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One of the things the pandemic changed is the way I buy tea online. Pre-Covid, it was easy to do quick one off orders from Japan or Taiwan whenever I was running low on a favorite tea thanks to inexpensive international air mail shipping. Well that option is no longer available – at least not for US customers – leaving only the more expensive express shipping via DHL and FedEx. This has resulted in less frequent tea buys and led to a search for US-based tea shops that direct source high quality tea.

I discovered this company through Instagram and Amazon. They are based in Japan but have recently begun shipping from the US. I ordered some fukamushi as I was all out of Japanese greens and wanted something more intense than the lightly steamed Sencha and kabusechsa I’d been having lately.

The tea arrived within days and came vacuum sealed which made me very happy. Properly sealed tea is so important for preserving freshness so you can taste it at peak flavor. Otherwise you’re just buying stale tea.

The tea itself was excellent with all of the flavor elements I like. Freshly cut grass, rich umami, chlorophyll sweetness, and pleasant vegetative notes of spinach and chard along with a little peppery arugula in the aftertaste. Occasionally there’s a faint astringency but it complements the other flavors and is not off putting. Very refreshing and energizing.

Normally it takes me a while to get through a 100g bag but I tore through 2/3rd of this tea in just a month and a half. A real testament to how delicious this tea is!

Instagram photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CM-Er1_hNJL/

Flavors: Artichoke, Freshly Cut Grass, Lettuce, Spinach, Umami

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 30 sec 3 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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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 years ago, and for a long time my experience was limited to Japanese greens and a few flavored teas. My tea epiphany came a few years ago when I discovered jade oolongs. That was the gateway drug to the world of fine tea and teaware.

With the exception of a handful of lightly scented teas, I drink mostly straight tea. 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 are beginning to grow on me. I’ve dipped my toe into a few puerhs now but it’s still relatively new territory for me. I also enjoy white tea and tisanes but reach for them less frequently.

Other non-tea interests include: cooking, reading, nature, 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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