Morita Tea GardenEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
I’ve been returning to senchas after having consistently drank raw pu’er and to a lesser extent, Chinese greens, Taiwanese and Wuyi oolongs, and heichas. That’s not to say I’m done with these teas. I’ve just been craving that distict combination of steamed bitter greens, brininess, moss, and floral and piney notes that are unique to Japanese sencha. I’m definitely a green tea kind of guy and I consider senchas to be at the greenest end of the spectrum in both taste and color.
I began my tea nerd journey with sencha, so maybe this is my baseline for all teas? I find them to be the most comforting of all teas. Maybe it’s that final roasting stage that makes this so, or maybe it’s the lack of fuss with regards to tea ware? No need for a chahai and no fussy filter, tea table, tea pets, or anything like that. Just a kyusu and mid-sized cup. Done.
There’s nothing remarkable about this tea. It’s even less fussy in nature since it’s aracha and tea stems and tea dust have not been sorted, making it a cheaper but IMO just as tasty. It’s seems to be mid to heavily steamed, as some of the leaves are in tact, but most are in pieces. The initial steeps are sweet and savory grass with faint hints of young pine shoots and wild flowers. I like it.
Mid steeps reveal more sweet grassy notes and roasted zucchini and broccoli. The tea soup begins an attractive light lime green with tea bits settling in the bottom, but mid steeps yield a more swampy dark green. So this isn’t the most visually appealing tea, but it’s still quite tasty and comforting. I’ve been wanting this for a while. I found myself in a slightly more meditative and focused state for the rest of the day.
The fifth and sixth steeps were lighter of course, but still revealed similar roasted veggie and sweet grass notes to those mid-steeps and was never unpleasant in its astringency. Perfect way to celebrate Daylight Savings Time and the coming of spring.
I got this as part of the Morita Tea sampler. This was a pretty good one. The aroma wasn’t quite as nutty/buttery as it would be for a sencha. I used 160F water and got steeps of 1m, 30s, 1m before upping temp to 180F and pulling one more 1m steep from the leaves.
The first steep had a robust grassy sweetness with some astringency underneath. Halfway through the first steep I started tasting some kind of pine-y flavors, along with some sweetness that kind of reminded me of honey, but I’m calling it more pine sap.
Next steep was creamy grassiness without the astringency. I didn’t get any of the pine or pine-sap flavors this time.
The last couple were just smooth grassy sweetness, with the final steep being pretty weak.
Flavors: Astringent, Grass, Pine, Smooth, Sweet
This is my first aracha.
I prepared it according to the package directions – 70C, 1 minute. The liquor is an intense, soupy green and smells sweet, nutty and grassy.
The taste of this is very delicate, an almost creamy grass at the start of the sip and then some sweet, bitter and umami notes towards the end and into the finish.
When this was hot there was a cooling, almost metallic sensation at the end of the sip, but this went away as it cooled.
This was a very nice cup, though probably not something I’d reach for too often.
Flavors: Creamy, Grass, Metallic, Nutty, Sweet, Umami
Today is going to be unofficial Yunomi day for me! I noticed when posting reviews on their website that they’re giving 300 points per review right now ($3 basically). So I figured now was the perfect time to sample of the teas from their monthly club in addition to a few other teas I got from Cheri in a swap. Saving up points to buy some more of those interestingly flavored houjichas!
Anyway! This is my first-ever aracha. In fact, I had to look it up to find out what makes this type of tea different from say, sencha or kukicha. And I found out that aracha is tea that is finished (meaning dried, steamed, etc.) but is not sorted into grades as tea normally is. Therefore, it includes leaves, stems, and finer particles that are normally sifted out. In short, it’s basically every part of the leaf in one tea! Interesting. I can definitely see a difference in the dry leaf – it’s a varied mix of differently sized leaf pieces along with the lighter-colored stems. Dry scent is strong on the grass and sweet alfalfa with a touch of seaweed.
Steeped tea smells sweet and spinachy. The taste is quite delicious! It seems quite similar to sencha to me. There’s a definite strong umami element at first, but as the sip progresses it calms to a sweet and creamy alfala and spinach flavor. I can definitely see the combination of sencha and kukicha here. The aftertaste is pure sweet creaminess. Delicious!
Flavors: Creamy, Grass, Seaweed, Spinach, Sweet, Umami