Yunomi’s Organic Shimane Sencha Ou Midori

Organic Shimane Sencha Ou Midori by Yunomi
Green Tea / Straight
$7.00USD for 20g

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Yunomi has provided me with Organic Shimane Sencha Ou Midori for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

It’s another tea from the Takarabako Tea Farm in Japan! I shared a review not too long ago of another tea from the Takarabako Tea Farm (Shimane Oolong Tea), and this is the second of six reviews I’ve got coming to you for the teas from this Japanese tea farm. Yes, the label says Premium Sencha Ou Midori, but I think the product got a rename between the packaging of samples and the product pages being put onto the Yunomi website. Not the first thing this has happened to me when reviewing a tea, and it probably won’t be the last.

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Sencha Ou Midori came to me in a resealable green bag. It seemed smaller than the other samples, although they’re all 20g. This is because sencha is so dense. With the way the leaves are processed, they’re flattened. It’s not a big airy tea like some others that I’ve had in the past. There’s just little to no room between the leaves. The leaves themselves are a dark green, when I first opened the packaging the first thing I smelled was corn, vegetables, and grassy notes. Sencha Ou Midori is an organic green tea.

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Preparation

Yunomi suggests steeping Sencha Ou Midori in 70°C (158°F) water for 1 minute. My initial steep was for 1 minute.

First Taste

Sencha Ou Midori steeps to a beautiful pale yellow. There’s a slight sweet aroma that comes up from the tea, and when I smell it, it has a vegetal smell to it. The overall aroma that comes up from this tea is quite mild in its fragrance. When I taste this tea, it get a very clean and crisp taste – there’s a slight saltiness to this tea that reminds me of a seaweed that makes for some nice umami flavours in this tea. I did note a mild bitterness in this tea that kind of lingers at the end of each sip. It isn’t a very strong bitterness, but it is still present. I think cutting the steep time down even further would help with the bitterness that I encountered in this tea.

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A Second Cup?

I did a second steep of Sencha Ou Midori and found that the bitterness was more pronounced and not enjoyable. I did not resteep after that.

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My Overall Impression

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I thought that Yunomi’s Organic Shimane Sencha Ou Midori was just okay. The initial steep of this green tea was quite good – I enjoyed the different flavours in this tea and it has an enjoyable umami flavour to it. The bitterness that resulted from resteeping this tea make it an unenjoyable continued tea experience. The initial 60 seconds was a bit much, I think, and resulted in some burnt leaves. I think this sencha does great for an initial steep, but I wouldn’t recommend resteeping the leaves if you’re following the steeping recommendations.

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Pique Tea’s Mint Sencha

Mint Sencha by Pique Tea
Green Tea / Flavoured
$7.99USD for 14 packets per carton (0.3oz / 8.4g)

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Pique Tea has provided me with Mint Sencha for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

When Pique Tea asked me if I wanted to try their tea, I was intrigued. It’s not my first time having an ‘instant’ tea, but I’ve really grown to like sencha so the idea of an instant sencha powder did make me a little bit apprehensive. They sent me a package of their Mint Sencha, and inside the cardboard carton was 14 foil packets.

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It’s a lot of packaging, but luckily the cardboard carton is fully recyclable. You can find more information about the process of how Pique Tea creates this crystallized tea on their website. When I opened the packet, I found that the tea reminded me a lot of golden sugar – just smaller granules. I tried to sniff the tea, but didn’t really smell anything. I didn’t get my nose too close because I wanted to drink this tea, not inhale it. Mint Sencha is made of organic green tea and organic spearmint.

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Preparation

Pique Tea recommends mixing 1 packet per 8oz of water, and recommended 175°F (79°C) water for this green tea. Fun tip, when I was on the Pique Tea website I learned that their crystallized green teas can be fully dissolved in cold water (but their black teas cannot), this is due to some of the properties of black tea.

First Taste

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After adding hot water to the tea crystals, I found that it fully dissolved without any mixing on my part. The tea itself is fairly yellow. It has a very strong minty aroma to it. There’s a strong grassy and vegetal taste to this tea, which I contribute to the sencha part of this tea, with the light freshness of spearmint. I found it quite tasty. The colour isn’t quite what I was expecting, it’s a lot brighter than I usually expect my sencha to be, but I suspect that’s partially because of the spearmint as well. Because it had a strong mint fragrance, I expect it to be more minty in flavour. Thankfully, I’m not likening it to toothpaste, because actual amount of mint in the flavour isn’t overwhelming (thank goodness).

I iced a second cup of this tea and found it to be tastier iced than hot because of the refreshing qualities of the mint.

A Second Cup?

No second steeps for this tea as it fully dissolved and there was nothing to resteep!

My Overall Impression

3cups-2

I liked Pique Tea’s Mint Sencha. I thought that overall this tea was quite tasty, with some good sencha flavours with the added mint. I was happy that the mint wasn’t as overwhelming as I expected it to be. I found Mint Sencha to be better iced than hot (and thankfully it fully dissolves in cold water). With the way the packets work, you only get 14 servings per package (making each serving $0.57). This is cheaper than buying a to-go cup of tea at a coffee shop for sure, but it is more expensive than buying loose leaf tea by itself. That said, this is a product of convenience. I think tea bag drinkers will love this, because it means that they don’t have to be schlepping wet tea bags around (or worry about oversteeping their tea). For the convenience factor, I think it would be worth the cost per serving. I generally steep tea at home, so I’ll be using the remainder of the packets when I’m on-the-go or when I’m at work (as I don’t have the luxury of a desk job).

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Tealish’s Northern Lights

Northern Lights by Tealish
Green Tea / Flavoured
$7.50 for 50g

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Tealish’s Northern Lights came to me as part of The Sugared Teacup’s July themed subscription box.

First Impressions

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Northern Lights came in a super cute little white tin. I was a little bit rough when opening the tin though, and it came off with a pop and some of the tea came out so I would caution you to be careful if you get it in a small white tin as well. This is my first exposure to Tealish and I really like their label – it’s simple, tells me the name and type of the tea. Unfortunately, the label on this little tin didn’t list the ingredients or steeping instructions, so I had to hop onto their website for that. The dry leaf has a very bright citrus aroma to it, it also smells sweetly of apples.

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Northern Lights consists of: green tea, apple cubes, orange peels, fennel seeds, flavouring, and calendula petals. I quite like that I can see the ingredients in this tea (obviously minus the flavouring). It smells really good, has a great fruity aroma to it.

Preparation

Tealish recommends steeping Northern Lights in 80°C (176°F) water for 1-3 minutes. My initial steep was for 2 minutes.

First Taste

Northern Lights steeps to a pale yellow, and there are a lot of tiny particles to this tea so in hindsight I wish I had used a filter bag instead of a stainless steel infuser for this tea – learn from my mistakes if you don’t like drinking pieces of tea. This green tea blend has a sweet aroma to it, the citrus fragrance from the orange peel and the apple pieces mingle well to create a very fruity smell. On first taste, I can taste the natural sweetness from the fruit (and can make out the apple flavour), and a light sweetness from the green tea base. The green tea itself is quite light, and has just a hint of sweetness to it that is enjoyable.

I poured some of my initial steep into a mason jar to cool and then I added some ice cubes to it. This tea is delicious iced – I usually find a lot of fruity teas to be good iced, and Northern Lights was good. I might even like it better iced than hot.

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A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Northern Lights and found for the second steep, the flavours that I loved in the initial steep were quite lacking in the second steep. It was hard to find the orange and the apple in the second round so I would say that Northern Lights is good for one steep only.

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My Overall Impression

3cups-2

I liked Tealish’s Northern Lights. I really like the flavour profile and the fact that I could taste the orange, the apple, and the green tea all separately and the flavours balanced with each other quite well. I also think that Northern Lights does quite well when iced, and I’ll probably wind up cold steeping or icing this tea when I have it again. It doesn’t do well with resteeping, which was quite disappointing. I also wish that the label had more information about this tea (but I also acknowledge that Tealish may have changed their packaging/labeling for the tea that went into The Sugared Teacup subscription boxes).

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Citizen Tea’s Cactus Fig Green

Cactus Fig Green by Citizen Tea
Green Tea / Flavoured
$6.50 for 50g

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Citizen Tea has provided me with Cactus Fig Green for the purposes of providing an honest review. I received this product at no charge to me and received no other compensation.

First Impressions

I’ve had aloe juice before – it’s delicious and has little chunks of jelly in it (at least the brand I buy does), so when I saw that this green tea blend had aloe vera in it, I was both intrigued and confused. Mostly because I know there wouldn’t be little chunks of jelly in this tea, so I was curious about how it would taste. On first smell, I can tell you that it smells sweet, which is the first thing I would tell you about aloe juice as well. I can smell the sweetness from the aloe and the figs.

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Cactus Fig Green is made up of: green tea, fig pieces, aloe vera pieces, sandalwood, orange flower petals, and flavouring. I’m not entirely sure what sandalwood is supposed to smell like, but I can definitely see it in this blend and there’s something that reminds me a smoked wood aroma from this tea, so it might be that.

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Preparation

Citizen Tea suggests steeping Cactus Fig Green in in 80°C (176°F) water for 2-3 minutes, which I followed. My initial steep was for 3 minutes.

First Taste

Cactus Fig Green steeps to a pale yellow, there was some little bits of the tea that made it through my stainless steel infuser so I would recommend steeping with a drawstring teabag if that bothers you. The tea itself has a very fresh smell to it, which is honestly the best way that I could describe it. The aloe aroma is a very ‘clean’ smell, it’s bright and fruity. The taste of aloe vera is very much present in this green tea blend. I found the tea to be light and smooth, no bitterness to note. There was a sweetness to this tea that I attribute to the aloe and the figs. The sweet fruitiness of the figs was tasty, but I think the aloe was just a little bit more in the forefront of the flavour profile. The green tea base has a light grassy taste to it that is complimented well by the flavours of the aloe and the fig.

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A Second Cup?

I resteeped Cactus Fig Green once, at the same water temperature for 3 minutes and 30 seconds. I found the flavour to be a lot lighter, with more grassy notes. The overall flavour felt a bit flat to me, but the green tea base was starting to reveal itself more so I think it’s worth a resteep to have a different flavour experience.

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My Overall Impression

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I loved Citizen Tea’s Cactus Fig Green. As I mentioned at the beginning, I’m a huge fan of aloe and I found that the flavours of the aloe and the fig played really well together with the green tea base that Citizen Tea used. It’s quite a refreshing tea, the flavour is sweet and light with a bit of fruity goodness in it. I think this tea would do really well if cold steeped or iced, which makes it a good summer time tea. I don’t even think you’d have to add any sweetener to it because the aloe and fig provide enough sweetness to this blend.

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Pure Leaf’s Gunpowder Green Tea

Gunpowder Green Tea by Pure Leaf
Green Tea / Straight
$8.99 for 165g

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First Impressions

The thing that intrigued me the most about Pure Leaf coming out with bagged tea and loose leaf tea is that I’m used to seeing their products in the cold drinks section of convenience stores and grocery stores. I picked up the Gunpowder Green Tea at a local grocery store – from a quick online search I’ve found that Pure Leaf’s products are readily available in most major grocery retailers. Because it’s a new product, I picked up a jar that had a coupon attached to it (for an extra $2 off at the till).

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Gunpowder Green Tea comes in a plastic jar. The label states that it is a single origin tea from Indonesia. This is a straight tea, where the only ingredient is simply green tea. Oddly enough, the instructions on the back of the jar states “Store in a cool, dry and dark place.” This is easy to do, but the jar is clear. While I can understand wanting consumers to see the product (because those tea leaves look great), the clear jar does not help with their own storage instructions. I’ll be nestling this tea in the middle of my tea cart, surrounded by other tea jars and tins.

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The dry leaf of Gunpowder Green Tea has a very subtle flavour. It’s not overwhelming to the say the least. There’s a vegetal aroma to it with a mixture of what reminds me of seaweed. The tea leaves are beautifully rolled and coiled together. They are almost a dusty green-grey colour to me.

Preparation

Pure Leaf recommends using freshly boiled water and to steep for 3 minutes. My first attempt at steeping this tea was with boiling water (100°C/212°F) for 3 minutes, my second attempt was at 80°C/175°F for 3 minutes.

First Taste

When I followed the steeping instructions from Pure Leaf, this straight green tea was remarkably bitter. The tea itself has a savoury taste to it – heavy on the vegetal flavours but so incredibly bitter. It made me pull a face when I sipped it and honestly, I cannot recommend it when prepared the way that Pure Leaf recommends. Absolutely undrinkable when steeped with boiling water.

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I started over with new tea leaves, and steeped the tea leaves for the same length of time but with cooler water. The result was a savoury cup of tea, light on the vegetal flavours but not bitter. When steeped at 80°C, Gunpowder Green Tea is light and has a smooth mouthfeel to it. There’s a slight saltiness to the tea that makes me feel like it’d go well with a meal.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Gunpowder Green Tea a few times (at the lower water temperature) and found that it did well with being resteeped! The leaves open up a lot, and the flavour of this tea doesn’t change very much. I resteeped the same leaves a total of four times.

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My Overall Impression

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I thought that Pure Leaf’s Gunpowder Green Tea was just okay. If you’re going to steep this tea – please do not follow their steeping instructions, I think you’ll be sorely disappointed if you do. This tea does a lot better when steeped at a lower temperature. I think it’d even do well either cold steeped or sun steeped as the tea leaves won’t be burned like they were with boiling water. What I like about the tea is that it’s easy to find in stores, and they resteep well! It’s not going to be a green tea that I reach for on a daily basis, but it does taste okay and would do beautifully paired with a meal because the flavour profile lends itself to being savoury.

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