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Recent Tasting Notes
Cracked this open to enjoy while at work today. The black tea was refreshing and robust, i steeped it for much less than my usual teabag method – only 2mins. Sadly, did not get any citrus from the brew, I think the black tea base was much louder than the mikan dust. before I began brewing the teabag, I could have sworn that the mikan was sugar for a moment – that’s how fine the grains were of the chopped dried fruit. But alas, the black tea was much louder. Perhaps the citrus will come out more if I ice it.
Began this tea as a side by side with the Minami Sayako cultivar oolong tea from my last Yunomi tea order. As soon as I tried the teas side by side, I immediately decided to just drink them one by one. They were extremely different, it seemed superfluous to do a side by side for such different teas. this one is a late summer 2022 harvest. The brew was much much lighter than the Minami, more akin to a silver needle brew color – almost silver. The leaves were also much smaller than the Minami, but that might have just been the sample bag. I got bright lemon and heady florals on each steep. this tea is very reminiscent of a Lishan oolong, all flower and no bite. the soup was thinner than I am used to with such a green oolong, but that says nothing on it’s character. I was not as much of a fan of this one as the other oolong.
Flavors: Lemon, Lily
Began my session with this tea as a side by side cultivar comparison with the Tachiho cultivar oolong I got from my last Yunomi order. As soon as I began though, I realized how different they were and just drank them one by one. This one, the Minami Sayaka cultivar, is from summer 2021. From the jump the brew was a deeper gold color and developed into a soft gold till the end. There was a light roasty nuttiness on the top of the brew, giving it a distinct soba cha/hojicha flavor that reminded me where this was grown. The leaves were larger than the Tachiho as well. The floral note that wove itself in and out of the brew was wonderfully refreshing. I’m over the heavy florals of most green oolongs, but the light roast of this tea helps to mellow the bouquet in such a pleasant way.
Flavors: Straw, Toasted Rice, Wildflowers
Happy 101st tasting note to me!
IT’S FINALLY TIME! I’ve finished all the opened samples of my Japanese greens, so i can treat myself to a new spring 2023 tea! WOOOO. This fukamushi is remarkable – it was chewy and intense for the first three shakes of my kyusu, and kept it’s savory twang until steep 5. The wet leaf was very interesting as well, reminded me of my favorite shrimp chips. I know, sounds gross, but it propelled me to make another round as soon as the first leaves were spent. yayyy tea!
Flavors: Egg, Freshly Cut Grass, Salad Greens, Seafood, Seaweed, Viscous
Drank this for the National Coconut Day sipdown prompt!
I had tried a serving of this chai mix before, when I first received my last Yunomi order, but with unsatisfying results. Followed package directions and the chai it produced was… not quite right. Too filmy, not sweet enough, and not balanced in terms of spice, tea, and coconut. I initially used 300ml of coconut milk as directed, but it was a lil too muddy and had a mouthfeel that didn’t sit right with me. Finally got around to tinkering with the formula right before my birthday trip to NOLA. The trick was to more than double the volume of liquid and add a touch of sweet. It completely changed my mind on this mix. I love the toastiness of the Hojicha used in this chai blend, it’s warm and unique. All it took was 350ml of water, 350ml of coconut milk, plus a scant teaspoon of honey for a lil sweetness. Much better
Probably would skip restocking this tea for myself. Making chai the traditional way is too much of an annoying mess for me, and I think I’m over coconut in tea. But if you love making chai on the stovetop, this was a very nice pre-portioned mix.
Flavors: Cardamom, Coconut, Spices, Toasty
My spring 2023 sencha came in and it’s taking me all my willpower to finish this tea before i pop any of them open. Looks like I will be finishing this tea up sometime this week. Ahhhh the restraint is killin me!!
Love when these lil green bullets go plink! into my kyusu <3
I’ve been craving a nice savory, chewy sencha; and while I impatiently wait for my 2023 sencha from Yunomi to arrive I decided to crack this open to scratch that itch. It’s delightfully green and easy to drink down. Hope I don’t have to resort to grocery store sencha before my yunomi order arrives.
In the meantime, it’s so fun to watch the lil green pellets expand and unroll themselves. There’s all sizes of leaf matter, dust to float in my cup, chopped leaves, and full length with stems. The brew has a fun asparagus savory twang , turning into a lime green brew after a few steeps. Most of the time i spent with this tea was brewed with the lid off, mostly to watch the leaves do their thing, but also because of my unpredictable office water temp.
I’ve had this style of tea before, probably in a fukubukuro Yunomi has done in the past. I also remember that I used to put the dry leaf on freshly steamed rice and crunch away… now just the thought of that gives me the caffeine shakes lmaoo
Flavors: Asparagus, Cucumber, Cut Grass, Umami
This is the last of the three sakura teas I got in Japan! I was intrigued by this one because it was described as having sugared cherry blossoms. I did notice a tiny amount of some sort of sugary lumps in there, but it’s minimal. The sencha is bright and crisp in this, but not puckering. The sakura is a little more subtle than one of the other two sakura teas, but it’s really nice. It has the lightest bit of that grassy pucker in parts of the sip and my mouth is left feeling dry after sips. I had a cup of this yesterday and was enjoying the three steepings more than I am now. Not sure if I steeped it different or if I’m just having an off day.
I will say… the packaging on this is gorgeous. The bag has sakura leaves printed on it and has strands of fiber running through the paper.
Where did you come across it? Did you order from Yunomi or is there somewhere domestically that carries it? I do wish I had caved and bought a few more sakura teas for comparison. Fauchon, Lupicia and Mariage Freres had some as well as several other Japanese companies.
I bet they probably had them earlier in the Japanese stores, since the US website always gets things a bit late.
You are probably right. We totally missed cherry blossom season by a week or two. We got to try a lot of cherry blossom foods, but I feel like places were winding the flavor down already. I’m seeing $15 shipping from Lupicia’s Hawaii store. Ouch.
Dustin: the shipping is never as high as they predict for me. Just last night I got a $6 refund to my account. They estimate high and then very, very quickly I get some of it back.
Same as ashmanra, for it usually comes out to about $9 or so. They refund the difference when they actually ship it.
Cracked this open as soon as I finished the Obubu sample I got from Yunomi. Genmaicha has been my go to afternoon tea treat as of late.
This genmaicha is so surprisingly sweet! The soba used in this blend has a deeper nuttiness compared to the mellower sobacha used in Obubu’s genmaicha. In addition to a subtle difference in the popped rice; this blend uses some beautiful forest green sencha, which is what makes this blend so airy sweet. The bancha in Obubu’s blend did add some nice nuttiness to go alongside of the already nutty soba.
Did not intend for this to be a comparision note, but I could’t help myself hehe. both teas are excellent genmaicha options, depending on tastes. I’ mhappy as a clam to be enjoying both!
This was my most anticipated tea in my last Yunomi order. I am a huuge smoked tea lover and the idea of using cinnamon wood to smoke a tea was impossible to resist. Finally cracked it open today and the hisssss of the compressed packaging was so satisfying. The dry leaves were large and lightly curled, and I knew they’d expand to show bigger leaves. I was a bit nervous at how intense the smoke was on the dry leaf, a little peaty, a little too backyard propane bbq. I could sense the cinnamon faintly, it almost smelled like cinnamon oil rather than ground cinnamon.
The brew was exquisite! it wasn’t as intensely smoky as I feared when smelling the dry leaf, but the smokiness lends itself to a sort of lit incense quality when playing with the cinnamon spice aspect. The cinnamon is a little hard to describe, it’s clearly there, but not in a way it would be in a chai or an autumn inspired blend. It has a veiled quality, very much present, but in a subtler, more spicy and almost numbing way, like a cinnamon oil. The combo of the smoke and the hint of warming cinnamon makes this medium bodied tea so intricate and fun to drink. It really make me want some pulled pork hahaha.
I also read on the package that they use a traditionally cultivation method called Chagasuba, which just means that the tea bushes are grown in cultivated grasslands and the tea is shaded using the grass, as well as used as compost to enrich the soil and reduce the environmental impact. Cool!
Flavors: Cinnamon, Incense, Peat, Smoke
It took me two tries to really get into this brew. I always get too excited and overleaf, especially if it’s my first time with a tea. I was slinging senchas so often that I forgot how much kamairicha can expand! Second time around was much better. all the bitter green I got the first time around had mellowed out to a lovely wakame freshness. This tea is full of marine umami – I sensed butter drenched scallops and salty oysters. It’s a very refreshing green tea, definitely on the more savory side.
Flavors: Mineral, Seashell, Seaweed, Shellfish
For how cute the packaging is, this blend is very meh. The matcha is a pale sage green, which didn’t give me much hope that the flavor would be too pleasing. The added sugar doesn’t bother me, and the peach flavor is really nice, but it seems to me that those two are masking the weak sauce matcha. It’s not at all similar to the Kane Tea Factory matcha I tried before, which had far better matcha that was complimented by the flavoring and sweetness.I followed the package directions the first go at this, only making the requisite 130ml/4.5oz. It mostly tasted of sweet peach flavoring that happened to be green. For my second try this morning i made it with some added regular matcha and oat milk as a latte. This time it was giving peaches and cream instant oatmeal, which was a guilty favorite of mine since I was a kid. That was a little redemptive, I’ll admit!
I will make this iced and report back!
This is a perfect afternoon tea! Not too funky and vegetal, this tea is a delicate balance of light veggie flavor with a comforting nuttiness. I even caught a little spiciness on the first steep. I always assumed that bancha was trash, since it wasn’t the first flush of tender leaves, but rather a second harvest of lower leaves on the bush. Tasting this tea is proof that my prior thoughs were unbased. The tea liquor was silky smooth and thick, giving me a slight tingle on the top of my palate. Perfectly comforting on a wet spring afternoon, this tea is seriously making me rethink my preconceptions of bancha.
Flavors: Apple Skins, Spicy, Vegetal, Walnut
I realized as I opened this package that the sample size was only 10g. Considering my usual 5g per session intake, I’d only be able to visit this tea twice. I really hope I don’t love this tea lol.
Dammit this tea is good. The spring sencha is a little more fine grain than my usual, it looks like konacha to me. I used 180°ish water on quick 15-30sec steeps, producing a lime green brew that is sweet on the top and spicy with the dried kochi. The kochi/ginger has that heady ground ginger spice that lingers, much more mellow that the zing of fresh ginger. So glad that I have some dried ginger similar to the pieces in this tea, because I will have to make my own blend soon! I bet this would be great iced.
Flavors: Ginger, Seashell, Spicy, Spinach
Sipdown! Made a latte as a send off for this tea. I kinda regret not making this one iced with even (gasp) apple juice. I really like these flavored matcha blends so far. Even with the added sugar, it’s a wonderful light touch. The second time I made this, I added about 2.5 extra grams of plain matcha to account for a slightly larger vessel (450ml instead of 300)
Couldn’t even wait four days before cracking open at least one of my teas from my latest Yunomi order… Oops!
Thought I’d start with this matcha in my morning latte. Weighed out 10 precious grams for my 12oz/355ml tumbler to take to work. Whisked with water and topped it off with steamed oatmilk. Opening the package, I felt a little nervous, as I couldn’t smell any of the apple, just a gentle whisper of grassy green matcha. But as soon as water hit the powder, bam! The scent of sweet apples whooshed up from the cup straight into my nostrils. The apple scent is like a fresh pink lady or gala apple pressed into refreshing farmstead cider, or like these Japanese apple candies I got at a store once that had different flavors for different varietals.
Made for a wonderful morning wake up. with only 30g of this in my possession, this won’t be in my cupboard for long.
Flavors: Apple, Apple Candy, Cider
Sipdown!! So proud of myself for chuggin down my backlog lately! I’m fighting the sad thoughts of not having these teas in my cupboard anymore, I just have to remind myself of how much I really enjoyed each time I spent with every tea, and that there is endless good tea at my fingertips. Scarcity does funny things to the mind, don’t it?
I want to thank this tea for reminding me of how good fresh green tea can be. i seriously could not get enough of this tea! Blessed be the ultra thick packaging, hermetically sealing the tea in and keeping it’s freshness 8-ish years on! I really needed some fresh green to show me that yes, I do love me some green tea :)
To cleanse myself of the sad gyo I had a few days ago, and to prepare for a new stack of Yunomi teas I just got in, I decided to finally open this tea and give it a whirl.
I have had this tea for so damn long haha… I think this may be the oldest tea I have that is still unopened! From what I can guess on the package, I got this in 2015. The material of the packet is very thick and as light-tight as you can get, so I have hope that this tea will be delicious despite it’s age. This will be an experiment in freshness for sure.
Upon opening up the packaging, it became abundantly clear that this tea was correctly preserved. My mouth instantly started watering at the bright, grassy bok choy smell of the dry leaf. I can tell that I’m in for a creamy, vegetal delight. It’s been so long since I smelled a green tea this fresh and nutty.
The dry leaf was downright intoxicating, and I quickly served some up in my all purpose kyusu at work. The bright grassiness gave way to a sweet vegetal flavor, almost like a swiss chard. The creaminess was present as well, adding to the silky-smooth thick mouthfeel. Accidentally left the second infusion for a minute too long, but thankfully it didn’t turn out to be an undrinkable mess. It was little more astringency that I think would be present had I not oversteeped it, however, it was still a good, mouthwatering time. As soon as the leaves were spent, I loaded up my teapot for more! Trying my best to drink this down at least halfway before opening a new tea. We’ll see how that goes heheheheh
Flavors: Bok Choy, Creamy, Freshly Cut Grass, Salad Greens, Vegetal, Zucchini