535 Tasting Notes
Bleh. I knew this tea wasn’t going to be good as soon as I took the first whiff. It had a weird artificial coconut-y smell that reminded me of cheap air freshener. Went ahead and brewed it anyways and it tasted like dirty socks. Had to chuck it halfway through because I thought I was going to be sick. There is no detectable pineapple or even white tea flavor to the tea at all since the horrible fake coconut flavor overwhelms everything. Got this as a sample from Adagio with another order. Obviously, not recommended.
I bought this tea online through Google Offers. They were running a special for 60g each of flavored and regular matcha for $25. Always being a sucker for deals, I jumped on it and ended up with 120g of matcha. I was familiar with Japanese green teas already but this was my first foray into matcha and I really had no idea how to select quality matcha. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for.
The first thing I noticed was that the tea was yellowish not bright green like fresh matcha powder. When brewed the flavor of the tea was astringent and slightly fishy. It didn’t have the grassy, sweet flavor of a good Japanese green tea. Adjusting water temperature didn’t do much to improve flavor although it was somewhat tolerable at 160 F. I managed to salvage the tea by using it for matcha lattes along with a little bit of honey.
A pretty lousy tea all around. Not recommended.
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