3 Tasting Notes
Though this is definitely a better-quality pu erh than that often found in grocery stores, it has the usual problem of being mistreated in transit/storage in a way that makes it taste “off.” I’ve bought it from two different sources, one online and one offline, and both times found it to have the fishy taste that you get when pu erh has been stored improperly. I’m guessing that somewhere along the line it spent too long in a hot storage center.
The fish taste doesn’t mean the stuff’s going to poison you! It’s just not how it’s intended to taste. If you’re determined to purchase it, maybe try ordering directly from Numi’s website.
Flavors: Barnyard, Fishy, Forest Floor
Though Yamamotoyama’s mid-level senchas are very good for their price, this “value” sencha isn’t actually much of a value. Even when purchased directly from Yamamotoyama, so that it doesn’t have time to sit on store shelves and get stale, I found it weak and unusually bitter. Doubling the quantity of leaves from one teaspoon to two doesn’t help. Not recommended.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Green
Though this was a good-quality fukamushi sencha, comparable to the more-expensive Den’s Tea fukamushi and the varieties I would drink while I lived in Japan, it’s now been discontinued, and I advise against purchasing it.
As its packaging is transparent – a very bad choice for green tea – it goes stale very quickly while sitting on store shelves. This was often a problem even before it was discontinued, but now that old stock can’t be replaced with new, and it can no longer be ordered direct from Yamamotoyama, you’re unlikely to find many packages worth drinking.
Yamamotoyama appear to have replaced both the “Ocha-Zanmai” and “Tokusen” mid-level lines with their new “Premium” line; I’d recommend looking for that instead.