Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms

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Recent Tasting Notes

72

Sipdown 37 – 2024

Didd not expect how reddish brown this steep would be, considering how green the dry leaf is. This smells so unique – spinachy, but also really floral (like lilac). Super umami broth. Like a veggie stew.

Flavors: Artichoke, Lilac, Mushrooms, Spinach, Umami

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76

This smells super roasty. Like bordering on burnt? But the burnt aroma doesn’t translate as much to the flavor. Definitely more like a traditional hojicha. Nice and toasty, slightly caramelly.

Flavors: Caramelized Sugar, Fireplace, Roasty

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87

Tasted as part of one of the Gloral Japanese Tea Association courses. Long dark green leaf. Glossy and gorgeous with vegetal notes and a nice fresh tone. The wet aroma is full of umami, butter, cream, and grass. It is smooth on the palate. Strangely, I can’t get that thought of udon noodles out of my head. That is what my palate tastes for the most part along with some umami and grassy notes. It is smooth with a touch of astringency.

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76

Tasted as part of one of the Gloral Japanese Tea Association courses. Zairai is an interesting cultivar. When we did a side-by-side comparison you can definitely see the differences and this is true too for the taste. The dry leaf is mostly flat, like a dragonwell but there is a mix of big and smaller leaf. Not quite the uniformity that you see with dragonwell. It is long with dark green and some light green. The aroma is woody and natural. The wet aroma turns to grassy, vegetal, and fresh notes. The mouthfeel is soft. The flavor has a bit of umami, grassiness, and hay.

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81

Tasted during one of the Gloral Japanese Tea Association courses. The dry leaf is long, dark green, and glossy. It is herbaceous with a surrounding tone of summer florals. After brewing the leaves retain the herby note with a pronounced umami and floral tones. There is a slight astringency but nothing to crinkle the nose at. The flavor is slight grassy with some unique vegetal notes and a lovely umami. The mouthfeel is smooth.

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80

DIY Kyoto Obubu Advent Calendar – Day 22

So Obubu has one field where they’ve started following organic practices, not using any pesticides or fertilizers, etc. But they haven’t gotten an organic certification (and I’m not sure they plan to), so they refer to these teas as “natural”, such as this one.

All that being said, this is a lovely tea. It’s so mellow and smooth, with sweet warm hay notes and crisp, dry summer grass. There’s a natural sweetness to it as well, and a gentle mineral quality. It doesn’t have any of the vegetal or umami qualities (perhaps a hint here) of a sencha, but it’s such a comforting and soft green tea, perfect for the evening.

I should really drink bancha more often…

Flavors: Clean, Crisp, Dry Grass, Grain, Hay, Mineral, Smooth, Spring Water, Straw, Sweet

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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90

DIY Kyoto Obubu Advent Calendar – Day 15

Just yum. This is actually less intense than I was expecting – it’s so fresh and green. It’s like newly sprouted grass poking out of the ground in the spring. So mellow and sweet, and light yet full of flavor. The texture is silky and viscous, but not too heavy on the tongue. Light, creamy vegetal notes bring to mind edamame and freshly shelled peas.

It’s just… The essence of all things light green. Freshly sprouted tea! :)

Flavors: Clean, Creamy, Fresh, Garden Peas, Grass, Green, Kabocha, Light, Savory, Silky, Smooth, Soybean, Spinach, Sweet, Umami, Vegetal, Viscous

Preparation
140 °F / 60 °C 1 min, 30 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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90
drank Genmai by Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
4036 tasting notes

DIY Kyoto Obubu Advent Calendar – Day 14

Yassssssss! Who needs genmaicha when you can have just the genmai? :P

So delicious. Toasty, nutty, buttery, so satisfying… Reminds me of a cross between popcorn and brown rice, with such a nice balance of rich nuttiness and cozy roasty notes.

Perfect evening tea… :D

Flavors: Brown Rice, Butter, Cashew, Grain, Nuts, Nutty, Popcorn, Rice, Rich, Roasted, Roasted Nuts, Savory, Sweet, Toasty

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
gmathis

Triggered an immediate Christmas song earworm: and I brought some corn for popping…

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90

DIY Kyoto Obubu Advent Calendar 2023 – Day 9

This is such an unusual and interesting tea. It’s roasted, but the sencha leaves are still dark green in color. But then when you steep it, it has the brownish color of a hojicha.

It has a smooth and lightly toasty flavor, but there is still some umami presence underneath. The roasted sakura is difficult to describe… I do still taste that savory floral note with a hint of cherry, but then there’s a deep, toasty note layered over the top.

Just lovely… Fresh and cozy at the same time, and an interesting intersection of spring and autumn.

Flavors: Butter, Cherry, Floral, Nuts, Roasted, Sakura, Savory, Smooth, Toasty, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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90

Ooh I wish I had thought to blend this with the Java Momma Green Daydream, both from the Strange VariaTea TTB! It has an almost chocolate-y roast, which might go really well with the vanilla of that tea. I might add some Daydream to the resteep. 

ETA: I did try that, but it didn’t really live up to my hopes – possibly the ratio was off? The houjicha overwhelmed the marshmallow vanilla of the Daydream.

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85

DIY Kyoto Obubu Advent Calendar – Day 10

Not gonna lie, I ate some pickled okra right before this, and the briny taste is lingering at the back of my throat and making it difficult to taste this tea ha ha… ^^’

This is an unshaded spring sencha. I never remember which of Obubu’s sencha is which, as they have so many and for some of them, the only difference is the cultivar. This is saemidori apparently, not that that means anything to me in terms of the flavor ha ha.

Since it’s not shaded, the flavor remains somewhat light but still smooth and rich. It’s quite mineral (makes sense given the name) with notes of cruciferous vegetables, specifically kale and broccoli. The texture is silky but not heavy, and there’s an underlying umami note that lingers into the finish. Definitely on the savory side, without much sweetness to it at all. Tiny touch of balancing bitterness near the end of the sip.

Really a lovely everyday kind of sencha, with classic flavors but perhaps a touch more refined. I think this might be one of their more expensive ones? I always get my teas through their subscription, so I don’t have a good grasp on the shop pricing he he. :P

Flavors: Broccoli, Clean, Earthy, Freshly Cut Grass, Grassy, Kale, Mineral, Savory, Silky, Smooth, Spring Water, Umami, Vegetable Broth, Vegetal

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 0 min, 45 sec 5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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85

Random tea of the day!

Really need to get back into drinking my Obubu teas daily, otherwise I end up buried in a pile of subscription teas ha ha! Plus I just love having a bit of sencha in the afternoon, I guess I just forget about it… :P

Not really tasting a lot of specific flavor notes today, maybe my tongue is just feeling as burnt out as I am. But this is a smooth and silky cup of brothy goodness, and it’s giving me life. A bit of spinach but also plenty of cruciferous vegetables, maybe kale and cauliflower and some other deep green, subtly bitter veggie like chard. A touch of dry grassiness sprinkled over the top. Not super umami-forward, but still has a savoriness to it that makes it feel like a light meal.

Also, the name is super pretty. I will say this doesn’t remind me of a gushing brook though. :P

Flavors: Alfalfa, Bitter, Cauliflower, Chard, Dry Grass, Earthy, Freshly Cut Grass, Green, Hay, Kale, Mineral, Nori, Savory, Smooth, Spinach, Thick, Vegetable Broth, Vegetables, Vegetal, Viscous

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 0 min, 45 sec 10 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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#SVTTB Round Two – Tea 24/24

Gongfu Sipdown (2317)!

I thought I’d finished tasting through all of the teas I’d grabbed from the SVTTB but I’d forgotten about this one tea I’d set aside to bring with me on vacation, so NOW I’m done tasting through all of them…

I slept most of the day, so now I’m enjoying an early evening tea session! It’s smooth and toasty with a medium roast that brings out plenty of nuttiness. I would say the most prominent note is roasted chestnut, though I do get a slight undertone of deep, jammy red fruits which is quite interesting – almost like the slight fruitiness you get in a very dark maple syrup. Though it’s lighter in taste compared to the overall mix of toasted grains and nuts, it’s probably the most captivating element of this session!!

Tea Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CvQnuq6ui35/?img_index=1

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVV40LtJLRg

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82

DIY Kyoto Obubu Advent Calendar – Day 3

Ooh another hojicha today! Not complaining, roasted teas are so perfect for this time of year.

Interestingly, I’m actually getting a cardboardy note from this today. Not in a bad way, it’s just a gentle woodiness that leans toward papery and comes out tasting like cardboard. And then of course, there’s the toastiness, those classic crisp autumn leaf notes, and a light savory flavor. I do get a bit of a charcoal minerality as well. It’s interesting that the description mentions citrus, I guess I could see that but I would never have picked it out on my own.

Yummy tea, as always!

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Cardboard, Char, Charcoal, Dry Leaves, Mineral, Roasted, Round, Savory, Smooth, Toasty, Woody

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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82

Sipdown! (40 | 238)

So this tea… It smells a bit, shall we say, skunky LOL. It has a very distinct aroma when it’s steeping and when the mug is still hot.

Thankfully, it doesn’t taste the way it smells. It actually reminds me a bit of a Fujian black tea, it has some of those same caraway-esque savory notes to it. And then there’s a mellow toasty note from the roast. Very smooth overall with a nice thick texture to it.

I’m not a big fan of wakoucha for whatever reason, but I think I prefer this roasted version to Obubu’s regular offering. The toastiness helps even out some of the sharper notes and gives it some nice cozy vibes.

Flavors: Buckwheat, Caraway, Malty, Mineral, Roasted, Savory, Smooth, Thick, Toasty, Woody

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 5 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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88
drank Tencha by Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
4036 tasting notes

DIY Kyoto Obubu Advent Calendar – Day 20

Mmmmm, delicious. Lovely sweet and slightly intense yet smooth and soft vegetal notes. Something in the taste reminds me of the smell of fresh, sweet hay. Creamy acorn or butternut squash notes give a lovely richness.

Fresh, nutty, creamy, smooth. Just so nice, I’m glad I have more of this in my cupboard. :)

Flavors: Alfalfa, Butternut Squash, Creamy, Hay, Nori, Nuts, Silky, Spinach, Squash, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 0 min, 45 sec 5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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88
drank Tencha by Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
4036 tasting notes

Sipdown! (34 | 231)

This tea really surprised me. Tencha is the precursor to matcha, so it’s a shaded tea that’s had all of the stems and veins of the leaf removed. It’s very fluffy and light and is broken into small pieces, sort of resembling yerba mate in shape and size.

I was expecting a more intense flavor since matcha is generally shaded for a long time, even compared to gyokuro. But this tea is so smooth and has these wonderful nutty notes to it. It does have a rich, umami-laden flavor, but it’s not as intense as I expected, which I really liked.

Incredibly smooth, even after being neglected in a mug for a few hours while I worked. Generally I would expect a Japanese green tea to go somewhat bitter, since there are always small particles of tea at the bottom of the cup. Somehow this one didn’t!

Really a lovely tea, and one that I would keep in my cupboard. Happily, I have an unopened 30g bag somewhere. :)

Flavors: Butter, Butternut Squash, Cashew, Creamy, Kabocha, Kale, Nuts, Rich, Smooth, Spinach, Squash, Sweet, Thick, Vegetal

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 0 min, 45 sec 10 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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#SVTTB Round Two – Tea 3/???

Gongfup Sipdown (2227)!

Pulled this interesting sounding tea from the travelling tea box for an afternoon session. After seeing this company heavily reviewed by Cameron B. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try some of their teas. This roasted kukicha is made by repurposing the discarded stems from matcha processing and has a wonderfully smooth, golden taste with warm notes of caramelized grains, nuts, a hint of cacao shell, a sort of brassy metallic note and a sweetness that makes me think of the yellow bush honeysuckles that used to grow around my grandmother’s house that I would pluck as a child. If you pinched them at the base, you could release a small drop or two of sweet floral nectar onto your tongue and it was delicious!! Though I’m always down for a session of grounding roasted tea, I wasn’t expected the full-on nostalgia that today’s session would bring me…

Tea Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CsepgLJOuPA/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaFnOnxPMBk

Cameron B.

Yay Obubu! This was actually a very limited tea that I think was only in the subscription, so I’m surprised someone else has it ha ha!

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77

And just like that – it’s a sipdown folks!

Got a few more genmaicha’s waiting for me on deck, it’s become an afternoon staple for me

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77

Drank this tea with an old friend in honor of Ashmanra’s April Sipdown prompt: A tea you serve to tea newbies! Took me a minute to think about this prompt, my answer just kept changing in my head. The imaginary newbie in my head would shift from someone who has only had fruity teabag tisanes but looking to jump into loose leaf, to someone who has some ancient gifted Teavana rotting next to a rusted tetsubin, to someone who is trying to kick a soda habit and is diving into tea. There are so many different paths to cha, and the tea that helps you jump off the deep end is so important, yet personal.

So i decided to ask myself, what was that tea for me? I’ve been a tea person for most of my life, and the pivotal moment for me was when my cousin moved back to the US from Japan and brought us these bagged teas, I couldn’t tell you if they were Yamamotoyama or some other brand. But the two flavors, genmaicha and hojicha – blew me away. I had no idea tea could taste like that!

This is the king’s version of those teabags I had as a child. The scent of the dry leaf is verdant and savory, the soba they use is teeny and chestnut brown – a perfect complement to the big beautiful bancha leaves. I appreciate the use of bancha here, it’s more mellow and a lot less funky than a sencha genmaicha for a newbie. The slightly nutty grassiness of the bancha compliments the popcorn toastiness of the soba cha so well. I had become bored of genmaicha as of late, but this blend combo reawaken my love for my first love tea.

Now if I was starting someone out with this tea, as a true newbie, I’d send them home with some taiwanese oolong. That’ll knock their teabag socks off XD

Flavors: Butter, Nori, Nutty, Popcorn, Seaweed, Toasted Rice

ashmanra

Very neat tasting note!

Michelle

Moroccan mint green might be a good tea for a newbie. Then you could illustrate the different tastes from a similar green leaf tea.

MiepSteep

Oh Moroccan mint is a great choice!

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97

This was an unexpectedly delicious tea. I’m usually wary of dark roasted tea which often taste like ashtray to me so the idea of a roastier hojicha didn’t immediately grab me. However I’m glad I didn’t judge a book by its cover on this as it tasted nothing like what I imagined.

Dry leaves had an amazing aroma of mahogany, oak, and sweet tobacco. I steeped just 1g grandpa style in a teabag. Despite using such a small amount of leaf, the brewed tea was super delicious, very smooth and sweet. The taste is like the sweet scent of a cigar in liquid form but without any ashiness.

Thanks for the sample Cameron B!

Flavors: Dark Wood, Oak, Sweet, Tobacco

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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88

DIY Kyoto Obubu Advent Calendar – Day 16

So nice to have these springlike teas in the winter! This has such a lovely pure sakura flavor – a delicate balance of sweet and savory, floral and fruity. There is a touch of extra salinity from the preservation, and perhaps a hint of acidity from the plum vinegar as well. But mostly I taste sakura, and it’s delightful. :)

Flavors: Airy, Brine, Cherry, Cherry Blossom, Floral, Fruity, Light, Sakura, Salt, Savory, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 8 min or more 5 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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88

Sipdown! (7 | 7)

Obubu sent out a single 5g packet of this with the December subscription box, I assume as a way to enjoy a little bit of spring during the cold winter months. Well, here there is no “winter” really, but still a nice thought!

I followed the instructions I found on Yunomi, and did a rinse first to remove the salt, but kept the liquid. Then I added hot water to the rinsed blossoms and let it steep for a few minutes before tasting it, then adjusted the flavor by adding some of the stronger rinse until the saltiness was where I wanted it.

It’s delicious honestly. Being a lover of salty-sour umeboshi and sakura, this is right up my alley. With the amount of rinse I added, it reminds me more of a sipping broth or umecha than a tea. So cozy and comforting, with the savory-fruity-floral notes of the sakura taking center stage, and a viscosity that makes it taste even more brothy. I do taste a touch of the tart plum notes from the ume vinegar as well, but it’s quite subtle and doesn’t overpower the sakura. And of course, I used a small glass teapot to steep this, and the blossoms fully expand and float perfectly – they’re so beautiful.

Definitely need to add some of this, and maybe the sweet version too, to my next Obubu subscription package. It’s delicious as an infusion, but I could also see adding it to rice and enjoying it in a bento. :)

Flavors: Broth, Cherry, Floral, Fruity, Herbaceous, Plum, Sakura, Salty, Savory, Smooth, Sweet, Tart, Viscous

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 8 min or more 5 g 12 OZ / 354 ML
Mastress Alita

Using it in rice was the only way I enjoyed it, but I also really enjoyed the sakura flavored rice.

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82

DIY Kyoto Obubu Advent Calendar – Day 8

I combined this tea with the Beach House Teas Mulling Spices to make a sort of spiced hojicha.

It came out a bit less spiced than I intended, but was still very tasty. Smooth and toasty hojicha with a touch of grassiness mixed with warming cinnamon and clove. This particular hojicha is a bit greener than usual because it’s made from spring sencha leaves. Still has those familiar autumn leaf and wood notes though, with the spices giving a bit more sweetness and warmth.

Quite enjoyable! In the future I’ll have to try more hojicha chai experiments. :)

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Grass, Hay, Mineral, Roasted, Smooth, Toasty, Woody

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 5 g 14 OZ / 400 ML

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