Yunomi Tea Discoveries Club, January Review (Part 1)

This is going to be a rather unconventional review, because rather than review just one tea, I’m going to review the first two teas that I tried from the Yunomi Tea Discoveries Club  (scroll down a bit when you get to the page and you’ll find the Discoveries Club in the middle of the page!) and then tomorrow, I will review the other three that I received in the club.  Plus, I will review the club itself.

yunomi2The main reason I’m doing the review this way is that this month’s Discoveries Club included teas that aren’t available on Yunomi’s website, so they aren’t available for you to buy from Yunomi.  These are exclusive teas available only to the Discoveries Club subscribers, and you should be one!  So this review is more about the club itself rather than the five teas that were part of the review, although I’ll tell you about each of the teas too!

This month’s Discovery Club package was filled with five different teas:  Sencha Suiren, Sencha Suiho, Mochi Rice Genmaicha, Hojicha Soybean Blend and Bancha Tea Blend.  All five of the teas are from Onocha Tea Factory & Shop.

Sencha Suiren

The first tea that I decided to ‘discover’ was the Sencha Suiren.  It’s been a little while since I’ve had a pure Japanese Sencha so I found myself very excited at the prospect of a fresh tasting, clean, invigorating green tea.

And that’s just what this tea delivered for me.  It’s a lovely tea.  I found my palate refreshed after each sip.  There’s a contrast between sweet and savory bitter notes.  The sip starts out with sweetness and by mid-sip, I feel the savory notes tantalizing the taste buds.  The finish is sweet and clean.  There is very little astringency to this – as in I’m finding it difficult to detect much astringency at all!  I feel a slight “tangy” sensation on the palate and on the insides of the cheeks in the aftertaste, but it’s very slight.

What was nicest for me about this particular tea is how the palate felt so clean and refreshed after I’d finish a sip.  I felt it slowly rejuvenate me, as if it was removing the stress of the day.

It’s sweet, it’s light, it’s refreshing.  It’s a really lovely cup of tea!  After I enjoyed a couple of cups of this tea (the leaves resteep very well!), I scooped out the leaves and put them in a little bowl with a light vinaigrette and ate the leaves like a salad.  Delicious!

Time to move on now to the Mochi Rice Genmaicha – also from Onocha Tea Factory & Shop.

MochiRiceGenmaichaMost Genmaicha has roasted brown rice, not Mochi rice.  So I wondered how different this would make the flavor of this tea.

I noticed as I measured out the tea that there are very few popped kernels.  I think I only spotted one popped kernel, actually!  The rice looks different from the toasted brown rice in other Genmaicha.  Other Genmaicha looks a bit like crisped rice cereal that had been toasted, while this rice looks much more solid.  I didn’t notice the ‘air pockets’ that I would normally see in the roasted brown rice.

As far as flavor goes, this tastes different too.   The rice doesn’t taste quite as ‘roasty-toasty’ as a typical Genmaicha.

Mochi Rice Genmaicha

The tea is still sweet and I do still get nutty flavors from the rice.  The sweetness is a little different, this is more like a slightly sugary sweetness as opposed to the roasty-toasty sweetness that I’m used to from a Genmaicha.  The green tea has a fresh, vibrant flavor that I expect from a green tea in a Genmaicha and it melds nicely with the flavors of the mochi rice.

This is different, but it’s very tasty in it’s own way.  It also has a similar soothing quality that I get from Genmaicha.  I don’t get that roasty-toasty cozy flavor, but there is a certain cozy character about this tea too.  I like it and I’m really grateful that I had the opportunity to try it, thanks to this month’s Tea Discoveries Club package!

Stay tuned to tomorrow’s post (same time!) to learn about the other three teas in this month’s Tea Discoveries Club package!

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