Obubu TeaEdit Company
Popular Teas from Obubu TeaSee All 23 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
This is my 150th review! BOOM! FIREWORKS!
I like to review something special and out of ordinary for my reviews that are multiples of 50, so here’s one I’ve had for a bit that I haven’t gotten around to reviewing.
In Japan, this sakura blossom tisane is called Sakurayu. It’s made by picking fresh cherry blossoms in the spring and preserving them in salt and plum vinegar. The preparation method is a little tricky because of the salt. The method I’ve tried that worked best is to soak the flowers in hot water for about 5 minutes to remove the salt. This should be hot water like you’d draw from the tap. Maybe 140F degrees or less. You aren’t looking to steep the flowers, but to remove the salt. After this, you should put the blossoms directly into your teacup and pour on boiling water. Let them steep another 3 to 5 minutes.
The resulting drink is very light in color, but slightly yellow. The floating blossoms are gorgeous when they open into little fine poofs of pink. The scent and taste are surprisingly more like cherries than I’d imagine. I thought it’d be a bit more floral. I think some of this is actually plum flavor coming from the plum vinegar. There’s a hint of saltiness to this tea that is subtle, but if you save the initial brine from the flower that was soaked in hot water, you can scoop back in a little of this salty and flavorful brine a bit at a time if you want your drink to be a little more salty and flavorful. I personally enjoy it without putting any of this brine back in. It’s very delicate and spring-like.
I have also tried using these flowers to flavor sake. I soaked them in hot water for a few minutes to remove the salt, then put the flowers into my sake carafe and poured some sake in. The carafe was moved to a tall pot of water and then almost brought to a simmer to heat the sake inside. After this, I poured it back into the sake bottle, used a special pump that sucks the air back out, and put it into the fridge for a few hours to chill. I served it chilled and the sake was very sweet with a subtle cherry/floral taste and a really thick creamy texture. There was a tiny hint of saltiness, but it was not as detectable among the sweet flavor of the sake. These petals look just as beautiful in clear (filtered) sake as they do in water, and the flavor is even more delicious, if you like sake.
I really recommend these to any lovers of flowers, cherry trees, cherries, or Japan. This is a soothing spring beverage you can enjoy any time of the year.
UPDATE: I revisited this for the New Year and I found that adding just a bit of sugar really brought out the nice fruity and floral qualities of this and neutralized the saltiness. I only used about 1/4 teaspoon of sugar in a 5 oz cup with two flowers. It was really nice. I think I’ll be using sugar with Sakurayu from here on.
Flavors: Cherry, Flowers, Plums, Salt
Wow, I don’t know if my tastebuds have changed or if there’s just something magic about all these senchas I’ve been trying, but this one also tastes and smells strongly of honey. No complaints, I’m absolutely loving it, I’ve just rarely encountered strong honey notes in teas, and this is three senchas in a row.
In addition to the honey, this also has some strong umami and grass notes, with a noticeable but pleasant bit of bitterness.
The second steep is more bitter and earthy, with less sweetness.
Flavors: Bitter, Grass, Honey, Umami
My first try with this tea was so light it was barely worth commenting on. I steeped 2.5g in 8oz of 60C water and no matter how long a steep, I didn’t get much flavour from the leaves.
This time around, I tried 3.5g in 80C water, and it’s much, much better. The liquor is yellow and smells sweet. The flavour is a bit grassy, but more sweet, dry hay than fresh cut green grass. There’s nutty notes, and maybe a hint of kale and honey.
I’m really enjoying this cup a lot. Easy to drink, complex but still delicious if you’re sipping absentmindedly.
Edit: Holy smokes. I steeped a second cup from the same leaves and forgot about what I was doing. This cup was much more vegetal, noticeably astringent (but not unpleasantly so) and just bursting with honey flavour. What an interesting development, particularly for a sencha!
Flavors: Astringent, Grass, Hay, Honey, Kale, Nutty, Sweet, Vegetal
The dry leaf is long, deep green and needle like. It has a delicate smell that is a hint petrichor, and cool, wet vegetation. Much less grassy and umami than is common in a sencha.
Steeped in 60C water, the liquor is a very pale, yellow green. At one minute there was a hint of sweetness and grass, but still that hot water taste. I steeped for an additional 30 seconds and then 30 seconds again, for two minutes total. At two minutes there’s a bit of a grassier and umami note that develops, but this is still very delicate and mild, with a smooth, creamy mouth feel.
I’m not sure if I underleafed this. Yunomi’s directions say 1tsp/5g per cup, but those are not equivalent measurements. I was planning on using 1tsp, but because of the length of the leaves, I was having a hard time scooping some out of the bag. So I pulled out my scale and shook some out. 2.5g was nearly 2tsp, which is what I ended up using.
I still have a fair bit of my sample left, so maybe next cup I’ll use more leaf or try brewing at a higher temp.
Flavors: Creamy, Grass, petrichor, Sweet, Umami
A nice everyday tea.
The dried leaves smelled grassy and were a mix of broken large tea leaves and stems.
I used 250ml of boiling water to 3g of tea for 30 sec for the first two infusions. 4 infusions were possible.
The liquor was a pale greenish yellow with a subtle flavor of hay-like sweetness.
It´s a mild tea with a short finish.
Flavors: Grass, Hay
I’m in the mood for some Sencha, and this one has a beautiful name. It says that it’s ‘Grown on northwest facing slopes near the Wazuka River’. That sounds magical!
The raw leaf has a gentle toasted grass scent with a dry finish.
They are dark green in colour with quite a few light green stem pieces. For the most part they are long and thin with reasonable shine.
Leaf – 4g
Water : Volume – 100ml
Temperature – 80 C
Steep time – 30 seconds
Flavour is sweet and grassy with light floral tones. Subtle strength overall with a minimal dry after taste. Slightly bitter and crisp.
Further steeps bring out a toasted grass quality which matches it’s raw scent. As the sweetness thickens with the astringency it becomes hay like.
I like this one though it doesn’t compare well against my favourite Sencha’s.
Why do heavily roasted teas always register as having a dill note to me? Does anyone else get that? I’m not complaining, I love dill, but it’s just such an odd note amongst all the others.
So i was expecting something much more deep and coffee-like out of this Houjicha compared to the basic roast. In fact, it is sweeter and more mellow than the basic roast, which is a surprise to me. It is so incredibly mild it is a perfect bedtime tea. I am not really getting any smoky flavor though, despite Obubu’s description of the tea, but that is A-OK with me. I don’t think this sweet roasty cha would benefit from that.
The flavors are the usual houjicha ones, a roasted, toasted, deep nutty taste with hints of grain. This one has a bit of sweet bread flavor as well. Really delicate for a houjicha. I’ve had some that taste like coffee or cigar smoke. This one is much more mild and sweet. Great!
Flavors: Baked Bread, Grain, Nutty, Roasted, Toasty
I couldn’t tell you what went wrong the first time I brewed this. I am brewing it just the same way but with more leaf to water ratio than the last time. Last time I tasted some relatively strong bitterness in the finish but that is not evident at all this time, so I’m leaving a new review with a higher rating.
With the dry leaves in the warm kyusu, after a minute I uncovered them to smell them. They have a really sweet fragrance that is green and light, similar to Obubu’s “Sencha of Brightness”.
The wet leaves have an almost floral aroma, reminding me a bit of a Taiwanese high mountain oolong. The flavor is light with a good deal of sweetness and a slightly astringent finish. Strangely, the sweetness is so abundant up front that it’s difficult for me to describe the flavors, so I’ll say it’s kind of a sweet grass taste. There’s a definite umami richness with a vegetal taste and there’s a subtle honey-like smell in the cup after emptying it. There is no bitterness in the sip, but just a bit of a lasting bitterness after you swallow the tea.
Like some other sencha I’ve tried from Obubu, the second infusion has a bit of a minty hint in the finish. The tiny bitter hints are still there, so is the strong sweetness up front.
If you like a sencha that starts really sweet and finishes with a bit of bitterness, this is the one to go to. It’s the only one in the Obubu sampler that seems to have that kind of quality. It’s dynamic within the sip rather than dynamic from one infusion to the next.
Flavors: Sweet, Sweet, warm grass, Umami
This one’s off to a nice start, with the dry leaves in the warm kyusu having a scent of moss and crisp iceburg lettuce. The wet leaves smell like more moss and a sort of fruity smell that is like the inside of a melon or a pumpkin, also like the smell of fresh strawberries. I don’t mean the smell of cooked strawberries or strawberry ice cream or anything like that, but the smell of the berries fresh off the vine, tart and ripe.
WOW, that subtle berry-like flavor really comes through in the taste as well, reminding me a lot of strawberries, particularly the taste you get from biting into the seeds or the green part of the fruit. There are background notes with gentle nutty, creamy and woody qualities. A subtle grain-like taste may be a more accurate way to describe it, like rice or oatmeal.
I drank the first cup of this really fast. I could not stop. The flavor was just so good!
The second infusion is more light and sweet, definitely getting hints of pumpkin this time, and I promise you that’s not just because this is an Autumn themed tea. Haha. It’s in the last part of the sip, there’s a mellow pumpkin or gourd kind of taste.
This tea is unbelievably good for the price. I will be ordering some with my next order from Obubu.
I seriously left my room and came back minutes later to a room that smelled like strawberries…
Flavors: Grain, Moss, Pumpkin, Strawberry
Another Obubu tea is gracing my new kyusu. I have ordered Obubu’s Tea Sampler so you’ll be seeing me review all of these at some point or another.
After putting the leaves into the warm kyusu and letting them sit for a minute, the smell they emit is that of fish or lake (Hey, don’t knock it! Lake is one of the 8 fundamental elements in Taoist cosmology!) ;3
In goes the 158F water for 1 minute. The scent of the wet leaves is somewhat like green beans, with a hint of a meaty note like pate, there are also hints of seaweed, sesame and spinach. In contrast, the taste of the tea is really mellow and nutty with a hint of wood bark. There is a green grassy quality too the taste as well but it is on the more dark and soily side of that spectrum, not a bright, fresh dewy tasting grass. This tea is really umami and makes me salivate a lot. The mouthfeel is thick and while I may have used a bit too much water, there is really almost no bitterness present. Sencha of the Earth is a really perfect name for it (really, they’ve all had perfect names that I’ve tried so far) because it is a relaxing, stabilizing and grounding kind of energy this tea has. None of the fishy lake flavor came through in the flavor for me. I wouldn’t have minded a little of it, but for some of you reading this that might be a relief to hear. ;3
The second infusion is more rich and flavorful than what I got with the second infusion of other Obubu teas I’ve tried so far, and now there is a hint of cooling mint-like flavor at the end of a sip. The flavors have become just slightly more “peaked”, a little more tangy a little more astringent. It’s pointing up instead of down now. Interesting! Maybe a little tree has sprouted from the earth. ;3
Though the astringency is very mild, there’s a slight citrusy flavor that starts late int he sip and lingers in the mouth. Pretty awesome stuff. Some sencha are not very dynamic from one steep to the next, but that is definitely not the case with this tea.
The third infusion is really muted and mild, as is usual with sencha. Not a lot to note about that but it’s good enough to drink and come down from the experience with. :3
Flavors: Bark, Grass, Nutty, Umami
So, by mistake I overlooked a response to a tasting note I wrote about Steepster Select’s Obukucha from earlier this year. I was swooning about the briny seaweed notes in that tea, waxing poetic about how it is exactly the taste profile I want in a Japanese tea, etc.
The reply, written 8 months ago, would have saved me A LOT of searching for flavor profiles. Turns out that the salty mineral taste I seek is Uji region specific. D’OH. So I ordered some of that, but in the mean time I have like 5 other senchas to get through before they lose their freshness. This tea, which I got from the Obubu tea club earlier in the year, is one of them.
Brewed at the hot water steeping parameters ( 5g. tea for 6 oz. water @ 212F for 30 seconds), I opened this and the dry leaf smelled immediately of sweet buttered spinach. It looked like jade green grass clippings, so, quality sencha in other words.
Now that I know that sencha varies by region I’m that much more fascinated and interested in picking up the differences for myself. This is an earthy sencha – in that it gives me no marine/seaweed characteristics whatsoever. It is grassy, and again, that sweet, buttery spinach is what I taste. It doesn’t have what I necessarily consider to be umami, but it does have just a touch of astringence when it cools. Overall its a sweeter sencha, and a solid one if salty brothy senchas aren’t your thing.
Also, it pairs quite well with seaweed salad and udon noodles. I can speak from experience :).
Flavors: Butter, Grass, Spinach
This is my first time having bancha. The leaves are all wiry and long and unkempt, pretty fun to look at.
The flavor is subtle and sweet, with a mostly buttery, nutty taste and a grassy smell. The smell of the wet leaves reminds me of wild prairie grasses in the late spring or early summer when they’re still wet and green.
This tea is very mild. I think I could have brewed it a lot stronger than I usually brew sencha and it would have tasted just fine. I can see why this is considered an everday tea. Everything about the flavor is agreeable but not remarkable. It’s the kind of tea you can appreciate without having to give your full attention to, a casual tea-drinker’s tea. I could see myself loading up a tea thermos with this to drink at work, but at home my time is usually filled with higher grade teas that are more of a centerpiece and a dedicated moment of the day.
For an everyday tea though, this has a really nice taste and quality to it. It’s charming and relaxing. As it’s cooling, I’m catching a little bit of seaweed/fish kind of taste, but I’m also alternating this with eating some food now. Otherwise until this point it was mostly just sweet.
Flavors: Grass, Nutty, Seaweed, Sweet
This tea is chock full of umami flavor, very savory. There are hints of brussel sprout and grilled cheese sandwich (mostly the flavor of bread that’s been toasted in a pan with butter). It leaves a really savory flavor in the mouth. I wouldn’t say this one is sweet particularly, just really rich and mellow.
By the second infusion the tea tastes a bit metallic as it cools down. It seems to have expended most of the flavor on the first infusion (only 1 minute). There are fresh green bean and mild nutty flavors, overall it seems very subdued.
I’m a little new to sencha, so I’m not sure how much flavor should be present in the repeat infusions. It seems from my experience that it’s usually a lot more muted after the first, so most of my rating for the tea comes from there.
I actually really preferred Obubu’s Sencha of Brightness to this top-of-the-line sencha from Obubu that is double the price.
Flavors: Butter, Toast, Umami, Vegetables
This will be the first sencha tea to brew and review in my new tokonome kyusu, which is absolutely gorgeous (and my first kyusu). I bought an expensive one because I wanted to be set with one that was really my tastes and not be tempted to buy another down the road. If anyone is curious, it’s this one: http://www.amazon.com/Japanese-teapot-Tokoname-Umehara-7-78oz/dp/B00CD8NPTU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1413654555&sr=8-1&keywords=kyusu+shoji
Anyhow, on to the tea. The scent of Sencha of Brightness is intoxicating after letting the leaves sit in the warm kyusu for a minute. The smell is of sweet corn on the cob, peony flowers and toasted almonds. It’s smelling eerily similar to my all time favorite tea, Kenyan Silver Needle. Let’s see how it brews up.
The brew is a delicate spring green. The taste is sublime. It has an incredibly smooth mouthfeel… and this may sound weird but the texture reminds me of yogurt. It’s velvety and thick. The flavor has a mellow nutty start that changes to a slightly green and vegetal one with afternotes of cooling mint sensation. I can easily see why this Sencha of Brightness was named from the idea of sparkling light reflecting on cooling waters. The tea is very mellow with almost no astringency, only a slight bit in the finish.
On the second infusion the taste is much more mild. It’s still quite sweet and there are little notes of seaweed and grass like one might expect from sencha. The third infusion is also rather light in flavor and tastes similar to the second. I may have used a lower amount of leaf than I should have.
This tea was humbling. I really like it a lot.
Flavors: Corn Husk, Flowers, Nutty, Seaweed, Sweet
My husband chose this tea after our recent Japanese tea binge over the last few days.
This tea is rather finely chopped with some largish stem pieces present amongst the dark/medium green shiny leaves. It has a sweet grass scent with a dry, perfume finish.
Yellow tea liquid is produced with a toasted grass scent, mild but still with some sweetness.
Strength is mild with toasted rice and grass flavours. There is a slight bitterness but nothing major. Also a dominant grassy after taste which sweetens and becomes dry.
A further steep reveals more grass notes with bitterness though it remains mild. Still plenty of flavour for a second steep.
Overall it’s a nice Bancha, the sort that would suit every day drinking. Yes it’s considered low grade in terms of quality but it doesn’t taste nor feel that way at all.
Flavors: Sweet, warm grass, Toasted Rice
Mmm. This sample is my after lunch tea (giant arugula salad).
I like genmaicha but I can’t say it’s one of those things I really adore. This blend could change my mind about that! It’s mixed with one of Obubu’s sweet, light senchas. The combination of that and the nutty, somewhat salty toasted brown rice is really delightful. It leaves a wonderful aftertaste in your mouth that seems to linger. This is one of the nicest genmais I’ve ever had… if I order more teas from Obubu someday I will definitely need to add this, or maybe I will need to become a customer of Yunomi.us ;)
Now it’s back to finishing off my paper before tomorrow’s class (fingers crossed!)
Good (late) morning Steepster!
Ugh, I am tired today, didn’t sleep too well last night and then got up at 5 am with my Sweetie who had to catch a flight. I did manage to nap for a few hours when I got home but don’t feel so energetic yet.
This is one of the samples I got from Obubu tea. So far, this may be one of my favorites. The tea liquor is light and definitely on the sweeter side, with notes of spinach and peas. There is only a very slight palate cleansing finish in the astringency. There’s something about the flavor in this that’s really nice and delicate, but not too light on impact. Recommended :)
Now off I go to apply for some more jobs… zzzz… boring!
Tea #2 of the day…
Wow I was so looking forward to trying the senchas from Obubu, but sadly none of them have really blown me away so far and they all seem sort of similar. I made the sample in my Lupicia handy cooler and was just so eager to scarf down some green tea I am now drinking it by the glassful. Maybe I should have made this is a smaller teapot?
Anyway my tea liquor is very light, compared to other kabuse senchas I’ve had this isn’t nearly as bright green. It has a nice sweet vegetal flavor — reminds me of peas — but with a bit of palette cleansing astringency in the finish. Definitely not a bad tea, jut not super thrilling.
It does seem to be waking me up, however!
The afternoon cuppa….
I don’t think I’ve ever had a dark roast houijcha before so I was looking forward to trying this. It’s pretty yummy! It definitely has a roasted flavor that is reminiscent of coffee, but there’s also a fruity, sort of cherry flavor about it and something creamy that would best be described as caramel. Normally houijcha is nothing for me to get super excited over, but this was a delicious sample. Glad I was able to try it…
Flavors: Caramel, Cherry, Coffee
Good morning Steepster… I drank a lot of tea yesterday but didn’t post tasting notes because a lot of what I drank were things I have posted notes for multiple times.
Anyway, here’s another sample from the Obubu tea sampler pack. Bancha is a lesser grade of tea than sencha, but it’s still drinkable in my opinion. This has sort of a vegetaly-seaweed taste with a definite bitterness in the finish. It isn’t my favorite from Obubu by far but I will definitely finish off the pot I made this morning. Compared to their senchas it isn’t as light and sweet, but still far better than most if the mass market green teas you find on the market.
I feel like my tasting notes are getting shorter but that’s because I’m trying to limit the time I spend on social media sites… so please forgive me :)