I try to get as many steeps as possible out of my leaves so I don’t feel like I am somehow “wasting” them. This mentality seems to fall by the wayside late at night, when I am totally fine with tossing leaves in the trash after one or two steeps. But this tea? No way I am wasting a limited edition blend by tossing perfectly good leaves! So I threw them in the fridge last night and decided to experiment today.
The first steep (third technically) was pretty simple—half the water, pour over ice, voila! Iced tea! This was really good iced. I usual ice genmaicha all summer as I find it to be the most refreshing tea and it’s also one of the few iced teas I don’t feel the need to put sugar in. The cherry flavor definitely pops even more this way, though the creaminess is a bit in the background. It’s more of a fruity genmaicha than a cheesecake-y one, but I don’t really know if that’s a flavor that would be good cold. Who knows? I’ll probably try cold brewing this now to get out that cheesy flavor a bit more.
The second (fourth!) steep I went a little crazy with. Yes, I committed a cardinal tea sin and am going to tea hell. If you are squeamish, avert your eyes! I…. put milk in it. I know, I know! No milk in greens, ever! But the creamy flavor was kind of lacking in this steep and I wanted more of it. It was just a teeny tiny splash, I swear! And I hate to admit this, but it was SO GOOD. Creamy, tart, still full of that awesome genmaicha flavor. I… might even do it again. I know it’s shameful, but it was delicious! I bumped up the score a bit now that I know this tea is so versatile, and getting 4 good steeps out of it is a definite bonus.