Yunomius

Recent Tasting Notes

83

Thank you to Yunomi for this sample.

I’m often not a huge fan of roasty teas – some are good, but far too often for me the roastiness dominates all the other flavours, and the teas lack nuance.

I was worried about that with this tea, until the end of the first sip. It starts off very roasty tasting, with a slight char note, but then there’s a burst of vegetal tang, and some lovely caramel and cream sweetness. The roastiness almost has a barley quality to it.

This is definitely one of the more complex and enjoyable houjichas I’ve tried. There’s lots going on to prevent it from being one dimensional.

I made a latte with the second steep of my leaves which was delicious – very autumny, like being outdoors amongst the dry, fallen leaves.

The dry leaf is brown and very broken – my sample contained some larger pieces but also lots of fanning sized bits. Dry it smells much like it does steeped – charred and roasty.

Flavors: Caramel, Char, Creamy, Roasted, Roasted Barley, Sweet, Tangy, Vegetal

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

You know, I’m really glad that I’ve started passing on unsatisfactory teas and moving on to better things, instead of trying and trying to love teas that I just don’t. It really helps me better appreciate teas of all varieties.

I was feeling kind of indifferent to senchas for a bit, after a lot of fairly generic fruit flavoured ones, and an awful, bitter sencha from DAVIDs. But this batch of teas from Yunomi has really got me appreciating senchas a lot more. This one is delicious.

The dry leaf is deep green, needle like and many different sizes, from a few mm to two or three cm long. Mostly smaller pieces though. It smells like seaweed and a bit nutty in the bag.

For this cup I went with 3g, 1min, 75C, 8oz. The liquor is quite green, and I’m really enjoying the flavour. The dominant note is honey, which is one of my favourite flavours to encounter in straight teas. There’s a hint of sweet grass, some umami and a bit of a broth-like quality. Not overly vegetal. Very, very nice.

This is extremely smooth – only the faintest touch of astringency that I notice on my cheeks, after almost a full cup. I could drink a lot of this.

Flavors: Broth, Grass, Honey, Nutty, Seaweed, Umami

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

Oooh wow! I’ve been having a bit of trouble steeping teas from my Yunomi order – I’ve found that the package directions recommend water temperatures that are just a little too low for the results I want, so I steeped this one in 80C water for a minute and fifteen seconds, and I’m really pleased with the results.

The dry leaf is typical karigane – bright green, short pieces of stem, and a faint, grassy smell.

Steeped, there’s the expected grass and nuttiness, but also a strong honey and caramel note on the nose, which is present in the sip, too. Mmmmm. I love, love, love honey notes in tea. This reminds me of a green, grassier version of DAVIDs Spring White Pearls, which are a favourite of mine. As the cup cools, there’s some umami that’s starting to peek out.

The mouth feel has a hint of astringency with a medium body. It doesn’t quite reach creamy, but close. Very easy to drink.

This is beautiful and complex. I’m in love.

Flavors: Caramel, Grass, Honey, Nutty, Sweet, Umami

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cameron B.

It’s fun to read someone else’s thoughts on teas I’ve so recently tried! :)

I’m glad the higher temperature worked out for you.

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90

I really enjoyed drinking Cha Ginza: Roasted Matcha. It is an unique Matcha which an intense scent of roasted flavors with a light seaweed note.
A full-bodied taste and a long and smooth finish made this Matcha so enjoyable.
Read the full review with photos:
http://matchaenthusiast.blogspot.de/2014/12/matcha-review-cha-ginza-roasted-matcha.html

Flavors: Coffee, Nutty, Roasted, Sweet, Umami

Preparation
155 °F / 68 °C 0 min, 15 sec 2 g 2 OZ / 60 ML

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76

This is my first aracha.

I prepared it according to the package directions – 70C, 1 minute. The liquor is an intense, soupy green and smells sweet, nutty and grassy.

The taste of this is very delicate, an almost creamy grass at the start of the sip and then some sweet, bitter and umami notes towards the end and into the finish.

When this was hot there was a cooling, almost metallic sensation at the end of the sip, but this went away as it cooled.

This was a very nice cup, though probably not something I’d reach for too often.

Flavors: Creamy, Grass, Metallic, Nutty, Sweet, Umami

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

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80

I think this is my first Japanese black tea, and I’m excited to try it.

The dry leaf is dark, small and twisty and there’s a fair bit of orange dust in the bag. It smells earthy, musty and fruity.

This didn’t come with any steeping directions, so I figured I’d try steeping a cup at 96C. I set a time for three minutes, but after two it was starting to taste pretty strong, so I pulled the leaf out after 2:30.

The liquor is very dark brown and smells amazing. Intensely malty and fruity. The flavour is malty, sweet and has notes of ripe stone fruits. Ever so faint traces of bitter and astringency, and a touch of mineral on the finish, which dissolves to bread and plums. A fairly thick mouth feel, that’s coating, but not drying.

A second steep for 4:30 minutes provides another lovely cup.

I don’t think I need this in my cupboard – it’s delicious but not that unique.

Flavors: Astringent, Baked Bread, Bitter, Earth, Fruity, Malt, Mineral, Musty, Plums, Sweet, Thick

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85

Aw, this is the very last one from my Yunomi subscription this month! I must say, I’ve been quite impressed with most of them, the quality is definitely there. I’m not so much looking forward to this tea, as the straight karigane had a more delicate flavor and I can just imagine the matcha stomping its grassy little feet all over that. The stems have the same grass-like shape, and I can still slightly see the color differences, but they’re coated in a thin layer of matcha. They still smell quite sweet, but the matcha is adding a strong grass note.

The steeped tea smells sweet and creamy with a touch of grass. I’m actually quite surprised by the subtlety of the matcha in this tea! I’m not getting any bitterness, and I can still taste that wonderful natural sweetness from the karigane itself. The matcha simply adds a surprisingly mellow grassiness along with a small touch of seaweedy umami. Quite good, though I prefer the plain this time as well. :)

Subscription: https://yunomi.us/shop/9337/tea-discoveries-subscription/?ref=12

Flavors: Grass, Seaweed, Spinach, Sweet, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

As much as I want to tear into my long-awaited Lupicia order that just arrived, I’m telling myself that I need to try these Yunomi teas first, just in case the bonus points for reviews ends today or something. So, time for karigane! Karigane is basically just a premium version of kukicha (stem tea), meaning it’s made with either gyokuro or premium sencha stems. Visually, this tea is quite striking. The stems are long and thin like blades of grass, and range in color from very pale yellow-green to dark hunter green. The contrast of the light and dark pieces is very beautiful. The stems smell amazingly sweet and vegetal.

The first thing I notice is that the steeped liquor is much paler than the sencha I’ve been drinking, and it’s completely clear. It smells amazingly creamy and sweet. The flavor is also much less intense than other Japanese greens, but still delicious. There’s a remarkable level of sweetness along with a mild vegetal taste that reminds me of spinach and edamame. This definitely has a thinner mouthfeel, and is more refreshing rather than fortifying like mostly Japanese greens. Delicious!

Subscription: https://yunomi.us/shop/9337/tea-discoveries-subscription/?ref=12

Flavors: Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Skysamurai

I just broke into mine from Lupicia!

Cameron B.

I’ll definitely be having some of the caffeine-free ones later. :D

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78

Next in line, the matcha-fied version of their premium sencha. I have to say, I find it very sweet that each of these teas has its own little name (Eisai, Fuji, etc). It makes me feel like they’re special and they’re my little friends… that I’m drinking… okay that just sounded weird. But you know what I mean! Very cute concept. These leaves are identical to the plain version (Eisai) – long and thin like pine needles. But these are coated in a light dusting of matcha, which changes their color a bit. I can absolutely smell the matcha, it’s super grassy and somewhat sweet.

Mm, this cup smells so sweet and creamy… I can definitely taste the difference with this tea as well. The matcha amps up the grassy side of the flavor, and it seems to have added a light umami/seaweed note to this tea. The steamed spinach taste is still there, but it’s much more subdued in comparison. The only thing that remains the same is the thick, filling texture. The aftertaste is now grassy with a hint of cream. I must say, so far I’m preferring the plain versions over the matcha ones.

Subscription: https://yunomi.us/shop/9337/tea-discoveries-subscription/?ref=12

Flavors: Grass, Seaweed, Spinach, Thick, Umami

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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83

Time to continue on my Yunomi subscription saga! I have decided I will taste the plain (non-matcha) version first, and then the matcha-fied one. The leaves of this tea (and sencha in general) remind me a bit of pine needles because they’re so long and thin, plus the color is somewhat similar. These leaves are a nice medium to dark green with yellow tones. They smell lovely, rich and creamy with vegetal and grassy notes and a little bit of pineapple tartness.

The steeped aroma is rich and creamy as well with deep steamed veggies. Mm, this has a lovely intense vegetal flavor reminiscent of dark greens, like steamed spinach. There’s also a fresh and sweet grassy taste that adds a tiny bite of pleasant bitterness. The overall texture is quite thick and it fills the mouth nicely. I can taste a hint of creamy dairy throughout the sip, but it shines in the aftertaste and makes me think of matcha lattes. There’s also a little hint of melon, specifically honeydew, and edamame.

Subscription: https://yunomi.us/shop/9337/tea-discoveries-subscription/?ref=12

Flavors: Creamy, Grass, Honeydew, Spinach, Sweet, Thick

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85

Since Yunomi is offering extra points for reviews right now, I figured I’d dig into my recent order, even though my original plan was to sip down a few other teas before getting into it. As a bonus, I ordered a sample size of this one, which was only 2g, so this is a sipdown.

I’m really into trying new and unusual things, so I knew I had to give this a shot when I saw it. This tea really is unique – I’ve never smelled or tasted a tea that’s even remotely similar to this one.

I followed the steeping directions to the letter – 350ml of boiling water for 4 minutes.

Smell of the liquor distinctly reminds me of zongzi (sticky rice dumplings) with pork and shitake mushroom. It’s a very complex smell, that combines the filling ingredients with soy sauce, sticky rice and bamboo leaf.

On the palate, it’s a bit sour (but not nearly as sour as expected) and intensely savoury. The flavour is well reflected in the smell – shitake mushrooms, pork, soy sauce, umami, bamboo. Very broth like. This has a long finish with mushrooms and soy sauce lingering at the back of the mouth.

One of the recommended methods of prep is to use the tea to make rice porridge. I can definitely see how that would be delicious and a fantastic use of these flavours. I could see using this tea to make congee with dried shredded pork and preserved duck egg.

Drinking this feels more like a meal than a beverage. It tastes and feels like soup, and it’s making me crave my grandma’s cooking pretty badly.

I accidentally took a five hour nap after mu first cup, so I’m going to hang on to my leaves and have something else before I continue steeping these.

I don’t think I would reach for this tea very often, but it’s delicious and unique and I would recommend trying a sample.

Flavors: Bamboo, Broth, Meat, Mushrooms, Rice, Salt, Soybean

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 g 12 OZ / 350 ML
Kittenna

Oh, accidental 5-hour naps. My fave (unless I should have been doing Things).

Anlina

I clearly really, really needed the sleep, but it kind of messed up my evening a bit. I woke up from my nap at 2:30pm, and then was supposed to go to bed by 11, which I couldn’t. Tried to fall asleep at 2:30am, and was restless and having back spasms, probably fell asleep at 3 and then had to be up by 7. Yesterday was a little rough, but I got through it. :)

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Uhh. Hmm… no.

I was hoping for bright sweet citrus, not pithy bitter citrus.

Anyone interested in trying this? It’s a matcha “latte” mix.

Cameron B.

I would be interested in trying a little. :) Whenever we get around to actually swapping!

OMGsrsly

I have a bag started for you! So I’ll add it. There’s only like 3 servings left (12g each, 50g bag) so I’ll add it all. You can share it around more if you don’t love it. :)

Cameron B.

Sounds great, thanks! And wow, only 4 servings in a 50g bag? Ouch.

OMGsrsly

Yeah, I didn’t quite realize it. You only add 100ml water to start off with too, which is eensy teensy.

Kittenna

Yuck, I do not like bitter/pithy citrus.

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80

Time to continue on with my Yunomi subscription teas! This month, the theme is matcha-infused teas. They sent two versions of each of three different teas – one with matcha and one without. It’s quite cool! I tried the non-matcha version of this tea yesterday, so I figured I’d taste this version now so I could somewhat compare the two. I plan on trying the other four teas tomorrow, and actually tasting them one after the other so the flavors are fresh in my mind. The sencha leaves in this blend are extremely broken up, just like the non-matcha version. The leaves and rice are coated with a fairly thick layer of matcha powder. I can definitely smell the matcha, it’s sweet and intensely grassy.

Mm, the toasty rice smell is so lovely, and I can also smell the sweetness of the matcha and the grassiness of the tea. Again, I can taste the toasted rice strongly at the beginning, and then the tea (and matcha) take over. I can absolutely tell that the matcha is there, as this tea is far more grassy and intense-tasting than the plain version. There’s a very slight bitter edge, especially if I hold the tea in my mouth. Whether it’s coming from the matcha or the pulverized leaves, I don’t know. Just like in the plain genmaicha, the roasted flavor of the rice comes back to the forefront in the aftertaste and is nicely balanced with the grassiness. Overall, I think I prefer the plain version, as the matcha included in this one kind of covers up the lovely vegetal flavors of the sencha.

Link for the subscription program: https://yunomi.us/shop/9337/tea-discoveries-subscription/?ref=12

Yunomi is currently offering a free 3-month subscription with $50 purchase, until December 15th with code 3teadisc.

Flavors: Broth, Grass, Toasted Rice, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

This is the last one from the Morita sampler! I was wondering what the difference was between their standard and premium senchas, so after a little poking around on the site I discovered that apparently the standard has smaller leaves. It’ll be interesting to see the difference in taste! Looking in the packet, I wouldn’t necessarily call these leaves larger, but they do have a bit more of a bluish hue than the standard version. Dry scent is also much richer, deeper, and sweeter.

Once steeped, the tea smells richly vegetal with a lot of sweetness. I must say, I am very impressed with the Morita family’s teas! This one is also fantastically delicious. It has amazing rich and silky mouthfeel and flavor. I can taste deep and intense spinach alongside a sweet and creamy flavor that reminds me of matcha. This is absolutely a decadent tea, I’m very surprised that it wasn’t shaded at all as it reminds me of kabusecha or gyokuro. There’s a light kiss of floral in the aftertaste, possibly jasmine. And throughout the sip is a light seaweed flavor in the background, giving it a nice umami character to balance the sweetness. A fantastic tea!

Flavors: Creamy, Jasmine, Seaweed, Spinach, Sweet, Thick, Umami

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85

This is another tea from the Morita sampler that Cheri sent me in a swap. It contained a sencha, premium sencha, aracha, and kukicha from the same grower (the Morita family). So cool to try all these different types of Japanese green! This is the standard sencha, and the leaves are long, thin, and needle-like. Color is a lovely and rich dark emerald green. They smell quite sweet and grassy with slight mineral and marine notes.

Once the tea is steeped, the aroma is sweet and creamy with a strong spinach note. I can still smell that slight sparkling mineral aroma as well. Ooh, this is actually quite heavy on the umami and seaweed aspects, which I did not expect. It’s very satisfying and reminds me of drinking a savory vegetable broth with dark greens and mushrooms in it. There is a definite mineral tone here, but it’s pleasant and makes me think of clear water from a mountain stream. I must say, this is the first tea that I’ve tasted a definite mushroom flavor in, and I like it a lot! The sip ends with a sparkling mineral clarity combined with lovely sweetness from the vegetables. Another lovely tea from the Morita family via Yunomi!

Flavors: Broth, Kale, Mineral, Mushrooms, Seaweed, Spinach, Umami

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

Today is going to be unofficial Yunomi day for me! I noticed when posting reviews on their website that they’re giving 300 points per review right now ($3 basically). So I figured now was the perfect time to sample of the teas from their monthly club in addition to a few other teas I got from Cheri in a swap. Saving up points to buy some more of those interestingly flavored houjichas!

Anyway! This is my first-ever aracha. In fact, I had to look it up to find out what makes this type of tea different from say, sencha or kukicha. And I found out that aracha is tea that is finished (meaning dried, steamed, etc.) but is not sorted into grades as tea normally is. Therefore, it includes leaves, stems, and finer particles that are normally sifted out. In short, it’s basically every part of the leaf in one tea! Interesting. I can definitely see a difference in the dry leaf – it’s a varied mix of differently sized leaf pieces along with the lighter-colored stems. Dry scent is strong on the grass and sweet alfalfa with a touch of seaweed.

Steeped tea smells sweet and spinachy. The taste is quite delicious! It seems quite similar to sencha to me. There’s a definite strong umami element at first, but as the sip progresses it calms to a sweet and creamy alfala and spinach flavor. I can definitely see the combination of sencha and kukicha here. The aftertaste is pure sweet creaminess. Delicious!

Flavors: Creamy, Grass, Seaweed, Spinach, Sweet, Umami

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Mikumofu

I’ve never heard of aracha either, there’s always more tea terminology to learn!

Cameron B.

Yep, especially with Japanese greens. So many different styles!

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88

This was my other purchase from Yunomi. I’ve been pondering over these flavored houjichas for a while now, and decided this was the most unusual flavor and the one I wanted to try first. The packaging was pretty cute, though not resealable (http://instagram.com/p/wWy1temgAn/). It’s the large kraft packet. I will say, 30 grams is a lot more than I expected, I suppose because this is a very lightweight tea. It also appears to be more of a houji-kukicha than a houjicha – it’s almost all stems. This is actually a good thing, since I prefer the kukicha version personally. Dry scent is extremely rich and creamy, almost as if there’s some kind of dairy element involved.

This is actually quite delicious! I can taste the lovely mildly roasty kukicha base quite clearly. However, I can also taste the lovely and rich Japanese pumpkin flavor, which actually reminds me quite a bit of butternut squash mixed with sweet potato. It’s creamy and decadent. The description recommends this as a milk tea, and I’m sure it would be phenomenal that way. Will definitely try it! :)

Find this tea here: https://yunomi.us/shop/13439/ocharaka-h04-houjicha-japanese-pumpkin-30g-id-13439/?ref=12

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Butternut Squash, Roasted, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
TeaBrat

Did you get the Baked Apple? I have been curious about these.

Cameron B.

No, just this one. I definitely plan on trying the others now, this is quite good and I’m especially happy that it’s mostly stems!

Fjellrev

Cool, I haven’t heard of them until now. You don’t see flavoured houjicha every day.

Cameron B.

Totally, the only other flavored houjichas I’ve seen are caramel. I actually really want to try the Honey & Grapefruit!

Kittenna

Very interesting! And suddenly, another company’s on my radar. Haha.

Cameron B.

Yunomi doesn’t have a lot of flavored teas, but the ones they do have are very unique and interesting. :)

OMGsrsly

I have one of their matcha latte mixes, but haven’t tried it yet. These sound super cool, though. And I love pumpkin. :)

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Sipdown

I could have sworn that I’ve posted about this tea previously. Nevertheless, I finished of my sample from Yunomi this morning.

I’ll have to say it – I am not a gyokuro person. Steeping is too fussy, and it’s generally meant for smaller portions whereas I like to make whole teapots of tea. I’m sipping this and just finding myself unable to finish off a single cup of this, never mind the rest of the teapot I’ve brewed.

I think I might pour the rest of this down the sink or into a plant…which makes me sad.

Ah well.

Cameron B.

To each her own. :)

Cheri

If it’s not for you, it’s not for you, and life is too short to drink tea one doesn’t like.

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80

Very tasty. I’m often not a fan of roasty teas, but this really works. Rather than being dry nd woody tasting, it’s got a bit of sweetness and a note of burnt sugar that’s quite separate from the sweetness, if that makes any sense. Slightly nutty as well. There’s a touch of floral on the finish.

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Floral, Nutty, Roasted, Sweet

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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85

Hooray, Yunomi finished reorganizing/revamping their subscription program and sent me my first month (I paid for 3 months not knowing it had been suspended so I’m getting them now!). The concept is actually quite cool, it’s a comparison of the same tea with and without matcha. They sent two versions (with and without matcha) of three different teas, for a total of six samples. Tonight I felt like a genmaicha, so I figured I’d break into the samples. The sencha in this tea has very thin and dark leaves, but unfortunately it’s very broken up, which makes me worry about getting a bitter brew. There is also the usual toasted rice and a few pieces of popped rice. Dry scent is rich and buttery.

Thankfully, I can smell the toasted rice more in the steeped aroma. It’s a lovely lime green color. There’s a bit of sediment at the bottom of my cup, so I’ll try to drink this as quickly as possible to avoid any bitterness. I can taste the roasted flavor best in the beginning of the sip, after which the sencha takes over until the end. The sencha here is quite smooth, but has a concentrated vegetal flavor that reminds me of steamed spinach. There’s also a nice touch of sweetness reminiscent of snap peas. I can also taste a nice, brothy umami presence that makes this so satisfying to drink. In the aftertaste, the rice flavor comes back out to play and mingles well with the other notes. Overall, it’s quite nice and I can definitely tell that this was made with a premium sencha.

Flavors: Broth, Grass, Peas, Spinach, Sweet, Toasted Rice, Umami

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
TeaBrat

Yunomi has a subscription?!

Cameron B.

Yes, they do. It’s kind of hard to find on their website for whatever reason…

https://yunomi.us/shop/9337/tea-discoveries-subscription/

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87

Mmmmm another eggnog matcha latte. I love having a delicious, inexpensive kitchen grade matcha for these. I don’t have to feel bad about using my better matcha in lattes.

I’m really glad to have one of those magic bullet blenders, because it makes frothy lattes super easy to make, and I just drink it right out of the blender cup.

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87

This seems to be becoming my daily drink. There’s just something so soothing about a matcha latte, and this is just delicious with eggnog.

Preparation
2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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87

Mmmmm latte and eggnog latte today with this. So tasty.

Cameron B.

Oooh matcha eggnog latte sounds delish. :D

Anlina

It was pretty great. And way too easy to drink. I think I gulped it down in about 10 minutes.

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87

I picked up this matcha for making lattes, since I’ve been using a lot of my higher quality stuff for it.

This is really good but I can definitely notice the difference in quality compared to the Grand Cru Matcha from DAVDs. This one has a lovely grassy flavour with a pleasant amount of bitterness, but the flavour isn’t as intense.

The mouth feel is also most notably different. This matcha has a slightly gritty, pasty mouth feel. While the grind is very fine and stays suspended nicely, it’s much coarser than the Grand Cru. While I do like that this doesn’t clump up as much as the Grand Cru, the mouth coating experience isn’t as pleasant.

Still, for half the price, I feel like I’m getting excellent value. The flavour is definitely better than some matchas I’ve had in store-bought lattes.

Flavors: Bitter, Grass

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