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Recent Tasting Notes
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
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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:
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