In a previous post (G is for Genmaicha) I shared with you several legends as to the origins of Genmaicha. Now on to the tasting of Genmaicha!
The dry leaves…
The dry tea leaves were dark green and slender accompanied with brown rice kernels. The aroma of the dry leaves was nutty (pecans maybe) and sweet.
The first infusion…
Yielded a liquor that was a vibrant light green and slightly tinged a khaki brown from the rice. And although the brew time was quite short – a brief minute and a half – (water temperature 170 degrees) it made a light and balanced cup, with an amazingly strong nutty, sweet taste in that short time. The initial sweet and nutty aroma of the dry leaves transformed into a rich, toasted rice with light vegetal undertones with hints of citrus from the Bancha. It had a beautiful light green fragrance highlighted again by the rich toasted rice and believe it or not…warm buttery popcorn. Again, it was definitely nutty and savory and more like a light broth than a tea. The second steep (at about 2 minutes) had less aroma and a grassier green tea flavor. I think that a third steep, however might begin to produce some bitterness.
Overall, the green tea base, (the bancha leaves), was sweetly vegetal but smooth and not at all astringent. While the rice was a noticeable player, it was the green tea that prevailed in the finish. The roasty rice flavor provided a sweetness that nicely complemented the natural sweetness of the green tea. It had a round, smooth mouthfeel.
I think this will be a tea that you will either love or hate. If you want to try something different in green teas, I really suggest trying a sample of this, including those who do not think the descriptions of this tea sound appealing. But for me, this is not a tea I would try again but some might enjoy it for its differences. This rates a 1 for me.
All teas will be rated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 for dislike and 5 as love:
- Dislike (I didn’t like the tea and would not repurchase)
- Passable (I didn’t dislike the tea, but I didn’t think it was very good)
- Average (I didn’t find it good or bad and would drink it again)
- Good (I liked it but it and may repurchase)
- Love (I enjoyed it lot and would repurchase)