CostCo goes Japanese

Non-oxidized tea
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beforewisdom
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Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:28 pm

In the US if you get green tea on the go, without ordering it from some web site you usually get poor quality roasted leaves.

A few times over the years I have been given Kirkland ( CostCo ) brand green tea and it was suspiciously green instead of gold colored.

Now I know why.

A friend at work gave me a box of Kirkland green tea bags. It is produced by Itoen and is a sencha & matcha mix.

I can't compete with o-cha.com, but for a store bought green tea bag it is pretty good!

Yes, I cut open the tea bag, and put the leaves in my post to dodge the microplastics.
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Victoria
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Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:03 pm

O-Cha has very tasty Sencha/Matcha green tea bags as well, in the past I have enjoyed his Chiran tea bags. I’m always surprise how really very good my kabusecha tea bags from Kagoshima Co Birouen Tea House are. Not cheap, but well worth the extra cost for when I’m on the go. This 130 year old Kagoshima company decided to go Amazon shipping route, which is very fast and convenient for USA customers. Their teas must be stored in refrigerated containers because they are always very fresh. I’m currently also a fan of their award winning loose leaf kabusecha until it runs out.
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nasalfrog
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Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:25 pm

@Victoria, that kabusecha (loose leaf) is quite good! I’ve tried a lot of Japanese organic teas, and it ranks toward the top... it may be the best organic kabusecha I’ve tried. Very sweet, smooth, and flavorful. Been brewing it over the last couple of weeks, and am always pleased when it comes up in my rotation.
Vanenbw
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Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:54 pm

Guess I'll have to try this tea as well. I just received my package of Kabusecha from O-cha today. I'll place an order on Amazon for the Kabusecha from Birouen.
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nasalfrog
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Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:26 pm

Vanenbw wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:54 pm
Guess I'll have to try this tea as well. I just received my package of Kabusecha from O-cha today. I'll place an order on Amazon for the Kabusecha from Birouen.
I finished a bag of O-Cha’s organic kabusecha as I was starting this bag of Birouen’s, so it was a good opportunity to compare them. I found the Birouen to be sweeter and smoother, which I have found is a characteristic of the saemidori cultivar. I found the yabukita to be more complex and greener/grassier, but not as sweet & smooth... leaning towards more savory/oceanic. Sometimes I swear I tasted seared scallops. The shading helps tame the yabukita while still having some of its citrus-peel bitterness, which I find quite enjoyable.
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Victoria
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Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:52 pm

nasalfrog wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:26 pm
Vanenbw wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:54 pm
Guess I'll have to try this tea as well. I just received my package of Kabusecha from O-cha today. I'll place an order on Amazon for the Kabusecha from Birouen.
I finished a bag of O-Cha’s organic kabusecha as I was starting this bag of Birouen’s, so it was a good opportunity to compare them. I found the Birouen to be sweeter and smoother, which I have found is a characteristic of the saemidori cultivar. I found the yabukita to be more complex and greener/grassier, but not as sweet & smooth... leaning towards more savory/oceanic. Sometimes I swear I tasted seared scallops. The shading helps tame the yabukita while still having some of its citrus-peel bitterness, which I find quite enjoyable.
Oh, I’m so glad you both will have tried Birouen’s award winning kabusecha. It’s so good I’ve been enjoying it almost daily since last spring or before. I like it so much it’s taken over some of my morning routine which use to be 90% roasted DongDing, now it’s 50-50. I also got O-cha’s kabusecha but will need to try it a few times. The first time it was too light and had some bitterness, arrr. Thanks for pointing out the different cultivars hadn’t taken this into account.
Vanenbw
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Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:17 pm

Victoria wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:52 pm
nasalfrog wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:26 pm
Vanenbw wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:54 pm
Guess I'll have to try this tea as well. I just received my package of Kabusecha from O-cha today. I'll place an order on Amazon for the Kabusecha from Birouen.
I finished a bag of O-Cha’s organic kabusecha as I was starting this bag of Birouen’s, so it was a good opportunity to compare them. I found the Birouen to be sweeter and smoother, which I have found is a characteristic of the saemidori cultivar. I found the yabukita to be more complex and greener/grassier, but not as sweet & smooth... leaning towards more savory/oceanic. Sometimes I swear I tasted seared scallops. The shading helps tame the yabukita while still having some of its citrus-peel bitterness, which I find quite enjoyable.
Oh, I’m so glad you both will have tried Birouen’s award winning kabusecha. It’s so good I’ve been enjoying it almost daily since last spring or before. I like it so much it’s taken over some of my morning routine which use to be 90% roasted DongDing, now it’s 50-50. I also got O-cha’s kabusecha but will need to try it a few times. The first time it was too light and had some bitterness, arrr. Thanks for pointing out the different cultivars hadn’t taken this into account.
I'm looking forward to it. I'm not sure what to expect. Sae midori asamuchi threw me for a loop. I had never tasted any tea like it before. I wasn't sure if I liked it ir not at first. I'm still not sure whether I need to cut back on the leaves or add more. The last few times I drank it I had 4.65 gms to 160 ml. Water temp between 70c to 77c. It's light and grassy; reminiscent of wheatgrass. I like the mellow flavor of later infusions. It's definitely a different type of sencha. I'm wondering if kabusecha is similar. I shall soon did out.

I'm waiting on the Gripstics I ordered before opening it. I will break open the everyday sencha tomorrow though.
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nasalfrog
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Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:52 am

I brewed them with the same parameters, so O-Cha’s might be good brewed the same way as Birouen’s. I’ve found all of O-Cha’s organic kabusecha offerings, less so in the kurasawa, to be quite light in flavor. There is bitterness in O-Cha’s. I think another good descriptor would be the bitterness in something like grapefruit juice or an IPA beer. That quality is not always enjoyable, so, when I’m in the mood for that, O-Cha’s is very satisfying. Birouen’s has been great every session so far no matter my mood. Thank you for recommending this tea, @Victoria!

As for parameters, I have brewed almost all kabusecha somewhere in between the leaf amounts I use for sencha and gyokuro using a water temperature around 158F/70C for 60 seconds. For most of O-Cha’s, the leaf amounts have leaned closer to gyokuro.

@Vanenbw, you are vegan, so disregard my scallops descriptor, my apologies. I think another good descriptor might be roasted nori.
Vanenbw
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Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:22 pm

nasalfrog wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:52 am
Vanenbw, you are vegan, so disregard my scallops descriptor, my apologies. I think another good descriptor might be roasted nori.
Oh, I'm not bothered by that. :) As long as there aren't scallops in the tea leaves, I think I can handle the scallops reference. I will probably be trying O-cha's kabusecha this weekend. I'm moving away from using canisters and ordered some Gripstics to seal the tea bag once it's opened. It's should be delivered tomorrow.
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