Sencha of the Autumn Moon

Tea type
Green Tea
Green Tea
Sakura, Seaweed, Vegetable Broth, Astringent, Dry Grass, Floral, Hay, Lima Beans, Oats, Smooth, Soybean, Sweet, Umami, Vegetal, Grain, Grass, Spinach, Autumn Leaf Pile, Bok Choy, Broth, Cashew, Nuts, Spring Water, Wood, Honey, Kale, Nutty, Moss, Pumpkin, Strawberry
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Edit tea info Last updated by Cameron B.
Average preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec 4 g 6 oz / 184 ml

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16 Tasting Notes View all

From Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms

Made from mature Yabukita leaves, Autumn Moon is light-bodied and smooth. Its moon-like yellow liquor is accompanied by a warm cedar aroma. It has a notable astringency and a nutty floral taste reminiscent of pansy and lilac. Harvested at the beginning of autumn, Sencha of the Autumn Moon is unusual even in Japan.

Taste: Astringent
Body: Light
Texture: Rounded
Length: Short
Harvest: September
Tea Cultivar: Yabukita
Origin: Wazuka
Cultivation: Unshaded
Processing: Lightly Steamed, Rolled, Dried

About Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms View company

It started with a single cup of tea. As the legend goes, our president Akihiro Kita, or Akky-san, visited Wazuka, Kyoto one fateful day. At the time, Akky-san was still a college student in search for life's calling. After trying the region's famous Ujicha (literally meaning tea from the Uji district), he immediately fell in love and his passion for green tea was born. He had finally found what he was looking for in that one simple cup of tea. After fifteen years of learning to master the art of growing tea from tea farmers in Wazuka, Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms was born and as they say, the rest is history. So what's an Obubu? Obubu is the Kyoto slang for tea. Here in the international department we call ourselves Obubu Tea. That's "Tea Tea" for the bilinguals. We love tea so much, we just had to have it twice in our name. Now Obubu means more than just tea to us. It means, family, friends, passion and the place we call home. More than just tea. Though the roots of Obubu stem from tea, it has become more than that over the years. Obubu is an agricultural social venture, operating with three (1) bring quality Japanese tea to the world (2) contribute to the local and global community through tea (3) revitalize interest in tea and agriculture through education.

16 Tasting Notes

6768 tasting notes

I think this is REALLY incredible! This has all of the ‘right amounts’ of all of the stereotypical green flavors in it without any one flavor dominating the others. It leaves a sweeter after taste that is really wonderful!

If you were to put the song “I’m a little bit Country – I’m a little bit Rock N Roll” up against this tea…well. it would be the tea equivalent to that song!

A little bit of EVERYTHING GOOD in a Green Tea! Totally YUM!

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280 tasting notes

This tea surprised me. After I decanted the pot, I sniffed the brewed leaves, and it instantly brought back a flood of memories.
You know how certain smells are strongly connected to memories or emotions? Well, this reminded me of when I lived in Hong Kong…. I don’t know if it was the smell of a HK bakery, or mochi, or dim sum, but the aroma was very good and I couldn’t help but continue to sniff and figure out why it felt so familiar.

Surprisingly, the leaves of this tea are very light green/yellowish and tiny. I could have sworn this was a fukamushi, as the leaves are only a little larger than dust. I thought this could be a fukamushi bancha, though, I’ve never heard of such a thing. (I don’t know the difference between bancha and a 2nd or 3rd harvest sencha… does anyone else?)

EDIT I wasn’t quite able to finish my thoughts on this.

I’m really surprised about the size of the leaves, because it’s just lightly steamed.
I would say I enjoyed this tea, but there wasn’t much depth to the flavor. Not sweet, nor bitter; slightly astringent, with the main flavor being a perhaps a little grassy or like sweet rice (which, as you know, isn’t really sweet). I think I enjoyed it because there wasn’t anything wrong with it, and the aroma was so connected to those memories. Nevertheless, it wasn’t very exciting or a flavor I would go seek out (especially to buy it from Japan). If I saw it in my local grocery store, then perhaps I’d pick some up.

175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 30 sec

As far as I have heard, the main difference between bancha and sencha is that bancha leaves are usually brown, have a taste more similar to houjicha than sencha and was traditionally grown in people’s gardens rather than a plantation. Usually, it is seen as a more low quality tea than normal sencha. I have found this often to be true when I shop at Japanese supermarkets.

Bancha is often translated to commoner’s tea, but it is not too incorrect to translate it into everyday tea, as bancha was the tea people would drink everyday instead of just water. This tradition is said to be dated back to over a thousand years ago, as clean, safe water was hard to find in both China and Japan, one would boil the water first, and often make tea. (In Europe we made wine, beer and similar beverages)

Thus the culture and way of raising and making bancha varies a lot from area to area, but in the recent 50 years, I guess, many big companies have now taken over this production and bancha has moved out from people’s homes to plantations. The variations of bancha is still very big. There are indeed green types as well, as many raise bancha from the late summer and to the late autumn. That is why some high grade banchas have different “flushes”, depending on when they were harvested in this period. (三番、四番 and so on). A lot of green banchas are also more aged sencha with less caffeine and more tannin.

And, I am only guessing now, but it sounds reasonable for a lot of tea companies wanting to still sell a lot of tea during this autumn season as the three main flushes of shincha is of out season now. As a result of this one might use many creative ways of selling bancha, including what you, Shinobicha, guessed could be a fukamushi bancha. I actually found one here:

Why Obubu Tea would label this as sencha in the first place sounds weird to me as it is described as light steamed aracha. Maybe a mail to the tea vendor could bring some good answers. I will do some research on my own here, because finding the right label for Japanese tea has proven to be quite hard for me as I discover more and more Japanese teas.

Phew. What a long comment. Hope you found it at least a bit useful.


That’s really interesting, thanks for sharing!
Yeah, I am sure you are right, that it is a way for them to sell some of the ni-ban or san-ban harvests. What I don’t know is why it LOOKS like a fukamushi, when they put on the website it’s an asamushi… I should definitely ask them and find out.

I agree, the more I learn about Japanese teas, the harder they seem to label/classify!

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4843 tasting notes

I really enjoyed this Sencha. Rather than the sweet, buttery notes that I sometimes get from a Sencha, I am getting an interesting bittersweet taste with a nutty undertone. The taste is fresh and exhilarating.

Very nice!

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134 tasting notes

The aroma of the dry leaves and stems is very pleasant, with a grassy vegetal quality that is reminiscent of fresh cut hay and autumn breezes. The stems in my sample were quite prominent, and sturdier than those in the Yanagi Bancha sample I had tried previously, but the leaves were very fine, and a beautiful dark green.

Using my kyusu I did three extractions of this sample, all using approximately 3.5 ounces of water:
1st steep: 45 seconds at 180 F
2nd steep: a quick steep of only about 10 seconds at 180 F
3rd steep: 30 seconds at 180 F

The wet leaves have an amazing aroma, unlike any sencha I have tried before. An almost peppery quality like mustard greens, but this does not come through in the tea. All three infusions were of similar quality in being a bright yellow green, clear, refreshing and well balanced. There are some nice grassy undertones and a softness that is similar to many spring time pickings.

This would make a nice accompaniment to almost any meal, but is very pleasant to drink all alone. Another very nice tea from Obubu. :)

180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 45 sec

I’m drinking the Obubu Kabuse sencha this morning myself…lovely, creamy, buttery, sweet and vegetal….

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335 tasting notes

Compared to the spring and summer, I didn’t like this like this tea as much. Lots of twigs, so I was interested in the flavor. I felt it was more bitter than the other samples I’ve had so far. Grassy. It was just simple.

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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579 tasting notes

My first time trying an autumn picked sencha. I didn’t even know this was a thing. Gotta hand it to Obubu Tea Farms for such an eclectic selection.

The appearance of the leaves is one of the strangest I’ve ever seen in Japanese green tea. It’s a mixture of twigs, stems, and flat yellow and green blade like leaves that sort of resemble a broken dragonwell. The leaves emit a strong seaweed aroma. Once heated, this turns into kelp and popcorn.

The brewed tea produces a light green, clear infusion. Gentle toasted nori and sakura flavor. Slight umami. Very smooth. Subsequent steeps bring out brothy notes along with more seaweed. It remains smooth and full bodied without any bitterness.

This sample is quite a few months old by now. Curious as to how it would have tasted at peak freshness.

Thanks for another interesting sample Cameron B

Flavors: Sakura, Seaweed, Vegetable Broth

165 °F / 73 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 g 4 OZ / 117 ML

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2582 tasting notes

Pseudo-sipdown. Another one that I have one packet left, which will be shared with a friend.

I love this one. It’s so different from spring and even summer sencha, with no umami at all. The leaves are enormous and there are many stems mixed in. It has a very smooth and nutty flavor, with oodles of sweet hay and dry grass. More grainy than vegetal, but there is a bit of bok choy in there. It’s brothy. There are even some woody, autumn leaf-y notes that make me think of hojicha. A clear, sweet aftertaste lingers on the tongue.

To me it just screams “autumn”. An unusual and wonderful tea that will certainly make its way back into my cupboard.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Bok Choy, Broth, Cashew, Dry Grass, Grain, Hay, Nuts, Smooth, Spring Water, Sweet, Wood

170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 45 sec 5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

You do a great job of making it sound delicious!

Cameron B.

Aww I’m glad! It almost reminds me of a dragonwell I would say, but not quite the same.


No wonder. I love dragonwell.

Evol Ving Ness

Yes, I agree that you do a great job of making it sound delicious. I have bookmarked this tea company. Gah, I was doing such a good job avoiding temptation when I was off of Steepster!

Cameron B.

Ha ha, sorry! Let me know if you’d like me to send a sampler of their teas, I have plenty to share. ;)

Evol Ving Ness

Cameron, I adore you! thank you for your kindness. You DO know that I am WAY behind on all tea things, don’t you?

Cameron B.

Aren’t we all…? XD

Evol Ving Ness

And so we are.

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485 tasting notes

These leaves look crazy compared to your average sencha! Long leaves with some thick stems mixed in as well. Flavor was pretty different as well. I got a bit of grassiness, but it wasn’t quite the super green umami flavors that I sometimes get from sencha – it was more of a dry grassy flavor. I’m not 100% sure if that’s a result of the clearly different processing of the leaf or if it’s because it’s not quite as fresh as other ones I’ve been drinking. I preferred it with 175F water, as opposed to the 195F temp recommended on the package, but both were good.

Flavors: Dry Grass, Sweet

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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1113 tasting notes

2015 Autumn batch:
I’m pretty sure this may be different than the past years. The leaf is large for a Japanese sencha. (middle left)
There are roughly four different shades between the leaf as it is dry as well which looks pretty before being steeped. This is a smooth and easy to brew sencha, but I believe the reason that this would be something to get over the other ‘Sencha of the" series would be it’s slightly less vegetable taste which is replaced with a tiny bit of dryness that reminds me of fall leaves.
I enjoy that the ‘fall’ / ‘autumn’ taste of this tea is not provided by a roasted taste, rather it is done by having the taste of the dry leaf that is somewhat dead; not that this doesn’t taste fresh, one just has to try it.

I ended up drinking all of this within two days and it is one of the few sencha that I have resteeped as well.

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921 tasting notes

Yay! My computer is kinda fixed! I successfully replaced the broken jack and discovered that I also need a new cord, luckily Ben’s mom has a Toshiba and is letting me borrow her cord for a few. Now I just need to get a new cord, so more waiting, but at least I know it is not a permanent problem. Unlike Ben’s who I am pretty sure has a massive corruption somewhere. I am practically giddy to have my machine back, it might be a real piece of crap, but it is mine and I love it.

So, today we are having a look at one of Yunomi and Obubu Tea’s rather romantic sounding Sencha, Sencha of the Autumn Moon, I just love the names of the various Sencha put out by Obubu, they are just beautiful. You might remember, a while ago I reviewed Sencha of the Summer Sun, it is my goal to try all the beautifully named Sencha, in theory in each season, but I was a little late with this one. So, about the name, this tea was harvested under a bright full moon, specifically the moon in late August early September during Otsukimi, or the Moon Viewing Festival. This festival is celebrated in several Asian cultures and I absolutely love it, personally I mix it up a bit when celebrating by incorporating different culture’s traditions. The aroma of the fairly massive leaves is very green, a mix of edamame, spinach, and a bit of hay and grass. It is not the most complex Sencha I have ever sniffed, but the aroma is strong and a good blend of sweet and green, I enjoy it and can certainly see this being an excellent tea to sniff while focusing on the moon.

Into the Kyusu it goes! Man, I really need a special occasion to bring out the amazing Somayaki Kyusu I have, it is so pretty but needs an unveiling, maybe having the computer fixed will be the occasion. Anyway, the aroma of the now very soggy leaves and stems is a bit nuttier, the edamame and toasted soybeans (I love snacking on those, so good!) aroma taking the forefront, while the spinach, hay, grass, and general green notes take up the rear. The liquid is sweet and green, blending sesame seed candies, hay, grass, and bamboo leaves into a nice green blend. Green is definitely the keyword with this tea, it is one of the most ‘I sniff in colors’ teas I have run into in a while.

The first steep is delightful moonlight pale gold, like a moon coming up over the horizon! The taste is really quite mild and subtle, it might be the most subtle first steep of a Sencha I have run into. The mouth feel is very smooth, it starts off with the green taste of grass and stems, this moves into the very distinct taste of bamboo leaves, and after that we have sweet hay and a finish of edamame that lingers. The first steep is relaxing, I could almost see myself sipping this before taking a nap.

The aroma of the second steep has a very similar feel to the first, balancing green and sweetness, though this time there is more focus on green with a stronger bamboo note and a touch of sea air. Like the aroma, this steep is much more green, with stronger notes of bamboo leaves, a bit of fresh grass, broken stems, fresh spinach, and just a hint of savory kelp. Ah, I do love it when a Sencha has that kelp note, it just makes me happy and reminds me of my much beloved seaweed salad. I enjoyed how mild this Sencha was, I think it will be a perfect addition to my Moon Viewing festival, it has enough of a presence to be noticeable without distracting you from the glorious autumn moon.

For blog and photos:

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