Saturday, January 16, 2016

My Cuppa: Okay! Oku Yame is yummy!

At a past event about black teas, I was given a gift of a package of tea after correctly answering a very easy skill-testing question.  The tea I received was a Japanese black tea called Oku Yame, one of the teas we actually sampled that evening.  I didn’t really get a chance to describe this tea in depth so I thought I’d provide further thoughts on it now that I have more time to really analyze it.

Japan is not really known for their black teas, so this was a real treat.  Harvested in the Summer, the tea leaves used to make Oku Yame are normally used to make Sencha, my everyday green tea.  The dry leaves look very much like many known black teas with wiry, charcoal slivers, and hits of golden specs. I found it had a fresh, earthy scent.

Oku Yame dry leaves.


  • Measure out 1 teaspoon for every 1 cup of water used.
  • Bring water to a full boil in a kettle.  I always wait about 5 minutes before using the water.
  • Pour the hot water over the tea leaves.  I have my trusted mini teapot with a removable filter.
  • Infuse for 5 minutes then remove the tea leaves from the liquor.
  • Pour the infusion into a cup and enjoy.

The water rapidly turned to amber, and then finally into a golden, mahogany colour during the infusion process.  The liquor had a light, caramel aroma, or as my tea instructor in school suggested, like “cooked yams”.  It really resembled your typical, commercial, black teas offered in teabags. The taste, however, was not at all bitter as one would expect of a black tea.  It actually tasted a little sour to me.  I liked it. 

Oku Yame in a mug.

 I prepared a second infusion of the tea leaves and found it less bold then the first infusion, but still quite enjoyable.  Oku Yame is a good black tea I could regularly enjoy in the absence of other additives like milk or sugar.  Perfect, as I’m more and more leaning towards drinking teas in their true essence!

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