Grown without use of pesticides/synthetic fertilizers, the Kodama evokes the delicious bounty of nature with a savoriness that comes from the soil and sunlight filtered through the shade.
木霊 Kodama - the spirit of trees
Naturally Grown Label
The "Naturally Grown" label are products chosen by Yunomi Tea Merchant Ian that have been verified to be grown without use of pesticides / synthetic fertilizers. In some cases, it may also be possible to formally certify these products as organic according to the Japanese Agriculture standard (JAS). In such cases, look for the JAS organic logo mark on the package.
Note: this same matcha was previously rated "standard ceremonial grade", but upon reevaluation, has been downgraded to bring the grading into accordance with our Uji no Matcha series (conventionally grown matcha using pesticides).
Yunomi Evaluation - 66/100
Based on our own tasting, this product has the following profile. However, tastings are not conducted side by side, and different water, ambient temperature, etc. may affect the outcome. Please use this profile as a simple guide.
- Umami: 14/20 (20 being the richest umami)
- Creaminess: 13/20 (20 being the creamiest)
Lack of Astringency: 13/20 (20 being least astringent)
- Lack of Bitterness: 13/20 (20 being least bitter)
- Texture: 7/10 (10 being the smoothest grinding)
- Color: 6/10 (10 having the greenest, most vibrant color)
- Ingredients: Green tea.
- Harvest: Spring
Cultivation: Grown without use of pesticides / synthetic fertilizers. Shaded 3-4 weeks before harvest.
- Packaging: Silver plastic bag inside resealable bag.
- Storage: We recommend storing one 30-gram bag at room temperature for daily use in the screw top can or resealable bag, and the remaining in your freezer for long-term storage if you buy more than one at once. NOTE: For freezer storage, double-seal in a plastic ziplock bag and tupperware container for maximum freshness and to avoid other food smells from affecting the matcha. Always allow the bag to sit for 24-hours before unsealing to acclimate to room temperature. This avoids condensation from damaging the matcha powder.
Did you know matcha is best when it's freshly ground?
How good your matcha is depends of course on the quality of the underlying leaf. However, producers buy many different production lots from many different farmers. Their skill, the reason why we call them master blenders, is in blending the leaves prior to grinding to create a specific profile in terms of powder color, powder aroma, grain size, matcha color, and most importantly the flavor of the matcha.
While the harvest season can make a big difference in quality since larger autumn leaves will be more bitter and more difficult to grind into fine powder, the harvest year is not necessarily important particularly right after the spring harvest (May - August). At this time, leaves may actually be too fresh to make good matcha--their flavor may create matcha that is very strong in umami but also too bitter. Meanwhile, leaves that have aged over the past year will be more mellow and perfect for balancing the fresh leaf.
Matcha however does get old quickly after grinding. In 6 months after grinding the color will fade, and the aroma will disappear. After 9 months, the strength of the flavor will also fade. As a result, higher grade matcha tends to have a best by date of 3-6 months, while lower grade matcha has a best by date of 12 months in Japan. Western brands often have a 18-24 month shelf life though.
As a rule, we do our best to ensure that the Yunomi branded matcha is never older the 6 months from grinding, and that matcha other brands are never older than 6 months from procurement.
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