Hey there Teacups! It’s time again for another Matcha Monday post and this time around I’m going to be reviewing Kuma Tea Gardens – Single Cultivar, Single Estate Okumidori Yame Matcha, a sample of which was very kindly sent to me by Yunomi to review here on my blog. As I’m sure you’ll all remember a few Matcha Mondays ago I tried Kuma Tea Gardens – Heritage Grade Yame Matcha Saemidori and loved it, in fact it was phenomenal, so going into this tasting session the bar was definitely set very high for this Matcha. Luckily however it did not disappoint.
Here’s what Yunomi have to say about this Matcha over on their website: “Okumidori cultivar matcha, made with tradition Japanese cultivation and processing methods, from the prize-winning tea garden of the Kuma family.”
”Cultivar: Okumidori, Harvest: Early may, Region: Yame, Fukuoka
Notes: Shaded for 3-4 weeks prior to handpicked harvest and processed as a micro-batch.”
Dry Appearance: a nice even green shade overall, not overly bright but not too dark either. Soft, light and smooth in texture in texture.
Dry Aroma: Sweet, buttery, baked pastry on a slightly grassy background. With an ever so slight hint of nuttiness to me I think that these nutty notes reminded me of warm almond, and macadamias but I couldn’t quite pin it down during this session.
Tea Tasting Notes
For this tasting session, like I do with all traditional matchas, I simply tried this on its own prepared with freshly filtered water. I stared off the session by using 3g of matcha and 35ml water at 80C to make koicha. To do so, I sift the matcha into my chawan, slowly add the water and then kneed the matcha against my chawan until an evenly thick paste/syrup is formed. You can go onto drink it like this should that be your preference but I use this as a base to make sure my usucha is not only a little stronger in flavour but also velvety smooth without any lumps what so ever. I did a lot of experimenting before I found the perfect way to prepare matcha for me but I have found that this method as long winded as it sounds really is the best one especially for tasting sessions like this.
Froth level 5/5 | I’m aware that recently I’ve been telling you all not to focus on getting a goof froth all because good level of froth doesn’t always mean good matcha. But as I do mostly use mostly popularly used urasenke method to prepare my matcha I do like to keep a note of level of froth I am able to build with a matcha. With this matcha I was able to build a thick, pastel green bubble froth within probably no more than a minute. I spent another minute or two after whisking and was able to build one of the best froths I’ve done in a long time (thought my new chawan probably helped a little as well). The froth stood it’s ground well and didn’t start to dissipate until around half way through the bowl, after which in shortly whisked again and was able to build more froth which lasted until the end of the bowl.
In taste this matcha is light, fragrant with buttered steamed green notes, a refreshing grassy note and a subtle yet fragrant floral note in the finish. Compared to other matcha I’ve had this year, this is much more on the lighter side but I have found that to be the case when I comes to yame matchas as they are much more delicate than any other matchas I’ve had. However just because they are a little more delicate and less rich you do not pay the price in terms of complexity and depth. The froth adds a nice creaminess to it as well which seems to almost coast the tongue as you finish each mouthful.
It has a lingering, umami sweetness in the finish and it left my mouth with a buttery taste for a long time after the tasting session even through I continued to drink water throughout the day. That slight nuttiness I was able to pick out in the dry aroma was present but very subtle and definitely more macadamia like in taste. It’s not as rich as the previous matcha I tried from this same tea garden but I still enjoyed it to no end. It was amazing to be able to see such clear differences between two matchas from the same tea gardens.
Overall I really enjoyed this matcha; I didn’t know if I was going to love it as much as I did the previous one I tried from this tea garden but it was just as amazing and definitely one that I will treasure having as part of my tea collection. I’m so thankful I was given the chance to try this matcha as it really was quite a different experience compared to a lot of the other matchas I have tried so far this year and if you’re a matcha lover and you are looking to treat yourself to something special this Christmas this is definitely matcha I would recommend you treat yourself too, and if you’re buying a present for a matcha lover consider this matcha because it will provide them with an unforgettable experience . There were some notes in this that I have never been able to pick out in another matcha before which wowed me really I would definitely be really interested to see how in changes of different years and harvests going forward.
Overall Teacup Rating: 5/5
If you want to find out more about Yunomi or Kuma Tea Gardens and purchase some of this Matcha to try for yourself you can do all of these things here. As always if you have any questions at all either stick them in the comments or send them to me on Twitter/Instagram @teaisawishblog and I’ll answer them all as soon as I can.
Speak to you all again soon. Happy Steeping – Kimberley
*the tea featured in this post was gifted to me for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own and have not been paid for*