Yunomi’s Fukamushicha From Narama

Fukamushicha From Narama by Yunomi
Green Tea / Straight
$6.00USD for 20g

Yunomi has provided me with Fukamushicha From Narama for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

Fukamushicha From Narama came to me in a pale green, resealable foil bag. I love how Yunomi’s product labels tell you everything you ever needed to know about their teas, and then some. From this label, I learned that this Japanese green tea was harvested in spring of 2018, from the Narama Village, located in Shizuoka, Japan. You can literally pin point the location of when and where this tea was harvested, which is just so neat.

Fukamushicha From Narama is made up of fine, dark green leaves. There’s a very pleasant salty aroma from the leaves – it has a quality about it that reminds me a lot of seaweed, being by the water, just hanging out on the beach and breathing it all in. Fukamushicha From Narama consists of green tea.

Preparation

Yunomi recommends steeping Fukamushicha From Narama for 1 minute in 70°C (158°F). As usual, I use my trusty Breville IQ Kettle to heat up my water. However, the lowest my kettle goes is 175°F (79°C) so I heated my water to the lowest temperature setting and allowed it to cool with the lid open for about 5 minutes.

First Taste

Fukamushicha From Narama steeps to a lovely light green colour. There’s a very light flavour to this tea, with some clear umami notes. There’s a mild amount of saltiness, which isn’t off-putting. It has an almost savoury quality to it, which is quite endearing. Fukamushicha From Narama is quite a smooth green tea with zero bitterness or astringency.

A Second Cup?

Yunomi suggests that this tea can be resteeped up to 3 times, so obviously I had to give that a go. I resteeped it four times, with an additional 30 seconds for each resteep. The flavour were the strongest in the initial steep and the first resteep, and I found that it started to get weaker after that. The fourth resteep was still tasty, but it just wasn’t nearly as intense as the previous steeps.

My Overall Impression

I loved Yunomi’s Fukamushicha From Narama. I felt like it was a very nice savoury green tea, it was light with some good umami notes. I think it would pair well with savoury foods, or even play nicely with something sweet to help balance each other out. Fukamushicha From Narama resteeped well, which definitely made for a nice tea steeping session.

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Yunomi’s Yakushima Cedar Wood Smoked Hojicha

Yakushima Cedar Wood Smoked Hojicha by Yunomi
Green Tea / Flavoured
$7.00USD for 20g

Yunomi has provided me with Yakushima Cedar Wood Smoked Hojicha for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

Yakushima Cedar Wood Smoked Hojicha came to me in resealable kraft paper bag. This green tea comes from the Kaneroku Matsumoto Tea Garden, one of the things that I realy like about Yunomi is that they list the tea gardens that their products come from – so it’s super easy to figure out the specific tea farms that each tea comes from.

When I opened the bag, I was greeted by the smokey aroma of the tea. There are a lot of short twig pieces that are mixed in with the tea leaves. The smoke aroma isn’t as astringent as a lapsong souchong, if you’re familiar with that smoked tea.

Preparation

Yunomi recommends steeping Yakushima Cedar Wood Smoked Hojicha in 90°C (194°F) water for 1 minute. My initial steep was for 1 minute in 91°C (195˜F) water.

First Taste

Yakushima Cedar Wood Smoked Hojicha steeps to a beautiful golden orange in a very short period of time. There’s a strong smokey aroma to this tea. On first taste, I notice that beyond the smokey flavour is a touch of bitterness and a mild astringency at the end of each sip. The aroma reminds me a lot of liquid smoke – I think it’d be a great tea to use in cooking to add some depth of flavour (e.g. to a barbecue marinade).

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Yakushima Cedar Wood Smoked Hojicha twice, adding an extra 30 seconds for each subsequent steep. I found that the flavour remained consistent throughout. I think it would have held up for a few more steeps.

My Overall Impression

I thought that Yunomi’s Yakushima Cedar Wood Smoked Hojicha was just okay. I think if you love smokey flavours, this would be a great tea for you. I personally prefer more floral notes, which is why it’s just not a favourite for me. I can definitely see myself utilizing the tea in cooking though, to add a bit of liquid smoke flavour to a dish. The smokey flavour is strong, and this tea could probably be steeped for less than 60 seconds if you’re sensitive to bitterness in teas. I think that the aroma and taste of Yakushima Cedar Wood Smoked Hojicha match very well, so if you’re a fan of smokey teas, give this one a try!

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Yunomi’s Gyokuro Phoenix 2016

Gyokuro Phoenix 2016 by Yunomi
Green Tea / Straight
$6.00USD for 10g

Yunomi has provided me with Gyokuro Phoenix 2016 for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

Gyokuro Phoenix 2016 comes from the Hattori Tea farm, from Uji, Kyoto. Yunomi describes this tea as a “heritage grade gyokuro”, which is from Akinobu Hattori, who is a tea farmer who has been farming gyokuro for fifty years. The family that runs Hattori Tea Farm has a 400 history as tea farmers (whoa!). Gyokuro Phoenix is a handpicked green tea that was harvested in the spring of 2016. This tea was aged by Yunomi.

Gyokuro Phoenix has these beautiful dark green leaves, there’s some parts of it that almost have an emerald-like shimmer to them. The leaves have a light grassy aroma to it, and they actually look quite small. But given the fact that they were harvested in the spring (and who knows how early in the spring), that seems fairly appropriate.

Preparation

Yunomi recommends a series of steep times for this green tea. An initial steep for 60-80 seconds at 50°C (122°F), with a second steep for 15 seconds at 80°C (176°F) and a third steep for 45 seconds at 80°C (176°F).

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that while I do use a variable temperature kettle, I can’t change the temperature settings. What I did for the initial steep of Gyokuro Phoenix was heat the water at the lowest temperature setting 175°F (79°C) and allow it to cool for about 7 minutes and I steeped the tea leaves for 70 seconds.

First Taste

Gyokuro Phoenix steeps to a pale yellow. The aroma that I get from this green tea is primarily that of sweetness, with a bit of salty air to it. When I tasted it, I noted that it had a bit of sweetness and some grassy notes. There was a pleasant amount of umami with each sip, which added a great mouthfeel to this tea. The grassy flavours made it taste very fresh, and felt very summery.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Gyokuro Phoenix a total of three times – I did the 2nd and 3rd steep was per the suggested steep times and did the 4th steep at 60 seconds. It did so well with each resteep, the flavours got stronger for the second steep, and started to wane for the third and fourth, but it was still a flavourful cup of tea.

My Overall Impression

I loved Yunomi’s Gyokuro Phoenix 2016. This green tea was flavourful and just steeped well. It’s definitely one that I would say you would need to watch your water temperature and steeping times, especially with such a low recommended temperature and relatively short resteep times. There was happily no bitterness or astringency at the recommended temperature settings, so I think Yunomi was on the ball with this one.

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