Thursday, July 16, 2020

Tea Review: Amacha Herbal Tisane (Yunomi/Kunohe Village Revitalization Project)

Amacha Herbal Tisane/甘茶 (2016)
Yunomi/Kunohe Village Revitalization Project/九戸村
Type: Herbal
Origin: Japan, Iwate Prefecture, Kunohe Village
Product Description:
The Kunohe Village Revitalization Project is proud to present a Japanese tradition: Amacha, a tisane harvested in December in the hills surrounding the village. The leaves from this plant (a non-toxic form of hydrangea: hydrangea serrata var. thunbergii) are rolled, whithered, and dried in a small facility adjacent to the roadside station Oritsume Rest Area in the village.  
This tea is known in the west often as "Buddha Ama Cha" because it is often used to celebrate the Buddha's birthday. 
Sweet! So sweet! 
The leaves of this plant contain a compound called Phyllodulcin, which is a natural sweetener some 400-800 times sweeter than sugar.
Temperature: 212° F/Boiling
Amount: 3 grams
Boiling Time: 5 minutes

The dry leaves have a mild herbal and faintly floral aroma.

The golden peach liquor has an aroma with vegetal and green vine notes and a hint of fruit.  The taste is very sweet, developing light herbal notes after several sips, with a long sweet finish.

Following the instructions provided by Yunomi, I prepared this by adding 3 grams of leaves to 1 liter of boiling water and simmering for 5 minutes.  This was an old unopened sample, harvested in Autumn 2016, and I'm very happy to report that it stores and ages well.  The sweetness (Oh, my! The Sweetness!) stays right at the front of your tongue, eventually spreading to the lips and front of the mouth with each sip.  Several sips in, a light and sweet herbal taste developed toward the back of the tongue.  This was a fascinating treat and rather enjoyable once I got past the initial shock of sweetness.

This tea was provided as a free sample without guarantee of a review.

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