Yamamotoyama Loose Leaf: Brazilian/Japanese Tea?


Made from leaves that have not been oxidized.

Yamamotoyama Loose Leaf: Brazilian/Japanese Tea?

Postby beachape » Feb 11th, '10, 21:37

Hey All,

Someone gave me some yamamotoyama "special occasion green tea bags" which actually weren't so bad. I looked up their website and apparently they offer loose leaf tea as well. I imagine this stuff ends up in grocery stores in California or something. Looks like it might be some decent daily sencha. As I am always looking for new bargain senchas, has anyone tried any of their loose leaf offerings? You have to order old school with a form and such, but i may give it a whirl out of curiosity.

http://www.yamamotoyama.com/greentea_4.html
Last edited by beachape on Feb 12th, '10, 14:37, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
beachape
 
Posts: 387
Joined: Jan 26th, '

Re: Yamamotoyama Loose Leaf

Postby beachape » Feb 11th, '10, 22:04

Now that I think about it, I remember buying a very cheap genmaicha in a chinese grocery that must have been from these guys. Never seen any of the higher grades though. On amazon they had several good reviews of one of the senchas, but mostly compared to teabags. I would never buy the stuff from the chinese grocery because it has been sitting there for years, but i imagine buying from the factory it should be relatively new.

http://www.amazon.com/Yamamotoyama-Tokusen-Kokyu-Sencha-Premium/dp/B0002CRZRW/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=grocery&qid=1265939664&sr=1-5

I'd probably try em all because they're so cheap, ha. Do you think you could make decent cold brew with the dirt cheap stuff? ($4 for 200g) I Imagine its bancha, which makes good cold brew.
User avatar
beachape
 
Posts: 387
Joined: Jan 26th, '

Re: Yamamotoyama Loose Leaf

Postby Chip » Feb 11th, '10, 22:13

I had some of there Genmaicha which was pretty decent. Of course that is not really saying much. Last I looked, Stash offered it in their paper catalog and I think also on the site. Not sure about the looseleaf though.

But it is a decent version of Japanese grocery store tea.
User avatar
Chip
Mod/Admin
 
Posts: 22130
Joined: Apr 22nd, '
Location: Back in the TeaCave atop Mt. Fuji

Re: Yamamotoyama Loose Leaf

Postby beachape » Feb 11th, '10, 23:09

Interesting, I poked around on Stash's website and on yamamotoyama's to find out that Yamamotoyama owns stash. What I suspect is that most of their tea is grown in brazil. I guess they took some Japanese tea plants and made plantations in brazil because of similar conditions.

http://www.yamamotoyama.com/Pdf_files/AffiliatedCompanies.pdf

This explains why their tea is so cheap. Some of their tea is marketed as "100% Japanese" while others must be Brazilian. They don't explicitly say where most of their tea comes from, but I imagine they are just trying to downplay the whole brazil thing. I doubt their brazilian tea plantations are to serve brazil.

Are any other japanese style teas made this way?

This actually makes me curious to try some of their higher grades (still cheap of course), to see how it compares to real Japanese tea.
User avatar
beachape
 
Posts: 387
Joined: Jan 26th, '

Re: Yamamotoyama Loose Leaf

Postby Chip » Feb 11th, '10, 23:37

:shock: WOW!

One must be careful of the vendors one chooses. A lesser vendor of Japanese tea may have blends containing Chinese teas or in this case Brazilian.

But a tea sold as "Uji" sencha in Japan must by law contain at least 50% Uji tea, "Kagoshima" must contain 50% Kagoshima tea, etc. ... the balance could be made up of who knows what. And once a tea leaves Japan, it could be mixed with anything and have little Uji or Kagoshima or etc at all.

So yeah, choose carefully and do not assume, ask first!
User avatar
Chip
Mod/Admin
 
Posts: 22130
Joined: Apr 22nd, '
Location: Back in the TeaCave atop Mt. Fuji

Re: Yamamotoyama Loose Leaf

Postby beachape » Feb 12th, '10, 00:30

Wow this article clarifies things.
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa5342/is_200410/ai_n21359116/

"Tea leaves are picked and dried on-site in Brazil, then sent by boats and refrigerated containers to Pomona, where they are further dried, cut and bagged. Then, distributors carry the product to restaurants and supermarkets."

I really think it would be cool for them to play up the whole japanese style brazilian tea. On the Stash website they have one product "Brazilian Sincha" which explains quite clearly where the tea is from. However the regular yamamotoyama website doesn't mention much about Brazil.

Now what I would want to know is which teas are brazilian, which are japanese and which are mixed. I would also like to know their policy on old tea (selling last harvest). As for packaging it looks pretty good and they mention refrigeration in that article. Why all the interest in a cheap grocery tea? Well I would really like to try a fresh (not years old), higher grade brazillian tea made in japanese style. I'm actually more interested in this tea now that I found it is made in Brazil, because at prices offered it would have to be terrible if it was Japanese. However outsourcing to Brazil might make a decent tea at this pricepoint. Total speculation of course because I haven't tried any of their tea.
User avatar
beachape
 
Posts: 387
Joined: Jan 26th, '

Re: Yamamotoyama Loose Leaf: Brazilian/Japanese Tea?

Postby beachape » Feb 15th, '10, 22:30

Ha seems like I'm the only one interested in the cheap grocery tea.

Anyways, I've decided to take the plunge and buy some as an experiment. I was thinking about sticking to the medium tier getting a regular sencha, and a fukamushi. Do you think its worth experimenting with their "premium line"? Not exactly sure what "breakfast sencha" means

I know this isn't really important, but just wondering if anyone else shares the curiosity with this cheap Brazilian tea.
User avatar
beachape
 
Posts: 387
Joined: Jan 26th, '

Re: Yamamotoyama Loose Leaf: Brazilian/Japanese Tea?

Postby Chip » Feb 15th, '10, 22:45

Yeah, curious is the right word. I am curious how Yabukita leaf grown in Brazil tastes. And how are they processing, steaming? In Japan the technology is mind boggling, I doubt if they approach this in Brazil.
User avatar
Chip
Mod/Admin
 
Posts: 22130
Joined: Apr 22nd, '
Location: Back in the TeaCave atop Mt. Fuji

Re: Yamamotoyama Loose Leaf: Brazilian/Japanese Tea?

Postby beachape » Feb 15th, '10, 22:53

I would think there would be a lot of Chinese or SE Asian tea that would end up being turned into "Japanese" tea. I would think that would be cheaper than Brazilian tea.
User avatar
beachape
 
Posts: 387
Joined: Jan 26th, '

Re: Yamamotoyama Loose Leaf: Brazilian/Japanese Tea?

Postby msurads06 » Feb 15th, '10, 23:34

I would definately be interested to hear how your experience goes. I am very new to tea and still trying to figure out what i like, havent tried any japanese greens yet, waiting for my dens starter pack to arrive, but may consider yamamotoyama in the future if i find i like the stuff from dens. I want good tea, but dont have alot of cash to spend so if theirs is better priced and just as good (or close) maybe i will check them out. but right now with all the sampling i am doing to figure out what i like 100 g is too much to buy of anyone tea.

Btw I love this forum, I am always learning something new/interesting.
User avatar
msurads06
 
Posts: 220
Joined: Jan 31st, '
Location: Olney, Texas

Re: Yamamotoyama Loose Leaf: Brazilian/Japanese Tea?

Postby beachape » Feb 15th, '10, 23:53

Ha, smart move. Definitely start out with small amounts when you are trying to figure out what you like. What really gets you into trouble is when you buy tea that you like, but then you buy some tea that you like more. Then you end up with a cabinet full of tea that will go bad before you have a chance to drink it (even if you drink tons of tea, like me):?
User avatar
beachape
 
Posts: 387
Joined: Jan 26th, '

Re: Yamamotoyama Loose Leaf: Brazilian/Japanese Tea?

Postby msurads06 » Feb 16th, '10, 00:24

Yeah, i already learned that lesson. I was first introduced to "real" tea at my sisters wedding. I liked it so much that i brought home about 1/2 lb of the leftovers (LOTS leftover). Then i started reading/researching teas and trying to figure out where she had bought it from (she was in europe at this point). I ordered quite a few samples and i actually prefer white to black (jury is still out on the green) so i have a cansiter of black tea that i am trying to "force" myself to drink before it goes bad. i still like it, but i like other stuff better. atleast i can comfort myself with the knowledge that if i hadn't "rescued" it, it would have just gone bad in her pantry or my mom's (where the rest is "rotting" as we speak). atleast i am drinking some of it.
User avatar
msurads06
 
Posts: 220
Joined: Jan 31st, '
Location: Olney, Texas

Re: Yamamotoyama Loose Leaf: Brazilian/Japanese Tea?

Postby LauraW » Feb 16th, '10, 00:37

From what I can tell, you've got a bit more leeway on black (depending on type, of course) than white. I've had a couple blacks for at least a year, and they're doing fine - not spectacular, probably deteriorated a bit from when I bought them - but I had a white that barely lasted 6 months before it was completely undrinkable. Almost gave up on whites, but have since only gotten very small quantities that I know I'll consume in about 2-3 months. I think I'm going to carry that over to greens once I start finding things I like.
User avatar
LauraW
 
Posts: 606
Joined: Jan 6th, '1
Location: SC

Re: Yamamotoyama Loose Leaf: Brazilian/Japanese Tea?

Postby entropyembrace » Feb 19th, '10, 18:05

There´s a lot of tea being grown in South America for grocery store blends...kinda like where Kenyan tea was a few years ago. What will be really interesting to see is as South Americans reclaim their industries from transnational corporations if the South American tea farmers will begin marketing speciality South American loose leaf teas similar to the single estate Kenyan teas we´re starting to see now.

I´m looking foward to being able to try whole leaf, single estate Brazillian and Argentinian tea in the future as their tea industry matures ^.^
User avatar
entropyembrace
 
Posts: 1911
Joined: Mar 3rd, '0

Re: Yamamotoyama Loose Leaf: Brazilian/Japanese Tea?

Postby beachape » Mar 2nd, '10, 19:42

Because I was so curious about these teas, I sent them an email asking the following questions:

1) Which of your loose leaf teas are made from Brazilian tea, Japanese tea, or mixture?
2) What are the differentiating characteristics of your Premium, Ocha-zanmai, Tukusen, and Family lines of loose leaf teas? Are they different harvests? Are they from different regions? Are the processed differently?
3) Are all teas sold from the most recent year's harvest (2009)? When are teas available from the next harvest?
4) Are the loose leaf teas packaged with nitrogen to preserve freshness?

Their Reply:

1) We use blend of Japanese strain of green tea grown in Japan and in our own tea plantation in Brazil.
2) Those products are blends of green tea in different grades. The green tea grades are determined by color, taste and how they are grown.
3) There are 4 to 5 harvestings per year for sencha. The young freshest leaves of the year are called “Shincha” (new tea).
4) Some of the loose tea products use Nitrogen and some don’t use Nitrogen in the package.
User avatar
beachape
 
Posts: 387
Joined: Jan 26th, '

Next

Instant Messenger

Permissions
You cannot post new topics
You cannot reply to topics
You cannot edit your posts
You cannot delete your posts
You cannot post attachments
Navigation