4 Tasting Notes

95

I was excited to get this as a sample with my order from Aiya. I love matcha, I love rice and I like green tea, so I thought this tea would be a smash hit for me. I ended up not really liking it, which disappointed me greatly.

The tea itself was excellent quality, with a generous portion of rice well coated in matcha. Tea leaves were thin, tightly rolled, vibrant dark green.

Once the water hit the tea, the scent of the toasted rice was so strong it put me off. It seemed almost burnt smelling, although the rice was not burned; that was just my impression of the scent.

The matcha blended nicely in the water and the green tea had a very pleasant rich taste , but the taste/scent of the toasted rice just overwhelmed me. After drinking, it also left a very strong aftertaste of toasted rice, which I disliked.

I tried a second tasting with some food instead of by itself and that helped a bit; but I still found the toasted rice flavor aggressive and unappealing. This was my first try at Genmaicha, and I’ll probably try it again to give it another chance but as of now it’s not something I’d seek out.

I did rate this tea highly because it was obviously very good quality, well blended and flavorful, I just didn’t like the flavor!

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97

Wow I looove this tea and wish I’d ordered more of it, an omission I’ll rectify as soon as my budget allows.

Visual appearance: very interesting visually, lots of varied color and shapes; striped fennel seeds, dark tea, light colored seedpods of what I suppose is marigold.

Scent: mmm cinnamon! Cinnamon really predominated for me, along with gingery notes and spicy, flowery scents. I’ve never had marigold or chamomile before so I suspect the gingery to be marigold or chamomile.

Steeping:
Well I didn’t read or follow the directions (lol) and brewed this gongfu style the first time.
WHOOOOOO wild tea ride !!! First steep- massive cinnamon blast, with fennel, gingery tastes off to the side, and a sleek , sweet silky aftertaste. Not really getting any chocolate- maybe just a faint faint echo. Assertive!!!!

Second Steep: still mostly cinnamon, but with definite spicy fennel- gingery . Left an interesting tingly feeling on the tongue and palate. Minty notes and a more defined but shy chocolately taste appearing.

3rd Steep- the cinnamon scent was much milder but the gingery scent was equally mild so I was not expecting SUDDENLY GINGERY SPICY EVERYWHERE . Seriously, it was an awesome unexpected flavor explosion. Left my tongue tingly and a lovely sweet silky minty-choco aftertaste, with hints of fennel. What a change from the first two steeps.

I kept going for a few more steeps, and things settled down to a nice spicy-minty-fennel-y tea with chocolate mint aftertaste.

The next tasting I followed the brewing instructions and got a more sedate but lively blend of cinnamon, fennel spice with chocolaty gingery overtones.

The interesting thing about blends like these is that due to the shifting during shipment, each portion of tea is going to have a different mix of ingredients, so each tasting is going to be a new adventure.

The only negative I have about this tea is that all the small bits of marigold, mint, fennel, chamomile, etc. do tend to either slip through strainers or clump together stubbornly, so there are always a few bits floating in the cup and cleanup is kind of a pain. Still completely worth it for the fun and flavor!

Definitely will buy again.

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I tried this matcha as I was almost out and the order of my regular brand hadn’t yet arrived.
They list the grade as “Imperial” so I was rather skeptical of the quality, as most descriptions go for “ceremonial” grade for regular drinking quality and either “premium” or “culinary” for better or lesser grades respectively.

The matcha has a slightly sharper scent than the ceremonial grade I have used previously, but still a nice vibrant green powder. Seems a little clumpier in the tin also.

I used 2 bamboo scoops of matcha to 3 oz water; prepared by sifting the matcha first, then mixing in a small bit of water to dissolve and finally adding the remaining water and whisking. This matcha did not sift as easily, perhaps it is not as finely ground. It made a very good froth.

Taste- better than I had expected; vegetal and smooth, but a slight detectable astringency and slightly chalky mouth feel when compared to ceremonial and premium grades. It’s not bad at all, could be better but probably not for the price. I will most likely splurge on another brand’s ceremonial matcha for the future, but this makes a decent cup on a budget, and that helps because I’m drinking a lot of it!

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93

This is actually the first Matcha that I ever tried and I think I’m addicted now!
It comes in a nice airtight sealed tin with a pull ring to unseal and a screw top for fastening, so good storage.

Very bright kelly green fine powder with a rich “green stuff” smell immediately on opening, a few clumps sifted out nicely into my tea bowl. Upon contact with water (3 oz water to 2 bamboo scoops matcha (water heated almost to boiling but not quite!) turns into a very dark vibrant green and mixes well. I need to practice my frothing technique, but even as a beginner I got a nice froth immediately.

Taste: mmm wonderful rich mouth feel, smooth and calm. No bitterness, but not “sweet” either, nice and vegetal in a good way, like the green of garden plants in the heat of summer. Froth lasts until the last drop!

Smell: very pleasant moderate “green-growing-things”, it’s there but not overwhelming.

Even a small 3 oz serving really gives a very nice feeling of relaxed energy, not “coffee jitters”. Almost soothing.

The only drawback is that it’s expensive and I can’t afford to drink it as much as I’d like- but it’s a fair price for the quality, taste and enjoyment.

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