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drank Shincha Chirancha by Yamane-en
4081 tasting notes

Home – 9:30 PM

The Great Cupboard Excavation
Untasted teas remaining: 6

I have a big 100g packet of this that I got as a part of Yunomi’s subscription service. It was apparently a 2016 harvest, so it’s about two-and-a-half years old at this point. Oops.

Wow, it still has amazing flavor though! Very intense vegetal notes of spinach and asparagus alongside a nice grassy freshness. It’s smooth, with only a characteristic light bitterness at the end of the sip. It feels quite heavy, thick, and silken in the mouth, which makes it satisfying to sip while lounging on the couch. I’m almost reminded of a thick, healthful broth with lots of spinach added. There’s also a touch of creaminess that makes me think of edamame or lima beans.

There’s a great balance of sweet and savory with this one. I get a little burst of freshness in the aftertaste, and a flavor that reminds me of crisp apples or perhaps underripe plums, as well as a touch of astringency.

Very yummy! This is definitely not a lightweight Japanese green tea, but I love its strong yet balanced flavor. And it’s perfect to warm up with during the autumn & winter months!

Flavors: Apple, Asparagus, Bitter, Broth, Grass, Plum, Smooth, Soybean, Spinach, Sweet, Thick, Umami

160 °F / 71 °C 0 min, 45 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Work – 1:30 PM

The Great Cupboard Excavation
Untasted teas remaining: 29

So obukucha is a tea that is generally consumed to celebrate the New Year. It doesn’t have a specific composition, but generally contains ume, kelp, gold flakes, or all three. This one happens to be a genmaicha with dried soy beans, matcha, kelp, and gold flakes.

Hm, I expected to like this more. As a genmaicha goes, it’s okay. The sencha mostly just tastes grassy, without much in the way of depth. It lacks the sweetness I have come to expect from both sencha and matcha. Love the toasty rice flavor, of course. I think I can distinguish a little bit of the dried soybean as well.

It’s good, but I was hoping for greatness. ;)

Flavors: Bitter, Grass, Roasted, Smooth, Toasted Rice

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Lexie Aleah

That sounds good!

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Second steep: Still a very strong, heady cup, veering toward astringent now even though I steeped for barely 30 seconds. I’ll go lighter on the leaf and the steep time next go around for sure! I like the buttered spinach a lot but I’m pretty sure a caffeine withdrawal headache is in my future once it all gets out of my system. :/

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Last year’s January Steepster select gave me a chance to try Obukucha, and that’s when I learned about the tradition behind it. I LOOOOVED that tea. It tasted more like a savory umami broth than any green I’d ever had, and I’ve been chasing that flavor ever since. I’ve been told it’s a characteristic of Uji sencha, so I’ve tried that, but it’s still not quite the same. I figured that maybe I was looking for the pickled plum flavor than anything; or maybe the seaweed gave it that savory note?

When I saw the ingredient label on this: matcha, kelp, soybean, genmaicha – I was hopeful maybe I’d get to recreate that flavor again. Plus, this tea has gold flakes in it! And it’s supposed to be a lucky tea. I’m cool with getting some luck on my side. :)

First steep is detailed in the below parameters. The resulting tea is dark jade green and there is a lot of sediment in the cup, but that’s because there’s both matcha and irregularly shaped bits of sencha/genmaicha. The liquor has that opaqueness of a matcha, too. The taste is STRONG, you guys. Toasted rice but strong spinachy buttered grassy notes too. 90 seconds was definitely too long of an initial steep but its not astringent at all. It’s surprising smooth and the only reason I know I left it too long is because I swear I can FEEL the caffeine rush to my head.

There’s pretty gold bits in the tea making me feel very fancy (as I sit here in my pajamas at 2 PM) and I do like this. As Japanese greens go, my favorite flavors are represented quite nicely. But, it still isn’t that pretty obukucha from last year, sadly. I would love to find that tea again and maybe if I keep drinking this one that is where I can channel all the lucky vibes?

A girl can dream, right?

Flavors: Butter, Grass, Spinach, Toasted Rice

170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 30 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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Scent Notes: The Genmai is strong with this one, it’s very toasted and rice/bread like. All with a grassy and rather fresh green tea to lighten it.

Flavour Notes: It tastes as toasted as it smells and is very savoury. The beans come through for an interesting flavour too. A little dry though not in a bad way. The Matcha is also noticeable in a grassy way. The Sencha adds some sweetness though only a minimal amount due to it’s savoury nature. I would say that fans of GenMaicha should like this one.

For pictures and more information please view my blog entry.

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