drank Furyu: Bancha Goishicha by Yunomi
1546 tasting notes

Now for another goishicha, a specialty fermented Japanese tea. I will be comparing this to the 2015 goischicha I had recently.

I’m not sure how old this is but I do know it’s younger than 2015.

In the dry leaf, I get pungent notes of red wine, candied lemon peel, old wooden furniture, soy sauce and fermented lemon peel.

Once brewed, the tea is sour as expected. Lemon juice with a thin body and a drying taste-quality that’s similar to sucking on straw, wood and leather. Very mild note of fermented soybean and equally mild mushroom. There’s also a hint of lactobacillus, which I think is the main bacteria responsible for fermenting this type of tea. And there is something I want to call dandelion flowers but which is more in line with the smell of a meadow — goldenrod comes to mind. Seaweed undertone.

Maybe it’s factors related to processing or maybe it’s age/storage, but the 2015 goishicha had a moderate medicinal character that this is lacking. This feels more rough around the edges and like it could benefit from sitting undisturbed for at least several more years. I’m enjoying it well enough. Both are works in progress; the 2015 version, though, is a superior tea in comparison.

Next time I see a goishicha around, I will scoop up a large quantity to store, large enough that I won’t feel pressured to drink it for some time. It’s an intriguing style of tea that I hope will produce a very medicinal brew with time.

Flavors: Candy, Dandelion, Drying, Flowers, Leather, Lemon, Lemon Zest, Mushrooms, Red Wine, Seaweed, Sour, Soy Sauce, Soybean, Straw, Wood

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I most enjoy loose-leaf, unflavored teas and tisanes. Teabags have their place. Some of my favorite teas have a profound effect on mind and body rather than having a specific flavor profile. Terpene fiend.

Favorite teas generally come from China (all provinces), Taiwan, India (Nilgiri and Manipur). Frequently enjoyed though less sipped are teas from Georgia, Japan, Nepal and Darjeeling. While I’m not actively on the hunt, a goal of mine is to try tea from every country that makes it available to the North American market. This is to gain a vague understanding of how Camellia sinensis performs in different climates. I realize that borders are arbitrary and some countries are huge with many climates and tea-growing regions.

I’m convinced European countries make the best herbal teas.

Personal Rating Scale:

100-90: A tea I can lose myself into. Something about it makes me slow down and appreciate not only the tea but all of life or a moment in time. If it’s a bagged or herbal tea, it’s of standout quality in comparison to similar items.

89-80: Fits my profile well enough to buy again.

79-70: Not a preferred tea. I might buy more or try a different harvest. Would gladly have a cup if offered.

69-60: Not necessarily a bad tea but one that I won’t buy again. Would have a cup if offered.

59-1: Lacking several elements, strangely clunky, possess off flavors/aroma/texture or something about it makes me not want to finish.

Unrated: Haven’t made up my mind or some other reason. If it’s pu’er, I likely think it needs more age.

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