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drank Tongu Saemidori by Sazen
158 tasting notes

This was a free sample with my Christmas-gift order of teas from Sazen. Figured I’d start with the sample cuz why not :). This one is, I suppose, a kabusecha. But I say that simply because of the price and it has been shaded for under 20 days. They don’t specify which type of tea they consider this, but it certainly has gyokuro characteristics.

For the price, this tea is really quite amazing. Absolutely no bitterness or astringency, even brewed at 70 C. Nice lingering sweetness. Fairly well-balanced with fairly light flavor profile. This would be a wonderful option for a daily drinker with my next purchase from Sazen.

Harvest: May, 2023
Location: Tongu, Tsuchiyama-Cho, Koka-shi, Shiga Prefecture
Altitude: 260 m
Cultivar: Saemidori
Shading: 18 days

Dry leaf: Umami, grassy
Wet leaf: Same
Flavor: Grass, umami, sweet, vegetal

Flavors: Grass, Sweet, Umami, Vegetal

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drank Cooking Matcha by Sazen
676 tasting notes

Ever since I gave up on acquiring a taste for straight matcha, I’ve been searching for the best bang-for-buck non-Uji matcha that can work in lattes. I had been using Yuuki-Cha’s Yame matcha for some time now which made wonderful lattes but it was still ceremonial grade and felt like overkill. Powdered kamairicha was next but turned out to be a bust. I learned that powdered green tea does not equal matcha. Recently, I decided to give culinary matcha a try. Years ago, I had an extraordinary culinary matcha from Den’s tea that was better than even some higher grade stuff and hoped to strike gold once more. Sadly, it didn’t happen this time.

This culinary matcha superficially resembles ceremonial matcha with its verdant green color but differs considerably in flavor. It’s not as fragrant, sweet, or robust. Froths up okay and has a a vegetal, swiss chard like flavor with a slight bitterness. The flavor doesn’t hold up when milk and sugar are added becoming muted to the point where I can barely tell its there.

Still tinkering with brew parameters but so far not terribly impressed.

Flavors: Vegetal

1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Mastress Alita

I too can only take matcha in latte or smoothie form, and have switched to more cost-effective culinary matcha. I’m using the one from Mizuba Tea Co.


Thanks for the recommendation, I’ll check them out. And yeah, matcha is wonderful in desserts and drinks but too in-your-face for me on its own

Mastress Alita

Same. I need a balancing sweetness to take the edge off the bitter/umami.

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Polished off the last of this a few days ago and I’m really going to miss this one. It came as a sample with my Sazen order. This is a lightly steamed sencha that has a clean and fresh flavor.

Forest green needle shaped leaves brew up a clear light green liquor without any cloudiness. Smooth, buttery, and rich in umami . There’s a lima bean creaminess which coats the mouth and leaves a lingering umami aftertaste.

Resteeps are more or less the same. Lima bean / cashew creaminess and lots of umami.

Flavors: Cashew, Grass, Lima Beans, Umami

170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 30 sec 2 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

I wish I found more teas tasting like cashews

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drank SHINCHA Samidori 2021 by Sazen
676 tasting notes

The first shincha of 2021! I picked this up with my new Gyokko shiboridashi from Sazen Tea recently. Had been eyeing it for a long time and in the end, just couldn’t manage to convince myself that I didn’t need a 4th shibo hehe. It turned out to be a good move though as its an elegant and shapely vessel that’s beautiful in its sheer simplicity. The only negative is that it’s unglazed because I want to steep everything in it!

Back to the tea at hand. This medium steamed sencha is what I broke in the new teapot with. Saemidori is one of the better Japanese green tea cultivars out there and this one was no exception. Out of the bag, it had an intensely sweet aroma of umami and grass. First steep was light and fresh. Rich umami mingled with gentle grass and a touch of sea air. Second infusion was greener, as it usually is, both in color and taste. Notes of spinach and wet meadow grass. Third and final steep is mellower with vegetal tones and a more generic sencha taste.

My only knock on this tea is that it loses its potency rapidly. It was amazing when I first received it but a few weeks after opening it, the flavor isn’t quite the same. Still good but the freshness has evaporated. Hence why I’m lowering my rating slightly.

Instagram pictures of the tea and shibo:

Flavors: Garden Peas, Grass, Ocean Air, Spinach, Umami

165 °F / 73 °C 0 min, 45 sec 2 g 7 OZ / 200 ML
Daylon R Thomas

Sazen always looked like it had some great teas, both japanese and taiwanese…just pricey. The Yuzu Cha oolong is on my list personally.

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drank Matcha Houki by Sazen
673 tasting notes

Matcha Houki from sazen tea.

Clean crisp grassy taste. Energetic. Salad lettuce. Cabbage.
Very yummy. I rate a 99/100. My new favourite matcha. Worthwhile. I really suggest you try it.
Where to buy:

Flavors: Freshly Cut Grass, Grass, Lettuce

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drank Matcha Aoarashi by Sazen
673 tasting notes

I did it!! I used two heaping scoops of the 100g tin and 100-110 ml of water. Look how frothy! Creamy and foamy as heck! the smaller chasen I ordered on eBay works wonders.
this tea has a fresh clean grassy, somewhat sweet and seaweedy note
i rate a 95/100

i suggest you try it:

Flavors: Freshly Cut Grass, Grass, Seaweed, Sweet

195 °F / 90 °C 3 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Hi! Guess what day it is?? It’s my birthday. I’m 30 today. Lol I feel old.

My sazen order has arrived! A lovely mix of grassy and cocoa. Not too sweet, not too bitter. Lovely umami and aroma. A lovely tea all around. I suggest at the very least you give this tea a try. I rate a 95/100

Where to buy:

Flavors: Bitter, Cocoa, Grass, Sweet, Umami

195 °F / 90 °C 2 g 2 OZ / 60 ML

Happy Birthday, Kirk!


Happy Birthday Kirk!

Evol Ving Ness

Happy birthday to you!


thanks for the birthday wishes everyone!

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