Monthly Archives: August 2011

Japanese Oolong Tea 2011

This summer we have been involved in a number of interesting tastings at the Yuuki-Cha HQ, none more interesting or diverse than a sampling of a selection of Japanese oolong teas received just this week. This year our creative minded grower in Miyazaki has made quite a fine selection of whole leaf oolongs including 5 new “Oolong-Blacks”.

Pictured below is one of the “Oolong-Blacks” in action. This particular one is made from fairly coarse summer harvest leaves and is more towards black. Produces a first steep with a sweetness that reminds us of sweet potato!? Later infusions are light and refreshing with some subtle fruity notes. Enjoyable through multiple steeps, especially when steeping it in a small Gyokko kyusu:

"Oolong-Black" brewing in a Gyokko Masterpiece.

"Oolong-Black" brewing in a Gyokko Masterpiece.

First infusion liquor color and steeped leaves.

First infusion liquor color and steeped leaves.

Steeped leaves in small-sized Gyokko Kyusu showing off the trademark Gyokko Yohen-style technique.

Steeped leaves in small-sized Gyokko Kyusu showing off the trademark Gyokko Yohen-style technique.

We hope to add a couple of these 2011 Oolongs to our Japanese Oolong Tea category fairly soon!

Rare Koicha Meets Gifted Chawan!

This week a sample of a super rare handpicked organic Uji koicha matcha made from the precious Asahi varietal touched down at the Yuuki-Cha HQ!

Only around 400g of this precious matcha is up for grabs from the grower, so it might not see the light of day at Yuuki-Cha this year, but we’ll have to wait and see about that…

When a precious matcha like this comes to hand it’s time to pick out a super-duper chawan! The lucky chawan that was chosen for this special occasion was gifted to us some months ago by a wonderful chap named Don Goddard who is a potter based in Quebec, Canada.

A beautiful chawan!

A beautiful Don Goddard chawan.

The kodai/koudai (the foot)!

The kodai/koudai (the foot).

The inside of the chawan.

The inside of the chawan.

The bright Asahi matcha powder ready for action!

4 scoops (yes 4!) of the Asahi matcha powder ready for action!

Matcha prepared thick (koicha) with no froth!

Matcha prepared thick (koicha) with no froth!

Asahi is often referred to as “The Queen of Tencha” and that is certainly a worthy title! The taste is so pure, clean, and elegant. On the other hand, Gokou, another varietal (available HERE) is known as “The King of  Tencha” and tastes thick, rich, and creamy. An enlightening contrast!