TEA REVIEW: Yunomi’s Konacha, Kukicha, and Mecha Teas [Part 2]

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This is Part 2 of my four-part series on Yunomi’s Japanese Green Teas Variety Set. I will be trying a flight of teas made up of konacha, kukicha, and mecha. If you want to read some background information about the brand, the set, or my thoughts on sencha, gyokuro, and kabusecha, feel free to read Part 1, as well. Let’s jump into it!

 

Takeo Tea Farm: Spring Konacha “Ichiban”

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Definition: “KONACHA – 粉茶 – As tea leaf is rolled into sencha needles, inevitably some of the leaves break apart. The smallest particles as well as the fine hairs on the underside of younger leaves are sifted out of the aracha and gathered to create konacha. Not quite a powder, this tea is often used in tea bags and for quick steeping at sushi restaurants.”

Review: This is the first time I’ve knowingly tried konacha. I say this because based on the definition, there is a high chance I’ve tried it before. The one here was picked in spring 2015 from Tsu City in Mie Prefecture.

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When I first saw the dry leaves, I was very intrigued because I did not know that there were Japanese teas that collected such fine particles together to make a tea. Also, it did not have a strong discernable aroma, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

However, once steeped, there was a strong roasted aroma and taste from the liquor. I really enjoyed the roasted component of this. It wasn’t overly grassy or roasted and was very pleasant. The liquor was a pale yellow-green. The wet tips looked like a mush at the end.

I have to say, of all the Japanese teas I’ve tried so far, this was one of my favourites. I tried cold brewing this one and it tasted great chilled as well! I think in the future I’ll consider trying more konacha teas (5/5 rating).

  • Type: Greentea
  • Origins: Japan
  • Caffeine: Unknown
  • Ingredients: Leaf tips derived fromsencha
  • Company: Yunomi

 

Yunomi Farm Direct: Kukicha Speical Blend Green Tea

Definition: “KUKICHA – 茎茶 – Like konacha above*, leaf stems are sorted out of aracha after final drying, and gathered together to make kukicha or leaf stem tea (sometimes called “twig tea”). Sweeter, less astringent that regular sencha, you will also find it mixed with sencha leaves. Kukicha can be roasted or unroasted.”

* This was part of the definition

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This kukicha is a blend of leaves and leaves derived from sencha, harvested in May 2105 in Fujieda, Shizuoka, Japan. The dry and wet blend had a slight earthy aroma. The liquor very smooth and had strong grassy notes that lingered in the mouth. A very nice pale coloured yellow-green tea (3/5 rating).

  • Type: Greentea
  • Origins: Japan
  • Caffeine: Unknown
  • Ingredients: Leaf stems & leaves derived fromsencha
  • Company: Yunomi

Cha Ginza Tea Shop: Leaf Tip Green Tea, Uogashi Mecha

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Description: “MECHA – 芽茶 – Leaf tip tea is made by sorting out leaf tips that have broken off during processing. Not quite as small as konacha, the liquid of mecha tea is not as cloudy, but at the same time steeps just as quickly. As a derivative product, mecha tea allows you to enjoy high quality tea at a more reasonable price.”

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Review: After I tried the koncha, I was really hoping I would like mecha as well since it was the same vein and made of the leaf tips. This is a blend from Shizuoka. The dry blend had a light grassy aroma, but there was no smell after steeping. The liquor was a fairly thin, with a light hay flavour. I think this blend would be nice for someone who wanted a delicate hay flavour (2/5 rating).

  • Type: Green tea
  • Origins: Japan
  • Caffeine: Unknown
  • Ingredients: Leaf tips derived from sencha
  • Company: Yunomi

 

Overall

I am really glad I tried this set. So far, it has been a great primer for understanding Japanese teas better. I love seeing how different the tea have been! I can’t wait for next week!

Part One – Sencha, Gyokuro, and Kabusecha Teas
Part Three  – Aracha, Bancha, and Fukamushi Teas
Part Four – Genmaicha, Hojicha, and Tencha Teas

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “TEA REVIEW: Yunomi’s Konacha, Kukicha, and Mecha Teas [Part 2]

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