TEA REVIEW: Yunomi Teas from Yunomi Farm Direct, Tsukigase Kenkō Chaen, and Kurihara Tea

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Tea provided for review

Yunomi Tencha Sencha Green Tea Spoons

Since I am on a quest to learn more about straight teas, one part of the world I have been tasting a lot from is Japan – their green teas in particular. I think that there is a lot of skill and dedication involved in growing and producing green teas that have such a wide range of taste.

Today, we will be trying three teas – a tencha (which is used to make matcha) and two senchas.

Let’s go!

Yunomi Farm Direct: Tencha Samidori 2015

Yunomi Farm Direct Tencha Samidori 2015 Green Tea Dishes

Description: “Green tea leaf flakes, tencha is the type of leaf used for creating matcha.”

Review: Every time I see tencha, I am almost afraid to touch it because I worry that the leaves will disintegrate in my hands because they are so delicate. I love how you can clearly tell if it is a tencha tea leaf because of how it is processed.

This tencha has an olive and emerald colour, with an earthy and deep grass aroma. After steeping, the tea flakes are a bit darker, but essentially the same colour. The aroma swayed more savoury and umami.

I had to resteep this one because when I  first steeped the tea, I put the water in the kyusu first because I was scared of burning the flakes. However, the leaves floated on top of the water and not all of the leaves were infused.

The liquor for the first steep was a light tan colour. The second steep was more tan and murky. It tasted sweet and reminded me of corn. There was a nice lingering grassy flavour at the end and left the mouth feeling a bit dry. I could see this one tasting refreshing iced (3/5 rating).

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



Tsukigase Kenkō Chaen: Tsukigase Yabukita Sencha, Naturally Grown

Tsukigase Kenko Chaen Tsukigase Yabukita Sencha Green Tea Dishes

Description: “Full body; Fresh cut grass; Little earthy.”

Review: When I write my reviews, I like finding a sentence that that encapsulates how the blender or company describes the tase of the tea, just so that the reader has some context. However, with this tea, there wasn’t much tasting information. There was, however, information about how it was produced – it was a spring harvest single estate sencha which was grown without pesticides or fertilizers (only forest litter was used).

The steeping recommendation for this was that the tea could be steeped up to three times. After steeping, the leaves became a bit of a wet lump, with a umami and grassy smell. The liquor had very small tea particles in it that weren’t caught in my the strainer. It was slightly cloudy and neon yellow-green. There was a very faint hay aroma.

The second steep of this also left the mouth feeling dry. It had a bit more astringency, but that may have been because I oversteeped it slightly. The last steep was still more grassy, and the astringency level evened out.

Take care with steeping this one, because the first time tried this tea, I let it steep for too long and it quickly became very astringency and left the mouth quite dry (3/5 rating).

  • Origins: Japan
  • Caffeine: Unknown
  • Ingredients: Green tea
  • Other: Certified organic
  • Company: Yunomi


Kurihara Tea: Superior Sencha Hime Kaori

Kurihara Tea Superior Sencha Hime Kaori Green Tea Dishes

Description: “A delicious green tea for your daily cup, the first steeping of Kurihara-san’s Hime Kaori offers a smooth balance between sweet and astringent flavors with a hint of roast, perfect for a nice moment of relaxation.”

Review: I’ve only had a handful of senchas, so I always like trying more! The dry leave had a rich green colour with some bright green stems. The colour reminded me of a forest floor. The leaves had a grassy smell. I found that this tea, compared to the following one from Tsukigase Kenkō Chaen, had much smaller pieces and more dust.

The dry leaves were dark green with some yellow-green pieces. There was a very faint earthy smell. After the first infusion, the leaves became more olive green and it the leaves had unfurled. The wet leaves had a strong grassy smell which was reminiscent of fresh grass.

I found the bright yellow liquor had a very nice clean taste. It was grassy, but not overly so, and the flavour lingered in the mouth for some time. It left the tip of the tongue feeling tingly and dry (3/5 rating).

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


Final Thoughts

Overall, I found these teas to be very nice. None of them were overly grassy and very delicate. Do be careful about steeping these because I found that if you let them steep for too long, they can quickly become astringent.

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