Yunomi Chakouan – #14 Ureshino Gyokucha: Ochatama

Country of Origin: Japan
Leaf Appearance: deep green, large balls
Ingredients: sencha green tea
Steep time: 1 minute
Water Temperature: 160 degrees
Preparation Method: glass test tube steeper
Liquor: pale, greenish

I received this tea as part of a shipment from Yunomi’s Tea Club. It is definitely one of the most unusual green teas that I have come across. The leaves are rolled into balls as a by-product of sencha processing. I’m reminded of Cha Tou, or puerh nuggets, which are also a by-product of tea production. I have a feeling that these will taste much nicer though. The taste fell somewhere between gyokuro and sencha. It was delicate and light but still had a nice bit of vegetal astringency and plenty of umami flavor. The second infusion was actually a bit stronger than the first because the tea balls had unfurled. suggested eating this tea as a snack and I decided to give it a try. I found it a bit too bitter for my liking but it might not be bad as part of a trail mix type mixture with something sweet.

Gyokucha sample provided by Yunomi.

Nicole has been writing about her love of the leaf since 2008. Her work has been featured on World Tea News, The Daily Tea, Tea Journey, and other publications. She is the winner of the 2018 World Tea Award for Best Tea Blog.