Chiki Tea

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97
drank Hotaru by Chiki Tea
356 tasting notes

So, being quite the fan of the teas that are offered by Holly over at Chiki Tea, I had to put in an order for all of their shiracha for this year. This one was the most exciting to me, being of a mutated cultivar and uniquely processed.

The smell of this tea definitely stands out in comparison to your typical Japanese green. The liquor is a fairly predictable greenish yellow and the aroma is a buttery, umami blend. The texture is very smooth and rich, with a buttery thickness that is sweet from the very first sip. I get very distinct notes of sweet squash from this tea. Overall, delicious, and I enjoyed this for several days in a row before tearing myself away to leave some for tea friends and move on to the next one in the lineup.

Definitely would recommend this one to anyone who enjoys Japanese greens and who would like to try something unique.

Flavors: Butter, Butternut Squash, Smooth, Sweet, Thick, Umami

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86

The aroma of this tea is very strong, of roast, roasted nuts, even a little cocoa and dirt. When drinking it by itself, these flavors come out quite distinctly, especially the roasted sweet nuts.

I started drinking this tea and later added some ramen for lunch. When drinking with ramen, it tastes strongly of roasted seaweed, which was an interesting additional layer to my lunch.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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Now that my manager said this tea smells really strong (I had some during a meeting the other day), I am wary about drinking it outside of my office. That shocks me, as it’s pretty mellow compared to some of the things I smell throughout the department, and compared to a very smokey lapsang souchong I used to have during some meetings. Guess that just gives me more justification to hide in my office and enjoy the deliciousness that is this houjicha!

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It’s a chilly day today, for us, at least. Perfect way to warm up this morning.

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Been holding onto this one for a while, and since I’m having a rough day and freezing, figured this would be the perfect warming treat. The amazing, sweet aroma from these roasted stems hits me as soon as I make the tiniest tear into the bag. 5 grams goes into my open 100ml kyusu filled with 90C water and steeped for about a minute.

The resulting brown brew smells incredibly inviting, and the flavor the follows does not disappoint. Roasted with a smooth texture and an earthy sweetness. This tea feels like it was meant for cooler weather, which makes it very welcome and warming in this chilly room I’m stuck in.

The roast mellows out in later steeps, being replaced by a nice huigan. This tea is tasty and comforting, and I’m so glad I’ve got several more sessions-worth to enjoy.

Flavors: Roasted, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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100
drank Shiraore Kabusecha by Chiki Tea
239 tasting notes

Wow.

So, for the base green flavor, it’s very similarto my Adagio matcha. It’s very very creamy with the slight bitterness of a dark green vegetable and the sweetness of snow peas.

Where it differs from the matcha? There’s the fungal flavor of a little mushroom in there, and the texture is oh so buttery.

Best. Kabusecha. Ever.

Thanks for sharing inkay!

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Tachibana Sencha by Chiki Tea
356 tasting notes

Holly at Chiki Tea sent a sample of this along with the samples for the research, so thanks Holly! I haven’t tried this tea from them yet. As soon as I start steeping these leaves I’m greeted with a nice, rich, umami vegetal aroma that I know and love from their selection of green teas. The first sip does not disappoint. The liquor is the color of a sencha, but it is is so much more flavorful than what I would typically expect! Umami up front with a spinach body and a nice sweet finish. Very smooth and creamy texture. The fact that his producer is known for his hon gyokuro is very apparent in this one.

Second step comes out a vivid green and continues to bring the umami with even more creaminess. Got two more good steeps out of this one, as well. Definitely a good one!

Flavors: Creamy, Smooth, Spinach, Sweet, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec 8 g 100 OZ / 2957 ML

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This is the third and last of the three samples I am tasting for the Shizuoka Tea Research Institute, as facilitated by Chiki tea. Each one is a sencha provided in a tea bag with specific steeping instructions.

The name of the Sayamakaori makes me think of the first place I lived in Japan…Sayama-shi! The dry leaves of this tea smell quite vegetal, and this aroma strengthens once the leaves have been steeped. The liquor smells vegetal and umami, slightly creamy, and steeps out to a very pale yellow green. I would say this one has the palest liquor of the three. The taste of this one is also the gentlest of the three. I am getting an asparagus vegetal flavor up front with an umami body and a bit of a sweet and creamy finish, but it is quite subtle. This one is extremely smooth, definitely the smoothest textured overall. It’s got a bit of viscosity to it, as well. Overall, this one is kind of brothy and very comforting. This tastes the most like a standard sencha of the three. I don’t think I would pick up on any florals in this one if I didn’t know to look for them—even moreso than with the Yabukita. A bit of astringency comes in at the very end of the cup, but not much.

The packaging rated the flavors for this one as follows:

Floral: 5/5
Sweet: 3/5
Vegetal: 2/5
Umami: 3/5

I would rate them as follows:
Floral: 0.5/5
Sweet: 3/5
Vegetal: 4/5
Umami: 3/5

Flavors: Asparagus, Broth, Cream, Creamy, Smooth, Thick, Umami, Vegetal

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This is the second of the three samples I am tasting for the Shizuoka Tea Research Institute, as facilitated by Chiki tea. Each one is a sencha provided in a tea bag with specific steeping instructions.

The Koushun steeps out to a very clear, light yellowish green. I find it to be more transparent than the Yabukita was. The leaves have a roasty aroma and the liquor itself does smell distinctly floral and sweet. Again, I would say creamy and chestnut are up front in this one, but the floral is up there with it. Body is a beany vegetal, a bit like edamame, and there isn’t much umami in this one. It tastes a bit like sipping a usucha (thin matcha), one that is stronger on the sweet and creamy notes and not bitter. It’s also got some characteristics I would expect more from an oolong. I’m not getting as much astringency on the finish with this one as I did with the Yabukita. The texture is thick and fluffy.

Of the two I’ve tried, so far I like this one better and find it to be more distinct and unique.

The packaging rated the flavors for this one as follows:

Floral: 3/5
Sweet: 5/5
Vegetal: 3/5
Umami: 2/5

I would rate them as follows:
Floral: 4/5
Sweet: 4/5
Vegetal: 3/5
Umami: 1/5

Flavors: Beany, Chestnut, Creamy, Floral, Sweet, Thick, Vegetal

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This is the first of the three samples I am tasting for the Shizuoka Tea Research Institute, as facilitated by Chiki tea. Each one is a sencha provided in a tea bag with specific steeping instructions.

Very excited to get going with tasting these teas this morning! It’s kind of weird dealing with teabags, now, but this tea was developed to be easy to steep properly for anyone, not just those accustomed to dealing with non-bagged tea, so here we go.

The Yabukita steeps out to a very yellow-green, almost gold-green. The steeped leaves have a light vegetal aroma and the liquor itself is also very light in aroma. Vegetal and chestnutty with just a faint hint of florals. The taste itself is also quite light. Creamy with chestnut up front, vegetal, lightly umami body and a bit of an astringent finish.

The Shizuoka Tea Research Institute is aiming to produce more fragrant teas with sweet, floral aromas to help revitalize the industry in Japan, which is struggling.

Overall, this tea did seem to stray a bit from what I would typically expect out of a sencha, with more sweetness and creaminess up front and very light florals. It’s got some very light oolong qualities to it, but they are /very/ light in this one, at least in my opinion.

The packaging rated the flavors for this one as follows:

Floral: 3/5
Sweet: 3/5
Vegetal: 2/5
Umami: 3/5

I would rate them as follows:
Floral: 1/5
Sweet: 4/5
Vegetal: 3/5
Umami: 2/5

Flavors: Chestnut, Floral, Sweet, Umami, Vegetal

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95
drank Shiraore Kabusecha by Chiki Tea
356 tasting notes

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95
drank Shiraore Kabusecha by Chiki Tea
356 tasting notes

Liquor came out more yellow than I’ve ever seen it this morning, but still getting a good flavor. Second steep came out more green. I know these leaves don’t keep super long and I’ve only got a few sessions worth left, so I should probably sipdown the rest of this soon.

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95
drank Shiraore Kabusecha by Chiki Tea
356 tasting notes

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95
drank Shiraore Kabusecha by Chiki Tea
356 tasting notes

Frustrating meetings call for tea. I had to wait about 30-45 minutes between the first and second steep on this one. The flavor of the second steep ended up noticeably weaker than it usually would, so now I know to try to get to the resteep as quickly as possible in the future.

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95
drank Shiraore Kabusecha by Chiki Tea
356 tasting notes

This has become my morning go-to. I’m going to be totally out of my stuff from Chiki before I know it. >_<

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95
drank Shiraore Kabusecha by Chiki Tea
356 tasting notes

I need comfort this morning, so I am drinking something familiar and comforting.

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95
drank Shiraore Kabusecha by Chiki Tea
356 tasting notes

I think I finally found my preferred steeping parameters for this. 7 g for about 100 ml of water, steeped for around 1 min and 15 seconds or so with 70C water. Really getting that strong, vegetal umami flavor that I love from kabusecha this way, as well as more of that unique, stemmy flavor that comes with it being a shiraore kabusecha. Second steep is a quick one, no more than 10 seconds long or so, and the third steep goes for about 30 seconds.

All steeps uncovered. I find that after about 3 steeps, more bitters and less flavor start to come out, so that’s a good point to finish up with this one.

Flavors: Green, Pleasantly Sour, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 15 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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95
drank Shiraore Kabusecha by Chiki Tea
356 tasting notes

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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95
drank Shiraore Kabusecha by Chiki Tea
356 tasting notes

Decided to switch it up from the Sae Kabusecha that I’ve been obsessing over lately and only have a few sessions-worth left of. I used a little less leaf than I have previously and still got a lot of great flavor out of it. The thing that continues to surprise me about this tea is the creamy mouthfeel it leaves behind. I even feel a bit of a head rush after a few steeps, but this is my second tea of the day, so there’s probably some caffeine in my system from earlier.

This is a great option for sharing with people who are newer to Japanese teas, especially shaded teas. This is a great option for enjoying the flavor shaded tea has to offer without being overwhelmed.

Flavors: Kale, Pleasantly Sour, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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95
drank Shiraore Kabusecha by Chiki Tea
356 tasting notes

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
8 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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95
drank Shiraore Kabusecha by Chiki Tea
356 tasting notes

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95
drank Shiraore Kabusecha by Chiki Tea
356 tasting notes

This morning I’m paying a bit more attention to the flavor of this one, but it’s hard not to drink it down too fast. It’s got a creamy feeling in the mouth, and I’m finding the flavor of this to be closer to collard greens than spinach. Getting some kale in there, too. I’m contributing the “stemmy” taste I mentioned in my last note to this, which would make sense since both are more fibrous than spinach. The second steep is a nice, lighter experience of those same great flavors.

Flavors: Broth, Creamy, Green, Kale, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

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95
drank Shiraore Kabusecha by Chiki Tea
356 tasting notes

5g/~100 ml, ~1 minute steep @ 70C, second steep around 15 seconds at 80C

This tea has the wonderful, umami, vegetal aroma that I’ve quickly come to know and love from kabusecha with a flavor to match. It does differ from the other kabusecha I’ve been drinking. Maybe this sounds kind of basic (and obvious)…but it tastes…stemmier. Like the difference between eating the leafy part and stemmy part of a dark green. The flavor is slightly less in your face, slightly fresher. I know Holly spent a lot of time sourcing this tea to find one that didn’t have an overly-fired taste and it shows! I’m not sure which green I would most liken this too, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out as I drink my way through the 95g I have left!

Flavors: Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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