Yuuki-cha

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Recent Tasting Notes

95

Well, I did something really stupid today. Shopping at a Chinese Food Market I picked up grocery store sencha. Why oh why? Got it home, opened it and tried it and it smelled and tasted bad. What was I expecting? You only get what you pay for. Oh well. One of those bad decisions.

However, buying this tea was not a bad decision. Buying this was a VERY GOOD decision. The name is almost the same as the tea I loved from last year but the Tokujo in the name is different. It runs a little cheaper than that expensive tea (which I did buy too). This tea is very buttery and has a definite floral taste in the first 2 infusions. After that it’s just buttery & smooth. Very little astringency in this one compared to other Japanese greens. Did 3 infusions 30sec, 2 sec, 5 sec

So I’ve tried 2 out of the 4 teas I got from Yuuki-Cha and they are both great.

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88

I normally buy my Japanese greens from Yunomi. However, last year I purchased one tea from Yuuki-Cha and enjoyed it so much; I decided to go with them. Based on the reviews of this tea it was supposed to have a grapefruit/green taste to it. I didn’t really taste the grapefruit but it did have that little astringent bite that would be similar to grapefruit. It was sweet and grassy and lasted through 4 infusions. Best of all this tea was 13.65US for 100g. That’s a good price for good quality shincha.

Very happy with this one.

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80

It’s got a nice roast the tea tastes really clean not too much complexity on the first steep but still quite refreshing and nice.
It’s got an interesting smell, quite green and lots of top notes with a little sourness but with a lovely roasted quality with its body.
I’m the actual tea there is only a slight slight sourness that I would blame more on the quality of the water then the tea. The top notes that I smell on the tea are much different then the. The after taste is all delicious roast.
Pushed this tea pretty hard on this steep and the next one. No bitterness or astringency. Not a lot of complexity either but still very refreshing. Its got quite a nice fruity quality to it that is quite refreshing.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Fruity, Pleasantly Sour, Roasted, Stonefruits

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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68

If Lipton made green oolong tea, I imagine this is what it would taste like. Having been spoiled by quality Taiwanese and Chinese oolongs, I found this to be a rough tea. Lots of broken leaf, astringency, and no complexity in flavor.

The dry leaves are pale green and twisted with a mild fragrance of orchid and gardenia. The wet leaf has a pleasant gardenia and lilac aroma. Unlike Chinese oolong, the leaf isn’t intact. The broken leaf and debris made brewing in a gaiwan a mess. It also clogged the filter of a regular teapot. A metal brew basket or a teapot with a mesh strainer is the way to go.

The flavor of this tea is similar to jin xuan and baozhong but not nearly as refined. It’s buttery with light gardenia florals and a fair amount of bitterness. Short infusion times are key to minimizing the ever present astringency. It can only steep about 3 times which is pretty disappointing. When it comes to judging green oolongs Taiwanese teas are the gold standard for me. I feel this is missing many elements of the flavor, texture, and rich aroma that characterize Taiwanese oolongs. Amongst other things, it lacks the fresh, clean taste, the minerals, and thick mouthfeel.

I had high hopes for this tea but found it to be really subpar. Glad I got to try it, but I see no reason to order it again given all the high quality oolongs out there.

Flavors: Bitter, Gardenias, Vegetal

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 3 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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90

Traveling around Japan with my tastebuds again. Checking out their oolongs! Thanks to Liquid Proust for the awesome group buy.

Maybe it’s the power of suggestion, but the tea just seems very much like a sencha. Not in flavor, of course, but in production. It reaches out to the tea drinker with a very composed, articulate flavor profile whose primary flavors have a controlled development and whose background flavors come very neatly up to the front in the finish and aftertaste. Maybe I just picture the Japanese way of doing things while drinking this tea – very neat, very orderly, and quality-assured. In any event, this tea lives up to those expectations.

Overall, a delicious tea. A nice, chocolately sweetness is present throughout, but it is not cloyingly sweet. Very restrained, controlled, and composed. Also, if you are not a huge fan of roastiness or overt nuttiness, this is a good choice.

Price is good – about $7 for 50g. Has a bit more longevity than the other Japanese oolong (Kagoshima) that I tried. Excellent purchase.
*
Dry leaf: peanut shell, milk chocolate, cocoa powder, chocolate fudge. In preheated vessel – more peanut shell and roasted nut, some dry chocolate notes and red fruit.

Smell: roasted nut, peanut shell, notes of Mexican chocolate and dry baking spice, some hints of red currant

Taste: dry nuttiness, roast almonds, peanut shell, some dry baking spice notes, sticky rice sweetness and savoriness, hints of molasses and chocolate fudge. Aftertaste of dark syrup sweetness and red fruit. Returning chocolate fudge aftertaste (not heavy, but a strong hint of this flavor.)

Preparation
3 g 2 OZ / 60 ML

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87

Definitely interesting to see what kind of dark oolongs Japan produces. The flavor reminded me of Tie Luo Han Chinese oolong. Roasty and nutty, with some cocoa and fruit notes. Most noticeable, however, is that interesting pleasant sourness that TLH has (I called it “blue raspberry” in my TLH review – basically an underripe raspberry or sweet grapefruit flavor that produces a very pleasant sweet/sour flavor). Anyway, very engaging flavor profile – plenty of complexity.

However, it does lack the staying power of Tie Luo Han. After infusion #4, it started petering out. The leaves are small and give up their flavor very quickly. Keep steep times short for the first three infusions, and don’t bother rinsing it.

It would be interesting to brew this up at lower temps and longer steep times just to see what would happen. The leaves remind me of soft, delicate sencha leaves. Treating them with more finesse could yield interesting results. But, I only had 7g, so I brewed it like a hardy oolong and didn’t use kid gloves!

All that said, the price is right. Just over $5 for 50g. So, well worth purchasing, in my opinion. Certainly if you are drinking a bunch of sencha, this would be a welcome change of pace.
*
Dry leaf: dark cocoa, nutty, peanut shell, hints of cinnamon, red fruit, and citrus pith. In preheated vessel: strong roast nut and chocolate

Smell: Mexican chocolate, roasted peanut, dried red fruit

Taste: roasted pecan and almond, chocolate, cherry-infused milk chocolate, dried strawberries. Finish has chocolate cherry cordial, dried strawberries, underripe raspberries, and sweet grapefruit. Pleasant fruitiness and sweet/sour in aftertaste.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 2 OZ / 60 ML

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Prep: 140cc shibo, 4g, 85C water, rinse x1, 40s, 50s, 60s, 80s, 90s, 120s
Sessions with this tea: 1

Taste: Opens like a black tea, with typical tannic and cocoa notes. After steep 3 it settled into more familiar oolong territory, with some playful woody notes.

Body: thin/medium thickness, more astringency than expected on the first 2 steeps, but then settled down and was actually somewhat lackluster in terms of body. Mild energy, not very stimulating.

Leaf: normally don’t comment on this, but this leaf is quite chopped up. It steeped out longer than I expected given how chopped up this is, but I ended up using a shibo with straining edges rather than my gaiwan for this reason

Overall I need another session with this to evaluate. Not my favorite off the bat, because of the black tea opening, but interesting nonetheless

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This was very oolongy with more cocoa notes in the roast that I usually do not expect from an oolong. Overall, it reminded me of toasted grains, oatmeal, and cedar wood, but it was on the sweeter end. I enjoyed it, but I am glad that the sample is not too big. It good enough for me to enjoy another session respecting it as a quality tea but not good enough for me to seek it out.

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85

Sipdown. I gotta say most of the oolongs in this sampler were a little closer to black than oolong for me personally. Most of them were the way I prefer my blacks and half of them the way I prefer darker oolongs, but still, darker than I expected the sampler being.

Ending this one off, it was one of my favorites along with the Wild Orchid, the unroasted Yushan, and the other Japanese Oolong. I know that this tea was hit or miss for a lot of people, but I personally liked it because of how nutty and chocolaty it was in terms of its roast. It satisfied my coffee cravings for a few hours and paired surprisingly well with aged Gouda and buttery crackers producing some rosy and roasty results. I also found myself not wanting to grab a chocolate bar for a while.

I am glad that I can count this as a dark tea, and another I’ve finished off. Apparently, putting one two teas in your cabinet and drinking them both in a day is an effective way to sip down.

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85

I second Rasseru’s tasting notes: toasted rice, with emphasis on roast, chocolate, and fruity on notes. Reading this, do not expect to taste literally every one of those things as flavors because you know how pretentious tea notes work.

Back to speaking in pretentious tea notes. I was not expecting the cocoa notes to be as heavy as they were along with the fruit notes-they were things that I typically demand in my black teas but I got it in an oolong instead. If I were a total novice, I probably would have identified some of the teas in the group buy as blacks, but after LP’s extensive education of me in the world of oolongs, the only way that I could tell that this was an oolong was its roasty similarities to a Da Hong Pao and the woodiness that would pop up. Roast, wood, fruit, and nuts are tastes that I usually get in a black tea anyway, but this was lighter on the malt, and heavy on the roast, nuts, and fruity. What do I know anyway?

I liked that it was off of my oolong expectations and though it personally tasted close to a black, it has a lot of the qualities that I want in my blacks anyway. Guess I won’t have to reshelve my darker tea category too soon.

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85

First few steeps: did not expect an oolong to be this cocoa-y and fruity, especially the two together. Again, it has the notes I like in my black teas. I will write more in the future…

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80

For review, brewed around 150F for a little under two minutes for the first steep. Pours a medium cloudy green, plenty of sediment from my pot with a clay filter (recommend using a mesh filter for this one). The smell is sweet, comforting, and slightly brothy. The texture is thick, almost creamy. The taste has that sweet-savory balance of cooked shiitake, but with a more green/grassy flavor. There’s a touch of bright, tangy sourness on the palate and a light astringency on the tongue. The overall effect is quite comforting. The second steep is thinner and slightly more bitter.

Flavors: Broth, Grass, Mushrooms

Preparation
150 °F / 65 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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85

My first experience with Japanese oolongs, and I’m impressed. Leaves are a rich dark green, rolled into irregular shapes. For this testing I brewed at 200F in a kyusu clay pot. The liquor was a dark gold with a touch of green, slightly cloudy. The taste is a rich but restrained floral flavor (the seller says it’s gardenia, specifically—I don’t know my flowers well enough to confirm). The light roasting gives it a smooth palate with light sweetness and not much bitterness. The texture is light and refreshing, but with a touch of buttery avocado richness.

By the time I got around to reviewing this, the tea was about 6 months old and had lost some of its initial vibrancy, but still quite good. I did three steeps. The third was noticeably lighter in color and, while it still had some nice tingly effervescence on the tongue, has lost much of its flavor. So I’d stick with 2-3 steepings on this (unless perhaps you’re trying very short steeps).

Overall a lovely discovery at a reasonable price that will proves Japanese oolongs have a place on my tea shelf next to the Taiwanese and Chinese.

Flavors: Butter, Floral, Green

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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75

The refrigerator can have interesting effects on tea. So after my less than wonderful experience with this tea earlier, I tried a small batch I had refrigerated about a month ago. And wouldn’t you know it, this time it tasted like a totally different tea. The harsh bitterness that made it unpalatable before? Gone. The chill from the fridge seems to have transformed the tea, smoothing out its rough edges and giving it a nice, mellow flavor.

Now I can’t guarantee refrigeration will help all teas. My own experiences with it have been mixed. I recently had to chuck sencha which had turned foul sitting in the fridge and finer dragon wells haven’t fared too well. But other senchas, kamairicha, and some Chinese green teas like bilochun have in fact benefited from cold storage. This is very much a YMMV thing, but it can’t hurt to try it on lackluster teas.

Flavors: Butter, Grass, Vegetal

Preparation
140 °F / 60 °C 1 min, 30 sec 2 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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75

I had a rough time with this tea. For starters, it was very finicky. Brewed as sencha, it’s bitter with an unpleasant vegetal aftertaste. The flavor improved slightly when I doubled the leaf quantity and steeped in the manner of gyokuro (i.e., lower temperature, slightly longer steep). About 140F/90s worked for me.

The first steep is umami rich and has an assertive vegetal character. There’ some astringency at the end which is pleasant enough. The second steep I brewed like sencha for 1m at 160F and got a more sencha like flavor, grassy and less umami. However, there was a sulfur like bitterness as it went down. Not very enjoyable The third steep was flat and bitter.

Overall, this gyokuro is decidedly less sweet and more umami focused, which is fine but the harsh, persistent bitterness just doesn’t do it for me.

Flavors: Bitter, Broccoli, Grass, Umami

Preparation
140 °F / 60 °C 1 min, 30 sec 2 g 5 OZ / 150 ML
Kristal

Ugh, I hear you. I know gyokuro is such a high quality tea but it’s SOOOO prone to bitterness that it turns me off.

LuckyMe

@Kristal, yeah gyokuro can be a difficult tea to brew. I still prefer sencha because of the sweeter flavor profile. Gyokuro is good but it leans more umami than sweet

Kristal

To each their own :)

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89

My first black tea from Japan; I was excited.

Smaller leaves, sized like Darjeeling, which can lead to strong infusions if not careful. Indeed, I played around with the temperature a bit and settled on, i’m guessing, 85-90C with short infusions.

First steeps near 100C were powerful, mouth-filling malt and spice. Later steeps with cooler water brought out much more lifted notes of lemon oil and roses, along with roasted coriander seed and marzipan, all backed by plenty of earthiness.

The marzipan aroma becomes more prominent in later steepings.

There’s a lingering bitterness playing in the background – this was at all temperatures that I used.
Perhaps a little clumsy at times, but certainly worth trying.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 tsp 4 OZ / 120 ML

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Between friends and I, 40g of this was drank in only two days… only two days, one type of tea, 40g… yeah.

This stuff has the complex yunomi that a Japanese green tea has, BUT it also has that creamy aspect that a Jin Xuan has while carrying some of that green oolong taste with the texture.

This is some seriously good stuff. Requires a bit a concentration to realize there is more than a texture, but an actual taste as well. I used a gaiwan, I used a teapot, I used a kyusu. Each time it was lovely

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90

This may be my absolute favorite black tea.

It reminds me of a Darjeeling, but deeper in flavor. It is rich, has heaps of chaqi, flavors of plum and hints of astringency. There is a subtle deep floral element that is intoxicating.

Flavors: Flowers, Plums

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML
Nicole/Tea-Historic

That sounds really good. Onto the wishlist it goes!

Christie Lee

Oh it is! :D Hope you can find some!!

Nicole/Tea-Historic

Doh… out of stock! Onto the stalking bookmark list it goes! :)

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81

I found best results using 4g of tea for 150mL water at 160F for first two steeps, then 165 for the last two, with steep times of 1m, 30s, 45s, 90s. First two steeps were the best, with a noticeable drop off for the third. Flavors are mostly of the sweet vegetal variety, like peas, with some toasted grass notes as well. Every once in a while I taste something that might be described as fruity, but not consistently. Final steeps are a little more just wet-grassy.

Flavors: Grass, Peas, Sweet, Toasted, Vegetal

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec 4 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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95

Sip down and officially one of my favorite green teas. This is the best balance of seaweed greens with fruity pear and apple tones. I’m going into a phase where I have to budget tea spending soon. This might show up on the list for daily drinker-but my real aim is the best milk oolong I can keep. After I get my last two expensive orders. Soon…

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95

Given that your review is on here, and the description from the website fits what I taste, thank you Lucky me for this tea.

I was actually surprised how similar this tea was to the Eco-Cha oolongs. It was definitely vegetal and near a snap pea in its fresh greenness, but unlike most green tea, it had a really strong fruity taste that I’d call apple like. Very crisp, very fresh, very yielding in steeps, and very good. I could also see myself getting this for a daily green drinker. My mom actually loved it too because it was floral enough to remind her of jasmine. That could be her approximating the taste, but there was at least a floral stem or floral grassy quality.

If I didn’t have so much tea already, I’d get some of this tea to have on my own. I’ve gotten to the point where I know what I’ll stick with: green oolongs, yunnan blacks, creamy whites, good Earl Greys, and fruity green teas.

Flavors: Apple, Fruity, Grass, Green, Green Beans, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML

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99

I really needed this tea today. Thankfully, I received this in a recent swap with CWarren…

With that said, I’ve always liked Genmaicha. There’s that rice crackers wrapped in seaweed flavor—which was a treat often shared by my Japanese friend who’d bring them over to the States when she visited—therefore, drinking this is nostalgic (https://www.snackinn.com/jfc-nori-maki-arare-rice-crackers-seaweed?gclid=CjwKEAjwgbG5BRDp3oW3qdPiuCwSJAAQmoSD4Zq_Zdr9PyeSqnjngkzJpVQ8N4bPcCF66E7eadd49BoCA5_w_wcB). I enjoy the heaviness of the rice in this, where the sweet rice/nutty flavors jump out; however, the base really is alive in this blend, too. I guess this is the type of tea where I’d opt for this versus eating heavy salted foods.

When I worked at Teavana a while ago, I’d grab Genmaicha before I’d head into the food court. Unfortunately, after drinking Genmaicha, that I felt was “okay,” I grew tired of drinking it. Now this, I could drink often. Perhaps it’s the Matcha that gives it the robust greenness to the tea, or perhaps it’s the large quantity of rice added; whatever it may be, I like it. I could make this a daily drinker, and will consider buying more in the future.

PS. I had a total of 5 steeps with this. I felt that it could’ve gone 6-ish, but I don’t like pushing green tea any further than that. That’s when I have a tendency in burning the leaf.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BFEtELmg-08/?taken-by=s.g_sanders1&hl=en

Flavors: Rice

Matu

So does the matcha only have an effect on the first steep with these kinds of teas? Just wondering, because I have a sample of a genmaicha with matcha. :)

S.G. Sanders

I’d say yes. The first steep definitely had that kick-in-the-face green tea punch. However, the green base is present throughout the tea. I think it just enhances the first initial taste.

S.G. Sanders

You’ll also notice that with the first cup, the soup is “Matcha Green.” However, it gets pretty clear after the first steep.

S.G. Sanders

Still an enjoyable tea, though! I hope this helps :)

Matu

Neat, thanks :) Japanese greens are still very new to me anyways, and I’ve never actually had matcha, so that’ll probably be a pretty interesting one for me.

S.G. Sanders

I’m starting to appreciate green tea now. I think as I age, I start liking flavors that I once found disapproving. However, a majority of these flavors are becoming favorable, as the teas I’ve appreciated before (flavored, mostly) are now less likely to be appreciated as much (yet, there are blends out there that I still enjoy from time to time). Anyway, there will be green teas that may seem “too grassy” or “too seaweed-esq,” but these flavors are what I now look for in a green tea. I still enjoy Chinese greens, which have that roasted/sweet greens/green bean/nutty flavors; however, Japanese greens are starting to be my to-go-to.

Kristal

RF Hill, if you have money to spare, I recommend Mrs. Li’s Dragonwell from Verdant Tea if you like nutty green teas. It was love at first sip for me <3

S.G. Sanders

Well, it looks like I’m going to have to buy some then! Thank you for the suggestion!

Kristal

haha no prob :)!

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81

I’m still playing around with steeping times and dry leaf amount for hojichas. This one I made ‘western’ style.

This one is quite stemmy: looks to be about 60-40 stem to leaf ratio.
pleasant roasted aromas of seaweed, nuts and grains. the seaweed and grainy aspect standing out more than the nuttiness.

very smooth medium bodied and more roasted grain when tasting

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 12 OZ / 350 ML

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83

I blew through my green tea stash faster than expected this winter and picked up this tea to hold me over until the spring greens arrived. I’ve never had a pan-fired Japanese green before and was intrigued when I heard about this rare tea.

The dark curled leaf resemble a bi luo chun more than sencha, understandable as this is processed similar to Chinese tea. Wet leaf though is broken and a deep verdant green, like a typical Japanese green. The first steep is mostly nutty, like toasted grains. There’s a bit of grassiness to it as well. Second steep brings out more of the grassiness and a vegetal body as the nuttiness softens. The liquor is bright green like sencha. I would characterize the flavor as a hybrid of steamed and pan fired tea. Third steep is smooth and vegetal. Unlike steamed tea, this has no astringency even at higher temps and longer steeps. It works well grandpa steeped too.

Cold steeped though is where this tea really impresses me. It brings out the best balance of flavors – sweet vegetal with a hint of floral and umami. While I still prefer a good sencha to this, I appreciate its fresh clean flavor. At $12 and some change for 100g, it’s a pretty exceptional value and a great daily drinker.

Flavors: Grain, Toasty, Vegetal

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML

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