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Tea Tasting: 2009 Japanese Organic Matcha Iri Genmaicha


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Organic Matcha Iri Genmaicha

yuuki-cha.com

LLgenmaichamatchairi.jpg

Photo by yuuki-cha.com. Used with permission.

Dan at yuuki-cha,com in Japan is contributing an Organic Matcha Iri Genmaicha for this Tea Tasting & Discussion. The tea is composed of organic sencha and matcha from Kyoto and roasted organic brown rice from Nara. I will mail free samples of 10 grams each for up to three eG Society members.

This is the last Tasting & Discussion for this year. However, several interesting Tea Tasting & Discussions in a new format are already slated for the first part of 2010. If you subscribe to the eG Coffee & Tea forum you will be among the first to know when one is posted.

While the tasting is open to all members who have posted at least ten substantive posts (questions, answers, comments that add to discussions) in the eG Coffee and Tea forum, preference will be given until midnight (EDST) Friday, December 4th to those who have not participated in the last two tastings.

The three free samples are available to members who also 1) will do at least one brewing session with multiple infusions from the sample, and 2) will report on their experience within one week of receiving the sample and participate actively in the discussion.

As always, everyone who does not receive a sample is welcome and encouraged to participate in the discussion.

So, please PM me now for details if you would like to receive one of the the free samples and participate in the tasting and discussion.

Edited by Richard Kilgore
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There are now only two free samples left. Preference to those who have not received samples for the last two Tea Tasting and Discussions until midnight Friday as posted above.

Please PM me now if you are interested.

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There are now only two free samples left. Preference to those who have not received samples for the last two Tea Tasting and Discussions until midnight Friday as posted above.

Please PM me now if you are interested.

Tick-tock, tick-tock.

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The remaining two free tea samples from Yuuki-cha.com, located in Japan, are now available to all members. If you are interested in this matcha genmaicha Japanese green tea, please review the first post and then PM me now.

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Everyone who has asked for a free sample and who meets the criteria in the first post above will receive one. That's five and maybe six members. A fortuitous combination of the holiday spirit and enough leaf to go around.

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After discussing this with Dan and reviewing the info on this Matcha Iri Genmaicha on the yuuki-cha.com site, it is clear that 20 g will give you enough to brew it twice, so 20 g, rather than 10 g, will go out to each of you tomorrow:

velveta

cdh

baroness

Wholemeal crank

LuckyGirl

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's additional information on this matcha genmaicha from yuuki-cha.com, used by permission.

This organic genmaicha, made by our farmer in Kyoto, includes both first harvest organic sencha and matcha. The inclusion of matcha (which coats the brown rice and sencha) helps bring out a mellower flavor, heightens the health benefits, and produces green infusions. A very healthy cup of tea, and another recommendable type of organic genmaicha!

All of our organic genmaicha contains brown rice that is organically cultivated in a safe, chemical free, organic environment in Nara, Japan as opposed to conventionally produced Japanese brown rice which is cultivated using a substantial amount of agricultural chemicals. We offer all of our organic genmaicha as a safe and healthy alternative to conventional genmaicha

Brewing Suggestion

• 8-10 grams of leaves

• 150ml 80°C water

• Infuse for 1 - 1 1/2 minutes

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Interesting stuff.

Started out trying to compare it to the denstea sample I had, a single tea bag of their Genmaicha extra green, which weighed 2.8 grams, bag and all. I guessed the tea was about 2 grams, so brewed up 2 grams of the yukki-cha tea at the same time, both with about 50mL water, water at 80 degrees in preheated gaiwans for 1 minute.

There is no comparison: the denstea was paler, lighter, sweeter, a lot less roasty. The Yukki-cha tea is rich green, strongly toasty/roasty, richer, fuller bodied, but also not sweet and hinting at bitter.

Quite surprisingly strong with the roasted taste of the grain. A 2nd infusion was even more dominated by the roasted grain flavor.

Will do the next infusion with the proportions recommended by yukki-cha.

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2nd infusion, 8 grams tea to 150 grams water at 170 degrees, brewed one minute in a glass teapot: still quite strong with the toasted flavor, and a little bitterness with a little sweet. I diluted it further with just a little more water--probably a quarter more--to get what seems like a very nice cup, at a point where it tastes more toasted than scorched, and the sweetness is still there.

It's interesting to compare it to the darkly roasted oolongs: those also have a roasted-toasted flavor component, but this is much stronger. I don't drink coffee so can't be sure that is what it tastes like, but wonder if this tradition of stretching tea with roasted rice began before or after coffee was known in japan?

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I have brewed this Matcha Iri Genmaicha several times and find that what seem like small adjustments can shift the balance between the roasted rice and the sencha leaf and matcha powder in interesting ways. It's worth playing with. To my taste buds I have not found any "bitterness" during any of the brewing sessions. A mild astringency, yes; bitterness, no. Along with a little sweetness. In general this tea has been richer and less toasty than other matcha genmaichas I have tried.

This evening I brewed it 8 g/ 150 ml at 175 F for one minute for two infusions, and liked the second one best. The leaves had opened up nicely for the second infusion and I assume that's what made the difference.

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I just brewed my first cup of this tea.

I didn't follow the guidelines for this first brewing rather I went with my usual/general method.

I used 6g of tea to 12oz of just under the boil water (about 190F).

The color of the brewed tea is a beautiful chartreuse.

My fist cup, which was steeped for about a minute 30 seconds, is a full bodied cup of tea. My first reaction to this cup is that this is not my style of tea. As much as I enjoy toasty oolongs I am not enjoying the toasted rice in this tea. The rice is overpowering the green tea. I only taste toasted rice and do not taste the tea. All I can think about is the rice I grind and toast in a dry skillet when I make larb. I like the toasted rice in larb in tea, not so much. I did not get any bitterness from the first cup.

My second cup was steeped for about two minutes 30 seconds. I had intended to only go for 2 minutes but the tea looked week at that point so I let it go a little longer. This cup of tea is thin and weak. It doesn't have any of the roundness in my mouth that the first cup had. I still cannot taste past the rice to get to the tea. I am at the end of the second cup which has cooled quite a bit and I am now getting a *slight* bitterness at the back end of each sip which I imagine is from steeping it for as long as I did. One could suggest that it was from the water temp being higher than was recommended but since the temp was the same for the first cup I am thinking it has more to do with the length of time I let it go.

I will try the tea again within the next few days following the brewing suggestions from up-thread.

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First infusion - 8g tea to 150ml/5 oz. water at 175F for 90 seconds. Very fragrant, scenting the kitchen first with burnt popcorn aroma, followed by hay, then seaweed.

Brew was an extraordinary shade of green. No astringency; light, fairly neutral flavor.

Second infusion - water at 180F for 2 minutes. Still fragrant, though not as much as first brewing. Tea was a bit lighter green and the toasted rice flavor was more apparent.

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I was worried about whether the matcha would impart an unpleasant bitterness, but instead I find I am not enjoying the toasted rice flavor. It is so strong that when I try to dilute it to a level where it is more to my taste, I am losing the flavors of the tea leaves that I quite like.

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I'll be interested, LuckyGirl, in your experience brewing it following the yuuki-cha suggestions. I think that you may be diluting the sencha and matcha so much that the balance is thrown off, emphasizing the toasted rice. That's my best guess, but I'll look forward to seeing how it goes.

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This evening I brewed 10g tea to about a 11 oz of 180 degree water.

The toasted rice still overwhelms the tea for me. What I do get from the tea is a green squash thing. Think zucchini and raw spaghetti squash. Those elements are fine but what I do not like, which I noticed today but not when I tried this tea last week, is the slight fishiness I get on the end. I just read baroness' descriptor "seaweed" and that is very accurate. The tea has a light sweetness to it.

I really wanted to see what the green tea itself was like on its own so I grabbed some tweezers and plucked out all of the grains of rice...no I didn't, just kidding.

I can't say that I enjoy the rice/tea thing but that doesn't mean that I wouldn't drink a tea like this again on occasion. I didn't have a strong dislike of it. I did not care for the fishiness but even that wasn't offensive.

Thank you Dan at yuuki-cha dot com for supplying us with this tea to taste. I look forward to trying more of your tea.

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You got me! I had quite an image going of you and the tweezers.

Yes, a taste of the sea is a significant aromatic element to some Japanese green teas. Japan is, after all, an island nation. It can be startling the first time and something of an acquired taste. I have come to enjoy it when I find it.

cdh let me know that he has not received the tea sample yet. Could be floating in the USPS system somewhere, so he can post if they eventually deliver it. Otherwise, we can move along into the 2010 TT&Ds.

So thanks to everyone for participating and to Dan at yuuki-cha.com for contributing the free samples.

Dan and I are already planning a comparative Tea Tasting & Discussion, probably for next month. If you subscribe to the Coffee & Tea Forum, you'll be among the first to know.

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Mine just arrived in the mail... better late than never, though 3+ weeks in transit makes me raise an eyebrow at the dear old USPS.

Tried a succession of short brew times with the first half of the sample... water on the cooler side, closer to 180 than 190... First infusion of about 90 seconds was a pretty green color... must have been the matcha. The underlying green tea was quite subtle, the roasted grain predominated. Second infusion was more balanced between tea and grain, though was more golden than green. Third infusion the tea predominated with a bit of grain in the background. Not a great or notable green tea flavor, unfortunately.

Will play with the second half soon and report back.

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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This evening I brewed 10g tea to about a 11 oz of 180 degree water.

The toasted rice still overwhelms the tea for me. What I do get from the tea is a green squash thing. Think zucchini and raw spaghetti squash. Those elements are fine but what I do not like, which I noticed today but not when I tried this tea last week, is the slight fishiness I get on the end. I just read baroness' descriptor "seaweed" and that is very accurate. The tea has a light sweetness to it.

I really wanted to see what the green tea itself was like on its own so I grabbed some tweezers and plucked out all of the grains of rice...no I didn't, just kidding.

I can't say that I enjoy the rice/tea thing but that doesn't mean that I wouldn't drink a tea like this again on occasion. I didn't have a strong dislike of it. I did not care for the fishiness but even that wasn't offensive.

Thank you Dan at yuuki-cha dot com for supplying us with this tea to taste. I look forward to trying more of your tea.

LuckyGirl, I just noticed that on your second brewing you also brewed very thinly - 10 g to 11 ounces (about 330 ml), rather than the 8 - 10 g to 150 ml yuuki-cha.com recommends. That's less than half the leaf. It would be interesting to see what you think if you have the opportunity to brew a matcha genmaicha again sometime. My guess is that your second brewing was so weak that the sencha leaf and matcha powder were not able to come through very much at all.

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This evening I brewed 10g tea to about a 11 oz of 180 degree water.

The toasted rice still overwhelms the tea for me. What I do get from the tea is a green squash thing. Think zucchini and raw spaghetti squash. Those elements are fine but what I do not like, which I noticed today but not when I tried this tea last week, is the slight fishiness I get on the end. I just read baroness' descriptor "seaweed" and that is very accurate. The tea has a light sweetness to it.

I really wanted to see what the green tea itself was like on its own so I grabbed some tweezers and plucked out all of the grains of rice...no I didn't, just kidding.

I can't say that I enjoy the rice/tea thing but that doesn't mean that I wouldn't drink a tea like this again on occasion. I didn't have a strong dislike of it. I did not care for the fishiness but even that wasn't offensive.

Thank you Dan at yuuki-cha dot com for supplying us with this tea to taste. I look forward to trying more of your tea.

LuckyGirl, I just noticed that on your second brewing you also brewed very thinly - 10 g to 11 ounces (about 330 ml), rather than the 8 - 10 g to 150 ml yuuki-cha.com recommends. That's less than half the leaf. It would be interesting to see what you think if you have the opportunity to brew a matcha genmaicha again sometime. My guess is that your second brewing was so weak that the sencha leaf and matcha powder were not able to come through very much at all.

I guess I figured that the updated suggestion of going with 8g vs. 10g and then steeping longer would get me a good cup. I guess I got most of what the tea had to give from that larger first cup.

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