Hey there Teacups! Happy Matcha Monday! Today I’m going to be reviewing Kuma Tea Gardens – Heritage Grade Yame Matcha. A bag of which was very kindly gifted to me to feature in this series by the ever amazing Yunomi. Ever since this arrived at my house I’ve been so excited to try it out.
As you all know I’m a huge lover of matcha and this year I’ve been luck enough to try out some amazing higher quality ones from all different regions and I was so excited to add another high quality matcha to that list and jump into doing a tasting session with it. As much as I enjoy flavoured matcha, high quality matcha with absolutely nothing added to it will always be my favourite and to have to chance to try something like this matcha makes me feel so lucky.
Here’s what Yunomi have to say about this Matcha on their website: “To reduce the bitterness and give the matcha an intense green colour and umami flavour, the tea leaves are shaded by the Kuma family for about 40 days using labour-intensive traditional canopy shading made of bamboo scaffolding and layered straw.”
“The particular tea field from which the leaves are picked is the same field that produced National Tea Competition Minister’s Award (Japan’s top annual prize) Winning Gyokuro in 2017 (among numerous other awards).”
“At harvest time, the leaves are handpicked, then processed into Tencha leaves. Just before shipment, the leaves are refined then ground by stone mill into matcha.”
Tea Tasting Notes
I prepared this using filtered water at 85-89°C – using the Urasenke style method. I started by creating Koicha, Yunomi Recommend using 3g of matcha but as my bowl is smaller in size I probably use 1 and 1/2 – 2g in total and 20ml of water to create a thick paste. I prepare my matcha this was as it enables me to make sure that there are no lumps and I can go on to have a nice smooth bowl of Usucha. I then added more water to my taste slowly being sure to whisk and avoid any clumps forming. The thick matcha paste was such an intense group of different shades of green and had a nice glossiness to it it as well. Until probably around the end of last year I never used to prepare my matcha this way but from the very first tasting session I used this technique in I have haven’t looked back. It’s a much more well rounded experience for me now I know I’m preparing it properly and making sure my Usucha is as smooth as it can be.
Froth level – 5/5 | It didn’t take me long at all to build a good froth with this matcha. It wasn’t too thick but that’s probably down to my technique and not the fault of the matcha itself. The froth I was able to build with this though did stand the test of time and didn’t seem to start to dissipate until around half was through the bowl. I was however able to go back in with my whisk and create a nice froth a few more times before I finished my bowl.
I would definitely be interested in seeing how preparing this matcha would effect its flavour profile overall this time around I prepared it as I normally would the the popularly used Urasenke method and my goal was to build a great froth. I’m definitely however going to try the Omotesenke pond style whisking method with this matcha at some point and see what kind of difference it may make.
Tasting Notes – Strong umami but also has mellow notes, a sensation of sweets more than pure umami) – Vegetal – grassy fresh cut grass and sweet grass – Green Beans – fresh Spinach with a small amount of Unsalted Butter – Smooth – lingering (it’s got such a strong flavour, it’s so full bodied that it remains strongly and has so much to offer in terms of it’s after-taste, very long lasting in the mouth. I was able to still taste this matcha in my mouth for at least 20 -25 mins after I did this tasting session.- Slight bitterness, slight sweetness (hot) – much stronger sweetness chilled, creamy – bright – complex. Both hot and cool this matcha is incredibly similar however as it started to cool the vegetals got a little more mellow overall and a fantastic natural sweetness came to the fore front and in the aftertaste I could definitely pick out butter and an ever so slight nutty note. This matcha is honestly one of the most incredible matchas I’ve ever had the pleasure of trying. I definitely thought I had a firm favourite number one matcha and I never though anything was going to kick it out of it’s top spot nut this matcha does just that.
It’s flavour profile is so incredibly complex and I felt like each and every time I took a sip from my Chawan I was able to pick something new out. As the water I used changed in temperature it would morph into something new. I could tell while drinking this that it was something much more special than any matcha I had previously tried and as a result I was able to conduct a much more mindful tea tasting session than I have done in recent times.
While preparing this I was focused on the matcha and nothing else and I was able to free my mind for a little bit which was so needed. It was such a relaxing tea tasting session and I truly believe that the fact that all of the attention was on the matcha and the preparation that I was able to pick out so many more things in it’s overall flavour profile than I have ever been able to before. This will no doubt be a matcha I would definitely purchase in the future but in the meantime I’m going to make the most out of this matcha while it’s fresh and at it’s best. I’m so thankful I was given this opportunity to try this matcha, it is 100% now my number one matcha and it’s going to take something incredibly to kick it out of that top spot and replace it. I couldn’t think of a much more perfect way to start a morning than with this absolutely incredible matcha, I did jut that this morning and it definitely gave me the boost I needed to power through a good few hours.
Overall Teacup Rating: 5/5 | If my rating system went higher than five in total this would absolutely get a 10/10 from me as it really was just that good
If you want to find out more about Yunomi, Kuma Tea Gardens and purchase some of this Matcha to try yourself, you can do all of those things 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 possibly can.
Speak to you all again soon. Happy Steeping – Kimberley
*the tea featured in this post was gifted to me for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own and have not been paid for* | *All links in this post are affiliate links and should you purchase through them I will earn a small amount of money*