Where to start?

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Where to start?

Postby auggy » Apr 16th, '08, 10:03

I would like some advice/suggestions/help, please. I know I like Japanese greens as I have enjoyed all the different teas I've had in Japan (well, except for the matcha at my friend's tea ceremony but I was predisposed not to like it as I had been told by all my friends that no one actually likes it). Other than the fact that it was most likely all sencha I was drinking, I have no idea what specific teas I've tried.

So far, I've had Adagio's kukicha and sencha which were lovely and the genmaicha which was good but made me feel like I need to be in a bar munching on osembe.

Anyway, short story long, now I'm basically looking to expand my experience w/ Japanese greens by getting some samples of other goodies. Can y'all recommend some of the different senchas, etc I should try and what vendor would be best to get them from?

Give me your knowledge, oh mighty green tea drinkers! :D

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Postby Salsero » Apr 16th, '08, 10:12

You came to the wrong place for this question. Nobody here knows anything about green tea. :lol:

(Step back, there's a stampede coming!!)

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Postby auggy » Apr 16th, '08, 10:15

Salsero wrote:You came to the wrong place for this question. Nobody here knows anything about green tea. :lol:

(Step back, there's a stampede coming!!)


Hehe - that's what I'm hoping for!!!

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Postby olivierco » Apr 16th, '08, 10:17

Well, for shops based in Japan

www.o-cha.com (all shincha, top gyokuro and top matcha)

www.hibiki-an.com (premium grades and above)

www.ippodo-tea.co.jp/en/tea/index.html

www.kaburagien.co.jp

For sencha, you should wait a few weeks for the shincha.

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Postby Cinnamon Kitty » Apr 16th, '08, 10:50

Go to Den's Teas and get the $3 sample pack. It has free shipping and gives a nice sample of their Fuka-Midori sencha and genmaicha.

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Postby Pentox » Apr 16th, '08, 11:50

For a few US shops:

Lupicia

Den's Tea

Personally I love Lupicia, low minimum for free shipping, 50g bags, and huge selection. They're a Japanese based company that opened a US division.

*begin shameless self promotion*
If you want to read through my opinions on a lot of different senchas try reading my blog. Me And My Tea
*end shameless self promotion*

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Postby auggy » Apr 16th, '08, 12:33

Pentox wrote:*begin shameless self promotion*
If you want to read through my opinions on a lot of different senchas try reading my blog. Me And My Tea
*end shameless self promotion*


Pentox, I'm really enjoying your blog. Great reviews!

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Postby Pentox » Apr 16th, '08, 12:43

auggy wrote:
Pentox wrote:*begin shameless self promotion*
If you want to read through my opinions on a lot of different senchas try reading my blog. Me And My Tea
*end shameless self promotion*


Pentox, I'm really enjoying your blog. Great reviews!



w0000 yipeee

Ego +1

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Postby Salsero » Apr 16th, '08, 15:21

auggy wrote:Pentox, I'm really enjoying your blog. Great reviews!
make that +2. And the tag wrestling team of Pentox and Olivierco is beginning to rival Penn and Teller in fame and reason to chuckle.

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Postby Wesli » Apr 16th, '08, 15:30

I second the notion recommending the Den's Green Tea Kit. It's cheap(free?) and comes with two (four?) good samples.

In fear of shameful self-promotion, I won't link my blog. :cry: But you can still check it out by clicking the WWW button below.

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Re: Where to start?

Postby chamekke » Apr 16th, '08, 15:57

auggy wrote:I would like some advice/suggestions/help, please. I know I like Japanese greens as I have enjoyed all the different teas I've had in Japan (well, except for the matcha at my friend's tea ceremony but I was predisposed not to like it as I had been told by all my friends that no one actually likes it).


What didn't you like about it? I wonder whether it's possible you were served matcha that was (a) stale, (b) low-quality, (c) prepared incorrectly, or (d) some combination of the above.

I know exactly what you mean about being predisposed. My tea group gives regular public demonstrations, and one of our speakers has a tendency to recite, "We eat a sweet before drinking the tea because matcha is bitter-tasting." Talk about generating enthusiasm! I will concede that sometimes people may find the tea a little astringent - but it should never be bitter.

In fact, good matcha does not need a sweet to cover up its taste. The best matcha (in my opinion anyway) has a degree of natural sweetness and is genuinely delicious on its own. I enjoy drinking it that way, in fact.

Of course, not everyone manages to develop a taste for matcha even when the quality is high. I'm so hard-core that my favourite way to drink it is koicha ("thick tea") ... which has the consistency of paint. Lovely stuff :D

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Re: Where to start?

Postby Salsero » Apr 16th, '08, 16:23

chamekke wrote:Of course, not everyone manages to develop a taste for matcha even when the quality is high. I'm so hard-core that my favourite way to drink it is koicha ("thick tea") ... which has the consistency of paint. Lovely stuff
I didn't know you were such a matcha babe, chamekke, they are my favorite style of woman.
Rock on!
Does anyone else do koicha around here? I have not yet tried it yet. I may load up the bowl with my regular (cheap) stuff and see if it works.

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Re: Where to start?

Postby chamekke » Apr 16th, '08, 16:41

Salsero wrote:
chamekke wrote:Of course, not everyone manages to develop a taste for matcha even when the quality is high. I'm so hard-core that my favourite way to drink it is koicha ("thick tea") ... which has the consistency of paint. Lovely stuff
I didn't know you were such a matcha babe, chamekke, they are my favorite style of woman.
Rock on!
Does anyone else do koicha around here? I have not yet tried it yet. I may load up the bowl with my regular (cheap) stuff and see if it works.


Normally, for koicha, you buy matcha that is expressly intended for koicha. As you might expect, it's more expensive :? You need to use a lot of it, and the tea leaves from which it's made are sweeter (and higher quality in general - allegedly hand-picked, too, but I'm not sure about that bit). When it's made properly, it is seriously yummy. I think so, anyway!

Often we're told that you can use koicha matcha to make usucha ("thin tea"), but I don't think I've ever heard of usucha matcha that's good enough for koicha. So your experiment may not be all that successful - although you're welcome to try!

I know there are some other chanoyu practitioners on here, and I'll bet they have more experience than I do... so hopefully they'll chip in (and correct any careless misstatements I may have made, too :wink: ).

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Re: Where to start?

Postby auggy » Apr 16th, '08, 17:09

chamekke wrote:
auggy wrote:I would like some advice/suggestions/help, please. I know I like Japanese greens as I have enjoyed all the different teas I've had in Japan (well, except for the matcha at my friend's tea ceremony but I was predisposed not to like it as I had been told by all my friends that no one actually likes it).


What didn't you like about it? I wonder whether it's possible you were served matcha that was (a) stale, (b) low-quality, (c) prepared incorrectly, or (d) some combination of the above.
Yeah, I got that bitter line a lot before trying it. Even my friend that was doing the tea ceremony said that to me!

It's been years, but best I can remember, the consistency was a bit weird for me (foamy and thick) but I can't remember specifically what I didn't like about the taste. Of course, that was also after I had been there just a month so most days around that time were kind of foggy and my tastes had changed considerably by the end of the year so I might have liked it had I had it at the end of the year. I couldn't stand miso when I first had it, but by month 6 I was drinking it like water during meals.

Mmm. Miso.

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Postby PolyhymnianMuse » Apr 16th, '08, 17:36

Wesli wrote:I second the notion recommending the Den's Green Tea Kit. It's cheap(free?) and comes with two (four?) good samples.

In fear of shameful self-promotion, I won't link my blog. :cry: But you can still check it out by clicking the WWW button below.


The kit costs 3 dollars "for the shipping" but than you get 3 dollars off your next order from Den's, so technically it is free as long as you plan on buying something to get your 3 dollars back. You also get some nice information booklets/pamphlets on japanese tea.

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