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Recent Tasting Notes
This is a complex tasting black tea that tastes mostly sweet and fruity. At first I steeped it in near-boiling water and didn’t like it. It had a nasty, pronounced bitter that for me spoiled the rest of the taste. It went better when steeped around 80 C. A bit strange for a black. Although the taste profile is interesting and complex, for me it lacks the balance to make it a perfect tea (but that may be highly subjective). I like it though.
5g / 200ml glaspot, water from Kunzan tetsubin
Tried this most exellent light oolong westernstyle. I found that it does infuse very quickly. the 1m infusion was a bit to long as i got some slight astringency. This tea was a whole lot better gong fu style. Will try one more time with shorter infusions.
I received this in a swap from Hallieod awhile ago. Haven’t seen you around lately Hallie, if you see this have been thinking about you.
I’m not a fan of green tea. I’ve only had a couple of other genmaicha teas.
This is by far the best green genmaicha that I’ve had. No bitterness from the green, no grassy, just nutty, toasty, roasty goodness. This reminds me a little of the buckwheat tea that I liked so much. I added just a touch of sweetener, and it’s a little like cereal. I like it.
Wasn’t really feeling well tonight, this was just what I needed. Soothing and comforting.
Thank you Hallieod!!!!
5g / 180ml Kobiwako kyusu
1m/1m @ 100C
5g seems to be a good amount. First cup was powerful, yet little astringancy. Second cup was a bit weak. will do a bit longer on second infusion next time.
This is a very nice breakfast tea. And a good amount of caffeine before the saturday long distance run :)
After being disappointed with some recent organic Japanese green tea purchases, I’m really enjoying this organic gyokuro.
From the moment I opened the pouch, I knew this tea was going to be good. The tea leaves had a exquisite aroma that was fresh, grassy, and mildly earthy all at the same time. Not surprising considering the production date was late May 2013 and I received the tea just a few months later.
However I was disappointed the first few times I brewed this tea. I followed the enclosed instructions and steeped for 60 to 75 seconds at 140 F. This resulted in a very weak brew that basically tasted like hot water. So I reverted back to my standard method for gyokuro: 1 heaping teaspoon per 6 oz of water @ 160 F. The result was a pleasantly grassy brew with notes of seaweed and spinach balanced with a light sweetness. First infusion yielded a pale yellowish green liquor. Second infusion was a stunning almost neon green and the color of the third was similar to the first. The flavor of the second infusion is similar to the first, distinctly vegetal but without the thick mouthfeel. Third infusion is similar to sencha. My temperature/times for each infusion:
1st: 160 F for about 65 seconds
2nd: 160 F for 35-40 seconds
3rd: 170 F for 90 seconds
4g / 180ml Kobiwako kyusu.
1m/1:20m/2m @ 100C
This tea is marvelous. Very little astringancy, complex smooth flavours. Fairly light. Usual flavours are there. Mint, cinnamon, a bit sweeter than other japanese blacks ivé tried.
Leaf are large, so i think next time 5g with slightly longer infusions.
Ill be sure to keep this one restocked. Low cost, superb quality!
It looks like somewhere along the way i forgot to log this as i’m down to my last cup of this. Hallieod sent this my way and i’ve been enjoying drinking it the 2-3 times that i’ve had it. it’s a pretty average genmaicha. nothing to write home about, but nothing that i would snub. Thanks again for sending this my way!
My daughter decided to wake up early, so i was in the mood for a strong black tea.
Also i tried out my new Kunzan tetsubin! :)
5g / 200ml glaspot. Really should get around to get myself a nice oxidation clay kyusu….
45s/1m/1:15m @ 100C
The tetsubin adds a whole lot of flavour to the tea. Must be loads of iron. I almost feel i should use less tea. The aroma is stronger aswell as the aftertaste. Compared to my old electric plastic kettle this is just awesome.
The usual flavours are the. Heavy on the cinnamon, a fair bit of astringency. But well balanced.
5g / 200ml glaspot.
45s/1m/2m @ 95C
5g was just about right. The bitterness evened out to a very pleasant astringancy. Rest of the flavours still there. Would be interesting to try this gong fu style. many short steepings should yield a good result since the leaves infuses very well.
5g / 90ml celeadon gaiwan.
Wow. The first two infusions of this was just about the best light oolongs iv´e ever tried. Smoth floral and buttery. Just perfect.
The longer infusions ruined the smothness. But when i lowered the infusiontimes again. it came back :)
I would recommend keeping stepings to 10-15s until flavour thins.
On a sidenote, the dry leaf is beutiful. not rolled into balls like the usual “green” oolongs. But rather twisted and crooked. infuses quickly.
Was in the mood for a japanese black this morning, so i opened a bag of this little gem :)
6.5g / 200ml glaspot.
three infusions: 45s/1m/2m
First to cups was very powerful with heavy astringency bordering on bitter. The usual JP black flavours was all there. Cinnamon, slight ripe fruit. But with the addition of a flowery flavour.
Next time i will try 5g and see what happens. perhaps even shorten the steepings.
This tea reminds me alot of the Fuji black tea, only its a bit stronger.
A disappointment to me! Before trying this tea, I had the Organic Miyazaki Oolong Tea Baisen from Yuuki-Cha, which I loved and might be the best tea I ever had. So I was very excited to open up my bag of Koubi Shiage. The leaves of this tea look pretty nice to me, however they are accompanied by a relatively large fraction of stalks.
This tea is somewhat cheaper than the Baisen (8$ vs. 10$ per 50g), but tastes not much like it at all. I tried different temperatures and leaf amounts, but the quality stayed similar. This tea has little or no real ‘oolong’ taste, and little else to make it interesting either, and on me leaves the impression of just any average black tea, however with some oolong smell.
After brewing, the oils visibly shift on the surface of the cuppa.
The aroma is exemplar of hojicha, sweet and floral, almost fruity. Very strong, so much that it wanders about the room.
It has an immediately sweet taste, much the same as the nose, followed by a delicious roasted flavor – not a trace of smoke. A delicate sencha seems to play briefly before collapsing. It’s as though the roasting process were occurring in your mouth.
This is a very good hojicha! The most flavorful I’ve had in a long while.
A second infusion is nearly as good as the first (second infusion brewed @ 200F)
(Prepared with 12g/16oz)
Appearance: Moss green with a splintered texture typical of deeper-steamed senchas.
Aroma: Sweet and salty roasted seaweed. Absolutely delicious.
Appearance: A little cloudy. Greenish-yellow reminiscent of lemongrass.
Mouthfeel: Thin with light astringency.
Aroma: Roasted seaweed and brussel sprouts. Light grassiness.
Taste: A mild and balanced fusion of sweet and savory.
That last comment says it all, really— mild and balanced. Sometimes that’s not a bad place to be, at least for a little while.
This is the first ‘good’ or ‘expensive’ oolong I had. I love this tea! At first I tried steeping it like a sencha (multiple short steeps for one cup, using 3-4 g), but didn’t get a balanced taste. I found out that for me this tea comes out best when steeped like a black, using around 3g for a pot of 2-3 average sized cups, however steeping at 80 C.
The leaves have a dry and soft, mildly earthy smell that reminds most of chocolate. After steeping, the tea tastes very nicely balanced and full. All kinds of taste elements are discernable (most of which I can’t name), drawing your attention to every sip, however coming together perfectly into one. It has that typical oolong malty-earthy sweetness, and every sip finishes with a very subtle and pleasant astringency and almost-bitterness. Even the color of this tea is interesting, which is a full brownish yellow with a very subtle green. A second steep of the same leaves was still enjoyable for me, but it did taste thinner and definitely not as good as the first one.
Aroma: Dried apricots. Cocoa.
Appearance: Translucent mahogany red.
Mouthfeel: Full with a very mild, pleasant astringency.
Aroma: Stewed fruit. Oranges, cinnamon, and allspice.
Taste: Mildly sweet. A very tiny bit of savoriness.
Not a bad tea by any stretch, but not very exciting either. Tastes remarkably similar to this year’s (2012) Charleston, South Carolina First Flush (which isn’t exactly a compliment, this year’s FF was pretty unbalanced) but with a little more complexity and sweetness. If you’re an insatiably curious black tea fanatic, it’s worth a try.
About a month ago I purchased Yuuki-Cha’s Organic Kumamoto Jo Sencha for the second time. As was the case last year I was not disappointed with my purchase.
The leaves have a very grassy aroma (as is expected with a good sencha) and were mostly whole (unlike Yuuki-Cha’s Yame sencha that was mostly dust). An ordinary Kyusu should be able to filter our virtual all of the leaves (my Tokoname Kyusu worked liked a charm).
I steeped this Sencha three times. At first I steeped the tea for a little over a minute. The tea tasted wonderful and had a vivid green color. It seems that this particular sencha can withstand a longer than average steep better than most Japanese greens.
This Kumamaoto Jo has a very subtle and pleasant taste. The grassy flavor was sweet and not overpowering. The second and third cups were still very flavorful but less pronounced than the first steep.
Overall the Kumamoto Jo is a great deal for a premium sencha that does not disappoint.
Tonight is special for two reasons: I’m using the last of this tea, and I’m drinking it in my brand new hand-made ceramic tumbler! It’s one of two, and they just came in the mail yesterday, but I was busing and couldn’t try them out yesterday. Big shout-out to Mamif!
Back to the tea, I prepared the first infusion with barely steaming water, and steeped for 75 seconds. the taste is just as exquisite as usual, like some sort of sweet vegetables. The aroma might be grass, but I just mowed the lawn earlier, and I might still be smelling that. I’m really going to miss this tea after tonight…
Second infusion same temperature, 15 second infusion. It even sweeter, and had gotten a bit more grassy instead of vegetative. this is pretty much the peak for this tea: The second infusion is the prefect balance of flavors, and it just gets weaker from this point.
Third infusion, same temperature, 45 seconds. This time it tastes more grassy than sweet, but it’s not in any way astringent. Unfortunately, I ran out of time, and I’m going to need to stop drinking tea if I want to fall asleep at a decent hour. Sad, since I could probably get another cup of tea or two out of these leaves, but sleep is more important.
P. S. – Pics of the tumblers: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mamif/7382224810/in/photostream/