowest brewing temperature of 140 F, there is very little sweetness and mostly bitterness. Tastes like your drinking water from a fishy lake. By far the foulest tasting Japanese green tea I’ve had yet.

Flavors: Fishy, Vegetables

150 °F / 65 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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This delicious and fragrant sencha is underrated and inexpensive. I gave it an 84 for the value I got from the low price. I assumed the Kurihara bros would make a very flavorful sencha at a low price since I’ve tried their gyokuro samples, which I highly recommend. This tea is simple and easy to brew. The broken dried leaves appear to be mid-steamed and the tea soup is a vibrant lime green hue. I picked up roasted asparagus, edamame, and peach. Another good quality of the tea, is the fragrance it leaves at the bottom of the cup and it’s after taste, usually evidence that the tea bushes are grown at higher elevations.

Before I knew it my tea tin was empty again.

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From the EU TTB

This is a green tea like none I’ve seen before. It’s almost powdered, the leaf is so fine! I went with a traditional western-style brew since I wasn’t really sure how to approach it – 1 tsp of leaf given 2 minutes in water cooled to around 175 degrees. The resulting liquor is a bright yellow.

To taste, this is like a rather concentrated green tea. I probably could have made do with less leaf, or a much, much shorter brew time. It’s drinkable like this, though. The flavour is very grassy, almost like a cup full of liquidised fresh cut grass, basically. It’s hard to taste anything else – if indeed there is anything to taste! It’s sweet in a hay-like way, with just the tiniest bit of underlying bitterness. I probably could have avoided that with a more accomplished brewing, though. There’s no astringency, so that’s a point in its favour for sure.

I felt wrong footed by this one, so my impression of it probably isn’t quite what it should have been. Any errors here are mine, though, and it was actually a pretty pleasant cup of green tea once I got used to the intensity of flavour. It’s probably not one I’d return to, though – at least not without some detailed brewing instructions!

170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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This was with my last Yunomi order and I added them purely because they were on sale. Plus I have been trying a few tea bags from Nakazen recently and this is another to add to the collection.

These teabags are each individually sealed in a silver foil pack for added freshness. The outer packaging can also be re-sealed.

Opening the foil pack I am met with a large polystyrene teabag with a white appearance and a tag attached to string. I cannot see any dust/fannings in the silver foil pack or my hand as I handle the bag. Though white I can see dark leaves filling roughly 1/4 of the space. They are small pieces of leaf. As I sniff the bag it is subtle with some wooden tones and a hint of dryness.

Steep one tea bag for 1 minutes with 100C water. (As seen on the pack)

While it steeps I don’t believe I’ve heard of Tsubaki tea before. A Google search says that it’s also known as: “camellia japonica (a relative of camellia sinensis or tea)”.
The Yunomi website also offers some information on this.

Well once steeped the colour is golden brown (like a dark honey) and it bares a bitter, earthy, wooden and smoky tea. It smells like Pu Erh! I was seriously not expecting that. Just like a Ripe Pu Erh.

Flavour is milder than the scent though still somewhat similar to Pu Erh. It’s medium strength with damp earth, dry wood and a soft smoke after taste. There is also some sweetness to it though mild compared to the earthiness. The dryness increases and coats my tongue over time.

Half way down the mug at this point and I keep having to tell myself it’s not a Pu Erh. Still despite the fact of something it isn’t I like what it actually is. It’s not as ‘offensive’ as Pu Erh can be at times but you have the characteristics of it, plus it has a calming effect. I’m losing train of thought as I carry on typing.

In terms of this being bagged I would not have guessed had I not seen it with my own eyes. It made for ‘unusual’ drinking but I’m still happy I picked this one up.

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Recently I received an order from Yunomi of which they were kind to include this tisane as a free gift. While admittedly hibiscus is not something I would usually order it is nice to try something different. Plus I feel tisanes are something I should drink more of, going caffeine free every now and then sounds like a good idea.

They do offer this as two versions on their website: loose leaf and teabag. This is the teabag version.

The bags are a good quality thin polystyrene (very typical Japanese tea bag design). They are white and a little bit see through with 1/5 filled with small, chopped petals. As I sniff the bag I am met with a dry, sweet, tangy and herbal scent. Very hibiscus strong and herbal but also not overly thick.

Steeping: Popping one bag into boiling water for three minutes.

Colour is deep, deep red. Scent is floral, sweet yet sour and overall rather soft.

Flavour is stronger than the smell though it’s not as thick as I expected (or feared). The hibiscus is sweet with sour after tones and a touch of dryness, this leads to a herbal after taste. The sourness is actually rather minimal considering, likening this to sherbet. ie. More sweet than sour.

Half way down my mug I’m finding this to remain consistent with the first sip. The dryness is not increasing and nor is the herbal tang that tisanes tend to have.

Overall I thought this was nice, more pleasant tasting than I had imagined being generally a non hibiscus fan. This was of fair quality and strength which complimented the hibiscus. A simple tisane but a nice companion on this warm night.

As reviewed here:

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drank Naturalitea by Yunomi
495 tasting notes

I’ve had this tea for awhile and have enjoyed it , but never left a review. Had it stored in the fridge and it seems to have kept it fresh.

It tastes great. A sweet grassy sencha. A little bit fruity. It’s a deep green colour like gyokuro but lighter than gyokuro. It’s also organic-grown without pesticides. A big plus in my book. If I order from Yunomi in the future I would put this one on the order.

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Tea leaves are very dark brown almost black, mixed with some lighter brown leaves. In the mixture there is some bigger leaves, but majority is broken. Leaves smell of baked apple, mixed with woody, earthy and malty notes.
Brewed tea is hazelnut brown/dark amber. Aroma of the tea is sweet and slightly citrusy, which reminds me a Russian samovar tea with slice of lemon.
Taste reminds again Russian style tea, with earthy and malty notes, with chestnut honey.
After taste is rather delicate.
Could imagine drinking this tea russian style (with little slice of lemon) on cold winter months.
Yunomi suggest also drinking it with milk, which needs to be still tried at this point.

Flavors: Candied Apple, Chestnut, Citrusy, Honey, Malt, Sweet, Wood

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Nakazen Jasmine Tea by Yunomi
105 tasting notes

do not be deceived by the unassuming teabag. brewed lightly, it is a smile in a cup.

can’t. stop. sipping.

hooray for yunomi groupbuy!

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The brilliant green color of this matcha and it’s ability to froth well (despite my use of a kitchen whisk) immediately made me suspect it was one of the more expensive samples included in this round of the Matcha Blind Taste Test. Sadly the taste and texture didn’t appeal to me. It was strongly flavored, tasting of seaweed, with a very bitter aftertaste. I feel like it would be better suited to cooking where added sugar could compensate for the bitterness.

You can read the full results of the blind taste test on my blog:

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A very “green” tasting Matcha.

Flavors: Green, Vegetal

160 °F / 71 °C 0 min, 15 sec 2 g 2 OZ / 60 ML

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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.


the salty is the best one


I have tried Dragon Tea House – Yak Butter but was not a fan at all. I dislike butter and milk so altogether it was a bad combination. Not a salt fan either, or sugar lol.


i understand :)

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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!

For blog and photos:

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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.

Full fancy review:

Liquid Proust

Gyokuro hojicha…. yum!

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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.

Read more:

Flavors: Umami, Vegetal

140 °F / 60 °C 0 min, 15 sec 2 g 2 OZ / 60 ML

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