Kyoto Obubu Tea FarmsEdit Company
Popular Teas from Kyoto Obubu Tea FarmsSee All 81 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
Random tea of the day!
Really need to get back into drinking my Obubu teas daily, otherwise I end up buried in a pile of subscription teas ha ha! Plus I just love having a bit of sencha in the afternoon, I guess I just forget about it… :P
Not really tasting a lot of specific flavor notes today, maybe my tongue is just feeling as burnt out as I am. But this is a smooth and silky cup of brothy goodness, and it’s giving me life. A bit of spinach but also plenty of cruciferous vegetables, maybe kale and cauliflower and some other deep green, subtly bitter veggie like chard. A touch of dry grassiness sprinkled over the top. Not super umami-forward, but still has a savoriness to it that makes it feel like a light meal.
Also, the name is super pretty. I will say this doesn’t remind me of a gushing brook though. :P
Flavors: Alfalfa, Bitter, Cauliflower, Chard, Dry Grass, Earthy, Freshly Cut Grass, Green, Hay, Kale, Mineral, Nori, Savory, Smooth, Spinach, Thick, Vegetable Broth, Vegetables, Vegetal, Viscous
#SVTTB Round Two – Tea 24/24
Gongfu Sipdown (2317)!
I thought I’d finished tasting through all of the teas I’d grabbed from the SVTTB but I’d forgotten about this one tea I’d set aside to bring with me on vacation, so NOW I’m done tasting through all of them…
I slept most of the day, so now I’m enjoying an early evening tea session! It’s smooth and toasty with a medium roast that brings out plenty of nuttiness. I would say the most prominent note is roasted chestnut, though I do get a slight undertone of deep, jammy red fruits which is quite interesting – almost like the slight fruitiness you get in a very dark maple syrup. Though it’s lighter in taste compared to the overall mix of toasted grains and nuts, it’s probably the most captivating element of this session!!
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVV40LtJLRg
Sipdown! (40 | 238)
So this tea… It smells a bit, shall we say, skunky LOL. It has a very distinct aroma when it’s steeping and when the mug is still hot.
Thankfully, it doesn’t taste the way it smells. It actually reminds me a bit of a Fujian black tea, it has some of those same caraway-esque savory notes to it. And then there’s a mellow toasty note from the roast. Very smooth overall with a nice thick texture to it.
I’m not a big fan of wakoucha for whatever reason, but I think I prefer this roasted version to Obubu’s regular offering. The toastiness helps even out some of the sharper notes and gives it some nice cozy vibes.
Flavors: Buckwheat, Caraway, Malty, Mineral, Roasted, Savory, Smooth, Thick, Toasty, Woody
Sipdown! (34 | 231)
This tea really surprised me. Tencha is the precursor to matcha, so it’s a shaded tea that’s had all of the stems and veins of the leaf removed. It’s very fluffy and light and is broken into small pieces, sort of resembling yerba mate in shape and size.
I was expecting a more intense flavor since matcha is generally shaded for a long time, even compared to gyokuro. But this tea is so smooth and has these wonderful nutty notes to it. It does have a rich, umami-laden flavor, but it’s not as intense as I expected, which I really liked.
Incredibly smooth, even after being neglected in a mug for a few hours while I worked. Generally I would expect a Japanese green tea to go somewhat bitter, since there are always small particles of tea at the bottom of the cup. Somehow this one didn’t!
Really a lovely tea, and one that I would keep in my cupboard. Happily, I have an unopened 30g bag somewhere. :)
Flavors: Butter, Butternut Squash, Cashew, Creamy, Kabocha, Kale, Nuts, Rich, Smooth, Spinach, Squash, Sweet, Thick, Vegetal
#SVTTB Round Two – Tea 3/???
Gongfup Sipdown (2227)!
Pulled this interesting sounding tea from the travelling tea box for an afternoon session. After seeing this company heavily reviewed by Cameron B. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try some of their teas. This roasted kukicha is made by repurposing the discarded stems from matcha processing and has a wonderfully smooth, golden taste with warm notes of caramelized grains, nuts, a hint of cacao shell, a sort of brassy metallic note and a sweetness that makes me think of the yellow bush honeysuckles that used to grow around my grandmother’s house that I would pluck as a child. If you pinched them at the base, you could release a small drop or two of sweet floral nectar onto your tongue and it was delicious!! Though I’m always down for a session of grounding roasted tea, I wasn’t expected the full-on nostalgia that today’s session would bring me…
Tea Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CsepgLJOuPA/
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaFnOnxPMBk
Drank this tea with an old friend in honor of Ashmanra’s April Sipdown prompt: A tea you serve to tea newbies! Took me a minute to think about this prompt, my answer just kept changing in my head. The imaginary newbie in my head would shift from someone who has only had fruity teabag tisanes but looking to jump into loose leaf, to someone who has some ancient gifted Teavana rotting next to a rusted tetsubin, to someone who is trying to kick a soda habit and is diving into tea. There are so many different paths to cha, and the tea that helps you jump off the deep end is so important, yet personal.
So i decided to ask myself, what was that tea for me? I’ve been a tea person for most of my life, and the pivotal moment for me was when my cousin moved back to the US from Japan and brought us these bagged teas, I couldn’t tell you if they were Yamamotoyama or some other brand. But the two flavors, genmaicha and hojicha – blew me away. I had no idea tea could taste like that!
This is the king’s version of those teabags I had as a child. The scent of the dry leaf is verdant and savory, the soba they use is teeny and chestnut brown – a perfect complement to the big beautiful bancha leaves. I appreciate the use of bancha here, it’s more mellow and a lot less funky than a sencha genmaicha for a newbie. The slightly nutty grassiness of the bancha compliments the popcorn toastiness of the soba cha so well. I had become bored of genmaicha as of late, but this blend combo reawaken my love for my first love tea.
Now if I was starting someone out with this tea, as a true newbie, I’d send them home with some taiwanese oolong. That’ll knock their teabag socks off XD
Flavors: Butter, Nori, Nutty, Popcorn, Seaweed, Toasted Rice
This was an unexpectedly delicious tea. I’m usually wary of dark roasted tea which often taste like ashtray to me so the idea of a roastier hojicha didn’t immediately grab me. However I’m glad I didn’t judge a book by its cover on this as it tasted nothing like what I imagined.
Dry leaves had an amazing aroma of mahogany, oak, and sweet tobacco. I steeped just 1g grandpa style in a teabag. Despite using such a small amount of leaf, the brewed tea was super delicious, very smooth and sweet. The taste is like the sweet scent of a cigar in liquid form but without any ashiness.
Thanks for the sample Cameron B!
Flavors: Dark Wood, Oak, Sweet, Tobacco
Sipdown! (7 | 7)
Obubu sent out a single 5g packet of this with the December subscription box, I assume as a way to enjoy a little bit of spring during the cold winter months. Well, here there is no “winter” really, but still a nice thought!
I followed the instructions I found on Yunomi, and did a rinse first to remove the salt, but kept the liquid. Then I added hot water to the rinsed blossoms and let it steep for a few minutes before tasting it, then adjusted the flavor by adding some of the stronger rinse until the saltiness was where I wanted it.
It’s delicious honestly. Being a lover of salty-sour umeboshi and sakura, this is right up my alley. With the amount of rinse I added, it reminds me more of a sipping broth or umecha than a tea. So cozy and comforting, with the savory-fruity-floral notes of the sakura taking center stage, and a viscosity that makes it taste even more brothy. I do taste a touch of the tart plum notes from the ume vinegar as well, but it’s quite subtle and doesn’t overpower the sakura. And of course, I used a small glass teapot to steep this, and the blossoms fully expand and float perfectly – they’re so beautiful.
Definitely need to add some of this, and maybe the sweet version too, to my next Obubu subscription package. It’s delicious as an infusion, but I could also see adding it to rice and enjoying it in a bento. :)
Flavors: Broth, Cherry, Floral, Fruity, Herbaceous, Plum, Sakura, Salty, Savory, Smooth, Sweet, Tart, Viscous
Sipdown! (43 | 390)
I’ve been slacking on my Obubu teas lately, too many things to sipdown at once! Plus, you know, it would certainly help if I’d stop buying tea… ^^’
Anyway, this is a scrumptious hojicha! It’s apparently made from a spring sencha instead of the traditional bancha. I’m not sure I would know that necessarily, it doesn’t taste more vegetal than usual. But it does strike a nice balance of roasty, nutty, buttery, a touch woody, with plenty of nice autumnal dry leaf notes.
I always have a difficult time finding the subtleties of hojicha and roasted teas in general, but it’s tasty! Not sure I would necessarily order it over their other hojicha varieties. But that’s a non-issue since I still have plenty more hojicha backlog to sip through! :P
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Butter, Grain, Nuts, Roasted, Roasted Nuts, Smooth, Wood
ashmanra’s Sipdown Challenge – “Your most unusual tea”
I went back and forth a bit on which tea to sip for this prompt. I thought about having a tea with interesting foraged ingredients in it, but I feel like the concept of “wildcrafted” tea is not that unusual nowadays, even if the ingredients can be. So then I settled on this tisane from Obubu, because roasted sakura is just not something I’ve ever seen anywhere else. I also have a roasted sakura sencha from them, but I felt the combination with wild mint leaves was a bit more unique. Amusingly enough, I saw when I went to write this note that I also chose this tisane for the “a weird tea” prompt last year… :P
This wasn’t my favorite at first, but I grew to love it as I sipped through the first package, and by the end I was happy to have a second one. The roasted sakura has such an interesting toasty-savory flavor to it that’s somehow light and cozy at the same time. I can still taste the ethereal fruity-floral notes of the sakura, but the roasting gives it more presence and body. The mint is actually quite mellow in this, a nice accompaniment to the sakura that also gives the tisane a sweet and refreshing finish.
Such a lovely one, and I guess it sort of is “wildcrafted” since both the cherry trees and mint are apparently wild. :P
Flavors: Cherry, Floral, Fruity, Herbaceous, Mint, Roasted, Sakura, Savory, Smooth, Spearmint, Sweet, Toasty, Woody
Sipdown! (25 | 372)
Mastress Alita’s Sipdown Challenge (November) – “A weird tea”
Okay, so this doesn’t sound weird from the name. When it showed up on Obubu’s website last year, it sounded like something I would love, so I ordered two bags of it. It’s a combination of sakura blossoms, sakura leaves, and mint.
However… What I didn’t realize or expect is that the sakura blossoms in this blend are actually roasted. I don’t know if this is a thing in Japan and I’ve just never heard of it, or if Obubu just decided to try something different.
In any case, I wasn’t sure what I thought about this tisane. It almost tasted a bit… plasticky? chemical? at first. Or at least the combination of flavors came off that way to me for some reason. But I found as I kept trying it, it grew on me. It’s an interesting mix of gentle roastiness with that savory-fruity-floral sakura note and a little bit of mint. Surprisingly the mint isn’t very strong, the roasted sakura definitely takes center stage.
Anyway, I enjoyed this by the end, which is good because I have another bag to sip through eventually. :)
Flavors: Cherry, Cherry Blossom, Dried Fruit, Fruity, Mint, Roasted, Sakura, Savory, Sweet
Sipdown! (65 | 339)
So I had a batch of Oolong Needles from Obubu previously, but I remember that one mostly just looking and tasting like a sencha, and this one definitely does not! It steeps up a dark reddish gold color.
It definitely tastes like an oxidized oolong. It reminds me of a dancong because of its very prominent and aromatic floral notes (I could be crazy, but when I think of a floral oxidized oolong, dancong comes to mind). There’s a lovely toastiness to it as well, although it doesn’t claim to be roasted at all. On some sips I get sweet honeyed fruit notes that remind me of bai hao as well? Along with brown sugar or caramel and bits of hay and grains. At the end of the sip, I taste a bit of that Japanese sencha umami character hiding in the background, which is such an interesting combination with the other (mostly sweet) flavors.
An interesting tea for sure. It would never be my favorite because those floral notes are just a bit too strong for me, but I enjoyed trying it!
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Brown Sugar, Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Caramelized Sugar, Dried Fruit, Dry Leaves, Floral, Grain, Hay, Honey, Perfume, Raisins, Roasted, Stonefruit, Sweet, Toasty, Umami, Vegetal
Sipdown! (28 | 302)
Mastress Alita’s Sipdown Challenge (October) – “A nutty tea”
Can’t get any nuttier than a hojicha with genmai added!
Although, honestly, I don’t taste much of the rice here? The hojicha is lovely, smooth and toasty with notes of dry autumn leaves, roasted nuts, and dark caramelized sugar. Maybe the stronger roasty flavor is just overpowering the subtler genmai? I do get a hint of it at the end of the sip.
It’s good, and very cozy for fall, but I don’t personally see any reason to choose this tea over one of Obubu’s several hojicha options.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Burnt Sugar, Char, Charcoal, Dry Leaves, Nori, Roasted, Roasted Barley, Toasted, Wood
Another matcha sample courtesy of Cameron B.
Out of the bag, it had a sharp but sweet vegetal aroma. Despite its age, the color was still vibrant. It took a little effort but was able to achieve a nice froth from it. Rich, strong vegetal flavor reminiscent of steamed broccoli without any bitterness. Ended up having it as a latte but actually preferred it straight.
Finally decided to brew this matcha sample after sitting on it forever.
Appearance wise, it was pale green in color and clumpy, likely due to its age. Steeped the entire 2g sample using 175 F water. Took a little while to whisk up due to the lumpiness. Fairly thin and didn’t produce much froth. Bitterness hits the tongue first followed by a vegetal note of cooked spinach. However, it was delicious as a matcha latte with lychee boba. That’s what really counts for me anyway as I seldom go for straight matcha.
Thanks for the sample Cameron B!
tbh I don’t have much in the way of a substantive review of this sipdown of a sample that came my way courtesy of Cameron B.. I had enough for two cups. I remember enjoying the first and thinking that the roastiness of the hojicha combined well with the nuttiness of the rice. But then we spent the night in the hospital because it turns out my SO has a kidney stone and everything is kind of a blur. I made the second cup when we got home so I could finish it off but I wasn’t really in any kind of shape to be thoughtful about it – I just wanted the sipdown, something that wouldn’t keep me awake, and something that I knew I would enjoy.
Sipdown! (14 | 169)
Also my random tea of the day. I only had one single-serving packet left, so also a sipdown yay!
This is a lovely one – it’s like a mellower version of their Kabuse Sencha. Makes sense given it’s the stems of shaded leaves used to make matcha. Has a nice vegetal intensity to it still, heavy on the spinach and kabocha, but it’s a bit softer and smoother than the Kabuse, and it also has some nice nutty notes to it. The description mentions tomato, which I’m not sure about, but I don’t think that’s really a note I think about in tea, so maybe I just don’t have the association.
Anyway, a very nice and flavorful Japanese green with a bit of a unique character of its own. Happily, I have an unopened bag of this somewhere, according to my spreadsheet. :)
Also, Obubu’s kukicha are all named after birds, and Mejiro (めじろ) is apparently the Japanese word for the warbling white-eye, which looks to be an adorable little green chonk of a bird with white around its eye. :3
Flavors: Cashew, Chestnut, Freshly Cut Grass, Grass, Hay, Kabocha, Nuts, Nutty, Smooth, Spinach, Squash, Sweet, Vegetal
Sipdown! (29 | 126)
I haven’t been doing as well with having an Obubu tea every day lately, so I need to get back into that! I think I just have too many sipdown categories to keep up with at the moment, so something gets left out.
Anyway! This is a spring harvest kukicha, and a byproduct of matcha production. And you can definitely tell the stems came from a shaded tea, there’s a bit of that dense vegetal character. It is overall quite savory, with darker and more cruciferous flavors like kale and Brussels sprouts, with an undercurrent of umami toasted nori and squash notes. I don’t really pick up on any sweetness whatsoever, which is interesting. There is definitely nuttiness though, and it’s a rich sort of nut, maybe even very slightly roasted. I see LuckyMe mentioned chestnut and that seems about right to me.
I haven’t had kukicha in a little while and was expecting this to be a lighter and sweeter tea, and was definitely surprised ha ha! But I suppose it makes sense, given this tea was shaded almost as long as a gyokuro. I do have more of this in stash, along with a couple of Obubu’s other kukicha.
Flavors: Broth, Brussels Sprouts, Chestnut, Grain, Grass, Kabocha, Kale, Nori, Nuts, Roasted Nuts, Savory, Seaweed, Spinach, Squash, Toasted, Umami, Vegetable Broth, Vegetables, Vegetal
Sipdown! (4 | 201)
This is the 2022 harvest of this tea. I should really drink the current year’s as well, preferably before 2024 LOL.
This is actually very interesting, it has a strong mineral note to it that I wasn’t expecting. It’s an unshaded sencha, so quite light overall compared to the shaded teas I’ve had lately. Grassy, fresh, with some gentle vegetal notes to it. That minerality is unusual though, and very interesting. Seems like a unique note to this year’s harvest.
Flavors: Astringent, Freshly Cut Grass, Grassy, Metallic, Mineral, Soybean, Spring Water, Vegetal, Wet Rocks, Zucchini
Sipdown! (20 | 65)
Sipping down the 2021 version, but I still have this year’s harvest somewhere. This is essentially just the shincha version of Sencha of the Spring Sun. Hachijūhachi (八十八) means 88, because this was harvested on the 88th day of spring, which is supposedly the best day to begin the harvest. Anyway, it’s shincha. Or at least it was about 14 months ago… XD (my cupboard is where tea goes to die)
Steeped via the lazy method, which is doing 3 steeps (60s, 15s, 45s) in a gravity steeper and combining them into one teapot. Someday soon I should really break out the kyusu though…
Very smooth and refreshing, with a lighter grassy flavor (since it’s not a shaded tea). A nice balance of gentle vegetal sweetness, bright and fresh grassiness, and soft umami notes reminiscent of lightly toasted nori. Quite sweet up front, some vegetal umami lingers around the sides of my mouth and tongue at the end of the sip, and there’s a gently astringent grassy finish. Perhaps a touch of light nuttiness as well.
Anyway, enough already. A very tasty well-rounded sencha, and it has held up well despite being 14 months old. I never can keep up with my Obubu subscription. :P
Flavors: Asparagus, Astringent, Cut Grass, Grass, Nuts, Seaweed, Smooth, Spinach, Squash, Sweet, Umami, Vegetal
Gyokuro intimidates me.
Like anything higher-end and expensive, I worry about doing it wrong and wasting something lovely. I’ve brewed a gyokuro only once before, and I was too stressed out to even really enjoy it.
But… I’m too tired to fuss over the details. This is the second to last tea in this sampler and I have more tea coming Friday from Den’s (sigh, I wanted so badly to reorder of my favorites from this sampler but I just can’t swallow $30 in international shipping costs right now), and it’s been such a week, I need to stop putting off the nice things.
This is definitely different from the other sencha. The dry leaves smell….deeper, certainly a darker green, and …..something else. Something I haven’t sensed before. I really can’t believe how deeply emerald these leaves are.
135F for two minutes and… the cup is …. strangely both very pale and very cloudy.
It’s certainly quite unlike any of the sencha. Astringency— is it really astringency? There a lot of it, but it’s also very mild, somehow, It make my mouth water but it doesn’t dry me out nearly as much. It’s full and rich and brothy, savory, something in the aftertaste is almost meaty. Not grassy at all. Fascinating.
The second steeping is brighter, a little thinner, a little grassier, but every bit as savory. The damp leaves smell like dried dates and maybe nuts?
There’s a nuttiness to the third steeping too, I feel like, the richness is starting to fade, but that alkaline-noodle-soup flavor lingers on and on.
The leaves are just so pretty, floating there under the water, almost blue-green, watching them is so relaxing, like an underground jungle. It makes me sort of miss when I kept heavily planted aquariums.
I don’t think I quite love gyokuro enough to justify the price, but it is always a unique and wonderful thing to try every now and then when I get samples.
It’s been a stressful week, and I am trying really hard to slow down. I tried the Spring Sun sencha earlier and was too rushed to enjoy it, there was just too much going on. So I am making a specific effort to pay attention, this time.
The wet leaf smells like… well, sencha. I am having a hard time focusing on anything deeper than that, but there is something different in there, the first word that came to mind was ‘butterscotch,’ though I’m really don’t think that’s right.
Oh, wow. Okay. This first steeping is cloudy and physically thick. I’m not sure what I expected, but that thickness, it’s so heavy on the tongue like… not quite like cream, I don’t get a creamy flavor, but in texture… it’s certainly something. It’s got a mild brothy flavor, a little savory
The second steeping is similar, with some higher notes this time, but that heavy texture is still there. I usually enjoy these textures, but right now it feels like it is commanding such full attention of my tongue that I can’t seem to taste it.
Further steepings seem to be more or less the same. I am inclined to blame my scattered brain rather than the tea. Or maybe I am just coming down with something. It wouldn’t surprise me.
Yet, the wet leaf still smells so full of potential, there’s an almost fruity sweetness there, the aroma of new buds.
When I take a tiny, tiny drop of the tea and roll it out as thinly as possible over my tongue, I can kind of taste past the texture and find flavors similar to the ones I am smelling. Or maybe I am just smelling them this way, hah.
I guess regardless of the outcome, at least the process of focusing on the tea and paying attention in general is still deeply relaxing.
I need to order more tea soon. Specifically, I need to find an everyday sencha so that I can maintain the habit on days when I just don’t have the mental capacity to fully engage with new teas. Or… maybe what I actually need to do is maintain the habit of fully engaging with any tea, on a regular basis, regardless of whether or not I feel like I am up to it.
I haven’t felt up to it in a while, but it forces me to relax, and I know I need that.