84
drank Ryokucha by Samovar
186 tasting notes

“This smells like a fish tank!”

That’s what my boyfriend exclaimed after he opened up the little Gladware takgoti sent me containing Ryokucha. I laughed at the time, but I couldn’t shake the idea that it kind of DOES smell like a fish tank.

Anyway, Ryokucha, Samovar’s version of the popular genmaimatcha blend. It’s neon-green from the matcha, filled with powdery-ness, with little bits of puffed rice and sencha. Certainly one of the more bizarre teas that I’ve come across, but I’m pretty much up for anything. If I lean in a bit closer, I can pick up traces of nuttiness and a buttery note. I got some of the matcha on my fingertips while trying to clean my teaspoon, and those were definitely highlights of the scent.

Anyway, steeping this up was a memorable experience! It looks like an explosion at the fields surrounding a nuclear waste facility. Cloudy neon-green murkiness, random leaves, bits of rice floating at the top. The entire thing is really bizarre.

The pour is pretty weird too. Now I have radioactive liquid in my cup, and there’s all the sediment left behind. The wet leaves smell a lot like puffed rice cereal. Very toasty and delicious smelling. I was tempted to eat the rice out of the pot, but I didn’t think that was such a good idea.

The tea itself smells really, really good. Very roasty-toasty buttery notes. Mmm.

So how does it taste? Very, very complex, for starters. I guess the best way to describe it is if your morning cereal got invaded by marine life and grass. I should probably explain that a bit further. There’s the toasty component of the puffed rice, which adds a delicious nutty note. There are hints of a milkiness that come across a lot in the aftertaste and sweet taste that lingers on the palate after every sip. The forefront of the flavor is an almost oceanic taste, with a slightly grassy component. Maybe like kelp. But in a good way.

As it’s cooled, the milky taste becomes more prominent, overtaking the puffed rice taste. This tea is thick and silky. It definitely has a mouthfeel, and it’s almost making me feel full. I haven’t felt that way about a tea before – it is like a meal. And for the sweetness in the aftertaste, you can almost certainly pick out very savory components as well. I could see this making an excellent foundation for soup, as they prepare it at Samovar.

The very bottom of the cup is a tiny bit astringent, but the rest was silky smooth. I usually drink my tea with a spoon at the beginning, that way I can sip it when it’s very hot. I used that spoon to continually stir it, so I don’t have any dregs at the bottom. And yay, you can finally see the bottom of the cup! Cause this stuff is MURKY. SWAMP MURKY. SWAMP THING IS IN MY TEA.

I think I’m already starting to feel the effects of the caffeine, even though I haven’t finished the entire cup yet. This one is kind of more than a tea. It’s more of an experience. A foodie experience. A radioactive foodie experience.

Yeah, I think the caffeine is definitely kicking in. I’m hyper-concentrated, but at the same time, prone to just random tangents of nothingness.

Okay, I think it’s time to end the review now, before I start jumping around and breaking out in song and dance.

And this was such a rational review before, too!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec
LENA

this is a GREAT review. i’ve been trying to pump myself up to try the sample takgoti sent me too. aren’t those little gladware containers the cutest freakin’ thing? i’m going to try this tonight. maybe i’ll just post a link to your review…i loved it. :)

takgoti

The sediment is matcha! Did you drink it? It’s one of the best parts, like when…oh crap, what was that restaurant. Friendlies? Friendly’s? Anyway, they had those sundae’s with the “surprise” at the bottom and the “surprise” was just Reese’s Pieces but my brother and I got SO EXCITED about it.

Reese’s Pieces just don’t taste as good when they’re not at the bottom of an ice cream sundae.

@LENA DO IT! But uh…be ready for caffeine. It doesn’t make me jumpy, but it definitely makes me awake. It’s a very good version of awake – very solid and it lasts a while, which is why I like it in the morning. You might want to do it well before you want to go to bed, though.

teaplz

Yay, thanks Lena! I was seriously bouncing off the walls for a while. Everything was moving super-fast. I’ve never washed dishes and folded clothes that fast. INSANE.

And takgoti pretty much wins at packing. It’s unreal. I’m sure your review will be just as awesome!

And I totes drank the sediment and it tasted yummy. The whole thing tasted yummy. Even though it’s potentially very weird. But yummy, in a yummy-like way. Shoot, maybe I’m still caffeinated…

Ricky

Now that I think about it Genmaicha does smell like a murky fish tank. The liquid doesn’t look too appetizing either. Gladware containers? That’s some quality packaging =D

sophistre

This was an excellent review! I think the mental imagery of an ocean in my cereal bowl will stay with me for a while. This stuff is waiting for me at home, and I seriously can’t wait to get back to it now that I’ve read about your experience with it. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but I love savory and bready things (to the general dismay of my metabolism) and beverages that scratch that itch are much sought-after…this sounds perfect.

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Comments

LENA

this is a GREAT review. i’ve been trying to pump myself up to try the sample takgoti sent me too. aren’t those little gladware containers the cutest freakin’ thing? i’m going to try this tonight. maybe i’ll just post a link to your review…i loved it. :)

takgoti

The sediment is matcha! Did you drink it? It’s one of the best parts, like when…oh crap, what was that restaurant. Friendlies? Friendly’s? Anyway, they had those sundae’s with the “surprise” at the bottom and the “surprise” was just Reese’s Pieces but my brother and I got SO EXCITED about it.

Reese’s Pieces just don’t taste as good when they’re not at the bottom of an ice cream sundae.

@LENA DO IT! But uh…be ready for caffeine. It doesn’t make me jumpy, but it definitely makes me awake. It’s a very good version of awake – very solid and it lasts a while, which is why I like it in the morning. You might want to do it well before you want to go to bed, though.

teaplz

Yay, thanks Lena! I was seriously bouncing off the walls for a while. Everything was moving super-fast. I’ve never washed dishes and folded clothes that fast. INSANE.

And takgoti pretty much wins at packing. It’s unreal. I’m sure your review will be just as awesome!

And I totes drank the sediment and it tasted yummy. The whole thing tasted yummy. Even though it’s potentially very weird. But yummy, in a yummy-like way. Shoot, maybe I’m still caffeinated…

Ricky

Now that I think about it Genmaicha does smell like a murky fish tank. The liquid doesn’t look too appetizing either. Gladware containers? That’s some quality packaging =D

sophistre

This was an excellent review! I think the mental imagery of an ocean in my cereal bowl will stay with me for a while. This stuff is waiting for me at home, and I seriously can’t wait to get back to it now that I’ve read about your experience with it. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but I love savory and bready things (to the general dismay of my metabolism) and beverages that scratch that itch are much sought-after…this sounds perfect.

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Bio

22-year-old NYC girl just starting out on her tea adventures! I used to hate tea. If you asked me a few years ago what I thought of tea, I’d tell you it tasted like hot, dirty dishwater. Not anymore! I acquired a taste for tea when I started drinking peppermint tea for my upset stomach problems. From there I graduated to teas like chamomile and Lipton. But Lipton wasn’t strong enough!

I’m getting the hang of this loose leaf thing. Black’s my default, but I’ve found that I really love teas that fall into every category. I’m a purist – I always drink my tea neat. I prefer unflavored tea over flavored tea, and really dislike anything flavored with artificial-tasting substances. I’ve grown up a bit in my tea drinking, and I find that novelty appeals to me less and less.

I also am the happy girlfriend of the boy that created the tea randomizer, which can be found here: http://www.jaydeee.net/pickatea.php

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New York City

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