Japanese Goishi-Cha

Puerh and other heicha
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Posts: 565
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:35 am
Location: Chicago

Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:11 pm

goishi-cha (go stone tea, 碁石茶) is a twice-fermented tea from the mountains of Otoyo.

goishi-cha.jpg (126.09 KiB) Viewed 779 times

i'm trying one from thés du japon. it doesn't remind me of puerh at all but is rather special in its own right. lactofermentation provides appreciable tartness. the aroma is sweet, very fruity, malty, and somehow savory as well. i've seen it described as camphoric, but i didn't pick that up personally.

it's pressed and chopped into little squares. this is where the 'go stone' name comes from.

goishi-cha2.jpg (85.16 KiB) Viewed 779 times

i've been brewing it in a gaiwan with relatively short steeps, and i find that a little goes a long way (2g in 60mL, boiling). i'm very happy with the tea and wanted to write a little about it. definitely worth sampling if you're thinking of doing a TdJ order. good 'comfort tea'. i will probably order another pack of it to drink over the winter.

have you tried goishi-cha from other vendors? thoughts?
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Posts: 506
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:27 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:45 pm

What an interesting sounding tea. I don't think I've ever heard of anything quite like it.
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Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:55 am
Location: Taiwan

Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:08 pm

Me neither! Looks a bit like seaweed crackers. Taste profile sounds interesting as well.
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Shine Magical
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Location: NYC

Tue Sep 04, 2018 1:19 pm

I've tried drinking a few different kinds, but I quickly started to "see through" the flavor. The initial encounters with this tea are an interesting experience though. Goishicha is traditionally used to flavor rice while cooking, which I can see being a good fit... esp if you pair with umeboshi.
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Location: Santa Monica, CA

Tue Sep 04, 2018 1:53 pm

Love the look of those fermented tea squares. Reading about the very hands-on, labor intensive, 2 month process of making this tea is fascinating, down to the yellow mold used and the lactic acid bacteria needing to come from 600 meters above sea level. Would be interesting to make Chagayu, the Japanese rice porridge originally made with this tea. Here is a recipe using Houjicha, but can be switched out;

p.s. I wonder if mold is used or is it really yeast?
Flavor Hedonist
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Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 10:56 am
Location: Philippines

Tue Oct 02, 2018 11:01 pm

I've tried one from Furyu Bancha that I bought from Yunomi. I brewed it in different ways but I found gongfu to be the best for it. The first two steeps were very tart, fruity and juicy. I remember describing it as lemons, tamarind candy and prunes. The tartness and fruitiness drops significantly on the third steep and it transforms into notes of kelp, mushrooms and dried grass.
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