This tea, whipped up thick, seems to send memory into overdrive; into a contemplative state. We think Sen No Rikyu, the most masterful and original matcha connoisseur in Japan's very long history of tea, would have marveled at its rich, umami-laden flavor, brilliant color, and ridiculously long finish.
This is dreamy tea that tastes beautiful in any concentration, thick or thin, and sates like nothing else. From Ujitawara, Kyoto.
And we can't help but love Rikyu even more after a comment from one of California's most distinguished tea teachers, Douglas Huskins, who said: "If Rikyu were alive today, I suspect his modernist approach to tea would look a lot like Breakaway Matcha's."
HOW TO MAKE
Previously I had sampled blends 97, 99, 100, and Daphne and ordered 30 g of 100. Rikyu is completely different from all of them and is my new favorite, by a wide margin.
In the jar, the powder smells sweetly green, like sugar snap peas. The first sip of tea tastes (to me) like spring water: clean, slightly mineral, and not much else. The rest of the flavor blooms a second or two later: green like trees just after a rain, with decadent creaminess verging on something almost buttery. There's a subtle, smooth sweetness on the finish - less overt than blend 100, but definitely present. The earthy, mushroom-y umami I've come to associate with matcha is decidedly muted. The flavor here is delicate, allowing the peripheral notes to shine through.
The best way I can describe Rikyu is that drinking this stuff is like standing in a humid forest or tropical garden next to a clear stream, breathing in air rich with the smell of growing things.
The one negative is that Rikyu doesn't seem to blend as readily as the other Breakaway blends I've tried. There's noticeably less foam, and the powder wants to stick to the sides and bottom of my tumbler, meaning that the last few sips often have concentrations of wet powder in them.* Still, I'm almost certainly going to buy this blend again, because it just tastes That Good.
*I use a double-layered fine mesh sieve and an AeroLatte drink foamer, both purchased from Breakaway.
I'm steadily working my way through each blend. Have been drinking SE for a while when I decided to try Rikyu. My overall impression of Rikyu is that it is less vibrant/less green/less bright than SE is - its beauty and flavors are more quiet. Giving it 4 stars because I personally really enjoy the vibrancy of SE/some of the other blends more. Still beautiful!
My favorite new blend. It's GREAT!
Blend Rikyu is the green Frederico Garcia Lorca writes of in Romance Sonambulo-Green, how I want you green.
Green wind. Green branches. for me this tea is the apotheosis of matcha.
I have had the pleasure of drinking matcha for many years. Have purposefully tried many brands, labels, blends and price points. All seem to have a connecting over tone. The first thought I had when I tried Rikyu. "Oh my this is delightfully different and most certainly unique". There was no suggestion of connecting to any other matcha taste. It is delightfully different and unique unto itself. After years of searching.... me it is finally "my perfect matcha". Love, n
This is my second review for this product. I am writing again because the more I drink this the more I don't want to drink anything else and I mean anything else. I could drink and have drank several of these in one day. I hope it goes on sale again soon because it is expensive and I am going to purchase the 100 gram. Amazing product.!
I have tried just about every Blend and the Rikyu is my new favorite. I would do it an injustice if I tried to compare it to any other type of food. When I understand Umami it means to me to be like a savory sweetness if that is possible. This is pure Umami.
This blend is smooth and perfect. A little too good, actually. I always want a second cup, but I'm highly sensitive to caffeine.
I've only tried the 94, the 99, and the 100 before this.
Love is in the air! There is so much good about this matcha. First of all it has a sweetness that is different from the others here. The taste is soft and green yet holds its own. Like a fine green honey elixir that heightens the senses and opens the taste buds to a world of love. Greenly and sophistication are words that come to mind when I serve this. Conversations over the depth of this matcha have just begun in my home. Honestly, it's the first time what we drink has been the subject of repeated discussions regarding the satisfaction we have with any matcha. Love this one. It's exceptional!