Furyu: Bancha Goishicha

Tea type
Green Pu-erh Blend
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Candy, Dandelion, Drying, Flowers, Leather, Lemon, Lemon Zest, Mushrooms, Red Wine, Seaweed, Sour, Soy Sauce, Soybean, Straw, Wood, Alcohol, Fruity, Milk, Peach, Smooth, Sweet, Honey, Bamboo, Broth, Meat, Rice, Salt
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Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Low
Certification
Organic
Edit tea info Last updated by derk
Average preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 2 g 7 oz / 197 ml

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6 Tasting Notes View all

  • “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...” Read full tasting note
  • “Thanks for this sample derk :) It’s the first goishicha I’ve ever tried! The tea has a pungent aroma. When dry, I detected notes of peach, alcohol, wooden cabinet, and lemon zest. On the other...” Read full tasting note
    75
  • “I bought a sample of this tea and therefore provide only a first impression. I decided against the recommended steeping method from Yunomius. I gave gongfu cha a try with this tea and it turned...” Read full tasting note
    92
  • “Since Yunomi is offering extra points for reviews right now, I figured I’d dig into my recent order, even though my original plan was to sip down a few other teas before getting into it. As a...” Read full tasting note
    85

From Yunomi

Goishicha is made in the town of Ōtoyo in the mountains of central Kochi Prefecture on the island of Shikoku. The name, goishicha (碁石茶), is taken from the Japanese game Igo (see wikipedia) because the tea is reminiscent of the Igo stones. It is Japan’s only fermented team, more specifically, made with a special method called after-fermentation.

Furyu: Bancha Goishicha | The game of Go (Source wikipedia)

Although this tea has been drunk and loved by people living on the islands of Setonaikai (Inland Sea of Japan), it is known as an extremely rare tea because of the decline in its production. At one point there was only one producer of this tea.

In recent years, however, with the support of the local government, a cooperative has been established to produce this tea. Japanese tea lovers have taken notice of goishicha once again due to its efficacy as a dieting aid.

The tea tastes a bit sour so we recommend that it be served cold. (Make sure to cool the tea in the refrigerator after brewing the tea.)

This particular tea is grown organically, without the use of pesticides.

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6 Tasting Notes

1251 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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75
819 tasting notes

Thanks for this sample derk :) It’s the first goishicha I’ve ever tried!

The tea has a pungent aroma. When dry, I detected notes of peach, alcohol, wooden cabinet, and lemon zest. On the other hand, after the rinse the smell is more milky, sweet with notes of fermented fruits and pollen.

Taste itself is very mild and dominated by milky sweetness and lemon-like sourness with a base note of sandy earth. Mouthfeel is very smooth and silky, but not thick.

Flavors: Alcohol, Fruity, Lemon, Lemon Zest, Milk, Peach, Smooth, Sour, Sweet, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 g 5 OZ / 160 ML
ashmanra

I had never heard of this type of tea so I looked at all the reviews. Neat!

derk

You’re welcome, Togo :)

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92
25 tasting notes

I bought a sample of this tea and therefore provide only a first impression.
I decided against the recommended steeping method from Yunomius.
I gave gongfu cha a try with this tea and it turned out to be a good idea.
My parameters: 2g/80ml/95°C/10-20se, up to 10 infusions
The smell of the dried leaves was a little bit difficult to describe: for me it was a slight scent of lactic acid which even the steeped leaves had.
The color of the liquor was a clear honey-yellow with the same smell. The smell did not appear stronger or weaker.
The flavor was characterized by a mild sweetness with a slight acid base note. The sweetness was more or less neutral, maybe a touch of honey? but I´m not really sure.
The acid notes were wonderfully refreshing and discreetly lemony.

Flavors: Honey, Lemon

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 2 g 3 OZ / 80 ML

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85
894 tasting notes

Since Yunomi is offering extra points for reviews right now, I figured I’d dig into my recent order, even though my original plan was to sip down a few other teas before getting into it. As a bonus, I ordered a sample size of this one, which was only 2g, so this is a sipdown.

I’m really into trying new and unusual things, so I knew I had to give this a shot when I saw it. This tea really is unique – I’ve never smelled or tasted a tea that’s even remotely similar to this one.

I followed the steeping directions to the letter – 350ml of boiling water for 4 minutes.

Smell of the liquor distinctly reminds me of zongzi (sticky rice dumplings) with pork and shitake mushroom. It’s a very complex smell, that combines the filling ingredients with soy sauce, sticky rice and bamboo leaf.

On the palate, it’s a bit sour (but not nearly as sour as expected) and intensely savoury. The flavour is well reflected in the smell – shitake mushrooms, pork, soy sauce, umami, bamboo. Very broth like. This has a long finish with mushrooms and soy sauce lingering at the back of the mouth.

One of the recommended methods of prep is to use the tea to make rice porridge. I can definitely see how that would be delicious and a fantastic use of these flavours. I could see using this tea to make congee with dried shredded pork and preserved duck egg.

Drinking this feels more like a meal than a beverage. It tastes and feels like soup, and it’s making me crave my grandma’s cooking pretty badly.

I accidentally took a five hour nap after mu first cup, so I’m going to hang on to my leaves and have something else before I continue steeping these.

I don’t think I would reach for this tea very often, but it’s delicious and unique and I would recommend trying a sample.

Flavors: Bamboo, Broth, Meat, Mushrooms, Rice, Salt, Soybean

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 g 12 OZ / 350 ML
Kittenna

Oh, accidental 5-hour naps. My fave (unless I should have been doing Things).

Anlina

I clearly really, really needed the sleep, but it kind of messed up my evening a bit. I woke up from my nap at 2:30pm, and then was supposed to go to bed by 11, which I couldn’t. Tried to fall asleep at 2:30am, and was restless and having back spasms, probably fell asleep at 3 and then had to be up by 7. Yesterday was a little rough, but I got through it. :)

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97
921 tasting notes

I feel much better today! It is delightfully chilly, my Minecraft Hoodie is out of my trunk, and my cat is nestled in my lap. Pretty sure all my problems were being caused by allergies, after a really scary asthma attack last night I decided to take some allergy meds and oh man, such an improvement. I forget that my allergies go bonkers in Autumn in Kansas City, I am so glad I am escaping to PA, I might avoid the worst of it. Allergies or no, I love this time of year…being under blankets and having a snugly heat-seeking cat make it extra wonderful. I am in an excellent mood.

Today’s tea from Yunomi might have the distinction of being the most interesting tea I have ever reviewed, I cannot tell you how excited I was to try Furyu’s Bancha Goishicha! This rare dark tea from Kochi Prefecture in the town of Otoyo, it is named Goishicha because the chunks of tea are reminiscent of the game of Go. For a while this tea was extremely rare (having only one producer) but recently thanks to the local government there are more producers of this unique tea. One of the things that makes this tea so fancy is the way it is made, using a method called after-fermentation, first the leaves are steamed, stacked, and covered with a mat to allow it to ferment, but wait…there’s more! After that the leaves are stuffed into a barrel with a rock on top to continue fermenting it, lastly the leaves are laid in the sun to try. You can see that a lot of work went into making this tea. Sniffing this hockey puck of tea is awesome, it smells more like food than tea, with notes of old oak wood, soy sauce, salty sea air, a tiny bit of smoke, wet leather, and a bit of a savory meaty finish. I can certainly see why this tea is used to make Chagayu, because it smells like food! I kinda want to eat this tea instead of putting it into my kyusu.

So, after giving the chunk of tea a five minute steep, my kyusu is leaking some powerful aromas, I am not sure the word pungent fits, but wow, that is fascinating! The aroma of the wet leaves is sauce, seriously guys, it smells like sauce, like someone blended soy sauce, Ponzu Sauce, Mirin Sauce, kelp and old wet leather. The liquid smells like food too, the same saucy concoction but with a hint of rice and more of an aged, oak cask aroma.

Wow! Ok that is so weird! It does not taste like any tea I have ever had, and I have had a lot of tea! It starts off very sour, like lemons mixed with soy sauce, a nice dash of kelp, with a finish of leather and mushrooms. It tastes like a mix of my favorite sauces and is really intense, I decided to try it chilled as well so I refreshed my cup and put it in the fridge for a few. Cold takes the edge off the sour, so if you find that lemony sourness is too much for you (I eat salt covered lemons as a stomach soother, so it is totally not too much for me) I suggest chilling it.

Guess who is going for a round two? Yeah, it is me, I want to see what this chunk of aged tea can do! The aroma of this steep has a sweetness to it, along with of a leather tone with a great combo of saucers from the previous steep. This steep is much milder, it is still sour, but instead of tasting like an entire lemon, it is like a little squeeze of lemon with notes of Mirin and Soy sauce. The aftertaste is smoky and leathery with a lemony quality that lingers for a long time. I am amazed at how refreshing this tea is, I feel rather invigorating, but not in a caffeine way, but more of a I just dove into a mountain creek in summer kind of refreshed.

Oh man, the third steep is where it is at! The aroma is pretty much identical to the second steep, so no new observations there. The taste however, well, that is just fun! It is the perfect balance of sourness, sweetness, and savory. The notes of sweet plum wine, leather, mushrooms, soy, lemon, kelp…it is awesome! The lemony sourness lingers along with gentle smokiness, again I feel really refreshed after this steep. I had a great day with this tea, I sat sipping it all day being enamored by the uniqueness of this tea. I certainly want more, I want to make all my tea friends try this, I want to cook with it, I want to have it around when I need a pick-me-up tea. This tea is absolute love.

For photos (including my cat being adorable) and blog: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2014/10/yunomi-furyu-bancha-goishicha-tea-review.html

Flavors: Leather, Lemon, Mushrooms, Seaweed, Soy Sauce

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
donkeyteaarrrraugh

You made me scared and fascinated by this tea…. that’s a good thing!

Cheri

This tea sounds…..interesting. I think I would try it if it were offered, but I would not go seeking it out on my own.

That said, OH MY GOSH KITTY! Such a cutie!

TeaNecromancer

Hehe my kitty is too cute for her own good sometimes :P

This tea is certainly very weird, but so tasty! Just also not in a way that tastes like tea!

Cheri

I think most cats are too cute for their own good, and they know it.

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