Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tea Review: Obukucha with Gold Powder (Yunomi/Yamane-en)

Obukucha with Gold Powder
Yunomi/Yamane-en
Type: Green
Origin: Japan
Product Description: In 951, there was an epidemic in the region, and a priest named Kuya offered tea with ume to those suffering from the disease helping to decrease the severity of the epidemic. Soon after this incident, it is said that Emperor Murakami drank this tea at New Year’s; and because the emperor drank this tea, it was named kofuku-cha 皇服茶 (ko 皇 meaning emperor, fuku 服 meaning to drink). The word ‘kofuku 幸福’ also means happiness or good luck and that is where the name obukucha 大福茶 (o 大 meaning big, fuku 福 meaning luck) comes from.

This specific tea has gold powder (edible gold flakes), a perfect cup of tea to be served at celebratory occasions such as New Years or birthdays.

Temperature: 175° F
Amount: 3 grams
Steeping Time: 2 minutes

The dry leaves contain sencha, genmai (brown rice), black soybeans, white beans, matcha, sliced kelp, and edible gold flakes.  The aroma has notes of almonds, green grass, popcorn, and butter.

The infusion is bright green with gold flecks and has a savory aroma of popcorn, nuts, and green grass.  The taste is sweet and savory green with strong notes of roasted brown rice and very little astringency.

The liquor remained thick and bright green through three infusions with only moderate lightening of flavor and aroma.  By the second infusion, the mild astringency I associate with matcha and sencha had come through.  I was pleasantly surprised to get more than one delicious cup of tea with so many ingredients blended in, though that might be attributed to a better grade of sencha and the addition of matcha.  I enjoyed this obukucha on New Year's Eve and am very happy to revisit it.





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