Hey There Teacups! I hope you’re ready for another Let’s Talk Tea post, this time around it’s all about an amazing Japanese tea subscription by the name of Tomotcha. Tomotcha All began in 2015: Alexis a former expat in Japan and Olivier who travelled a lot in this country asked their friend Yasuko to find and send them each month the best Japanese teas. Gradually the circle extended to close friends and beyond thanks to quality and originality of Yasuko’s selection. It was so successful that Yasuko created Tomotcha. Tomo (friend in Japanese) is at the core of the project, hence the name: Tomotcha! They work with faithful artisanal tea farmers and houses & Each month, Yasuko selects an authentic Japanese tea then shipped worldwide. They share their love of Japanese tea culture through each selection.
How Does It Work? I hear You Ask. – The premise is actually really simple.
1. They Pick A Tea
Each month their team select a delicious and authentic Japanese tea.
2. They prepare instructions
Each tea is steeped at a different temperature, for a different duration: they tell you all!
3. They ship it all from Japan
They mail you from Japan the tea with the instructions
4. You drink it all
It really is that simple! You all know I’m a huge fan of tea subscription services so when Tomotcha offered to send me January’s instalment of their subscription there’s no way I could have turn the offer down. If you’re looking to open yourself up specifically to Japanese tea I highly suggest signing yourself up to this one.
To start off 2018 Tomotcha selected a lucky tea, an Ōbukucha (大福茶) from the city of Kyōto (京都). The style of Ōbukucha varies according to the tea producers. This tea is made of green tea and brown rice. It is classified as a “Genmaicha (玄米茶)”. The producer is IPPODO Tea Co. They have been established in 1717 in Kyōto, over 300 years ago. Genmaicha is a green tea blended with grains of roasted rice, and grains of white rice exploded just like popcorn. The green tea used also varies from producer to producer: either a Bancha (番茶) or a Sencha (煎茶).
Before I get into my review of the tea I just want to take a moment to talk about how cute Tomotcha’s packaging is! It tells you all the information you need to know but isn’t overcrowded and the simple illustrations are adorable.
Aroma: Vegetal – Earth – Roasted Rice – Mineral – Seaweed
Shape: Full – Large – flat – long
Colour: Dark & Light Green | Vibrant
Aroma: Strong Seaweed Notes – Roasted Rice – Vegetal – Savoury
Shape: Open – Large – Flat – Long
Colour: Dark & Light Green | Still Quiet Vibrant
For this tasting session I used 3g of tea and with that 3g of tea I managed to do 13 full steeps!… yes you read that right 13. I’m not suprised when it comes to how many steeps I managed Tin do with this tea, you can tell Just by looking a tasting it that it’s quality is outstanding. Steeps 1-7 were very Vegetal and quite savoury with strong Seaweed notes. Steeps 8 and onward were where this tea became ideal for me. Steep 8 is where a delightful natural sweetness appeared and the roasted rice really shone through. You didn’t reallt get any of the rice notes in the early steeps as the sheer power of the tea blocked it out. The later steeps were definitely my favourite because no notes/flavours overpowered another like the earlier steeps and everything was much more balanced. (No sweetener is need at all it would ruin this tea) I wouldn’t recommend this tea to people who are new to green teas – This is definitely one for those of you out there that are used to green tea and its flavour palette.
Overall Teacup Rating 4 1/2 / 5
Find out more about Tomotcha and subscribe to their subscription service here – www.tomotcha.com
As always Teacups if you have any questions at all either stick them in the comments or sending them too me on twitter and I’ll answer them as soon as I can.
Speak to you all on Wednesday. Happy Steeping – Kimberley