Yunomius

Recent Tasting Notes

88

This is my ‘free’ sample. It smells nicely earthy. There is a bit of a sweet, floral flavour, though a little on the darker side. Different, but really good.

Flavors: Earth, Floral, Orchid, Sweet

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80

Sipdown!

I had a headache behind one of my eyes tonight, so I took an advil and then brewed some of this. A little bit after that, my stomach was giving me a bit of trouble (note to self: that rainbow sherbet was a baaad idea), so I hoped this would still help. I really need to find some ginger green tea soon.

Anyways, this tea was so good that I steeped it twice, and had the two cups back-to-back, which I almost never do (I tend to leave a bit of time between steeps). This time it was more astringent than I remember, but also had a pleasant grassy aftertaste. Both times the liquor was a lovely shade of greenish yellow, and there was very little dust despite being taken from the bottom of the sample bag. I’m debating whether to restock this or go with the other genmaicha sample I purchased from Yunomi.us. Decisions, decisions….

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Backlog from last night.

I’m still surprised by the gentle, non-smoky nature of this tea. It’s really laid back, doesn’t ask for your attention much. I’m still not sure if I’m sold on houjichas in general, but you could do worse than try this one.

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Backlog from last night.

This actually wasn’t that smoky, like I was expecting it to be. It still had that roasty, umami flavour, but I didn’t taste much smoke, which was surprising. It was otherwise quite gentle. I tried to use about 2 tsp of leaf for a 16-oz mug, but the leaf is a bit fluffy, so I might have underleafed it.

I have to admit that based on the teas in this sampler, I don’t know if houjicha teas are really my bag. I’ll see what happens when I try the dark roast, though.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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89

Sipdown (108)! Alas, the oddly cool weather has passed and it has returned to sticky humidity again. Though that deters me from hot tea, I do love cold brewing, so I used up my final tablespoon of this one in a cold brew. The flavors did not change much from when I tried this one hot: mostly roasty/smoky flavors, very smooth, and no bitterness. While I am sad to see this one go, I take comfort in my large stock of the dark roast of this houjicha, which I prefer anyway. Plus, it’s one less tea I have to worry about when I inevitably move again in a couple months.

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Another backlog from last night, and another sipdown!

I bought this as part of a sampler pack from Yunomi.us, and so far I’m undecided about whether I like houjichas or not. There’s something about the taste in the background – that sort of “curly” astringent taste I associate with some green oolongs – that I’m not too fond of.

However, I still have 2 more teas in the houjicha sampler pack to try. I really wonder if either the dark or smoky roasts will knock my socks off. One can hope…

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89

I’m totally taking advantage of the cooler weather to drink up some of my favorite hot teas. Like I probably stated in previous tasting notes, this houjicha is on the heavier/smokier side compared to other houjichas that I’ve had. Now, I usually am not a huge fan of smoky teas, but in this case, it works really well with the roasted flavor that is present in all houjichas. Also, it’s really working today in particular because my new apartment has chlorine-y water, so the strong flavor of the houjicha helps drown that out.

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88

Need to get back into these Japanese green samples I haven’t tried! Feeling like a nice mellow green after having several cups of black this morning. This is my first kabusecha, which is a green tea that has been shaded for a short time before picking. This tea was shaded for two weeks according to the website. The leaves look and smell like sencha, though they are maybe a little bit of a richer green color.

This tea is actually surprisingly light, and I am enjoying it a lot. It has the same butternut squash, spinach, and grass notes as other senchas. There is a definite creamy buttery quality to this though, and it’s quite mellow and smooth. Quite tasty, thanks Yunomi! I would absolutely drink this as an everyday green tea, and this may have to be a reorder.

Flavors: Butter, Butternut Squash, Grass, Spinach

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80

Wow, first tasting note!

I ordered this from Yunomius about 3 months ago, and finally opened the package today. What greeted me was a fairly standard-looking mix of green tea leaves, roasted rice, and popped kernels.

Lately I’ve become a bit wary of genmaichas because I’ve experienced some that taste like burnt popcorn. Luckily, this one is not like that.

The flavour of the rice is there – roasty, a tad salty – but the green tea in this tastes quite fresh and grassy, and slightly astringent. I really liked how much the green tea popped in this one. I should definitely have enough in the sample left for another pot.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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First-ever gyokuro! I got this as a free sample from YunomiUS as part of my Japanese green exploration fun time (totally made that up). I don’t know anything about gyokuro, so I kind of browsed around on Steepster to come up with some steeping parameters for western-style. The dry leaf is a beautiful jewel-tone green and shiny, but it is extremely broken up, which I did not expect. It smells similar to a sencha, mostly like alfalfa and a sweet grassiness.

The brewed tea smelled a lot like sencha to me, too. It’s quite spinachy and somewhat sweet with a buttery zucchini element to it that is new to me. But wow, the taste of it took me completely by surprise! I can see similarities to a more heavily steamed sencha, but the level of intensity is so enormous here. There’s a second when I first sip where I don’t taste a whole lot, but then I’m immediately hit by this immensely deep and powerful butternut squash taste. There might be some asparagus in there, too. I also taste a slight bitterness which seems intrinsic to the tea, but I could have also screwed up the steeping. :P This tea has an extremely thick and creamy texture and it coats the tongue heavily. The flavor lingers on and on.

Honestly, this tea is a bit much for me. I don’t find it very well-suited to western brewing because the flavor is so intense and it continues to build as you drink it. I think I would like it more if I did the traditional smaller brew.

This was a very interesting tea experience! I definitely can’t assign a rating to this, I would have no idea where to start. :P

Flavors: Asparagus, Butternut Squash, Creamy, Grass, Spinach

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
TheTeaFairy

Ok, this is the only video I could find, but you MUST try this method, the best Gyokuro tasting experience I’ve ever had. You basically take freshly made iced cubes (use spring water, not tap) and you let them melt on the dry leaves. You drink a little bit at a time as it melts. You can do that several times. You get the sweetest taste ever this way. Sounds finicky, but it’s not, you just need time and patience :-) watch at around 3:20, it’s only talk for the first 3min.

http://youtu.be/_VghXPujg_c

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This isn’t a sipdown, but now that I’ve made a full pot, it will be soon.

This is a tad astringent, but still quite soothing. The flavour is light, yet still present.

Mainly, though, I figured this would be an easy one to finish off, since it’s already open.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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82

Thank you KittyLovesTea for sending this a while ago! This is actually similar to the tea I just tried, even though the leaves seem very different even if they are both green. These leaves look like lawn mower clippings. :D There is also two different colors to them, a darker green and a lighter green. The flavor is very similar to the Dragonwell I had yesterday. It’s like creamed or breaded corn and the steep color is very light. The second cup was almost the same. I’m used to these types of greens being much different. Maybe I’m steeping them differently now. To be fair, the package says this expired at the end of February (way after KittyLovesTea sent it) and one sip did have a hint of that “old green tea leave” flavor, so I’m not trying this at its freshest. It’s still very good anyway. I’ll steep up the last teaspoon soon!
Steep #1 // 40 min after boiling // 2 min steep
Steep #2 // 42 min after boiling // 3 min

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Sipdown!

I made the last of the sample package tonight and it was a good way to wind down the evening. However, I really want to try other houjichas before I decide what I like. This one was pretty no-nonsense. I’m curious about how it will compare to the smoky and dark roasts.

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I bought the sampler set of this plus the Basic, Dark, and Smoky roasts from Yunomi.us. I tried the Basic roast a while back, and while I liked it, I had never had any houjicha before to compare it to.

This is the second one I’ve tried, and it’s really really mild. So mild that it’s hard to taste much of anything, but I don’t mind, as I’m just getting a nice cup of warmth rather than a lot of umami taste. I wonder how I’ll like the dark and smoky roasts, though.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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75

This is super super green and I adore the leaves – they almost look like the greenest grass clippings. And this tastes super duper green. The second infusion was better than the first, which I accidently let steep longer than I wanted so it was really intense. The secondary steep had some citrussy taste to it as well. I enjoyed this very much.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85

I finally get to try another of this tisane type, hurray! It smells so good- like toasted brown rice cakes. The flavour has is a bit roast nutty. Went well with my Thai soup.

Flavors: Nuts

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 45 sec

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I steeped it western-style tonight, and while it was much less astringent, I’m still not sure what to make of it.

There’s this sort of “curly” taste to it that I’ve associated mostly with green oolongs and some green teas. The way it hits my tongue – I’m not a fan of it.

However, this is much more palatable than I was expecting. The smoky, roasty flavour is nice. Perhaps I’ll like the other roasts of this tea (light, dark, and smoky) more?

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML
TheKesser

What is western-style?

Christina

The steeping instructions on the Yunomi.us website for this tea suggest 1 tbsp/5 grams of tea leaf steeped in 6 oz of water for about 30 seconds. However, I’ve found that Yunomi.us’ instructions (in general, not just for this tea) really don’t work for me, as it’s too much leaf for too little water, resulting in a really bitter/umami taste.

So instead I brew using ratios/times more traditional to a western style of brewing – in this case, 1 tsp of leaf per 8 oz of liquid at 80C for 2-3 minutes.

TheKesser

ohhhh okay. Yeah I definitely do western-style for my teas.

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85

A fairly sweet and full bodied houjicha without much umami flavor.

Flavors: Earth, Plant Stems, Wood

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 27 OZ / 800 ML

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Not sure what angle to come at this tea as I’ve never tried anything like it before. Seaweed (or Kombu/Konbucha/Kombucha – not to be mistaken for the mushroom) is a new type of tea completely for me. In powdered form you add 2g of powder (which they kindly provide you a spoon to measure with) and mix it with boiling water for roughly 100ml volume. Very simple and quick.

Reading about Kombu on Wikipedia it claims to be high source of B Vitamins, K Vitamin, Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium and moderate-low levels of Vitamin C and E. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kombu

Flavour wise this is very salty, I’m talking one of the saltiest things I’ve ever tasted. Not as bad as my experiment with pickled Sakura Blossoms (which I found to be inedible) but for someone who rarely uses salt this is very strong for me. Adding to the salt it’s also thick which makes it very broth like, so rather than salt water it’s a salty broth/soup which in a strange way is sort of nice. It tastes exactly as you would except seaweed to taste like. Sure I’ve tried seaweed from my local Chinese takeaway but it’s fried and mild…this tastes more raw.

No rating as I am still thinking ‘wtf is this’and ‘damn this is salty’. Will take some time for me to get used to this…if I ever do. But at least I can keep this down ie looking good so far.

Flavors: Seaweed

Preparation
Boiling 2 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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85

Thank you Yunomi.us for this free sample that added as a nice surprise as I opened my order today.

Nice large leaves and lots of sticks in my 5g sample. Beautiful sweet and toasted scent that I liken to a honey cake I used to make in my automatic bread cooker machine. The more I sniff the more grassy and mineral it becomes but it is a very nice scent.

Since there were no instructions on the website for steeping this or any other bancha (that I can find) I will use Yunomi.us standard steeping method.

Tea – 5g
Water – 80C
Volume – 180ml
Vessel – Kyusu

First Steep – 30 seconds
Yellow green in colour with virtually no scent despite it’s very apparent colour. Flavour is mild with roasted grass tones and sweet honeysuckle that dissipates quickly and you are left with a touch of smoke in the after taste.

Second Steep – 10 seconds
More roasted and less grassy. Honeysuckle and sweetpea tones with a slight smoky after taste. Also a little sour. For the most part it’s sweet and a perfect strength for me personally.

Third Steep – 30 seconds
More toasted than sweet but it does lighten a lot in the after taste. Tastes like raw pea. No smoke this time, instead the after taste is grassy and mineral.

I enjoyed this Bancha much more than I thought I would, though the first steep was nice it was far from ‘special’ compared to others I have tried. It kicked up a gear after that and steep two and three were delicious, so very natural and sweet with light smoke. Plus now my mouth is coated in a delicious roasted sweet pea flavour that reminds me a little of light pea soup. I may get more of this in the future.

Flavors: Grass, Honey, Peas

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 5 g 6 OZ / 180 ML

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I botched this tea and underleafed it – I used the entire sample and it came out to just under 2.5 tsp, although I used three cups of water.

This was kind of weak, but I could still taste the umami sort of grassiness that happens in a lot of gyokuros. However, as I’m not a fan of resteeping and I have so many other teas, this will stay as a sipdown.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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And here goes my second attempt at steeping a tea from Yunomi.us western-style.

This time it was a gyokuro: approx 1 tsp per 8 oz (didn’t measure the volume poured into the teapot), ~75C, for 2 minutes.

Not bad, but a bit weak. I think I could have gone for 3 minutes without much fuss.

And oh yeah, this is a sipdown. But I have other gyokuros still in my cupboard.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 20 OZ / 591 ML

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87

Sipdown (120)! I used up the last of this leaf in a cold brew since I don’t really drink too much hot tea these days. I left it in the fridge for about 9-10 hours, which in hindsight was probably too long because there was a bit of bitterness to it that I feel could have been avoided. The tea was grassy and savory, much like the hot version of the tea. I think I actually prefer it hot, but it was nice to try out as a cold brew.

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73

Thank you to Yunomi.us for this sample which was included with an order a few months ago.

Crisp dark green needle leaves mixed with a few light yellow green stems. They have a very sweet honeydew scent that is very pure and beautiful.

The steeping instructions are a little different for this tea, it recommends doing one long steep rather than several short ones. So this will be steeped in my Kyusu for 2 minutes. 80ml for 2 minutes seems a little strong but that is what the instructions say on the website.

The resulting tea liquid is medium to dark green and has a sweet yet savoury broth scent. Flavour is strong though not overly so, the umami is rich and lingers into the after taste. Savoury and sweet at the same time with some astringency and rich mineral tones. Like thick cabbage water.

A further steep with the same 2 minute rule reveals more savoury umami but less sweet than previously. It’s still thickly mineral with cabbage and broccoli notes yet it seems toned down as a whole compared to the first steep. Still slightly astringent.

Another 2 minute steep – Severely toned down from what it was but it still has a lot of flavour, only now this is more standard Sencha like. Medium strength, minimum umami and astringency but remains mineral with added grass tones. Has some sweetness once again.

Another 2 minute steep making this number 4 – Extremely mild, all that remains is sweet grass.

This was a pleasant tea that offered lots of umami for the first two steeps which work well as a boost throughout the day. Sent me a little tea drunk.

Preparation
145 °F / 62 °C 2 min, 0 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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