2 Tasting Notes
The name tatsu-mukashi is a play on words. Tatsu (辰) is the fifth earthly branch and corresponds to the dragon in the Chinese zodiac, the sign for the upcoming new year; mukashi (昔) is the formulaic word for matcha of a grade high enough for koicha preparation.
Tatsu-mukashi really shines in the koicha-style preparation. The advertised characteristics – gorgeous aroma, rich, full-bodied umami, and bright pale green – come across brilliantly. This brews an extremely aromatic bowl of thick tea. The aroma is strongly that of fresh tea, with faintly grassy notes, and an interesting, mildly herbal aftertaste.
Although it is said that all matcha can be prepared as usucha, I found that the thickness of the scent of tatsu-mukashi is somewhat overpowering when prepared as usucha. Furthermore this tea consists of larger than normal particles, so that the tea settles more quickly than usual after whisking.
Makes a nearly perfect bowl of usucha – wonderfully fragrant blend of sweetness and umami. As koicha, the taste is slightly one-dimensional toward the sweetness.