Well I’m in the reviewing mood today but have no new teas to review. Ho-hum. I did find this sample from Yunomi which was unopened but past its suggested “drink by” date, so I will leave my impressions gingerly.
I haven’t particularly given much love to my beautiful Tokoname-yaki kyusu lately. I really need to sift through old emails and see if I can figure out who made this thing because it is handmade and is easily the most beautiful and precisely-crafted teaware in my collection.
Anyway, these bancha leaves are the big yellowish green leaves I’m used to seeing. The scent of the leaves after the first infusion is mildly floral and nutty with a bit of the scent of prairie grass in late summer. Most people would use the word hay here, but I like the more idyllic descriptor of golden grasses drying out with splashes of living growth and wildflowers in the mix. It’s a distinct smell. If you’ve gotten to visit any tall prairies you know it, and I grew up among them, so I cant depart it from my memory. The scent of the leaves is also slightly herbal and reminds me of the scent of dry matcha.
The flavor is more enjoyable than I expected, especially from expired tea. It tastes like yellow apple peels and walnuts and packs a pretty decent umami for a bancha. It’s very clean and crisp, quite rich in flavor too. There’s a tart black currant kind of note late in the sip and it lingers. There is a hint of bitterness but I think the tartness and the richness of flavor work together pretty well in hiding it. It has a slightly dry finish as well but a bit of lingering sweetness too.
This tea was relaxing. Good by me. :3
EDIT: I found the aforementioned email and it is made by Shoji Umehara. If you see any of his works, I highly recommend them. My kyusu has the most immaculate lid fit I’ve seen on a teaware (zero wiggle room, but can be rotated smoothly), and the shape and glazing of this kyusu are just perfect.
EDIT EDIT: I found the old Amazon page with pictures of it, though this one I ordered from Chado Tea House (they are the ones who were selling it on Amazon too) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CD8NPTU?tag=tystoyboxpair-20
Flavors: Apple Skins, Black Currant, Floral, Sweet, warm grass, Walnut