Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Aiya
Konacha, literally “powder tea,” should not be confused with Matcha, “powdered tea.” While Matcha is specially grown and harvested, then slowly ground into a fine jade powder, Konacha is made from the tea dust that results when processing other teas. The grade of Konacha depends solely on the tea it originated from. While Aiya’s Konacha comes from processing Gyokuro, other Konacha can be made from Sencha leaves. Aiya’s Konacha is specifically selected, unique variety that can withstand boiling water without sacrificing taste or color. Konacha is a very simple sweet, lightly grassy starter tea with a little astringency. Konacha is known in Japan as the tea primarily served in sushi restaurants.
I don’t think I’ve ever tried a Konacha tea before. So this Konacha Green Tea from Aiya is a first for me! I love it when I’m presented with opportunities to try teas that are new to me, however, I was a little unsure of what I was about to try since the above description does state that Konacha is tea dust … and my experience with tea dust evokes thoughts of that stuff that comes in the yellow, white and red box from the grocery store, even though that stuff is black tea and this is a green tea.
The dry leaf is very finely chopped (not surprising as the above description does state that this is tea dust). It brews up a light yet bright green-ish color with a vegetative aroma.
I’m happy to state that this does NOT taste anything like the bad stuff that is available in the grocery store. This is actually quite enjoyable! It tastes a bit like Gyokuro, it has that same sweet, brothy character that I expect from a high quality Gyokuro. There are differences of course. There are some savory bitter tones to this tea that hit the palate toward mid-sip, and those notes are much more pronounced with this Konacha than what I would expect from a Gyokuro.
This tea is lightly sweet with notes of grass and kelp. There are hints of fruit notes that hit the palate toward the finish. At the finish, I notice a faint astringency. It’s a very enjoyable cuppa, with a soft, brothy texture, it has both comforting and refreshing qualities to it.
As I said before, there are some similarities to a Gyokuro here … with Gyokuro being the understandably superior tea. But this is still really quite nice, and this is much more reasonably priced than Gyokuro! That’s a big plus! This is the ideal tea for those Gyokuro aficionados out there that would like to drink Gyokuro every day but find that their budgets prohibit such a thing. This is an excellent “everyday” type of tea.