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obubu tea houjicha and sencha of the wind

March 23, 2010

Obubu Tea is a tea company dedicated to authentic Japanese green teas. Their tea comes from the Kyoto Obubu Tea Plantations in Japan, and their mission is to provide top quality leaf to people who appreciate it, as well as educating tea lovers on tea and tea-culture. Their website is full of great information on Japanese green tea and the farmers who produce it. I received two samples of Obubu’s teas, their Houjicha and their Sencha of the Wind.

Houjicha is a roasted green tea which is roasted in an oven to impart a smoky flavor. This process also decaffeinates the tea, so its a good choice for those sensitive to caffeine. The leaves in the sample of Obubu’s Houjicha that I received were quite small and uneven, but I believe that they were crushed during mailing, as Obubu’s website pictures portray very nice, large, consistent leaves. So, the plastic sample bags are convenient, but they do not protect the tea. That’s okay, because it will steep just fine.

The dry leaf smells earthy, woody and oceanic; a little like dried seaweed. The cup color is deep red/brown and smells rich and substantial. The aromas and flavors are intertwined. There is a nutty aspect, a roasty aroma and flavor, a touch of smoke, and a vegetal backbone. This Houjicha is brothy and meditative, with flavors far from subtle, but still familiar and comforting.

Next is Obubu’s Sencha of the Wind. This Sencha is cultivated in springtime and harvested in May. The dry leaf smells very typical of Sencha, sweet and vegetal. The liquor is bright yellow/green and aromatically soothing with notes of sweet grass. The flavor profile is delicate yet delicious, with buttery vegetal characteristics and a great finish.

Overall, both of these teas really impressed me. I also think their website is a terrific resource and I really enjoyed the video of how to brew and pour Houjicha, it was great! Thanks Obubu for introducing me to a couple of great green teas!

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