Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Hoshino Yame Matcha: Revist

 The spring of 2022 the wife and I decided to get into some regular matcha drinking again.  It feels about right to explore this type of tea in the Spring anyways. My go to matcha for years was Hoshino Yame matcha (Korean: Palhyo Yame).   In Korea, it is historically popular do to the geographical closeness of Yame to South Korea.  Also, Korea’s Japanese matcha consumption is outside of the influence of the different Japanese tea ceremony schools that seem to always prefer matcha from Uji but at a much higher price.  Yame’s matcha offers a great quality to price proposition.

With that being said I have not tired any Hoshino Yame matcha in many years.  Even tracking it down in Canada has proven a bit difficult.  It was a refreshing surprise to find Vancouver tea shop Cultivate Tea selling it from their online store.  I picked up a 20g can of each of the Hoshino Yame matcha they offer.  My end goal will be to find a daily matcha that I will order bulk.  Basically, this is a lesson to see if my matcha tastes have inflated or deflated throughout the years.  In Korea when I was drinking matcha daily it was usually the Pal yoh Hana Pink Label or to a lesser extent the slightly more expensive Blue label below that fulfilled our daily matcha enjoyment.  With daily matcha consumption, it also significantly reduces the amount of puerh I consume and coffee and puerh she consumes… so we will see how this goes.   Wouldn’t that be something if Mattcha’s blog truly becomes a blog about matcha…. Hahahaha… Okay here is my tasting notes…

Hoshino Seihou matcha (Gold Label) – the vibrant green smell of the powder odour is of mainly sweet roasted nuts with a balance of background umami and subtle floral sweetness.  The mouthfeeling after swallowing is what really makes this one great with a movement from the back of the mouth to the tip of the tongue.  The Qi is also really nice for a matcha giving you a much deeper and special relaxing high compared to much more expensive grades of MK.

Hoshino Ike No Shiro (Korean: Ji Beck/ Green Label) matcha -  I was excited about this one because I had sampled it many years ago and it is one of my favorites for the price.  The vibrant deeper green powder has a deeper sweeter odour to it- almost floral fresh vibrantly sweet with a deep umami nutty richness rounding out the lower register.  The taste has a sweet onset with a nutty unami depth.  The mouthfeel is a smooth chalky fluffiness.  Nice relaxing focus.

Hoshino Yame No Tsuyu (Korean: Pal Yoh Roh/ Blue Label) matcha- I had also sampled this one frequently years ago .  The odour of the opened can has an almost smokey green subtle rich vegetal sweetness.  The mouthfeel is a sticky dense pasty froth which evolves into a sandier feeling with a throat stimulating effect.  The taste comes bitter first with a cereal grains type sweetness that fades into a vegetal sweetness in the mouth.  There is almost a nutty sweetness left in the mouth.


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