Ureshino Gyokucha Ochatama

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Green Tea
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Grass, Seaweed
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Edit tea info Last updated by Cameron B.
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160 °F / 71 °C 5 g 4 oz / 110 ml

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From Yunomius

A very interesting green tea. It looks like Chinese gunpowder tea in that the leaves are rolled up into little balls. This particular one from our supplier Chakoan has a strong savory umami aroma that is similar to gyokuro.

Unique and rare tea called gyokucha (round tea) is a by-product collected in the sencha processing. Drink it as tea or can eat it as a snack!

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7 Tasting Notes

4846 tasting notes


This is another tea that I received from my Monthly Mystery Tea Sampler’s Club from Yunomi. (I highly recommend this club. If you’re in to Japanese green teas … this is a great club to be a part of.)

This is my first experience with Gyokucha. It looks like a Chinese Gunpowder (although the color is brighter with the Gyokucha) and it tastes more like a Gyokuro, but it’s a bit crisper than a typical Gyokuro.

Nutty, sweet, and ends on a savory tone. A really interesting and delightful tea experience. Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2013/08/25/yunomi-monthly-mystery-tea-samplers-club-ureshino-gyokucha-ochatama/

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592 tasting notes

Sipdown (126)! I’m sad to see this one go, but at the same time, I don’t think I will miss it too much because I have so many other Japanese greens. I overleafed a bit (last of the sample) and steeped for under one minute in order to avoid bitterness with success! I’m not sure if it’s because I overleafed a bit, but it also has a very thick feel this morning. There is a hint of astringency, but it’s barely there. I’m actually more excited that I’m having a sipdown on Saturday Sample Sipdown! Maybe I’ll finally really participate and find some other teas that I can sip down… Time to go through my (physical) cupboard!


This tea looks very interesting… Added to my wishlist!

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921 tasting notes

I am so excited for tonight! Around 2AM (Central Time) a full Lunar Eclipse will be starting, an infamous Blood Moon. It is one of the many things on my ‘things I want to photograph’ list (it is a huge list), I have my camera and tripod all ready. I also have proper moon viewing tea selected, proper snacks, a large pile of blankets, and cushions ready as well. Sadly the beautiful warm weather decided to wander off and it is going to be practically winter outside tonight, I wonder if I will chicken out and photograph it through a window?

Today’s tea is a rather unique offering from Yunomi.us and Chakouan Yamaguchi Seichaen Co. #14 Ureshino Gyokucha-Ochatama, what on earth is this mysterious tea you are probably asking right now. Gyukucha, or round tea (or Japanese Gunpowder) is a byproduct of Sencha production, from Ureshino in the Saga Prefecture. This rare and unusual tea is not only a tea but a tasty snack, well, I certainly like snacks! The aroma of this emerald green tea is sweet fresh grass and seaweed with a sharp vaguely floral aroma. It smells warm and a tiny bit chestnut like, it reminds me of a blend between the aroma of Sencha and Gyouro, very tasty aroma.

Before I steeped the tea in my Kyusu, I wanted to test the snack aspect and popped a few of the tea balls into my mouth. First impression, yum! It tastes like seaweed and grassy green tea, it starts out umami and fades to sweetness with a nutty finish. I love these, I want to get a bunch and toss them in with my much loved rice cracker snacks (the kind that has seaweed and such, not the gluten free cracker substitutes). My only complaint is they are a little too crunchy and hard, a complaint I think most wouldn’t have, but I have sensitive chompers.

Snack time concluded and into the Kyusu the Gyokucha goes! The wet leaves are even grassier and seaweed heavier than the dry leaves, a really great blend of umami and springtime. There is still a very tiny hint of chestnut at the finish. The liquid is umami kelp to the max! After the initial aroma of seaweed fades there is a faint sweetness like grass and flowers, very field like.

The taste is hard to accurately put into words, it is a taste that evokes imagery. When I first sipped this tea I was immediately struck by how clean and fresh it tasted, it was like drinking raindrops off a blade of grass. It brings the cleanliness of rain and the sweet grass taste. The mouthfeel is creamy and full, nothing short of exquisite. The taste fades to seaweed and sea air giving it an umami finish.

You all know I had to have another dance with this tea, the aroma of the liquid is much the same with the second steep with a touch more of the chestnut quality. This steep is very sweet with a creamy full mouthfeel,, it does not have any of the umami quality, instead it just retains the freshness from the previous steep.There is also a surprise hint of fruit at the very end, leaving a sweet aftertaste. I really enjoyed this tea, not only was the taste amazing, it had the double feature of being a snack and it was unusual.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2014/04/yunomius-and-chakouan-14-ureshino.html

Flavors: Grass, Seaweed


Sounds great!

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1355 tasting notes

This tea arrived with my last Yunomi order which was only a couple of days ago. This tea intrigued me for two particular reasons:
1 – It’s rolled up into balls and resembles Gunpowder Green
2 – It says you can also eat this tea as a snack.
Well there is also a hidden number 3 – it’s a beautiful shade of shiny green

The first thing I did when I opened this tea is go ahead and eat a piece, diving into the deep end so to speak. It’s actually quite nice but also rather astringent and much stronger than I expected. It tastes like seaweed and cabbage but very raw. Like I said not disgusting but just an acquired taste.

If I forget about eating it for now I can note the tea itself. The balls vary in size but they average an estimate of 4-5mm and are flat rather than round (mostly anyway). They are dark green and very shiny but also have a rough look, like the surface of a stone. Though it’s mostly ball shaped leaves there are also some thin, small curls of leaves and stems present too. They have a sweet yet perfumed scent that is rather strong, also very mineral. Particularly savoy cabbage (or similar) and sweet grass.

Steeping instructions were followed and taken from the Yunomi website.

First steep – 30 seconds
The pale yellow tea has a subtle yet sweet smell which is more floral or mineral now than grassy. Oh yum! It tastes as it smells, very fresh and light but sweet and mineral. I’m imagining a light spring rain dancing upon the leaves of this beautiful plant and the fallen dancers are the result of the dew in my cup.

Second steep – 45 seconds
Thicker but still sweet and mineral with no astringency. The increased strength is still very mild but the flavour it has is beautiful. It has a green Oolong feel about it with notes of honey.

Third steep – 1min 10secs
Another slight strength increase but still no astringency though this one is a little perfumed and dry. Also more mineral and grassy than before.

This is a light and sweet green tea that tastes pure and very refreshing. There was no astringency at all though-out three steeps and the flavours carried on well. This is one of my new favourite Japanese greens.

160 °F / 71 °C 5 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

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