Opening up the sample packet, I’m struck by the bright green color the matcha lends to the ensemble. Amazing that tea can be so, so green. Fantastic aroma of roasted grains and vegetables. The first steep (boiling, 30 seconds) was also bright green, and sweet. The toasty and vegetal flavors are holding hands in the middle of the room, making googly eyes at each other. No bitterness at all, and just the tiniest hint of astringency.

2nd steep: boiling, 15 seconds. Losing some of the nuttiness in the aroma this time around. Still a really bright green liquor though. All the flavors are still there, but now they’ve mellowed with the passing of time and are content to simply be present in their own subtle way.

I think I like this one a bit more than Den’s bagged Genmaicha, if for no other reason than to enjoy the sight of the leaves as they transform under the influence of the water.

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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Grandma introduced me to tea as a kid (lipton with milk and sugar; a bit poured into the saucer to cool it down and then sipped from there), and I’ve never looked back. Still have a slight preference for teas that go well with milk (or even better, cream) and sugar, but since Grandma’s day I’ve branched out to appreciate green and white teas, rooibos and pu erh. Absolutely love Mariage Freres!


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