Sakao Japanese Tea’s Peppered Yuzu | Tea Review

by Tea in Spoons

While spring is in the air, it doesn’t feel like it since the weather is still chilly here. Therefore, this peppery and yuzu blend sounded like a warming treat!

Description: “This blend features a harmonious trio, comprised of the soothing, umami flavor of Sencha Fukamushi green tea and the refreshing, zesty notes of Yuzu citrus .”

Instructions: 3 gr | 150 mL | 80°C | 40s  

Review: This is my first time trying tea from this brand as I came across their booth at Toronto Tea Festival this year. I was drawn to this blend because of the yuzu and peppercorn and don’t recall trying a blend with these ingredients combined before. While I know yuzu is not in season, I like it during any time of the year and I thought with the cooler weather, peppercorn might warm me up!

The packaging had a cute drawing of the three ingredients. The back label had a corresponding factoid regarding a Sansho (Japanese peppercorn) proverb, “even little sancho peppercorns can pack a spicy punch.” This is to remind everyone that you shouldn’t underestimate someone or anything based on their appearance and size as you don’t know their value, strength, or ability!

Once you opened the pouch, there was the unmistakable citrusy smell of yuzu. To me, yuzu is sweeter and gentler smelling and tasting citrus than lemon or lime. Some people say it smells like grapefruits, which I also get a whiff of! Following the citrus was a more deep woody smell. The sencha leaves were quite broken, but this is common for fukamushi teas which are “deep-steamed.”

I admit, I tried a sansho from the blend because I’ve never had it. It was pithy, citrus, floral, and tangy with little heat (I say this as someone who is not a spicy fan). However, it left an interesting sensation and my mouth was tingling and watering for quite a few minutes after!

After brewing, the liquor was a yellow-green colour with a yuzu smell. It was cloudy with small particles floating in the liquor and at the bottom of the cup, which could have been from the fukamushi tea, the yuzu, or a combination of both. The liquor tasted pith-y, yuzu/citrus with bitterness at the tail end of the sip and the pithiness lingered in the mouth. I did not taste the green tea as the citrus taste dominated. There was a tickle at the back of the throat. When cooled, the liquor had a stronger pith note. I accidentally brewed the blend with water hotter than the recommended water temperature. When I did, the pithy note was more prevalent with a more bitterness and drying sensation.

The wet leaves smelled of yuzu, pith, pine, and steamed veggies and tea leaves, yuzu, and sancho were all melded together.

This is a lovely blend for anyone who enjoys citrus, yuzu or a pithy taste. I found the blend refreshing and I enjoyed the dominant citrus note and that it wasn’t sweet or copying. I noticed as I was writing this review that the back label mentioned cold brewing. I did not, but I could see that tasting (3/5 rating)!

  • Type: Green tea
  • Origin: Japan
  • Caffeine: Unknown
  • Ingredients: Fukamushi green tea, dried yuzu, Japanese peppercorn
  • Company: Sakao Japanese Tea

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Tea in Spoons is where I share my love of teas through tea reviews, tea travel, tea tips, information, and more. New tea adventure every Thursday!