Yuzu Temple Green Tea by Mariage Freres

YuzuTempleTea Information:

Leaf Type: Green

Where to Buy:  Mariage Freres

Tea Description:

This surprising blend, with its evocative name, is based on a fine green tea.  It boasts the pleasantly round acidity of citrus fruit, the aromatic richness and peppery notes of mild spices, plus the rind of real Japanese Yuzu (halfway between lemon and mandarin orange).  Resolutely exotic.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This is one of the Mariage Freres teas that I always seem to overlook when I’m choosing a green tea to drink. There’s no reason for it; it just seems to happen. From time to time, I’ll make an effort to pull out those languishing teas and give them another try. I’m usually surprised by what I discover!

I used 1 tsp of leaf for this cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in water cooled to around 180 degrees. The dry leaf is very dark green and folded in appearance – it looks to me like a dragonwell, but there’s no specific indication on the packaging. Some leaves are quite small and fine (almost shredded in appearance), so I suspect it may be a blend of some kind. The scent is mildly grassy and a little bitter. Once brewed, the resulting liquor is a medium yellow, the scent mildly floral.

To taste, this one belies its appearance. I had it pegged as heavy-tasting and possibly bitter, but it’s not like that at all. It’s actually a light, refreshing, spring-like green tea, with initial notes of grass and hay, and a light orchid-like floral in the mid-sip. There’s also a slightly bitter fruitiness that reminds me of orange pith, or perhaps the physalis that sometimes accompany desserts. It’s a pleasant counterpoint to the sweet, mild green base.

The flavours are a little fleeting, and don’t really linger long in the aftertaste, so it’s an excellent palate cleanser. I can see this tea really coming into its own during the warm days of spring and summer ahead. It’s refreshing, sweet and flavourful without being cloying, and wonderfully light on the palate. Although today’s cup is hot, I’m sure I’ll be drinking a lot more of this iced or cold brewed in the coming weeks. Definitely not to be neglected.

Product Review: Yuzu MatchaBooster from Maeda-en

matchabooster-yuzuProduct Information:

MatchaBooster is a ready-to-use matcha-based powder. It mixes easily in your favorite drink and can used as a cooking ingredient.

Boost up your lifestyle with Maeda-en MatchaBooster♪

Where to Buy:  Maeda-en

Description:

Yuzu is a tart yellow citrus fruit that goes surprisingly well with matcha. Try the combination yourself and see!

Learn more about this MatchaBooster here.

Taster’s Review:

Mmm!  This is good.  Just as I enjoyed the other MatchaBooster varieties from Maeda-En, I find myself enjoying this Yuzu flavored MatchaBooster.

For the purposes of this review, I first prepared it using 8 ounces of cold water and adding 1 level tablespoon of MatchaBooster powder.  I poured the water into a glass and then added the MatchaBooster and gave it a vigorous stir.  (I seem to have lost my favorite water bottle and haven’t had a chance to replace it!)  There was no froth to speak of with this particular preparation.

While I do find this to be a tasty drink, it is quite sweet.  If I were to change one thing about that, that’s what I’d change, I’d either want it to go lighter on the sugar or to cut the sugar all together and just have the Matcha, Maltodextrin and Yuzu Citrus Powder.

That said and trying to allow myself to see past the sweetness of this, I find this to be very tasty.  The citrus flavor is strong, and it tastes a lot like orange to me.  Maybe a slightly tarter orange, perhaps orange with a hint of lemon.  The sugar does cut through some of the tarter notes, though, I’m sure!

Because it is very sweet, it’s difficult to taste much of the Matcha, and this tastes a lot to me like they’re trying to ‘mask’ the flavor of the Matcha for the people who don’t like Matcha but want the health benefits of it.

Personally, I like the flavor of Matcha and I find myself missing it.  So for my next preparation (read:  experiment), I used 16 ounces of water and used 1 tablespoon of this Yuzu MatchaBooster and 1/2 teaspoon of the Unflavored MatchaBooster.

Now, this is more my speed.  With the sugar cut in half, I can taste the Matcha.  The Yuzu is obviously a softer flavor too, but it still comes through nicely.  I really prefer this product prepared this way.

Another great way to prepare it would be with 16 ounces of coconut water, 1 tablespoon of Yuzu MatchaBooster and 1/2 teaspoon of Unflavored MatchaBooster.  The coconut and Yuzu taste so good together!

Yuzu Kukicha Tea Blend from Chado Tea House

yuzukukichaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Chado Tea House

Tea Description:

YUZU is a citrus fruit that Japanese people enjoy its aroma. Yuzu is closely resembling that of the grapefruit, with overtones of mandarin orange, however the aroma is different and sorry that it is hard to describe. Yuzu zest is used to garnish some dish and commonly used as seasoning. We found a harmony in Kukicha with Yuzu aroma. 

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This Yuzu Kukicha Tea Blend from Chado Tea House is ah-maz-ing!  The aroma is remarkable.  It smells citrus-y … like a sweet citrus.  It smells like one of my favorite candies – you know those gummy-like grapefruit wedges?  Yeah … this smells like a jar of those!  Sweet and sour and yummy!

The flavor is equally as remarkable … it is more sweet than sour and I like that.  It’s very juicy tasting.  It tastes like a sweeter version of grapefruit with notes of tangerine.  I like that it has a very bright, delicious flavor but it also has a mellowness to it – it’s not trying to hit me over the head with Yuzu fruit flavor.

And that’s important because kukicha tends to have a rather mild flavor and I am glad that I can still taste the kukicha here.  It tastes fresh, smooth, and light, and marries well with the flavor of the Yuzu.  This is delicious hot … but I think I like it even better when it cools.  It has a delightfully fresh, mellow taste that is enjoyable to sip with meals … or anytime you want something on the lighter side.

I think this might be the first “flavored” tea that I’ve tried from Chado … they offer Japanese teas of exceptional quality, and I’ve loved everything that I’ve tried from them … and this is no exception.  This is something that will be nice to have on hand as the weather gets warmer … a good choice for iced tea!

Yuzu Fruit Sencha from Tea Licious

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Tea Licious

Product Description:

Sencha green tea, safflowers and yuzu fruit.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

When I brewed this tea, I did not read the description of it, I just brewed it the way I would any other flavored green tea (low temperature, usually around 170°, steeping for 2 1/2 minutes in my Breville One-Touch).  My first few sips were really enjoyable, I could taste the bright, sunny taste of the Yuzu fruit as well as the fresh, slightly vegetative taste of the Sencha.

The Sencha is very light, but with a soft mouthfeel that reminds me of the smooth, creamy sensation of melted butter.  Fortunately, the taste isn’t that thick, otherwise, that would be all that was tasted.  That might be fine for Paula Deen, but I like green tea to be a little lighter so that I can enjoy the many complex flavors it offers.  And, yes, this Sencha is light and complex, not to mention delicious.

There are sweet, fresh notes that remind me of freshly cut grass … but without the bitter grassy aftertaste.  It is more like a sweet grassy note.  And a creamy taste and texture that is very complimentary to the citrus notes of the Yuzu fruit.

What I think I like best about this particular tea is its balance.  It would be hard to determine which flavor is stronger – the tea or the yuzu – because they both seem equally balanced.  At times, I think I taste more yuzu than tea… but others, I think the tea is stronger, and it all has to do with which flavor I’m trying to focus on.

A lovely tea.  If you’re looking for a flavored tea with a good balance between tea and flavor, this is certainly worth trying.

Sencha Yuzu from Rishi Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Rishi Tea

Product Description:

A variety of citrus rarely found outside of Asia, yuzu is a classic ingredient in Japanese cuisine. Yuzu has a complex citrus flavor and floral aroma that pairs well with our refreshing blend of first flush green tea and matcha. We developed a unique drying process and blending technique that captures the fresh essence of yuzu without the use of added flavors. This entirely natural blend is refreshing and pleasantly sweet with citron flavor and offers an aroma of roses and geraniums.

Taster’s Review:

As you can see in the above picture, this tea won at the World Tea Expo in 2009 … and for good reason!  This tastes tea is superb!

At first glance, the tea looked like a Genmaicha with Matcha tea.  The pieces of Yuzu fruit resembled the popped rice, and the leaves were generously dusted with Matcha.  Upon closer inspection, it was evident that this is not a Genmaicha … a fact further emphasized by the beautiful fruity aroma.

The flavor is amazing.  The Japanese Sencha has a light, fresh taste.  Together with the Matcha, it is a sweet, only lightly vegetative taste.  There is no bitterness to this cup, and very little astringency.  It is a pleasure to sip.

The Yuzu offers a strong, sweet, citrus-y tangy taste to the cup.  It is so bright in flavor and I love the way the fruit and the tea come together in this cup.  Sweet, fresh-tasting, and alive with flavor!  This is awesomeness in a teacup!

This is delicious hot or cold.  The Matcha gives the tea a more opaque coloration and when left sitting a while the Matcha particles will settle to the bottom of your vessel, so if you choose to ice this tea (it is DELICIOUS iced!) I would recommend stirring (or shaking) before serving to redistribute the Matcha.