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My first Japanese green teas (from Yannoko tea)

Until now I was always focussed on Chinese tea. Not that I'm not open to taste different types of tea. I guess I first wanted to learn the basics. Discover the different types of tea and learn about their history. Try to taste as many flavors as possible and experiment with the brewing methods.

But why not start the new year with something different. For the first time, I came in contact with Japanese tea. It was sent to me by Yannoko tea. A small online tea shop located in Canada. After speaking a few times with Iain Scott, the owner, I recognized a certain passion.

It's that same passion you find in their product catalog. It's not so big. But it's not the first time quality beats the hell out of quantity. Let's have a look at the two samples I received.

After a little research I found out this green tea is being processed differently. Before being harvested the leaves spend their last days under a shade (a technique also known as Tana Canopy...yes I had to google it as well). Away from the sunlight. Yet they have a beautiful healthy green color. And a lovely grassy and fresh smell.

Once prepared (and I recommend you to follow the instructions) it tasted very interesting. The flavors were perfectly balanced. A typical fresh-green-tea-flavor with a light sweet aftertaste.  

Yes...this one is the most expensive of the green-tea-catalog. But I think it's worth every cent. Your senses will thank you!

Ok, the second one. Again this one isn't like any traditional tea. I learned Karigane means made of roasted stems only. To be honest, I wasn't quite sure where this one was taking me. Because as I opened the bag a very strong smell overwhelmed me. I had to stick my nose into the bag a few times to get used to that roasted smell.

The taste? I found the first two steeps nice, but strong. But if there's one thing I learned, its that you can't judge a tea (at least a high quality one) by its first flavor. There are always surprises. Et voila... after the third steep, its flavor changed from strong to intriguingly sweet.

This is by far the most surprising tea I had so far. Judged by its smell and first steeps I never expected it to end like this. It's great to experiment with. I would definetely recommend this one!

I'm really happy I received these samples. My first introduction to Japanese tea was a big success. Again that shows the real power of tea and its endless possibilities.

Speak to you soon...


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