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My neighbor wants to drink green tea for the antioxidants but said he couldn’t find any green tea he liked at all. I assume they were buying grocery store green and when he helped us out with sod laying I gave him a cold shaken matcha for the hot afternoon work. He loved it and drinks it every morning now, shaken in the jar with ice just as I first gave it to him.

I told him and his wife that I would love to have them over to sample lots of teas and I was sure we could find one he would like. Since he loved matcha, I began with this Japanese green that had a lot of similar flavor notes and he loved it. He also loved puerh – the stronger the better whether sheng or shu – and Chinese greens, especially Anji Bai Cha from Teavivre.

They didn’t know the word umami yet, but began describing what they loved about the tea and I told them there was a word for it, so they know all about umami now. Teas that I shied away from until I was a seasoned tea drinker, they loved. We drank tea for four hours. I love tea padawans!


I’m glad you were able to introduce them to good tea! That Anji Bai Cha from Teavivre is also a favourite of mine.

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Lunch tea, enjoyed al fresco with miso soup. Followed up soup with a little Lindt chocolate for dessert.

Superanna bought this in Japan last month and gave it to me along with several other teas and I didn’t realize that this one had not been opened yet! I thought I had tried all of them but here we are today having this one for the first time.

Water was about 155F and I made two steeps at one minute each.

Even though I used my finest strainer, the tea is just full of the finest little brilliant green particles. It looks brothier than the soup I am having with it! The tea is a nice spring green and the particles are a deeper (but fresh and bright) green. It tastes fresh and grassy.

Since I made a large pot and it is rather warm out today, I poured the rest over ice. This is super brothy looking with lots of suspended particles. It is fresh, grassy, and a little brisk. Good with chocolates!

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drank Houjicha "Hyottoko" by Ujien
4025 tasting notes

“An Ode to Tea” Alphabet Challenge – U

I’m cheating slightly here, because while I don’t have a tea whose name starts with “U”, I do have this one from the company Ujien. I think it counts!

I picked this one up in Osaka randomly. Trying to read the translated description is… interesting ha ha, and of course my packet is in Japanese. It looks like there are a lot of stems though, and the dry leaf has an interesting greenish brown color to it.

Tastes yummy! The roast is very light and has a wonderful almost buttery nuttiness to it. Quite soft for a hojicha, which makes sense given all the stems, which tend to have a lighter flavor when roasted. The gentle toasty flavor is supremely comforting, especially since I’m exhausted and haven’t felt very good today.


Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Butter, Mineral, Nuts, Roasted, Roasted Nuts, Smooth, Soybean, Squash, Wood

200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Karigane by Ujien
4025 tasting notes

“An Ode to Tea” Alphabet Challenge – K

Ughhhh so tired. I started making bento for lunch again this week, and I feel like I’m spending so much time in the kitchen. I guess I just haven’t gotten into the groove yet.

Anyway! This is a tea that I randomly picked up in Osaka. Karigane is essentially just kukicha, but made from gyokuro stems. It has a lovely smooth and sweet flavor, with some nice pops of vegetal intensity that remind me of kabocha. There are also some light grassy notes that are very refreshing.

Overall, very mellow and gentle, but also with elements of gyokuro. And quite lovely for when you want a lower maintenance Japanese green! :)

Flavors: Freshly Cut Grass, Kabocha, Smooth, Spinach, Squash, Sweet, Thick, Umami, Vegetal

160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 30 sec 5 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

I read bento and instantly got a sushi craving. Ugh.

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drank Houjicha "Hyottoko" by Ujien
105 tasting notes

I brought this back from Japan and omg this is like the earthiest tasting green tea I have ever had in my life. And I don’t really like it.. at all. I might have oversteeped so I will try again but… meh.

It’s weird because I drank SO MUCH of this specific “winter” hojicha when I was in Japan and it tasted much better than this. But this one has a lot of twiggy pieces in it. Idk if it’s just because this in tea bags or what, but bleh.

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Uji(宇治) is a small city which is very close to Kyoto. And Uji is famous for premium green tea in Japan. There’s company called ‘Ujien(宇治園)’, which is quite fancy(!) cafe that sells not only the finest green tea in the japan also green tea or matcha ice cream and cakes! I bought this green tea in Osaka and taste and colour of this tea is truly lovely! My mother sometimes makes me some ’Onigiri(in this case, mum mix green tea and rice. sounds weird? It is delicious) ’ .

180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 15 sec

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