Remember how I said I didn’t care for green teas? Well, I lied. There are TWO (ok three) green teas I enjoy when prepared properly: Genmaicha, Sencha, and Gyokuro. When I say prepared properly I mean, not prepared by me. That us until the one touch came into my life. It’s made getting the right temp a BREEZE! This also means less chance of me to mess up too bad when making a cup of anything but black and pu-erh teas or tisanes.
As I mentioned my Steepster Select packaged arrived on Saturday and there were a lot of green teas. Frankly a scary amount. I did see two I knew I’d like IF I could manage not to muck them up too badly. One was the Shirakawa Genmaicha from Uji Japan. I was going to try to save it as the last tea I reviewed, but as you can see this did not last long.
Genmaicha’s are one of those green teas I love, even if some folks consider it a novel-tea. It is a bit weird for those drinking it for the first time.
Besides the green tea there’s a lot going on here….fire-toasted and popped rice…in tea? Yeah actually that’s exactly what you’ll find mixed in with the green tea! Spoiler alert it’s usually amazing.
When I opened the package I was hit instantly with the scent of vegetal goodness and toasted rice. As someone who loves both veggies and rice I was instantly excited to get to steeping this tea.
This time I chose to use the one touch’s water mode and customized my settings to match those suggested on the packaging. In this case 180 degrees – once ready I poured the water into the awaiting cast iron pot and set the timer for two minutes steep time. The minute the water hit the tea I got a great sniff of spinach and toasted rice. Honestly this tea smells good enough to eat (and I know people who have eaten their green teas before). I chose NOT to eat the steeped leaves…because the instructions say you get two steeps out of them. Also (personal opinion) it sounds a little gross to me.
The timer I set startled me as it’s set to some very load “Good morning” tune. I dashed into the kitchen to remove the basket in my tea pot and get down to sipping business! The smell is very vegetal with the added bonus of toasted rice. My husband the non-tea drinker thought it smelled “weird”. This is what I live with folks…please send help! (I kid)
The taste is really nice and there is a little hint of sweetness to the tea. I am also, as the tasting notes suggest on the package, getting a taste of grass on the finish. But it isn’t bitter, which is what also turns me off green teas rather quickly. Of course the taste of toasted rice also carries through in each sip. All the flavors play so nice with one another! This is one smooth cup of genmaicha tea. I would really suggest picking up some if you have the chance. I know I might if the funds allow it.
Now I have tried many a genmaicha and I can tell you, not all are created equal. In fact I happened to order some from Adagio Teas (that arrived Monday) as I noticed I didn’t have any in the cabinet. So look for that review later this week and we’ll see how it measures up. As this particular genmaicha was really really good.