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It’s shincha time again. Last year I ordered a bunch of shincha samples from Yunomi but found none of them to be particularly interesting. So this year I returned to Yuuki-Cha, which has been my go-to vendor for Japanese greens for years. I had just finished a 100g bag of excellent Kirishima Asatsuyu sencha and wanted to try another medium steamed green tea. I picked up this one because of the promising reviews and because it came from a cultivar (yutaka) I hadn’t tried before.

The aroma out of the bag is deeply grassy and floral. Leaves are slightly more broken up than a normal chumushi sencha. I tried steeping this many different ways before settling on 2.5g/150ml for 45s using water at 158 F. Second and third steeps were for 15s at 168 F, and 30s at 162 F respectively. The first steep was very pale, almost colorless which is somewhat unusual for a Japanese green tea. Wet leaves had the aroma of roasted spinach. The taste was soft, lightly grassy with a hint of astringency in the finish. Pleasant but not terribly assertive. The second steep had a similar flavor but thicker and slightly more astringent. Liquor had a nice emerald green color this time. Surprisingly the last steep was the one I liked best. It was vegetal and grassy, a tad sweet without any bitterness to it. The reviews claim this is floral however that was far from my experience. Only at lower temperature with less leaf do I get a faint floral hint. But then the tea is so light it tastes like you’re drinking hot water.

I went through 25g of this tea, drinking and tinkering before I sat down and reviewed it. Despite Yuuki-Cha’s great track record, this one was kinda meh for me. It had little depth, no umami, more astringency than usual, and what little flavor there was faded quickly after the initial steep. I’ll cold steep the rest of my stash in the meantime and see if I have better luck with this year’s kamairicha.

Flavors: Astringent, Grass

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 0 min, 45 sec 5 OZ / 150 ML
Ubacat

I used to order from Yunomi too because they offered lots of samples but most were a miss for me. Last year I ordered from Yuuki-cha and loved every one of them so I’ve been putting stuff in my cart while waiting for some of my favourites to get posted. This one doesn’t sound to good so I’ll make sure not to get that one.

tanluwils

Yuuki-cha occupies a special place in my little tea universe. They’re reliable and always provide great value for the price. I’m definitely interested in the Kirishima Atsuyu, so I may pick up a bag.

Ubacat

tanluwils, I had that one last year and loved it. It’s on my list of favourites but I just placed an order a few days ago for some I haven’t tried. I place another when all my favourites come in.

LuckyMe

tanluwils, same here. I’ve been ordering from them ever since I starting drinking green tea and even though this one wasn’t great, their teas are overall good quality

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Ubacat

I used to order from Yunomi too because they offered lots of samples but most were a miss for me. Last year I ordered from Yuuki-cha and loved every one of them so I’ve been putting stuff in my cart while waiting for some of my favourites to get posted. This one doesn’t sound to good so I’ll make sure not to get that one.

tanluwils

Yuuki-cha occupies a special place in my little tea universe. They’re reliable and always provide great value for the price. I’m definitely interested in the Kirishima Atsuyu, so I may pick up a bag.

Ubacat

tanluwils, I had that one last year and loved it. It’s on my list of favourites but I just placed an order a few days ago for some I haven’t tried. I place another when all my favourites come in.

LuckyMe

tanluwils, same here. I’ve been ordering from them ever since I starting drinking green tea and even though this one wasn’t great, their teas are overall good quality

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Bio

My Rating Criteria:

95 to 100: Top shelf stuff. Loved this tea and highly recommend it

90 to 94: Excellent. Enjoyed this tea and would likely repurchase

80 to 89: Good but not great. I liked it though it may be lacking in some aspects. I’ll finish it but probably won’t buy again

70 to 79: Average at best. Not terrible but wouldn’t willingly drink again

60 to 69: Sub-par. Low quality tea, barely palatable

59 and below: Bleh

Fell into tea many years ago and for a long time my experience was limited to Japanese greens and flavored Teavana teas. My tea epiphany happened when I discovered jade oolongs. That was my gateway drug to the world of high quality tea and teaware.

For the most part, I drink straight tea but do appreciate a good flavored tea on occasion. I love fresh green and floral flavors and as such, green tea and Taiwanese oolongs will always have a place in my cupboard. After avoiding black tea forever, Chinese blacks have started to grow on me. I’m less enthusiastic about puerh though. I also enjoy white tea and tisanes but reach for them less frequently.

Other non-tea interests include: cooking, reading, nature, philosophy, MMA, traveling when I can, and of course putzing around on the interwebs.

IG: https://www.instagram.com/melucky

Location

Chicago

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