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Recent Tasting Notes
I found a box of this still in the cupboard that I’ve been trying to clean out, buried behind where I keep my cans of soup teas I use for ramen broth. It expired in 2010. Oops. Only five packets left in it, I figured I’d make one water bottle’s worth and if the matcha tasted nasty due to age I’d trash the rest. At least unlike that fossilized instant chai I found in the back of the cupboard, this doesn’t have milk product in it, so maybe there is some slight hope…
The Yamamotoyama website listing says this is the “lightly sweetened” version of their instant matcha iced tea (the box just says “sweetened”). Honey, there is nothing “light” about this! Is there matcha in this? The green color says there is, but my taste buds are getting nothing but sugar water. Maybe there is a faint shadow of something grassy in the background behind all the sweetness, but this is just… meh. I’ll admit I have to sweeten my matcha drinks because they tend to be too bitter for me otherwise, but I like to at least taste my matcha! This is unbarably over-sugared.
At least there is nothing about it that tastes off, or bad… though maybe the lack of flavor to the matcha is due to the age, and if it wasn’t 9 years expired now I’d be tasting more than just sugar, so I suppose I should take that into consideration. I have three packets left to finish this off and get it out of my cupboard. Maybe if I add a few teaspoons of my loose matcha with the leftover packet mix that will help even it out a bit?
Flavors: Sugar, Sweet
I started a new job in a very small office. There’s no kitchen. The bathrooms are shared for the entire floor of the office complex. There is a water cooler with instant hot water. I plan to bring in a thermometer to measure the temperature.
Since this is one of my favorite bagged teas, I brought it in for the convenience factor. I may have to get some Steven Smith teas too. Does anyone have any other bagged recommendations? I’m not keen to bring a gravity infuser that I’d have to carry out along with a key to the restroom just to clean it out. There’s no refrigerator here either.
The main flavor note for me is “visiting in Japan in 2007, being driven around Kyuushuu.” It also tastes roasted and woody and twiggy. There’s a light caramel note too, just a little sweet.
Flavors: Caramel, Roasted, Sweet, Wood
Summer Vacation! Onto Japan, and I didn’t have much time to brew a hot cuppa on my way out the door to work, so I decided to finally use up the one teabag of this my friend had given me. He said it “wasn’t bad, for bagged houjicha.” I’m willing to take his word on it. Especially since I didn’t really have time to measure leaf, clean an infuser, etc. with around five minutes to spare to prepare a thermos and head out the door.
Knowing me, tomorrow I’ll probably decide to spare even those five minutes for more sleep, and just take my bag of loose Kyoto Obubu Tea Farm houjicha to work, and “wing” a brew at work without my scale and some of my other schmancier tea things. It’s not like I don’t have a second kettle and gravity well infuser at the library, because I have problems…
In any event, he wasn’t wrong. This isn’t bad, for a bagged houjicha. The flavor still has that roasted, woody taste; in fact, I’d say it comes off a bit more woody than I’m used to with loose houjicha, as I’m not getting any sweeter notes like I’ve found later in the sip with those houjicha (typically a honey or caramel sort of flavor). So this comes off a little more robust. Maybe that is a result of being in CTC form?
Certainly not the best houjicha I’ve had, but exceeded all my expectations considering the price point and convenience.
Flavors: Bark, Dark Bittersweet, Roasted, Toasty, Wood
I just got acquainted to this type about 2 months ago and it has been utterly pleasant. The taste of green tea and rice go together so well. I like to drink this tea to help me when I get peckish but don’t really want to eat. It is quite a nice full-bodied green tea, woodsy and warm.
Flavors: Green, Rice, Wood
Its quite warm in my part of the world. I can go without tights, and abandon my coat at lunchtime, and all is well. Bleh, I say. Bring me the cold weather instantly.
But still, its usually freezing in my office, and so I brought a sample of toasty genmai chai with me today.
This is a pleasant, but somewhat weak blend. Its very light, but the toasty notes ar at the forefront of each sip, and the greenness of the tea never gets vegetal.
I’m glad to have tried it.
Quite bitter with first infusion at 170 degrees. Next day, I did a 10 second rinse, then used cold water and a overnight cold steep. Much improved. Color was less cloudy after the quick rinse. Bitterness decreased and sweetness increased. Good everyday ice tea.
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Flavors: Astringent, Grain, Green, Rice, Tannic, Toasted, Toasted Rice, Toasty