Thanks to LiberTeas for sending me a sample, especially of a tea she really loves!
I’ve never had guricha (or tamaryokucha) before, so this was a new experience for me and I have been excited to try it. For this first time, I went ahead and followed the exact instructions on Mellow Monk’s website. I hope to experiment a little with the 3g – 5g left or so…
The loose leaf actually gave off an aroma like a freshly plowed garden. Yes, even like soil a little. That didn’t scare me off, because even though that isn’t an aroma that sounds edible, it reminded me of going to a nursery or walking through a garden, and those are good kinds of smells.
As for the tea itself — this is definitely different than regular sencha! There is no hint of that fresh bitterness, or grassy/vegetal flavor. Instead there is a bit of flavorful earthiness, it is definitely fruity, with a mix of mint and pine in the background. Perhaps its more like the smell of pine needles, but very muted, with mint in there somewhere.
I hope to compare it to some other gurichas, too, to see if this is a pretty unique tea, or if it’s typical of guricha. Either way, it’s delicious! There’s a good chance it could go on my shopping list in the future.