Yunomi: Aracha, Bancha, and Fukamushi Teas [Part 3]

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Last week was a busy week for me so I will be posting Part 3 and 4 back-to-back! I’m actually sad that this is over, but I am excited to try more Japanese teas and more reviews like this in the future! Let’s go!

 

Yunomi Farm Direct: Aracha, Unrefined Green Tea Spring Harvest

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Definition: “ARACHA – 荒茶 – Meaning “rough” or “unrefined”, this is tea at the state just after the initial processing, up to the point that it is dried. From here, leaf stems, dust, broken leaf bits are separated out, and the leaves may be combined with other leaves to produce more refined sencha, gyokuro, etc.”

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Review: I thought the leaves of this one were very pretty because they were dark and light green. It was picked in spring from Wazuka, Kyoto. The packaging recommended three steeps.

The dry leaves had an earthy and grassy aroma, but when wet the aroma became much more grassy and seaweed like.

Steep 1 – The liquor was a slightly cloudy pale yellow-green. It left the mouth feeling a bit dry but had a surprisingly fresh grassy taste.

Steep 2 – The liquor was slightly darker than the first steep and was still cloudy. Very similar taste as Steep one, but more grassy.

Steep 3 – The liquor was thinner, as was the taste, which was very subtly grassy.

Of all the steeps, I enjoyed Steep 2 the best because I felt it was the most well-round and highlighted the best parts of the tea (3/5 rating).

  • Type: Green tea
  • Origins: Japan
  • Caffeine: Unknown
  • Ingredients: Green tea
  • Company: Yunomi

 

Takeo Tea Farm: Autumn Bancha

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Definition: “BANCHA – 番茶 – The same basic process as sencha, but utilizing leaves that have been allowed to grow larger, and therefore generally harvested in summer or autumn. It should be noted that “bancha” as a term is often used in Western Japan to mean roasted green tea (see below). Bancha is generally more astringent as a result of the relatively higher level of catechins compared to amino acids though not as much as spring-harvested sencha. Autumn harvested bancha will also be lower in caffeine in general.”

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Review: This tea was harvest in autumn from Tsu City in Mei Prefecture. It is also a certified organic tea. The dry leaves had a mossy and grassy aroma. It smelled like minerals when wet.

That being said, the tea tasted sweet and hay-like, which wasn’t what I was expecting based on the smell of the dry leaves. It did have some mild astringency but it was not unpleasant. The liquor was a vibrant yellow (3/5 rating).

  • Type: Green tea
  • Origins: Japan
  • Caffeine: Unknown
  • Ingredients: Green tea
  • Other: Organic
  • Company: Yunomi

 

Kashima Tea Garden: Monoucha Sencha Green Tea Fukamushi (Deep Steamed)

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Definition: “FUKAMUSHICHA – 深蒸し茶 – The length of time that a leaf is steamed determines much of its flavor. When the leaf is steamed for 1-3 minutes, we call it deep-steamed or fukamushi. The result is leaf that is more powdery than standard sencha and steeps into a deep-green tea with a rich flavor. Alternatively, light- steamed sencha uses the term, asamushi, and is more traditionally used with higher-grade leaf.”

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Review: The tea was picked in Spring 2015 from Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture. There was a note on the label: “Machine harvested, deep steamed (fukamushi).” The dry leaves smelled grassy. The tea had a nice sweetness and a subtle grassy tail end with a pale yellow liquor (3/5 rating).

  • Type: Green tea
  • Origins: Japan
  • Caffeine: Unknown
  • Ingredients: Green tea
  • Company: Yunomi

 

Overall

These teas all had grassy notes, and I’m not the biggest fan of grassy teas. I still really enjoyed the different teas and I think that this would be a winner for people who like grassy teas. Feel free to read my thoughts Sencha, Gyokuro, and Kabusecha Teas and Konacha, Kukicha, and Mecha! Hope you enjoy!

One more post to go!

Part One – Sencha, Gyokuro, and Kabusecha Teas
Part Two – Konacha, Kukicha, and Mecha Teas
Part Four – Genmaicha, Hojicha, and Tencha Teas
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4 thoughts on “Yunomi: Aracha, Bancha, and Fukamushi Teas [Part 3]

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