Takeo TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
I got the best news from my phone today, clearly the weather gods have heard my cries, because guess what is happening on Friday? Yes, snow! It will only be an inch and technically it is a day after my birthday, but whatever, until I move far to the north (or in the mountains) this might be as close as I get to a blizzard on my birthday! If all goes well it will be late at night so I can get my gallivanting done early in the day and then just enjoy the snowy night.
Today’s tea is a bit of an opposite to the weather, here we are on the cusp of winter, and I am talking about one of the iconic spring teas! Yunomi’s Takeo Tea Farm: Limited Organic Shincha (Isecha), #3 “Ume” it is a Shincha, or the earliest harvest, is probably some of the most coveted Sencha, it is immensely fresh and a bit of a pain to get stateside, I am usually lucky to get a sample of it a year, and this is my 2015 Shincha. I got my sample right at the same time that Yunomi switched website, and my only complaint about the new site is the lack of interesting information, it used to be each of the teas would have a lot of details about them, now only some do…and this particular one is sparse on details. The aroma of the leaves is, well, it is also a bit sparse, very faint notes of kelp and spinach with a touch of fresh lettuce, but really this is a faint, faint, Shincha.
Into my tiny kyusu the leaves go for a nice steeping, one day I will have the shiboridashi I ordered, but slow shipping is slow. I love these tiny leaves, but they are a pain to clean out of the screen, so I look forward to a shiboridashi. The aroma of the leaves is still really mild, notes of spinach and kelp with a gentle grassiness at the finish. The liquid has almost no aroma at all, I was beginning to worry my nose had failed me, but after sniffing some familiar things I was sad to admit that this tea just smells like faint grass water.
I admit to some apprehension, see taste is mostly smell, the olfactory system is so intertwined with the sense of taste (the gustatory system) that usually if it is lacking, the food is lacking. One of the reasons I loathe having a stuffy nose, I tend to panic if I can’t smell or taste properly, not sure if that is an offshoot of my sensory disorder or a normal reaction, clearly I need to take a poll! Ok, enough waffling, this tea did not live up to my past experiences with Shincha…and I find myself wondering if I accidentally ordered the 2014 harvest, but since I remember getting the 2015 and my package did not have the harvest date on it I can’t be sure. The taste is like buttery spinach water and a gentle nutty finish, and that is it. I tried for a second steep just to see if a higher temperature would help, but nope, this tea was just not on its game. This is the first time I have been disappointed by a tea from Yunomi, but I didn’t want the rest of my sample to go to waste, I gave it to a friend who absolutely loved it…proving once again, that taste is subjective and there is a tea for everyone out there somewhere.
I chose this tea for my morning cup and it’s given me a bounce in my step all day. Seemed more wooden today than it did yesterday but still very nice.
Thank you Dag Wedin for this sample. I’ve kept it safe for a few months until I became confident enough to do a review, though even now I have not had many Japanese Oolong.
Again I will be following the same steeping method as Dag. I’ve tried to find this tea online for more information but I failed :(
The leaves are dark brown and are a variety of lengths, I would say they range from finely chopped up to 20mm. I can also see some light brown stick/stem amongst the leaves. They have a sweet wooden scent with a subtle hint of flowers. As though I was walking through a woods in the summer time and inhaling deeply.
The steeped scent is also wooden and gently sweet. Medium strength, sweet fresh cut wood, malt and honey. Little to no astringency. Beautiful sweet after taste.
A fine Japanese Oolong :) Similar to a light black tea so I think my husband would also enjoy this one. He’s dominantly a black tea fan but he does make exceptions.
ca 5g / 180ml Kobiwako kyusu
Single infusion 2m @ 80C
Sipdown! The last of my pastry tea.. This the is so very sweet and minty, it goes perfect with pastry. I accompanied it with some white chocolate cheesecake. :)
Hm might try to get some more this spring when first harvests are coming in. A bit of a hassle to order though since Takeo-sans webpage is all in japanese. haha google-fu translate!
Anyways i will miss this tea.
Going through my -12 teas before they go stale. Will be drinking a ton of sencha soon….. :)
This tea is somewhat of a favorite. Although VERY inexpensive it is of good quality and the taste is uniqe.
5g / 200ml glaspot. Kunzan tetsubin.
2m/3m @ 80-85C
Minty, sweet but a tiny bit to strong. forgot the recommended amount of 3g/200ml.
This is a strange one.
Produced by Takeo Organic tea farmers at the foot of the Suzukasanmyaku, in the town Geino Mie Prefecture.
It is semi-fermented and is somewhere between oolong and black.
The taste is very sweet and minty. Goes perfect with pastry :)
Can get it here straight from Takeo family themselves.
Use google translate. The page is in japanese only.