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Recent Tasting Notes
Thank You Liquid Proust for this sample. This is a tasty tea with a most unusual brewing method. I did my best to follow the directions on the Yunomi website. You basically boil the hell out of this tea on a stove top for ten minutes. SO that’s what I did. I was expecting something bitter but there was no bitterness to this tea. This is quite good. I would order this the next time I put in an order with Yunomi. It had a natural sweet flavor to it but I added sugar anyway. It is incredibly smooth. I am basically at a loss for why this tea didn’t turn bitter. Normally boiling water will turn some teas bitter and this was not boiling water that you were allowing to begin cooling. This was steeping at a rolling boil. I don’t know more about how to describe this so I think I’m going to give up trying.
I have heard that this is a Japanese version of puerh but to me it is vastly different, except that I guess it is fermented in a manner similar to ripe puerh. The taste, however is nothing like ripe puerh so a comparison can’t be made in reality.
Another crucial difference in the way this is brewed in comparison to gongfu brewing is I only used 2.8g of leaf for 500ml of water. For a small 180ml teapot and puerh I would use 10g. I do not know if this can be resteeped.
Enjoying this tea this morning. I find a lot of Japanese teas are so over the top that they make nice occasional teas but not everyday teas. At least that’s my experience on tasting some. I realize there are plenty of everyday senchas out there.
This one has a delicious green bean, mossy green & sweet flavor without being over the top. It still borders on decadent because it’s soooo good but I could it enjoy it more often.
I would definitely consider adding this one to my next Yunomi order.
Flavors: Green Beans, Moss, Sweet
This tea was from the Yunomi group buy that Liquid Proust arranged.
I can’t believe I’m the first one reviewing this tea.
I brewed Western style and only infused 40 sec at 185F. It brews up a bright emerld green with a sweet grassy/mossy aroma. Lovely! This tea is supposed to have the Sakura cherry blossom aroma which ups it price a bit I see. Well, like I said, I got a nice aroma but I didn’t think it was like a Cherry blossom. I don’t eat or smell cherry blossoms so I’m not sure what I am looking for. This tea had great umami but not overly strong like some gyokuro teas. Sweet and grassy/mossy.
So when I got near the end of the cup and it had cooled down, I could pick up this aroma that was kind of cherry blossom like. It was very good and this was just the first infusion so will have to see how other infusions go.
Flavors: Cherry Blossom, Grass, Moss, Sweet
I steeped this using Western parameters this morning: 12 oz, 1.5 tsp, 70C, 3 minutes or so.
The resulting liquor was a nice pale yellow green and tasted fairly mild but typical of a Japanese green tea: that umami vegetal flavour that was slightly sweet.
Glad I got a chance to try this. I think my heart really belongs with Chinese greens over Japanese ones, but it’s always good to try something new.
This is a most excellent matcha and the most unique flavor profile I have ever come across. I would not hesitate to repurchase when I run out. craftsmanship at it’s finest.
Flavors: Bok Choy, Roasted, Seaweed, Smooth, Sweet, Umami, Vegetal
I am not going to explain this experience… you, yes you who is reading this, should try this yourself.
What I will inform you of is this: This is the Japanese equivalent to pu’er and is very interesting because it steeps for 10 minutes before it is ready to be drank.
I may or may not have a little extra that I would be willing to trade… what you should be thinking is “who will I drink this with?”
While this is a very smooth taste, it does have a black tea taste to it- though that is no surprise. I will not rate this tea on my own taste, which is what I generally do, but rather I will rate it on the merits of aroma, freshness, and leaf quality. The integrity of this black oolong leaf is rather strong for a Japanese tea as it taste very fresh and has a very smooth taste. Though I personally am not a fan of black tea, this does not have that strong bitter taste that I associate with black teas so it would be preferred over a straight black tea for me.
The color, the aroma, the brewing, the expansion, the vibrant leaf in the water, the smooth taste, the fine texture, the unexpected mellow brew… the experience.
This is one fine tea that provides a tea worthy to be called gyokuro. Many gyokuros that I have drank are too similar to a sencha, but this tea is a much higher quality and I am glad I chose it out of all the teas that could have been obtained instead.
Don’t let the light color of this teas liquid fool you, it provides a clean taste of Japanese shade grown tea that provides a wonderful aroma that expands inside your mouth as you sip on it.
Oh, yes. This hit the green tea spot this morning!
So buttery smooth, fresh and vegetal. Perfect balance of umami and zesty citrus brightness. I feel like it’m drinking spring in a cup! Too bad it’s been cold as fuzzzzzzz lately. I miss warm and sunny days ;/ what the hell spring?
Flavors: Butter, Citrus, Green, Umami
I drank an entire pot of this last night :)
Looking at the only other review on here kind of makes me curious… but, to clarify there is no citrus taste and astringency isn’t something I’d associate with this tea unless you over brew it of course.
175f for 90 seconds = really green liquid that makes one’s mouth happy :)
Lots of vegetable taste with a very fresh and smooth after taste. Even if I gave all the top of the package to others in the group buy, the bottom leaf is fantastic; just make sure to have the right steeping utensils.
Here’s to drinking a Japanese oolong for breakfast. I have been excited to try an oolong from Japan (I even have 3 kind!) so this was a looked forward to tea time. What I find interesting about this tea is that it taste very similar to a mild black tea if it was flavor was identified with the vegetable and fresh taste that Japanese teas have. Even though it’s an oolong tea, prepare yourself for a mild cup of black tasting tea with a kick of Japanese earth as I would call it. Very smooth. Again, very smooth.
Bleah, I am not feeling too great today for some reason. Woke up with big allergy face and also taking an antibiotic for an unrelated condition. Seems like a good day to focus on green tea and eating fruit.
So this is another sample shincha I got from Yunomi. By the way I noticed they are doing a free shipping deal on shincha this weekend if you spend $40 and with the discount code of KEY05. I just ordered from them (and have plenty of green tea too) but I don’t know if I can pass this deal up. I’ve been giving away some green tea to my BF because he likes it too. ;)
This is another good shincha, very vivid green in color and fresh tasting. You can get at least 2-3 decent steeps out of these teas. I feel like this is a little more bitter than the last one I tried from them. Maybe more of an asparagus flavor than spinach and definitely less on the sweet side. tasty though. I definitely feel healthy when I drink these teas but I don’t know if it’s the placebo effect.
One of a few shincha samples I purchased from Yunomi this spring. I hope I am not going to regret this caffeine later but I seem to do ok with Japanese green teas in the afternoon and the theanine helps me relax this as well.
A lovely shincha from Yunomi. Couldn’t grab the photo off their site, so sorry about that. I am drinking it in my new clay kyusu though which came from Japantown. Here’s the photo on IG: https://instagram.com/p/2mgX4JILZD
Anyway this is a really nice shincha. I did one 90 sec steep and one 60 sec steep and found I liked it slightly better at the 60 sec. mark. It has a lot of flavor, brothy with spinach type notes, a nice sweetness and a slight bitter finish. It seems very clean and fresh but it’s not the sweetest shincha I’ve tried. I might try steeping this at 30 seconds too. Pretty happy with it though, definitely a tasty tea and gives a nice relaxing energy :)
Home for the evening but not down for the count yet as my FB says I still need to walk another 2,000 steps. ha ha.
Got this in my new Yunomi order. I got mostly samples and I have been really curious about this one for a while now. Baked apple and roasted houijcha sounds like a really good combination to me. I steeped this according to the package directions, 1 minute at around 195f. I found the tea to be a little thin in taste and very gingery. I like ginger but wasn’t getting apple until the cup cooled down a little. I did get the apple as an aftertaste, but it is kind of on the light side and a bit artificial at that. Hmm. Not too impressed with this at the moment but I will try steeping the rest of the sample for a longer time period and see if that improves my experience of it. For now, I am not too upset that this is just a sample size.
Flavors: Apple, Ginger
Oh goody! One of those stupid headaches that won’t go away has decided to crop up, I hate them because they make it so hard to think straight and see straight, plus I tend to get so dizzy. I have had them my whole life, they just crop up and stay for anywhere from a week to a few months, pretty sure they are just part of having Fibromyalgia, plus they run in the family, probably because we are so smart! Blah, tea helps though, I am not a ‘tea for health’ reasons kinda person, but tea works on these headaches better than any pain killer, so it is not just the caffeine (I lived off Excedrin as a teenager, my stomach still thanks me for that one) but possibly the play of caffeine and theanine? Or maybe it is the soothing taste, hot liquid acting as a vasodilator in my head, and the ritual of tea as a whole bringing me peace. Regardless of the reason, I am glad it brings my head a bit of a rest so I can do things, like write this blog!
Recently I recieved a surprise package from Yunomi with Nakamura-En’s #01 Gyokuro Mecha, The Discovery inside. I do not remember requesting any samples to review lately, so maybe this came from their awesome Tea4Two program, whatever the reason for its arrival, it was very welcome because I had just run out of Gyokuro the other day. This particular Gyokuro is actually Mecha (no, not that kind of Mecha, sadly it is not a giant piloted robot, I am sad too) a tea that is basically the broken off tips and buds of the tea, this gives it a more robust taste and makes it cheaper than normal Gyokuro and high end Sencha. This also means that it is a bit cheaper, meaning if you are wanting to experiment with brewing Gyokuro the crazy leaf heavy traditional way or just try Gyokuro in general, it is a good introductory tea. I have to say, this might be the sweetest Gyokuro I have had the pleasure of sniffing (also such tiny leaves! must be careful to not inhale them) it is a blend if honey, freshly broken green grass and hay, and a chestnut and sweet pea finish. As I snuffled around in the tea leaves a bit longer, warming them up even more by breathing on them, delicate floral notes and a touch of kelp waft up from the emerald leaves.
Really, I should brew this in my Kyusu or pseudo-Houhin, but I always end up brewing Gyokuro in my glass steeping apparatus, because it is so pretty! The aroma of the now thoroughly soggy leaves is very green, like super green! Notes of grass and spinach, kelp and peas, and a tiny hint of chestnuts. It smells verdant, I see flashes of vibrant green in my mind as I sniff it. The liquid is light and sweet, and of course green, though it is no where as intense as the wet leaves. There are notes of honey and chestnut along with a strong grassy presence.
Holy soupy thickness! Oh man, that mouthfeel is something else, it does not coat the mouth, it paints it, it smothers it, it feels sensual like chocolate melting in the mouth, but less milky…and chocolaty, but a similar texture. The taste is super green, with a blend of spinach and grass at the first, then it goes on a mouth journey to asparagus and sweet peas, and at the finish we have chestnut and kelp. It blends savory and sweetness pretty perfectly. Speaking of chocolate, if you ever get the chance to mix really dark chocolate with Gyokuro, do it, it is an awesome pairing!
In the traditional style I went for a second steeping, jacking up the temperature and shortening the steeping time. It is safe to say that is luminous Hulk green tea is now a powerhouse of flavor, it is super savory with notes of kelp and cooked spinach, with a strong kale midtaste, this bitter green note pretty quickly fades to kelp and a touch of chestnut at the finish. It is pretty intense, in a good way, but be warned, do not go to the second steep lightly, be prepared with a spirit of steel!
I’m okay with the flavor, but too much powder or too hot water will make this extremely bitter and taste like pith. My only negative here is that there is sugar already in this mix and I don’t know how much.. The site lists “granulated sugar” in the ingredient list before “matcha” – at least in the US, the ingredients that are listed first are more abundant in the product than those listed later. I don’t want to think this is all sugar.
Oh, and definitely don’t use the full recommended amount of matcha – that’s a recipe for bitter tea.
One of my press samples, since I wanted to try an oolong. There is a nice, kinda earthy scent. The flavour is a bit nutty, which comes out more in the second mug. I got a little bit of molasses in the first cup. It has a slight smokiness, which works for the tea.
Glad to try a roasted oolong again. Thanks to Yunimous for this sample.
Flavors: Molasses, Nutty, Roasted
Another really lovely flavoured houjicha courtesy of Yunomi.
I had my first experience with noting the flavour of osmanthus just the other day, when sampling Tea Ave’s osmanthus oolong. It was really nice to have that experience to compare this to.
This has a lovely osmanthus flavour – that slightly floral, sweet, peachy flavour. It combines beautifully with the roasty notes of the houjicha. I didn’t notice much in the way of orange, but I also didn’t miss it either – this seemed just right, and well balanced just as is.
I’m really excited to try more flavoured houjicha in the future. They two I have from Yunomi are just delicious and a very unique tea experience.
Flavors: Nutty, Osmanthus, Peach, Roasted, Sweet
I’m not much of a houjicha person – I’m just starting to appreciate roasted teas more – but when I saw these flavoured hoijicha on Yunomi and then reviews here, I was really intrigued.
This is really excellent. The dry leaf is rich and roasty smelling, with a note that keeps making me think really milky milk chocolate, but I don’t think it’s actually chocolate.
I’ve tried this twice, once steeped per the directions on the packet – 2tsp, 2min, 90C, and once as a latte, 2tsp, 94C, extended steep and then into the blender with sugar and warm milk. It is awesome both ways.
The flavour of it is just so soothing and relaxing. It’s sweet and delicately roasty, with that same note that I want to associate with chocolate, and then there’s a lovely flavour of roasted pumpkin seeds (shelled) and just a hint of zucchini.
I’m really into this as an evening drink. It feels like the perfect thing to sip while winding down.
Thank you to Yunomi for the sample!
Flavors: Chocolate, Nutty, Roasted, Sweet, Zucchini