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Yuuki-cha

Recent Tasting Notes

93

ah a nice afternoontea before the dinnerguests arrive. Today im making Pulled beef with tortilla bread and guacamole. :) smells wonderful!

The tea leaf smells somewhat like da hong pao, although much greener and less charred smell. The flavour is less intense and more spicy.
I tried western style this time and the result was better than gong fu.
Very little astringancy and shockful cinnamon falvour, there is also a hint of cardamon with a spicy feel and a hint of burnt leaf/smoke.
A very pleasant tea!

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 4 g 6 OZ / 190 ML
donkeytiara

sounds exotic!

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75

From the queue

I’m declaring Green Week. Or rather, Things That Aren’t Black Week. I’ve got a fair few of those sorts of blends, but I’m not very good at remembering to make them once in a while. So I’m going to try, for the next week, to have a cup of something non-black at least once a day for seven days. A fair few of them I’ve already posted about, so don’t expect seven posts on the topic, but I’ll try and remember the box of untried things as well.

This is a green tea that Auggy shared with me last summer. Back then she said it was getting a tad aged, but to use heavier leaf to compensate. The age thing definitely hasn’t improved since I’ve had it and not got around to it, but we’ll see how bad it’s got. Auggy is very fond of shincha and we tend, in general, to have a very similar taste in tea. We prefer the same sort of flavour profiles and the same sort of characteristics, so although I’m not a very big green tea drinker at all, I trust her judgment on this implicitly.

It still has a lot of aroma. It’s got that smell that makes me think ‘cat breath’. I don’t know why cat breath especially, because the cats don’t actually smell like that, but that’s just the thought I invariably get. It’s a viscous, sort of salty smell with a bit of sweetness to it as well. Quite freshly cut grass-y as well.

There’s a great deal of flavour in it too. It’s quite mineral-y and underneath that there is a lot of something. I’m sure you all know how it is. You know it tastes like something you know, but you just can’t identify it. I’m thinking something along the lines of spinach and asparagus after they’ve been briefly blanched.

It’s quite pleasant, and it definitely puts the myth that ‘green teas are all very delicate and subtle tasting’ to the grave. This is fairly strong stuff. It’s as strongly flavoured as a black tea. It’s just a different flavour. I can totally see why Auggy is fond of this, and my trust was once again well placed.

I know some people will shake their heads in wonder at why I would rate something that I know is no longer at it’s best. To those, let me remind you all of this. My score is based on my experience with it, not an attempt at judging quality. If a high quality tea doesn’t make me happy, it gets a low score. If a low quality tea makes me happy, it gets a high score. It’s as simple as that. Therefore I am scoring, becuase this made me quite happy.

Helena

All that matters is happiness :D

MissB

See, and reading this makes me happy. :)

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94

Been hectic as usual not much time for tea, at most a cup a day!
Oh well this time im taking some time to log a wonderful relaxing cuppa. :)

I am very very fond of the minty cinnamon flavour of japanese black teas and this one sure packs a punch. It is hsockful of flavour and high astringancy that perfectly balances the sweet. A hint of bitter cinnamon on the aftertaste and some fresh mint fills the whole mouth. Pure joy!

45s/1m/2m

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 45 sec 5 g 6 OZ / 190 ML

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This tea smells very wooden and sweet with a hint of chestnut.

First Steep – 45 seconds
A mild yet very sweet steep with a dry, nutty after taste. No astringency. Also reminds me of lightly toasted wood.

Second Steep – 1 min 25 secs
Still light and sweet but with some spice towards the after taste. Also subtly sour and astringent.

Third Steep – 2 mins
Very sweet and still reminding me of chestnut. Very light and wooden but not much flavour left overall.

So far it’s too early to judge this tea, I think I may have not used enough leaf so I will have another try another day and see how it comes out. It is also possible that it’s just a very light black tea.

Preparation
Boiling 8 g 7 OZ / 200 ML
Dag Wedin

Ah this tea is one of the better japanese blacks.
It has rather large leaf so needs a bit longer infusions.
It is somewhat light in flavour compared to other blacks like hime fuki. I found that ca 3g/100ml water with 1/1:30/2+ minutes infusions gave a nice result.

Dag Wedin

Ah but i also used a porous clay pot that enhance the body noticably. I would think that in a porcelain or glas pot you would have to increse leaf and/or steeptime.

KittyLovesTea

Thank you for the info :) I will try the longer infusion next time. It’s always hard to gage the first time you steep a tea without instructions. I used my Futanashi Tokoname teapot I got from Yuuki Cha.

Dag Wedin

Never tried tokoname clay. However the pots are often very beutiful!

Terri HarpLady

Wow, those teapots are gorgeous!

KittyLovesTea

Those teapots are beautiful :)

I found this one yesterday and have enquired about it’s price. They have some nice teaware on their website.
http://www.tokoname.or.jp/teapot/ki-68.htm

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95

Taken from the first round of the EU TTB and was added by Dag Wedin. A Japanese black would go well for me this morning, I recently joined crunchyroll which is like Netflix but it has lots of Anime/Manga available to stream. I’m currently watching ‘Toaru Hikūshi e no Koiuta’ / ‘The Pilot’s Love Song’ and am enjoying it, only a few episodes in but I think it’s going to be one of those well written emotional anime short series. That was my new year resolution by the way, to watch more Anime.

The website has no steeping instructions for this tea (though they did have a lot of pictures of it being grown and picked) so I’m going to use the same parameters as Dag Wedin.

45s@100C
1m@100C

The leaves are very dark brown and finely chopped though there are a few golden leaves chopped up and mixed in also. It smells sweet yet smoky and slightly floral and wooden.

First Steep – 45 seconds
Now steeped it smells very thick and malty with wood and flowers. Flavour wise it’s thick and with only a little astringency, it has elements of: wood, smoke, clay, malt and rose petals. Also has a spicy undertone.

Second Steep – 1 minute
Less thick but still full of flavour. The malt and wood elements are still dominant but the smoke has subsided somewhat as has the clay. Still getting the rose petals though, particularly in the after taste, they cling to my tongue like velvet and it’s beautiful.

It had elements of Keemun and Assam which made a wonderful surprise. Very full of flavour and competed with some of my current favourite black teas. I am definitely going to be buying more of this one. I can see how it won great taste awards throughout 2009 – 2012 consecutively.

Oh and here is the link for the listing of this tea which have the wonderful pictures:
http://www.yuuki-cha.com/japanese-black-tea/hime-fuki-black-tea?search=hime%20fuki

Preparation
Boiling 5 g 6 OZ / 190 ML
Mercuryhime

They also have tons of great Korean dramas. :)

Dag Wedin

Oh a very good review. I have such a hard time putting into words the spectrum of flavours. You do have a delicate palate!

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85

My first order from Yuuki-Cha arrived today :) Plus it’s my Cassie cats 8th birthday today, she is not officially a cat elder (bless her).

This Tencha is mild with elements of butter, flowers and grass. I used roughly 3g or 4g of leaf in my new Futanashi Tokoname teapot (which arrived today also from Yuuki-Cha). It’s so mild yet it has a lovely soothing element, and the after taste is wonderfully green and grassy. Also a little broth like and savoury. A little dry in the after taste but something I can get past.

Very nice so far, will have to keep experimenting in terms of strength. Loving it so far.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 0 sec
__Morgana__

Happy 8th birthday to Cassie!

OMGsrsly

Happy birthday to Cassie! :)

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100

The raw leaves are curly and green in appearance. There are also some lighter coloured stems present amongst the leaves too. Some of the leaves are not quite curled and are perfectly preserved, I can see the tips and shape along with the markings, a beautiful rarity amongst most teas.

They have beautiful sweet scent that is very floral, the name and description state gardenia which it very much does but also elements of lily of the valley and a soft fruity yet mature apricot.

I’m not sure how to steep this ‘correctly’ as there are no steeping instructions but I can have a good guess. I will treat it similar to other low oxidised Oolongs and hopefully it will be fine.

So I will be using 5g of this tea in my 200ml Gongfu teapot (not authentic Japanese but works very well). Water temperature will be 90 °C and shall be infused over three steeps. I will also do a 5 second rinse.

First Steep – 30 seconds
Light yellow colour tea with an elegant and sweet gardenia scent. The gardenia is pure and very much present, I used to work with perfumes and pure aroma oils and this smells exactly like pure gardenia oil but on a softer level.

Flavour is soft yet sweet with delicate hints of gardenia, flowers and grass/hay. Lovely for a first steep.

Second Steep – 1 minute
Thicker in strength and resembling gardenia oil even more now. The sweetness has also increased and is somewhat perfumed overall, that is to say it has a little dryness in the after taste. It is also fruity in the after taste, like apricot, it has that sweet yet sour delicate crispness.

Third Steep – 2 minutes
A little dryer this time and with a touch of astringency but still very sweet and floral. The astringency is rather mineral like which resembles more of a green tea rather than an Oolong.

Overall – This tea gave what was promised in the description, that being gardenia. It was present in the smell of the raw leaves, the smell of the steeped leaves and the flavour. Not only was it floral and perfumed throughout but it was also very sweet.

For more information and pictures of this tea please view my blog.
http://www.kittylovestea.co.uk/2014/02/24/my-first-taste-of-the-wonderful-world-of-japanese-oolong/

Flavors: Apricot, Flowers, Gardenias, Grass

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 g

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98

Today i opened up a bag of wonder. Also known as tea. :)
This tea caught my interest since its highly oxidized yet not roasted. Oolong-black :)

First inpression was how large the leaf is. The 30g filled a bag larger than most 100g teas comes in.
I have no idea of how to brew a tea like this, i thought i´d start out western style.

Kobiwako pot.
1m/2m @ 100C

The liquid is light amber, golden. heavy scent of fruit, apricot.
First cup taste very much of apricot to me. Slight nuttiness, clean and even body without astringancy. There is a special taste on the aftertaste, almost like a hint of smokiness?
Second cup slightly stronger body and flavour.
This is very much a tea to my tastes, none of that buttery nuttyness of lowoxidized oolong but still very fruity since it hasnt been rosted. Wonderful!

Flavors: Apricot, Nuts

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 6 OZ / 190 ML

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94

kobiwako kyusu
45s@100C
1m@100C

Wonderful black tea. Full of cinnamon and a minty aftertaste. Overall it has a full bold body without any bitterness. Very pleasant astringancy. Second cup has a slightly more dry aftertaste that lingers on the tip of the tounge.
Perhaps the slightest hint of sweet dried fruit. I would say this is very much like a japanese assam ^^ Perfect for breakfast or early in the day.

Flavors: Cinnamon

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 45 sec 5 g 6 OZ / 190 ML

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Thanks so Sil for passing along a sample of this one, originally from Hallieod.

My verdict? Fairly weak. Maybe because I’ve been eating, or maybe because I should have used more tea since there’s quite a bit of popped rice in here. I’ll try some more after the flavours in my mouth have dissipated a bit.

ETA: Sadly, this didn’t improve after sitting, and the second infusion was very weak. Hard to give this an accurate rating, unfortunately, but I probably wouldn’t pick it up again. I’ve had more flavourful genmaichas (and actually, I really like hojicha genmaichas too! More roastiness :D)

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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94

5.5g / 180ml Kobiwako Kyusu
1m/1m/2m

Sipdown! Down went the last of this exellent tea. Although lacking the minty flavour ivé come to love in japanese blacks it possesed a strong body overflowing with cinnamon and a hint of citrus. Wonderful cultivar.
My journey amongst the black tea of japan will go ever onward. lets see what i can find come summer!

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

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94

6g / 180ml Kobiwako kyusu
1m/1:30m/2m @ 100C

Ah theese parameters is perfect for this tea! Strong full body, little astringancy and heavy cinnamon and wood. Still just the faintest hint of mint, perhaps a bit of herb like rosemary?
This could work as a breakfast tea :) went down really well after todays lunch of american panncakes. Any of you americans got a good recipie?
I use eggyolk, flour, milk and stir in the whipped eggwhites. Usually put some sliced banana on top before flipping them in the pan :)

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

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43

I loved the deep steamed Fukamushi I ordered last time from O-Cha but this similar offering from Yuuki-cha was a let down. The flavor is swampy with a lingering astringency even when brewed at low temperatures. However the taste and color of the tea improves with subsequent infusions. The first infusion is unremarkable with a pale green-yellow color. But the second infusion, 150-155 F for 30 seconds, turns bright green and with a smooth, grassy flavor and a hint of sweetness. A lot of the tea’s flavor notes begin to come out in the 2nd infusion. Third infusion, 155-160 F @ 90 seconds, was mild and pleasant.

Preparation
150 °F / 65 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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94

2.5g / 180ml Kobiwako kyusu
Single infusion 2m @ 100C

Slightly light, needs more leaf. A tad bit woody but the cinnamon is all there. Will keep single infusions at 3g.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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93

6g / 90ml celadon gaiwan. water from kunzan tetsubin.
wash/25s/35s/50s/1:05/1:20/1:40 and so on.

Benn sipping this tea for awhile now as company for the movie “Argo” must say i would NEVER guess this was a japanese tea. In a blindtest i would say heavy oxidized wuyi oolong. The taste is very much like da hong pao. But it laks that charred flavour, its not as intense as a nonpareil DHP. But considering the price its loads of bang for the buck :)
after 5-6 infusions there is a clear woody note. otherwise it still keeps a strong flavour. Good quality.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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94

5g/180ml kobiwako kyusu
Three infusions
1m/1:30/2:30

I had a sipdown last night of my yamanami black tea. It will be missed! So now i filled up my jap. black tea tin with this amazing tea!!!
Its so incredibly smooth, well balanced with a aftertaste with a hint of cinnamon astringancy. It reminds me a bit of a milder version of darjeeling second flush. It lacks the usuall minty flacour that is commmon with japanese black teas. The cinnamon is there so is a hint of vanilla and wood?
Second best japanese black i´ve tried so far. Only the sayama black – Mushashi kaori cultivar is better. (to my tastebuds atleast.)

When i opened my box of jap. tea i realized i only had one bag of black left. so i just had to order a bunch from yuuki-cha.com, first tea order since this summer! Next time will be when autumn flush is out. some more laoshan black and autumn flush darjeeling! autumn teas are sooooo good :)

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

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80

Crisp green flavor, I really like that it’s organic. Handles multiple infusions very well. A very nice daily green tea.

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95

5g / 180ml Kobiwako kyusu
Three infusions
1m/1:30m/2m @ 95-100C

This was perfect for three cups. All cups was full of flavour. None overly strong and none weak. Next time i will try to find the right amount and infusiontime for 1 cup.
This setting will be scribbled on the tinlabel :)

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

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95

3g / 180ml Kobiwako kyusu.
Single infusion.
2m @ 100C

On the light side, next time ill do 2:30 or perhaps a short wash first.
Taste is the usual superb minty flavour.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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95

5g / 180ml Kobiwako kyusu
Three consecutive nfusions
1:10m/1:40m/2m @ 100C

This time i treied slightly longer infusions.
First two cups was powerful, the third was a bit weaker. I think ill try 1/1:30/2 next time or ill have to increase amount of leaf for 3 infusions.
Taste is the usual japanese black. Little astringancy full of cinnamon, mint and some spicy notes. Sweet.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 15 sec

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