Yunomi’s Genmaicha: Brown Rice Green Tea

Genmaicha: Brown Rice Green Tea by Yunomi
Green Tea / Flavoured
$8.00USD for 100g

Yunomi has provided me with Genmaicha: Brown Rice Green Tea for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

Genmaicha: Brown Rice Green Tea came to me in a kraft paper sealed pouch lined with foil – not resealable, unfortunately. This particular Genmaicha comes from Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms in Wazuka, Kyoto, Japan. You can clearly see all of the ingredients in this tea – from the flattened, long green tea leaves, to the tiny puffs of rice mixed in.

Genmaicha: Brown Rice Green Tea consists of green tea and toasted brown rice. The aroma from this tea is primarily that of cut grass (from the green tea) and wheat (from the toasted brown rice), but it’s quite mild and subtle. The label on the packaging says that the rice is sweet mocha rice, which I am unfamiliar with.

Preparation

Yunomi suggest steeping this green tea blend at 90°C (195°F) for 60 seconds, I followed the steeping instructions for the initial steep.

First Taste

Genmaicha: Brown Rice Green Tea steeps to a pale yellow with a very vibrant aroma that I wasn’t quite expecting, considering how subtle it was in the dry leaf. The aroma is mostly that of cut grass and then there’s the nutty aroma that comes from the brown rice. When I sip the tea, I’m surprised by the sweetness that is present. It’s not overwhelmingly or cloyingly sweet, it’s just enough to make the sweetness known, and mingles well with the nuttiness and the grassy flavours. It’s quite the good balance between the flavours in this blend.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Genmaicha: Brown Rice Green Tea three times, I added an extra 30 seconds per subsequent steep. The tea steeped to a more golden yellow with each steep, and the flavours got deeper in the first resteep with the same balance as the first steep, just stronger. By the third resteep (fourth steep overall), I found the flavours were be almost lacking, as it was getting to be watered down. I think two or three resteeps would do most people just fine in terms of flavour intensity.

My Overall Impression

I loved Yunomi’s Genmaicha: Brown Rice Green Tea. This green tea blend just has a beautiful balance of flavours – from grassy to nutty to sweet. It resteeps well, and has a lovely aroma and flavour. I really enjoyed steeping this tea and drinking it – and the price isn’t anything to sneeze at either, as it’s pretty affordable considering the number of resteeps that you can get from these leaves.

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Yunomi’s Sobacha Green Tea

Sobacha Green Tea by Yunomi
Green Tea / Flavoured
$5.00USD for 12g (3 sachets)

Yunomi has provided me with Sobacha Green Tea for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

I received the three Sobacha Green Tea sachets in a green foil resealable bag. There was 12g of tea in this bag, with 4g in each sachet. Each sachet is a pyramid, with a simple tag attached (each tag just says “tea” on it). The out side of each pyramid is covered with some fine green tea dust.

Sobacha Green Tea comes from the Kaneroku Matsumoto Tea Garden, this green tea is a blend of green tea (from Shimada, Shizuoka prefecture) and soba, also known as buckwheat (Kunisake Peninsula, Oita prefecture). The aroma of this tea reminds me a bit of genmaicha – there’s a certain aroma that reminds of vegetation with a level of roasted nuttiness, like the aroma of the toasted rice in genmaicha. However, the roasted nuttiness is a lot mellower compared to genmaicha normally smells to me.

Preparation

Yunomi recommends steeping Sobacha Green Tea in boiling water (100°C/212°F) for 2 to 3 minutes. I steeped at a lower temperature (79°C/175°F) for 2 minutes.

First Taste

Sobacha steeps to a pale, cloudy yellow-green. The tea dust on the outside of the pyramid forms a bit of a rim on my tea cup. The aroma from my cup is that of vegetation with the roasted nuttiness again. The taste is surprisingly sweet, although not overwhelmingly so. I found that the roasted nuttiness is present with every sip, and it almost reminds me of toasted oats. The sweetness plays with the vegetal flavours, mostly reminding me of dark green vegetables like gailan or broccoli.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Sobacha Green Tea twice. The first resteep, the flavours were more towards the sweet vegetal side with less of the nuttiness from the soba. For the second resteep, the green tea base was the shining star with little or none of the soba present. That said, the green tea base is pleasant to drink so it wasn’t the end of the world.

My Overall Impression

I liked Yunomi’s Sobacha Green Tea. I really enjoyed this green tea blend, I thought it was a great play on the genmaicha that I’m more familiar with. The nuttiness from the buckwheat was balanced well against the sweet vegetal green tea base. I do wish that it had resteeped a little bit better, because the soba was the reason why it was enjoyable and added another level of complexity to the flavour of this tea. That said, it was still a delicious cup of tea and a tasty alternative to genmaicha.

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Yunomi’s Organic Uji Matcha G1, Ceremonial Grade

Uji Matcha G1, Ceremonial Grade by Yunomi
Green Tea (Matcha) / Straight
$49.99USD for 30g

20180122-yunomiujimatcha Yunomi has provided me with Organic Uji Matcha G1, Ceremonial Grade for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

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Organic Uji Matcha G1, Ceremonial Grade, came to me from Yunomi in a beautiful gold foil resealable bag – the match was inside in a separate foil packet for me to rip open (and I tried so hard not to spill any of the matcha out – I did fail a little bit). This organic matcha comes from Wazuka, Kyoto and was harvested in spring 2016. My personal experience with preparing matcha is quite limited, but I did my best!

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This matcha consists only of green tea. The powder is a bright spring green, I noticed a few clumps in the dry powder – probably from being compressed in the packaging. I would describe the smell of this tea as being grassy – it reminded me a lot of the smell of a freshly cut lawn.

Preparation

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Yunomi recommends mixing 1g (¼ teaspoon) with a small amount of water (70°C/158°F) to make a paste, and then to add water to the desired thickness. What I did was use a bamboo scoop to put a small amount of the matcha into my bowl, and then whisked it with a small amount of water. Once it was clump-free, I added some more water until I had about ¾ of a bowl of match to drink.

First Taste

I’m quite the novice when it comes to matcha, but I did try my best with this one. For the whisking motion, I do a repeated M shape back and forth in the bowl until it seemed clump-free and well mixed in, although I never did manage to get a very good froth going so I suspect that I might not have used enough for the matcha. Live and learn!

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Uji Matcha G1 mixes to a beautiful green. The aroma is subtle from the whisked green tea though, I found it not as strong as expected, but my matcha experience prior to this has been primarily matcha lattes prepared for me which were probably full of more than just matcha, water, and dairy products. I found to the flavour to be surprisingly sweet, it reminded me of honeydew melon, with some grassy/vegetal notes. There’s a nice smoothness to this tea, and I must have mixed it enough because there was no graininess or clumps noted as I drank it. There was a touch of bitterness that I noted at the tail end of each sip, but it’s not enough to be off-putting.

A Second Cup?

As matcha is a powder that you mix into the water to drink, there were no second steeps here!

My Overall Impression

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I loved Yunomi’s Organic Uji Matcha G1, Ceremonial Grade. I found this matcha to be really enjoyable. The mix of sweet and grassy flavours made this complex and quite fun to drink. The process of mixing this matcha was fun for me, and I found it to be a great way to slow down and enjoy the tea making process. I realize that Uji Matcha G1 is on the more expensive side, however it is quite tasty. I would consider this to be more of ‘treat’ or special occasion matcha due to the associated costs. However, if you consider it by servings, you get 30 servings in a 30g bag, and that works out to be $1.67/cup – probably a lot cheaper than a matcha at your local café.

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