Yunomi’s Nanadan Asamushi Okumidori Sencha

Nanadan Asamushi Okumidori Sencha by Yunomi
Green Tea / Straight
$25.00USD for 50g

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Yunomi has provided me with Nanadan Asamushi Okumidori Sencha for the purposes of providing an honest review. I received this product at no charge to me and received no other compensation.

First Impressions

By now, I’m sure you know I’m a sucker for good packaging. Yunomi doesn’t disappoint. Nanadan Asamushi Okumidori Sencha came to me in a sealed white foil bag that is resealable to keep the tea fresh. The label on the front is quite informative, with information regarding how much tea to use, water temperature, what to do if steeping for multiple people, ingredients, where the tea was grown (and when!), and storage information.

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When I opened the packet, I was immediately drawn into the tea because of the strong vegetal smell. It reminded me a bit of grass, as well as having salty aroma to remind me also of seaweed. The leaves are a bright and dark green and very flat. Nanadan Asamushi Okumidori Sencha consists of certified organic green tea that was harvested in April 2016 in Kirishima, Kagoshima. Storage instructions for this sencha is to have it in airtight storage, in a cool, dry area away from sunlight.

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Preparation

Yunomi recommends the first steep in 50°C (122°F) water for 2-3 minutes. For subsequent steeps, the recommendation is to use 70-80°C (158-176°F) water for 30-60 seconds. My initial steep of Nanadan Asamushi Okumidori Sencha was for 2 minutes in 50°C water.

First Taste

Nanadan Asamushi Okumidori Sencha steeps to a very pale light greeny yellow, as to be expected with a green tea. When steeped for the two minutes, I found the sencha to be very smooth – there’s no bitterness or astringency. Green tea is so easily burnt when steeped in water that is too hot or for too long, I’m glad that Yunomi’s steeping instructions were right on the button for a good cup of tea. There’s a good balance of natural sweetness and saltiness in this tea, a nice mixture that results in a good cup of tea. Nanadan Asamushi Okumidori Sencha has a lovely buttery quality to the flavour of this tea, which balances out the sweet and salty well and holds its own in this tea. I generally find sencha to have a natural saltiness to the tea, but a good one is never off-putting.

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A Second Cup?

Yunomi suggests that this tea can be resteeped up to three times, which meant that I had to push it for a fourth. I followed their steeping instructions with the resteep temperatures and times (I used the ‘green tea’ feature on my Breville IQ Kettle, which is 175°F). The flavour of this tea remains consistently the same in terms of taste and intensity for the first three resteeps, the fourth resteep (first one beyond the recommended number of steeps) was a bit lacking in flavour. Nanadan Asamushi Okumidori Sencha resteeps well and holds up to the recommended number of steeps by Yunomi.

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My Overall Impression

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I loved Yunomi’s Nanadan Asamushi Okumidori Sencha. It’s a quality sencha and resteeps amazingly well. I found that the flavours are good in this traditional Japanese green tea, and the sweet-salty flavour balances out well with the buttery quality of the overall flavour profile. Because of the salty nature of this tea, its quite savoury and I think it would pair well with a meal over dessert.

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TeaHaus’s South Korea Seogwang Sencha

South Korea Seogwang Sencha by TeaHaus
Green Tea / Straight
$14.40USD for 50g

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TeaHaus has provided me with South Korea Seogwang Sencha for the purposes of providing an honest review. I received this product at no charge to me and received no other compensation.

First Impressions

When I was in contact with TeaHaus about sampling their teas, they asked me what I wanted to try and I went with my usual “send me whatever’s popular” because, like all good things, what is popular tends to be really good. So they did, and this is the first of several TeaHaus reviews.

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South Korea Seogwang Sencha came to me in a sample bag and the first thing I could smell when I opened up the bag was mint. There was also notes of vanilla, light nuttiness, and berries to go along with the mint, but the mint was the first thing I noticed because it’s just a strong aroma. Seogwang Sencha is labelled as a “premium green classic” by TeaHaus and it’s a straight tea.

Preparation

TeaHaus recommends steeping South Korea Seogwang Sencha in 80°C (176°F) water for minutes and suggests that it can be steeped a second time.

First Taste

While I was waiting for Seogwang Sencha to steep, I couldn’t help but be impressed by the colour that it was steeping to. This South Korean sencha steeps to what I can only describe as a light dandelion yellow. There’s a slight salty aroma to the tea and I can’t wait to dive in. After waiting for it to cool just slightly, I’m happy to say that Seogwang Sencha has a very nice smooth mouthfeel to this tea, there’s no bitterness nor astringency to note. The minty notes that I initially inhaled from the dry leaf are more well-balanced in the steeped tea with the vanilla. The nutty flavours come into their own once the tea has been steeped, and the salty aroma adds to the overall umami of the tea. And those berry flavours I smelled in the dry leaf? It’s not as obvious in the steeped tea, but it’s there with the vanilla notes and it makes it tasty. Overall, I found that the tea wasn’t very naturally sweet, but the complexity in the flavour of this green tea makes sipping it worthwhile.

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A Second Cup?

TeaHaus did suggest that South Korea Seogwang Sencha could be resteeped so I did have to try at least once (or twice). The first resteep was done for 2 ½ minutes and I found that the taste of the tea was very similar to the initial steep. The second resteep was done for 3 minutes and I found that the flavours were starting to wane, but were still tasty. The berry and vanilla flavours were quite diminished for the second resteep, so if that was your favourite part of this tea, I would recommend sticking to just the first resteep.

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My Overall Impression

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I loved TeaHaus’s South Korea Seogwang Sencha. I just loved how complex the flavour profile of this green tea was because there’s just so many little nuances in this tea that you really have to sit down and sip to appreciate. I must admit that I was confused at the minty notes that were all in-my-face at the beginning, but that’s part of what made this tea quite refreshing. Because of the salty notes in this tea, I think it’d go great with savoury foods over sweets if you’re looking for a food pairing. Something with substance with perhaps a bit of salt (like smoked salmon) would go great.

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Grand Tea’s Premium Bi Luo Chun

Premium Bi Luo Chun by Grand Tea
Green Tea / Straight
$45.00HKD for 25g

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Grand Tea has provided me with Premium Bi Luo Chun for the purposes of providing an honest review. I received this product at no charge to me and received no other compensation.

First Impressions

Bi Luo Chun is known as green spring snail, and it’s a green tea. I ripped open the sample packet and was surprised and how small the tea appeared. I learned from Grand Tea‘s website that the tea is hand picked in early spring, so when the leaves are small. The tea leaves are amazingly soft, completely covered with soft downy feathers on the leaves.

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Premium Bi Luo Chun has a very light, sweet floral fragrance. It’s a straight green tea from the Suzhou Province in China.

Preparation

Grand Tea recommends steeping Premium Bi Luo Chun in 75-80°C (167-176°F) water for 1-3 minutes. I steeped my teapot of Premium Bi Luo Chun in 175°F water for 90 seconds.

First Taste

Premium Bi Luo Chun steeps to a pale yellow. On first taste, the tea has a light floral sweetness throughout the whole sip. There is a hint of astringency at the end of each sip, and the floral flavours linger on as an aftertaste. I find the astringency isn’t overwhelming, so the tea is quite palatable.

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A Second Cup?

The tea leaves resteep well, I did a total of five resteeps with an additional 30 seconds per steep. The floral flavours are more pronounced in the first resteep. I find that the astringency mellows out and the floral notes grow stronger. It’s quite a pleasant flavour profile in the whelm of green teas, I like that it isn’t savoury or vegetal in taste.

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My Overall Impression

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I liked Grand Tea’s Premium Bi Luo Chun. I quite liked this green tea in the complexity of the floral and astringency, it’s delicious and it tastes well. I found the astringency isn’t very strong, and the floral flavour is good. I think the sweet floral notes make it a delight on the tongue. I drank this tea while having cookies and can certainly say with great authority that this straight green tea goes well with sweets and desserts. I think it would also pair well with savouries because the light sweetness would mingle well with a savoury dish as long as it isn’t too heavy because the tea is so light and refreshing.

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Grand Tea’s Premium Gun Powder

Premium Gun Powder by Grand Tea
Green Tea / Straight
$19.00HKD for 25g

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Grand Tea has provided me with Premium Gun Powder for the purposes of providing an honest review. I received this product at no charge to me and received no other compensation.

First Impressions

The tea leaves are tightly rolled, with a beautiful mix of the green and pale cream colours in the leaves. The tea is called Gun Powder because it resembles gun powder pellets. I’ve had rolled teas before, so I’m always curious about how much the tea leaves will unfurl. From Grand Tea’s website, they mentioned that their Gun Powder tea uses high quality young leaves – which is why the leaves still have the downy feathers on the leaves. Premium Gun Powder has a bit of a grassy-vegetal smell to it. This green tea’s only ingredient is the tea leaves themselves.

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As with most rolled teas, you shouldn’t use a spoon to measure how much tea to use because it will greatly expand. I use a stainless steel infuser in my tea pot and pour enough tea into it until there’s a thin layer covering the base of the infuser. This is an incredibly generous sample provided by Grand Tea with their Premium Gun Powder. I used about a fifth of their sample packet’s contents for my tea pot.

Preparation

I couldn’t find preparation information on Grand Tea’s product page, so I used the green tea setting on my Breville IQ Kettle (80°C/175°F) and did an initial steep of 90 seconds.

First Taste

After a quick steep of 90 seconds, I had a nice pale green tea. The smell of Premium Gun Powder is stronger than it tastes, with strong grassy notes in the aroma. The tea itself has a light sweetness to it, with a mild flavour of grassy-vegetal notes. With only a 90 second steep, Premium Gun Powder is pleasant with zero bitterness or astringency. I always try to keep the water temperature low for green teas because they can burn so easily and I generally don’t enjoy bitter tea. The tea leaves opened up quite a bit, but not fully with the initial 90 second steep.

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A Second Cup?

I steeped Premium Gun Powder a total of 5 times (4 resteeps), with an additional 30 seconds per sequential steep. I noted that the flavours were strongest in the first resteep, and the grassy-vegetal flavours held up very well throughout all of the steepings that I had done with Premium Gun Powder.

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My Overall Impression

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I loved Grand Tea’s Premium Gun Powder. I’m always a fan of a good quality tea that can be resteeped over and over again, and Premium Gun Powder did not disappoint on that front! From dry leaf to steeped tea, Premium Gun Powder remained consistent and had a nice vegetal flavour to the tea. It’s a nice mild tea that could be easily paired with sweets or savouries, if you’re looking for a food pairing. The mild sweetness in this tea is a nice touch, as it doesn’t require anything and I think it should be had plain.

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Grand Tea’s Organic Dragon Well

Organic Dragon Well by Grand Tea
Green Tea / Straight
$45.00HKD for 25g

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Grand Tea has provided me with Organic Dragon Well for the purposes of providing an honest review. I received this product at no charge to me and received no other compensation.

First Impressions

This is Organic Dragon Well from Grand Tea, a tea company from Hong Kong. I was really excited to receive this sample because I like green teas. This is a lightly roasted green tea, which smells amazing. There’s a light seaweed smell because there’s a salty smell to it, and there’s a vegetal aroma to the tea that reminds me a lot of tomatoes.

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From Grand Tea’s website, I learned that the tea is European certified organic and is free from chemicals and contamination. There were not ingredients listed, so I am writing on the assumption that this, like most other Dragon Well teas, is a straight green tea. Dragon Well (or Longjing Tea) is a pan-roasted tea that is quite well known, so I was excited to see this one in my package from Grand Tea.

Preparation

Grand Tea’s product page for Organic Dragon Well suggests steeping this tea gong-fu method or in a tall glass. I’m not quite as sophisciated, so I steeped mine in a tea pot with a stainless steel infuser. I steeped Organic Dragon Well in 80°C (175°F) water for an initial steep of 1 minute.

First Taste

Organic Dragon Well steeps to a very pale yellow-green colour when steeped for a minute. There’s a light vegetal taste that has a mild salty flavour that reminds me a lot of seaweed snacks. I noted a nutty flavour at the end of each sip, which goes well with the salty flavour because it reminds me of having roasted nuts as a snack. The tea has a nice warming feel to it, kind of like how ginger does (but without the ginger taste), as well as a good smoothness to the tea with zero noted bitterness – a trait I always appreciate in a tea.

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A Second Cup?

Organic Dragon Well resteeps fairly well. For the first resteep, it becomes darker in colour and has a slightly saltier notes that really adds to the total umami flavour of the tea. I steeped Organic Dragon Well for a total of five resteeps (so a total of six steeps with the same batch of tea leaves). The flavours were fairly good to the fourth resteep, but the fifth resteep was fairly lacking in flavour.

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My Overall Impression

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I loved Grand Tea’s Organic Dragon Well. I always do appreciate a cup of tea with a complex flavour profile, and Organic Dragon Well does not disappoint in that department. For those that do not like a little bit of salty flavour in their tea, they may be a bit turned off by Dragon Well, but I think it is enjoyable – then again, I grew eating seaweed snacks. If you’re a fan of seaweed snacks, I think you’ll like this Organic Dragon Well green tea. The saltiness works well with the roasted nutty flavours that come together in this pan-roasted green tea.

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