Yunomi: Genmaicha, Hojicha, and Tencha Teas [Part 4]

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Last one of my four-part series on Japanese green teas from Yunomi! I’m a bit sad, but also very happy that I was able to try all these different teas. I think of the four flights, this one has the most unique looking teas. In my other posts, I wrote my thoughts about Aracha, Bancha, and Fukamushi Teas,  Konacha, Kukicha, and Mecha Teas and Sencha, Gyokuro, and Kabusecha Teas. Let’s go!

 

Naturalitea: Genmaicha Brown Rice Green Tea

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Definition: “GENMAICHA – 玄米茶 – Genmaicha is a type of tea made by mixing sencha or bancha with toasted rice. Often called “brown rice tea” in English, toasted white, short-grain rice is more often used than actual brown rice. Though variations, a 1:1 ratio of toasted rice and bancha is standard.”

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Review: I have tried genmaicha before and I enjoyed the roasted flavour of the blend. This one was from Fujieda, Shizuoka Pref.

Like other genmaichas , there was a lovely roasted and grassy aroma from both the dry blend and liquor. Every sip was pleasant and the taste was very clean and roasted. The liquor was pale yellow (4/5 rating).

  • Type: Green tea
  • Origins: Japan
  • Caffeine: Unknown
  • Ingredients: Green tea, toasted brown rice
  • Company: Yunomi

 

Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms: Hojicha Gold Roast

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Definition: “HŌJICHA – 焙じ茶 – Roasted green tea, usually roasted from bancha. Also spelled “hojicha” or “houjicha”. It often has a chocolaty aroma, is naturally sweet and slightly smoky to taste.”

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Review: I have also tried Hojicha before as well from Momo Tea. It was my first time trying hojicha and I enjoyed it a lot. This one was harvested in spring from Wazuka, Kyoto. I really like how hojicha looks dry.

There was a great roasted aroma from both dry and wet leaves. The liquor was a pretty copper colour with some slight cloudiness. The lable said that the tea could be steeped between 30 to 60 seconds. I steeped it closer to 60 seconds, and I found it slightly too bitter, with a very strong roasted undertone. Next time, I would steep it less (3/5 rating).

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

 

Azuma Tea Garden: Roasted Tencha Hojicha

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Definition: “TENCHA – 碾茶 – These leaves are shaded for about four weeks before harvest, like gyokuro and kabusecha in order to create a leaf that is rich in sweet and savory amino acids and relatively lower in astringent tasting catechins. They are produced in order to be ground into the fine tea powder we call matcha. Unlike sencha or gyokuro, these leaves are dried without rolling which turns the leaves into small flakes.”

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Review: Based on the packing, this is a blended tea, that was harvested in Spring 2016 from Wazuka, Kyoto. It also noted that the plants were shaded for about 4 weeks.

I admit that I have never tried a tea like this! It had a unique taste – it started copperish, then became earthy with roasted undertones. The flavour, however, was very mild. The liquor was a copper colour and the wet blend smelled earthy (3/5 rating).

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

 

Overall

I am so glad I tried this variety set from Yunomi. I have always been very mystified by Japanese teas because there are so many types, but I feel like this was a great primer. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to try Japanese teas or support smaller farmers.

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

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