Hey there Teacups! Day 11 of The Twelve Days of Teamas is here and for todays post I’m going to be reviewing Yunomi Tea’s – ”Kuchikiri” – Organic Saemidori Gyokuro. As I said in yesterdays post Gyokuro is my favourite green tea so I was really excited to see that Yunomi had included a few in the box of teas they sent me for this series, especially this one as it is one of their own Gyokuros. I always know to expect great quality from Yunomi so going to this tasting session I definitely had high expectations for this tea and was excited to see if it would be just as good as the rest.
Here’s What Yunomi have to say about this tea over on their website:
”手前茶の 口切にさへ ゆふべ哉
temae cha no kuchikiri ni sae yūbe kana
The tea before me, I break the seal, in the evening.”
”This poem was written in 1806 by one of Japan’s most prominent haiku poets, Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶. The term kuchikiri 口切 refers to the unsealing of tea in the winter. After the spring harvest, traditionally (particularly prior to modern refrigeration) tea producers would seal gyokuro (as well as Tencha, the leaf used for Matcha) in a jar (tsubo 壷) and store in a cool place (underground or in a cave). The storage during the hot summer and into winter allows the leaf to age, allowing any remaining bitter-tasting catechin to degrade, rounding out the flavour. The tradition has become an event and ceremony in Kyoto and other regions.”
”This tea has followed this process, so we are naming it “kuchikiri” in honour of both the tradition and one of my favourite poets, Kobayashi Issa.”
Tea Tasting Notes
The is probably one of the richest Gyokuros I’ve had during this series. The umami is strong but not so strong that it turns me away from drinking this and it had a light seaweed like underpinning which I surprisingly love. There is also some light asparagus and wheatgrass notes to this tea but they are very much in the background and you don’t taste them too strongly until the aftertaste. Compared to other Gyokuros I’ve tried, it’s on the lighter side I will admit, but it is still quite rich and buttery.
The tea liquor is pale green in colour with an ever so slight yellow hue to it which I have found has been the case with the other Gyokuros I’ve tried as well, though this is probably the clearest of them all. Its sweet in terms of a hay like sweetness not a sugary sweetness and all of it flavours were pretty straight forward and enjoyable, but there are other hidden flavours that can be picked up if you have enough patience to sit with this tea over multiple steeps. There is an ever so slight bit of astringency to this but not as much as I would have expected there to be.
I was worried after reading about this tea over on the Yunomi website that it was going to be too much on the umami/vegetal/seaweed notes for me and that I wasn’t going to enjoy it but this is actually a really nice tea and I have enjoyed drinking it over the last few days. To be honest though the fact that I loved this also comes as no surprise to me because I know to always expect great quality from Yunomi. They definitely know how to find a perfect tea and I hope to one day be able to do the same. I recommend simply steeping this hot (well, warm) and just having it on its own, I’m not sure it would take well to cold brewing something tells me it would be far too vegetal and it would have quite a bitter bite on it. Just enjoy this tea for what it is and let it shine on its own. I promise you if you love Gyokuro or green tea in general that you will love this tea.
Overall Teacup Rating: 5/5
If you want to find out more about Yunomi Tea and purchase some of this amazing Gyokuro for yourself, you can do both here. As always if you have any questions at all either stick them in the comments or send them to me on Twitter/Instagram @teaisawishblog and I’ll answer them all as soon as I can.
Speak to you all again soon. Happy Steeping – Kimberley