Yunomius

Recent Tasting Notes

80

Thanks to Yunomi for this sample.

The dry leaf smells roasted and nutty, very much like a potent houjicha. The pieces are irregular – some are small, twisty and black, like many black tea leaves. Others are flat, brown flakes of leaf.

1tsp, 90C, 5min.

This smells rich, creamy, nutty and roasted as it steeps. I’m reminded a lot of a houjicha I sampled recently. The flavour is distinct, however. Somewhat less sweet and having a bit more of a bite than I associate with houjicha. This has characteristics in common with some Chinese roasted oolongs. Fairly heavy body and very smooth.

All in all a very nice offering. I’m pleased to be able to try different types of Japanese teas.

Flavors: Char, Creamy, Nutty, Roasted, Smooth

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Oca Ocani

Sounds interesting. I really like Houjicha, but the Oolong teas I’ve tried so far from Yunomius were very close to black tea.
Maybe I should give this tea a try.

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92

I bought a sample of this tea and therefore provide only a first impression.
I decided against the recommended steeping method from Yunomius.
I gave gongfu cha a try with this tea and it turned out to be a good idea.
My parameters: 2g/80ml/95°C/10-20se, up to 10 infusions
The smell of the dried leaves was a little bit difficult to describe: for me it was a slight scent of lactic acid which even the steeped leaves had.
The color of the liquor was a clear honey-yellow with the same smell. The smell did not appear stronger or weaker.
The flavor was characterized by a mild sweetness with a slight acid base note. The sweetness was more or less neutral, maybe a touch of honey? but I´m not really sure.
The acid notes were wonderfully refreshing and discreetly lemony.

Flavors: Honey, Lemon

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 2 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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81

Saturday Sipdown
(Quick note – I’m Western brewing this for a change as I like my Kukicha strong)

In appearance the stems are a blend of green and yellow with a high gloss/shiny reflection.
In scent I can detect sweet grass, honeysuckle, perfume and fresh hay.

Once steeped the tea is cloudy yellow in colour with a sweet yet savoury grass and sweetpea scent. Somewhat similar to it’s raw scent.

Flavour is medium in strength with buttery grass and hay tones. Soft umami that lingers in the after taste, reminds me of asparagus and broccoli. Also some dryness.

As it cools the grass tones become stronger and the umami adds some astringency.

Overall: It’s a nice Kukicha that offers a lot of crisp flavours and nice balanced umami. A little soft for my liking and not as strong as I usually prefer, though very nice all the same.

Plus reminder of coupon: Free Standard Airmail shipping with a purchase of $50 or more, Free Express Airmail with a purchase of $100 or more. Use coupon code: { shipjan }. Offer ends Jan 31, Japan time.
https://yunomi.us/?ref=5

Flavors: Asparagus, Broccoli, Hay, Honeysuckle, Perfume, Sweet, warm grass

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec 10 g 34 OZ / 1000 ML

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90
drank Sencha of the Summer Sun by Yunomius
35 tasting notes

Thanks a lot to YUNOMI for the free sample! It came beautifully packaged with a pretty postcard from the company.

As for the tea, I really enjoyed it. The more I steep it, the more I like it, actually. 10g might not seem like a large sample, but at three steeps and counting I’m really getting the most out of this tea. To my knowledge, this is the first straight sencha I’ve tried, so although I can’t offer the most educated opinion, I really enjoyed the experience. The first steep was more astringent than I’m used to, but from then on it mellowed out immediately. I’d definitely recommend a short steep time, as it’s quite bold. Overall, this one is very enjoyable. The customer service provided by the company is excellent as well.

Flavors: Grass, Vegetal

Preparation
1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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This is my second free press sample for this month from Yunomi. I have very little experience with gyokuro, and I thought this one sounded interesting. The “konacha” part of it means that it’s made from the broken leaf pieces that are left over after processing gyokuro. Therefore it steeps very quickly, and is much more economical than regular gyokuro. So cool, I love how the Japanese in particular are so into using every part of the tea plant. The leaf, as you might expect, is very tiny and broken, and it has both green and yellow colors. Dry scent is sweet grass and spinach. I was unsure how to steep this, so I just went with 160 degrees (happens to be my kettle’s lowest setting) for 30 seconds, when I would normally do 45.

The steeped tea is a lovely, slightly murky green/yellow color. It smells thick with spinach and sweet aromas. Whoa, I was not prepared for the flavor explosion! This tea has such an intense and rich umami flavor, it’s so good! It tastes like a puree of rich steamed greens with squash, mushrooms, and a bit of a rich nutty flavor. So rich and intense, but without even a hint of bitterness! There’s just a little touch of sweetness rounding this out, a very mild and natural sweetness like I find in roasted squash. So delicious!

I am a Yunomi affiliate! Please consider using my referral link if you decide to make a purchase: https://yunomi.us/?ref=12

Flavors: Butter, Butternut Squash, Creamy, Mushrooms, Nuts, Pumpkin, Smooth, Spinach, Sweet, Thick, Umami

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

Hooray, my monthly “press” samples from Yunomi arrived! They’re so generous with their free samples. This month I happened to choose two teas from the same brand independently of one another, and without noticing the connection until I was typing them in the “Notes” box of my order. I’ve been very interested in trying more kukicha teas, and especially karigane, after tasting a couple different ones and loving their mild, sweet flavor. So this was a natural choice for a free sample! The stems have their usual stick-like appearance with mixed deep green and yellow colors. Dry scent is grassy, but in a sweet and creamy way.

The steeped tea has a mild but very sweet aroma. This is so yummy! I noticed that other reviewers steeped this for much longer than I did (2 minutes vs. my 45 seconds) so I’m not sure if I’m doing it wrong… It certainly doesn’t taste like I am! The flavor is light but it feels like it should be, and there’s no lack of taste here. Main flavors are mild, sweet spinach with some grassy freshness. Maybe even a tiny bit of honeydew melon. Overall it’s incredibly sweet and creamy and silky smooth! Delicious!

I am a Yunomi affiliate! Please consider using my referral link if you decide to make a purchase: https://yunomi.us/?ref=12

Flavors: Creamy, Grass, Honeydew, Mineral, Smooth, Spinach, Sweet

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

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83

Backlog from earlier today. The first time that I steeped this tea, I used 185 F water, which turned out to be too hot. While the flavors were delicious, it was also a bit bitter. It didn’t help that the leaves were very fine and settled at the bottom of my mug, continuing to make the tea bitter as I drank it. Second time around, I used 165 F water, and it really did help with the initial bitterness. The problem with the leaves falling through and making it bitter were still there, though. I need to get a finer strainer.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this tea (despite the random bitterness) because it combines umami and vegetal flavors so well. Plus, it tastes clean yet a little thick at the same time. I find that true of most Japanese green teas, actually. Anyway, it is a very nice, sothing tea. I just hope I can find a better way to strain the leaves.

Anlina

I have one like this – the mess is incredibly fine and it sits in the top of my cha hai. I found them in China Town for less than $2 http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Stainless-steel-tea-infuser-strainer-with-fine-mesh-for-teapot-tea-set-coffee-tea-tools-free/32259771913.html

Jennkay

Ooh, thanks for the recommendation!

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85

While I’m mostly a black tea gal, I do relish my nightly cup of houjicha. I’ve been wanting to try these flavored houjichas for ages, but they were out of stock for quite some time. And when they came back Yunomius sadly removed the sample option. Cameron B. came to my to my rescue and generously sent me some samples. I’m trying to drink all my swaps/samples in the order I got them, but I decided to cheat and treat myself with one of these.

I’d had a houjicha + mint blend before and wasn’t super fond of it. The mint was too strong and the houjicha wasn’t of the best quality. But it sounded like a promising blend, so I was curious how it would work in this instance. The leaves seem to be a mix of regular hojicha and hoji-kukicha (my favorite!) and there are cute little silver balls hanging out in the mix. Sprinkles? Steeped a tsp for a bit over 2 minutes at 190ºish.

Yum! This is quite nice. The chocolate is creamy and melds right into the roasty houjicha. The mint is thankfully not overwhelming, but it’s barely noticeable. Just a refreshing bit of brightness. Not bad at all, but not really mint chocolate. The website recommends adding milk which sounds odd to me, but why not give it a try.

Added a splash and unsweetened soy and… yum! Surprisingly nice. The chocolate is very creamy and it tastes super nutty. I really like it! Sadly the mint is pretty much completely drown out, but it’s very tasty. Overall I really enjoyed this and will definitely consider picking up a package for myself. I do think it would be improved with more mint, or as a straight chocolate houjicha. But as-is it’s quite nice.

Flavors: Chocolate, Nuts, Roasted

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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90

This was one the “free press samples” I received with my Yunomi order last week. I already tasted the first flush version a few days ago, and I’m keen to see how the two compare. The leaves here are small, feathery, and flaky, and they’re somewhat broken up. Color is a very dark chocolate brown. They smell very hay-like in a sweet and comforting kind of way, with perhaps a bit of oats in there as well.

The steeped cup smells very fruity and rich with savory vegetal notes. Hm, I can definitely taste a difference between this and the first flush, and I prefer this one. This tea is richer and smoother, and it doesn’t have that Darjeeling-esque floral/spice flavor. Instead, there are comforting notes of bread, sweet potato, and rich dried fruits such as prune and raisin. There’s also a definite molasses-like flavor, which contrasts nicely with the bit of savoriness that also exists. It’s a vegetal sort of savory, but it’s definitely a cooked vegetable, perhaps some type of squash? Near the end, there’s a little bite of mild bitterness that helps to cut through the rich flavors this tea has. There’s a mild aftertaste of edamame. This one’s a keeper! (Bonus: cheaper than the first flush!)

I am a Yunomi affiliate! Please consider using my referral link if you decide to make a purchase: https://yunomi.us/?ref=12

Flavors: Baked Bread, Bitter, Butternut Squash, Dried Fruit, Molasses, Potato, Raisins, Soybean, Sweet Potatoes, Thick

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Tealizzy

Yum! On the wishlist!

Cameron B.

I would definitely recommend it. :)

Yunomi also does free “press” samples (Steepster counts). You can get two per month, and request specific teas.

Link: https://yunomi.us/shop/6142/free-tea-sample-10g-for-press-id-6142/

Tealizzy

Ooh, thanks for the tip!

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99

You know what, I have excitement building in me that I was going to wait to share, but if I don’t let it out I shall pop! So, for most of my gaming life (I cannot remember a time in my life that I did not have access to a gaming system, my dad and I hoarded them) I had a gaming system and pile of games in my bedroom. I would re-arrange my entire room to make it easy to lay in bed while gaming, because yours truly spent a lot of days home sick from school or too sick to play, I spent that time alternating between gaming and reading. Since living in Kansas City, the Xbox360 has been in the family room, and I have just hated that! Thanks to a little finagling, I will be getting a nice monitor and moving the Xbox to my bedroom, finally, on those sick days I can lay in bed and game without having to interact with anyone. That sounds a little mean in retrospect, just usually when I feel really icky I like being by myself, it is a very old habit I am not too likely to break. So, I am excited!!

It has been too long since this Gaijin had some Gyokuro, something I am rectifying right now, with Yunomi’s Kurihara Tea #2 Heritage Gyokuro Tea! The heritage part of this name refers to the super traditional way of shading this tea with handmade straw or bamboo mats, giving it an extra level of awesome. In case you are new to the ‘Jade Dew’ (that is what Gyokuro translates to) let me take you on a very green adventure! This Japanese tea is different from Sencha by being covered by a shade for a length of its growing time, this of course depends on how high of a grade of Gyokuro, the longer the shading the higher the quality. This is the most sought after and expensive tea to come out of Japan, now, if only I had a fancy Shiboridashi to brew it in using the specialized brewing method. So, enough rambling, onto sniffing the tea! The aroma of the vibrantly green leaves (seriously, they are as green as pine needles) is delightfully sweet, a blend of sweet chestnuts, wildflower honey, freshly mown hay, sweetgrass, and a tiny bit of distant wildflowers. Something about the aroma of Japanese green teas (especially the very verdant ones) reminds me of summer, either you have the sweet and green ones like this Gyokuro, or the sea air ones like some Sencha. Truly, this tea smells absolutely amazing, I might have actually inhaled a leaf after sniffing this tea so much!

Since brewing Gyokuro in the traditional way requires a large amount of leaf to a small amount of water, I decided to not use my Kyusu or make-shift Houhin (the holes are a little too big for a delicate tiny tea) and brewed the leaves in my double boiler-tea alchemy tool, for extra visual fun! The leaves look like they are almost bioluminescent while steeping, it is so pretty. The aroma of the steeped leaves is super sweet and very green, there are notes of sweet chestnut, cut hay, sweetgrass, and crushed bamboo leaves giving it a touch of sharpness. At the finish there is a tiny hint of kelp to bring in that umami note. The liquid is delicate, not at all faint, but the difference between a piece of silk floating through the air and dropping a book, both are noticeable but one is prettier to look at. There are notes of sweet chestnut (it seems to be the dominant note so far) and hay with underpinnings of bamboo and kelp. The liquid balances sweet, green, and savory very well.

So, first steeping time, and let me start by saying that this tea is thick! I love that about Gyokuro, when brewed with the traditional methods it is often called soupy or syrupy, and that is an apt description. It coats the mouth to an almost oily extent, almost like drinking warm, partially formed jello. The taste is an adventure, it starts sweet and nutty with chestnut notes and fresh hay. After this initial nutty sweetness the unami kicks in at the midtaste, it is fascinating, a blend of cooked spinach, bamboo shoots, and a touch of kelp. It tastes like eating the finished Gyokuro leaves as a salad. After this the taste goes to a slightly dry and a little bitter green like kale and vegetation. The finish is sweet grass and lingering honey.

For the second steep I upped the temperature and shortened the steeping time, as per Yunomi’s recommendation. The aroma is much more green this time around, with strong notes of spinach, kelp, and even a touch of kale in there as well. The finish is sweet with a touch of chestnut. So this steeping is a glorious example of how a tea can evolve, where the previous steep was sweet with a touch of umami, this tea is a kick in the face of savory notes. It is intense and delicious! Like a blend of kelp, kale, spinach, bamboo leaves and shoots, it tastes like a salad and growing things. There is bitterness, but it is bitterness of vegetation and green things, a bitterness that I absolutely love (and have come to realize that some people really dislike, much to my confusion) it evokes the foods of my youth with turnip greens and collards. The finish has a chestnut and wildflower honey sweetness that lingers, along with the smoothness of the mouthfeel. It is times like this that I wonder, why do I ever let myself run out of Gyokuro?

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/01/yunomi-kurihara-tea-2-heritage-gyokuro.html

dragondrool

I don’t think the hole-up-by-yourself thing is mean. It’s about perspective. When I’m really fibro-flaring and/or have a migraine going on, I tend to hole up, too. Only I couch mine as an avoidance of “inflicting myself on others”. :) How can that be mean? That’s a service!

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

Hehe I like that! Maybe I could make a fancy sign to hang on my door that says much the same, because I know I am cranky when I feel bad! Thank you, that actually makes me feel better!

I am somewhat reclusive by nature and worry that I come off as rude by being solitary rather than hanging out with everyone else.

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88
drank Onocha Tea: Bancha by Yunomius
972 tasting notes

Another tea from my January Yunomi subscription box. I think I’ve only tried one bancha ever, and it was from Harney & Sons (a reputable company, but I wouldn’t consider Japanese greens to be their strong suit). I didn’t enjoy it much, found it a bit rough for my tastes. Nevertheless, I’m excited to try another one, especially since this one is apparently lightly roasted to make it have a smoother flavor. I must say, I was quite surprised upon seeing the leaves! They’re quite large and very intact, which is something you don’t see that often with Japanese green teas (I assume this is because their leaves are somewhat more fragile than most teas). Dry scent is very mild and sweet grass. I went with a slightly lower water temperature than the package recommended, just because I’m used to steeping my green teas at 175 degrees and I was afraid to go too high.

The steeped tea is surprisingly pale in color, it’s a very light yellow-green. Right away, I can smell a savory seaweed/umami note. This tea is quite mild, though I’m not sure whether that’s intentional or the result of my steeping parameters. It certainly tastes intentional, meaning there is plenty of flavor here even if it’s mild overall. There’s a strong umami seaweed presence, but I find that delicious. The middle and end of the sip get very sweet, and it’s a clear sweetness like spring water. I can also taste a slight roasted nutty flavor, which I assume is from the roasting process. There’s a tiny bit of pleasant astringency as well. Overall, I’m very impressed with this one! I guess I should try more bancha.

I am a Yunomi affiliate! Please consider using my referral link if you decide to make a purchase: https://yunomi.us/?ref=12

Flavors: Broth, Nutty, Roasted, Seaweed, Sweet, Umami

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85

I was totally surprised to find my Yunomi subscription box in my mailbox today! I guess I forgot that it comes so early in the month, looking back at my records I see that the last box came on the 5th of December. Either way, I love surprise tea! This month the box contains five different teas from the same seller – Onocha. These teas are from a family-owned farm in the town of Ono in the Yamaguchi Prefecture. I chose this one to try first because the addition of pea stems and leaves sounded interesting! The houjicha itself looks to be a very dark roast, and the dried pea stems and leaves are in large pieces, making this a rather chunky tea. Dry scent is roasted but not overly strong.

Mm, this is a tasty houjicha. It’s very smooth and mellow with a nice well-rounded roasted flavor and some sweetness. I’m unsure whether I can taste the pea leaves, as I don’t know what they taste like. If their flavor is there, it’s melding pretty seamlessly with the houjicha itself. I tend to prefer houji-kukicha because it’s generally smoother than regular houjicha, but this one is quite smooth and tasty.

I am a Yunomi affiliate! Please consider using my referral link if you decide to make a purchase: https://yunomi.us/?ref=12

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Grass, Roasted, Smooth, Sweet

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

Surprise tea is the best tea!

Cameron B.

I know, right? :D

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68

Steeped 1tsp (3.8g) in 70C water. 30s wasn’t quite enough, yielding a very mild flavour, while 45s was almost too much. The liquor went from a bright, cloudy green to dark yellow-green in those 15 seconds.

The dry leaf is a pretty intense green, mostly dark with a few pale green pieces scattered throughout. Both needle-like and flat pieces of various sizes. The smell is different from other senchas I’ve had, grassy, peppery and almost chemical, though not in an unpleasant way.

Steeped, the liquor smells faintly nutty and metallic.

The flavour is interesting. There’s a faintly bitter edge, a soft vegetal flavour like zucchini and then a very strong, green flavour in the finish, which is long. Notes of peas, cucumber and lettuce. A fair bit of sweetness, and as the cup cools, a bit of honey.

Rather than typical tea astringency, this leaves my teeth feeling slightly fuzzy, like after eating raw spinach.

A very interesting tea. I don’t think it’s something I would reach for, and definitely not my favourite of the Morita tea garden offerings, but I’m glad I got to try it.

Flavors: Bitter, Cucumber, Grass, Honey, Lettuce, Metallic, Nutty, Peas, Peppercorn, Sweet, Zucchini

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 0 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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88

The last of my flavored houjichas from Ocharaka and Yunomi! Well, the last to be tried anyway. Honestly, when I was choosing which flavors to order I was leaning more toward the Orange Osmanthus, but a lot of other people seemed to take particular interest in this one so I figured I would try it instead. I do enjoy apple, but the mention of ginger in here scares me a bit as it’s not my favorite ingredient. There are chunks of dried apple mixed in with the usual roasted stems and leaves. Dry scent is very strong and sharp apple and it almost smells effervescent in a way.

The steeped tea smells mostly of mild roast with a bit of sweet apple mixed in. I like this one quite a bit actually. The flavoring is very mild, and it tastes more like a sweet fresh apple to me than baked, but I actually prefer that. The ginger is extremely subtle, it just makes the apple taste a teeny bit spiced and comes off more as a general “spice” note than ginger itself. The pair work very well with the mildly roasted houjicha base. Lovely! Thanks to everyone who sort of recommended this without realizing it, ha ha. :D

I am a Yunomi affiliate! Please consider using my referral link if you decide to make a purchase: https://yunomi.us/?ref=12

Flavors: Apple, Roasted, Smooth, Spices, Sweet

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

sounds good :)

Cameron B.

It’s tasty! I need to share some of these houjichas around, my reviews are the only ones so far.

Anlina

I’m really appreciating your tasting notes on these. I’ve been tempted by them, but I’m always hesitant to buy something that isn’t available as a sample size. Though I have tonnes of points on Yunomi, so that makes it feel less risky. :P

TeaBrat

If you want to swap again let me know ;)

Cameron B.

Anlina, I would most highly recommend the Japanese Pumpkin and the Grapefruit flavors, they’re delish! :)

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80

Woo, more Yunomi! Since I was making an order anyway, I added the listing for two free “press” samples and requested this tea and the second flush version. I’ve only tried one straight Japanese black tea before, and more experience is needed! :) The leaves are somewhat broken, though the original shape appears to be somewhat wide and flat. Their color is a dark chocolate brown, and there are stems included (a huge one ended up in my steeping basket!). The dry leaf smells eerily similar to cooked asparagus!

Steeped, the tea smells complex, with lots of different aromas going on. There’s definitely a Darjeeling-esque sort of floral note along with the steamed veggies from the dry scent and some rich bread and fruit aromas. Wow, this is definitely an interesting tea. Up front, it tastes quite bready and fruity (perhaps stonefruit along with something darker). Then somewhere in the middle, there’s a big ol’ slap of very musty hay or straw. The end brings out that Darjeeling character of sort of perfumey floral and herb notes, and it continues in the aftertaste. I find that as I keep sipping, that musty portion fades away and I’m left with the bread/fruit transitioning into floral/herbaceous. It’s also very slightly drying near the end. I’ll be interested to see how the second flush version compares.

I am a Yunomi affiliate! Please consider using my referral link if you decide to make a purchase: https://yunomi.us/?ref=12

Flavors: Baked Bread, Dried Fruit, Floral, Herbs, Stonefruits, Sweet, Tannic, Vegetal

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80

Next one up from Yunomi and Ocharaka! Now, I’m pretty picky when it comes to chocolate teas, so I was unsure whether to order this one at all. In the end, I figured a mint houjicha still sounded pretty tasty, so even if the chocolate isn’t to my liking, I’ll still have that combination. The base is the same mix of roasted stems and leaves, and there are big pieces of peppermint along with a few tiny blue flower petals. Oddly enough, for some reason they felt the need to add tiny silver sphere sprinkles to this tea. I’m not sure what they’re meant to add… Dry scent is mostly roasted with sweet chocolate and a little bit of mint.

For some reason, this cup steeped up much darker than the Grapefruit & Honey version. The aroma is strongly roasted with a tiny bit of chocolate. Hmm, this one is less impressive than the other two flavors I’ve tried so far. I can taste some mint, but even that is quite mild next to the houjicha itself. I honestly don’t think I taste chocolate at all, even if I concentrate on it. So mostly this is just a plain (but high-quality) houjicha with a bit of peppermint added. Not bad, but disappointing nonetheless.

I am a Yunomi affiliate! Please consider using my referral link if you decide to make a purchase: https://yunomi.us/?ref=12

Flavors: Peppermint, Roasted, Smooth

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

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88

Woo, my Yunomi order came! I’ve been dutifully checking the mailbox every day because since I chose the free economy shipping, I didn’t have any tracking and was unsure when it would show up. Needless to say, I was excited to find it had been delivered today! After trying (and enjoying) Ocharaka’s Houjicha Japanese Pumpkin, I’m looking forward to trying the three other flavors I picked up. This is the one I was most excited for, so it’s going first! It’s a combination of roasted stems (apparently gyokuro stems) and leaves and there are also some flower petals and citrus peel mixed in. Dry scent is lovely sweet citrus with some roasted and rich notes.

Mm, the steeped tea has a lovely sweet and mild grapefruit aroma along with a strong roasted undercurrent. Yum, the grapefruit flavor here is lovely! For some reason, grapefruit is a flavor that tends to be done well in tea, happily for me. I’m not sure I really taste honey, I think it’s melding with the slightly sweet and rich roasted houjicha base. Delish! Ocharaka has done it again with this one.

I am a Yunomi affiliate! Please consider using my referral link if you decide to make a purchase: https://yunomi.us/?ref=12

Flavors: Grapefruit, Roasted, Smooth, Sweet

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

Im checking out their website right now – they have a lot of teaware!

Jennkay

Ooh, I love Yunomi & houjichas. I’ve never tried a flavored one, though, but I’m adding it to my list of things to try!

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76

Second steep: Still a very strong, heady cup, veering toward astringent now even though I steeped for barely 30 seconds. I’ll go lighter on the leaf and the steep time next go around for sure! I like the buttered spinach a lot but I’m pretty sure a caffeine withdrawal headache is in my future once it all gets out of my system. :/

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76

Last year’s January Steepster select gave me a chance to try Obukucha, and that’s when I learned about the tradition behind it. I LOOOOVED that tea. It tasted more like a savory umami broth than any green I’d ever had, and I’ve been chasing that flavor ever since. I’ve been told it’s a characteristic of Uji sencha, so I’ve tried that, but it’s still not quite the same. I figured that maybe I was looking for the pickled plum flavor than anything; or maybe the seaweed gave it that savory note?

When I saw the ingredient label on this: matcha, kelp, soybean, genmaicha – I was hopeful maybe I’d get to recreate that flavor again. Plus, this tea has gold flakes in it! And it’s supposed to be a lucky tea. I’m cool with getting some luck on my side. :)

First steep is detailed in the below parameters. The resulting tea is dark jade green and there is a lot of sediment in the cup, but that’s because there’s both matcha and irregularly shaped bits of sencha/genmaicha. The liquor has that opaqueness of a matcha, too. The taste is STRONG, you guys. Toasted rice but strong spinachy buttered grassy notes too. 90 seconds was definitely too long of an initial steep but its not astringent at all. It’s surprising smooth and the only reason I know I left it too long is because I swear I can FEEL the caffeine rush to my head.

There’s pretty gold bits in the tea making me feel very fancy (as I sit here in my pajamas at 2 PM) and I do like this. As Japanese greens go, my favorite flavors are represented quite nicely. But, it still isn’t that pretty obukucha from last year, sadly. I would love to find that tea again and maybe if I keep drinking this one that is where I can channel all the lucky vibes?

A girl can dream, right?

Flavors: Butter, Grass, Spinach, Toasted Rice

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 30 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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81

Scent Notes: The Genmai is strong with this one, it’s very toasted and rice/bread like. All with a grassy and rather fresh green tea to lighten it.

Flavour Notes: It tastes as toasted as it smells and is very savoury. The beans come through for an interesting flavour too. A little dry though not in a bad way. The Matcha is also noticeable in a grassy way. The Sencha adds some sweetness though only a minimal amount due to it’s savoury nature. I would say that fans of GenMaicha should like this one.

For pictures and more information please view my blog entry.
http://www.kittylovestea.co.uk/2015/01/02/happy-new-year/

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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

I tried this again last night, though I thought I was trying a new tea. I placed a Yunomi order that included a 100g bag of this, and the Morita tea sampler. I tried my sample and didn’t realize that it was the same as the 100g bag of karigane that my sweetie wanted.

Still spectacular the second time around – umami, honey, grass, seaweed. So much deliciousness. Knowing the price makes it even more spectacular – less than $10 for 100g and it tastes like a much more expensive tea.

Totally worth picking up, and I’m pretty happy I have access to more than just my sampler.

Flavors: Grass, Honey, Seaweed, Umami

Sil

that’s a fantastic deal!

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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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