Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Yunomi: Tencha and Sakura Sencha, Two Tastes of Spring, A Tea Review

Dungeons and Dragons strikes again! Ben has a bunch of new stresses in his life (all good, but still stressful) and to keep him focuses and chill we have been indulging in one of his favorite past times, DnD, which is conveniently one of mine. The only problem is I still don't have a permanent art station yet so no miniatures to show off, however I have been getting crafty making spell templates (my character is a Tiefling Warlock) and next up a pair of massive horns to wear while gaming. But enough about gaming, today I am looking at two teas from Yunomi, both Japanese green teas but pretty different, one is a Tencha and the other a Sakura Sencha, so let us dig in!

So, I have a slight problem with this tea, the listing says it is just green tea mixed with sakura blossoms (something that is truly delicious) the photo shows Sencha mixed with heather flowers, and the packaging (once it arrived) says it is heather and flavoring with the Sencha. Crud. I am not overly fond of flavored teas and would not have selected it if the website had listed that it was a flavored tea in the ingredients. But, ever curious, I decided to try it and not just shove it in the back of the tea stash and forget about it. The aroma is very sweet, strong notes of cherry (kinda like cherry ice cream) and undertones of a slight floral and seafoam umami notes and fresh grass from the Sencha. So the taste is not half bad, it does taste a bit like candy (aka a bit fake) but overall the Sencha stands out the most with notes of grass, fresh hay, seaweed, summer leaves, and a crisp edamame finish. The cherry notes taste like very sweet fresh cherries along with cherry candies and just a tiny hint of the heather blossoms. While this was not my favorite tea ever (I wanted the nutty subtle sweetness of sakura) I think this tea could be really good for someone who likes flavored greens but wants the flavoring on the lighter side.

Azuma Tea Garden: Tencha Samidori

Yay!! More Tencha!! Tencha is awesome, it is essentially Matcha you steep rather than whisk in a bowl, and as much as I love the green powdery goodness, sometimes I just want the taste without the hassle of whisking and drinking quickly so I don't get all the sediment, and then making sure the water isn't too hot. Because dear tea friends, if you do it right, you can totally steep this stuff at 95F and get an immensely sweet and green cup of tea. There are two options, and both involve speed, either you get a teapot that pours really fast and flash steep it (think immediately water on and then pour off) or you get a steeping basket and dunk it a couple times. The aroma of the leaves is wonderfully savory, notes of edamame, bamboo leaves, sweet peas, and nutty toasted nori blend together for an intense vegetal and green aroma. It honestly makes me a little hungry sniffing it. This tea is really and truly delicious, I am torn between saving it and savoring it over a long period or just brewing all of it and chugging monstrous amounts. The taste is very nutty and sweet, like almonds and cashews with honey with the aftertaste of alfalfa sprouts and edamame, the mouthfeel is super thick and almost slippery in its texture. Later steeps get a bit more green, with strong notes of lettuce and edamame and a touch of seaweed, but never any of the more bitter green aspects you get with more vegetal tea. I really REALLY loved this Tencha, it just might be my favorite one I have had yet!

Tea sent for review

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