Yamakien (やまき園)

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Recent Tasting Notes


Dry leaf appearance/aroma: This green tea is interesting visually as the leaves are actually comma shaped. This noticeable twists come from shaping that happens during the drying phase. The pan firing of the tea also brings the moisture level a bit lower than other Japanese teas and you can really see it: less glossy than traditional sencha. The aroma is grassy and sweet, and almost a bit salty like sea air.

5 grams of tea, 3.5 oz of water, steeped for 50 seconds.

First Steep:
Big aroma of cooked greens and nori. Soupy green liquor with notable (though not overbearing) astringency and a light umami. I am used to Tama Ryokucha style teas being a bit on the lighter side, but this one is very deep green.This one has a bit of a citrus note as well and I am noticing more minerality as I continue drinking.

Second steep:
Much lighter. This one gives up the goods on the first steep (something about Kyushu teas, they seem to do this). More translucent liquor and heightened “cooked greens” flavor.

This tea is bit our of balance for my tastes…a little too astringent. Very fresh though, and this tea maker has a great reputation for making high quality tea. This one just wasn’t my favorite.

175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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I bought this tea while on a trip in Hakone, an place perhaps more known for its many hot springs than tea. The area is however very close to Shizouka, so the fact that it also was a fair amount of tea in the souvenir shop was hardly a surprise.

The name Yabukita is, as far as I have read, the most common tea variety for sencha. Judging from the more round and deep smell, this seems to be a slightly better one. ( Although, I have to admit that I bought it because of the beautiful canister)

I steeped the first serving using a strainer, but ended up having a very weak result. Doing it the more traditionally way with just the leaves in the traditional pot made the taste several times stronger. A beautiful green colour with a strong vegetal taste. Now, I know a lot of Japanese people like their sencha very strong, but this was maybe a little bit too strong for me. Having less tea on about 75 degrees celsius for 30 seconds made a much more suitable result.

Excellent with some Japanese sweets!

190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec

It’s cool to hear reviews of tea directly in Japan! You’ll certainly find a lot there that isn’t available here in the States.


Thank you! I have not been to the States yet so I would not be able to compare the selection I am afraid, but I am sure you are right. There is a lot brands here one would have a hard time finding outside Japan, I think. And it is way cheaper than in my home country.

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