Mellow MonkEdit Company
Popular Teas from Mellow MonkSee All 13 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
This is my first dive into Japanese teas, and I can say that I am quite pleased! I was looking around for a good genmaicha, which I often see served in Japanese restaurants. Then I found Mellow Monk’s genmaicha, Harmony.
When I initially opened the bag I was welcomed with the pleasant scent of fresh green tea and a roasty scent similar to popcorn kernels. The smell is amazing. At first, I had been too careless when preparing this tea and ended up making the water too hot. The flavor was strong and bitter. That was my fault. Then I prepared the tea once more, but I heated the water to a lower temperature and steeped it at the same time.
Perfect!! It has the right amount of nuttiness and has a deep grassy flavor to it. Reminds me of ochazuke. It is very comforting and hearty to drink around this time of year since it’s cold outside. I would drink this tea along with sushi or wagashi. I can’t wait to try Top Leaf and Monk’s Choice when they come in.
Flavors: Earth, Grass, Nutty, Toasted Rice
I really love this tea. From the moment you open the bag, it’s a great experience (it smells wonderful). I’ve become a big fan of Japanese green teas, and as I don’t have loads of disposable income, I’m always looking for a Japanese-style green that is a great bang-for-your-buck buy. Of the maybe 15-20 Japanese-style teas I’ve tried, this is one definitely has the best price-to-quality ratio for me. Highly recommended for anyone that wants a tasty fukamushi tea without breaking the bank!
I made an account at steepster just to review this tea!
(Also, worth noting — Steepster says the tea is unavailable but that’s not right!)
I’m a big fan of Mellow Monk, but this tea underwhelmed me. I have read the accolades it has received, and have what I believe to be a decent tea tasting palate, but it just didn’t do it for me. Not to say it is bad, it certainly isn’t, but it just isn’t nearly as good as everyone says. Sweet, round, and vegetable flavors coat your mouth.
Flavors: Round , Sweet, Vegetal
Shaded Leaf has consistently been my go-to. Very soft, sweet, and grassy, it is the quintessential Gyokuro. Has gone down in quality over the years, likely due to the soil, but it still easily one of the best on the market. Very easy to get tea drunk on. Batch from 2013 was maybe one of the best teas I’ve ever had.
Flavors: Grass, Sweet
Excellent tea. It has an intense green color that I have not seen in other teas of its kind. The smell is quite refreshing as well. It may be expensive, but well worth its price. The flavor is subtle and very appealing. It induces a feeling of relaxation in me, just like the other mellow monk tea I’ve tasted, Monk’s Choice.
It is my impression that to enjoy teas such as this one, you need to have a good brewing method, and if you truly want to enjoy it, avoid drinking it while doing something else (such as using your computer or watching TV), otherwise you may not experience the full flavor of the tea. It is a tea that demands attention, like classical music. Otherwise, you would be wasting money on it, and you would be better off with a more affordable option picked up from a market stall.
If you can afford 15 minute tea breaks on your day to day life, I highly recommend this tea.
It has a subtle and calming flavor. Very different from your typical green tea bought at a supermarket. Great every day tea. It is steamed so it does not have that distasteful oily note typical of pan fried Chinese green teas. That note is so overwhelming for my palate that all Chinese teas basically taste the same to me. That is why I think Japanese green teas are the best. This particular tea has a strong scent so it gives me the impression that it is very fresh, or at least fresher than all other teas I have tasted before.
For these kinds of teas, intensity of taste or richness of flavor will depend on how you steep the tea. Make sure to have a good brewing method, so you can make the most of affordable and well manufactured teas such as this one. Follow the instructions in the package first and experiment what tastes best for you.
I noticed that the region in which it grows was far away from the areas affected by radioactive fallout from the Fukushima incident such as mid and northern japan, and is not an area affected by heavy pollution such as China. I feel safer buying tea from them because of that.
I originally found out about Mellow Monk Teas from the North American Tea Championships and their 2013 award for their wonderful Shaded Leaf green tea(my absolute favorite green tea). The company is absolutely amazing, all of their teas are first flush pickings(isn’t that ridiculous??!!!) and you can seriously taste that they are! All of their teas are grown in the best soil from Kumamoto Japan are small batch harvests.
After sadly finishing my last bag of Shaded Leaf I decided to try something new from Mellow Monk. The flavor notes they listed on their website for Blissful Buds was intriguing and after seeing I immediately bought it.
I received my tea and brewed up a nice cup of Blissful Buds. As I opened the bag I was hit with a sweet herbaceous smell. I put 1.5 teaspoons in my 165 degree water and brewed for exactly 1 minute and 30 seconds. The smell of the tea is light and similar to the stronger dry smell of the tea.
On the initial sip I was very pleased with the strong sweetly herbaceous taste. It is a fine green tea that pleases the taste buds! The hints of berry are definitely there but are much lighter than the herbaceous notes. The taste lingers long after the last sip with a very pleasing vegetal taste that is also very sweet. Made me want to mediate and left me in a very clear headed state!
A delicious tea indeed!! I would highly recommend this tea to someone who is already a fan of Mellow Monk teas but is craving a lightly sweet green tea. I would call Blissful Buds the younger half brother of Shaded Leaf, similar sweet berry hints, but Shaded Leaf is a lot more intense and very well rounded and extremely smooth, but also double the cost.
Flavors: Berry, Herbaceous, Sweet, Vegetal
I think I received this in a swap from Cameron B. If yes, thanks so much!
Brewed in a shudei kyusu. Japanese green teas are so finicky for me and I was impatient today, so the temperature is rather high (I heat water in a saucepan), but each steep was only a few seconds long. I got good results.
The wet leaf smells delightfully of ripe persimmons. The liquor is dark neon green, thick, and full-bodied. A sweet and buttery feel with notes of squash, pumpkin, and a hint of clementine.
This is a sencha to drink after dinner – no bitterness or vegetables in this one!
I’ve not had a lot of Japanese black teas, but the few that I’ve had I’ve really enjoyed. So it was a real treat to have the opportunity to sample this Crimson Grove from Mellow Monk.
A tea with sweet and warm notes. Hints of smoke and nutmeg. Not an overly aggressive type of black tea, this isn’t the tea you’d want to turn to if you need a vigorous shake awake. Instead, this is the kind of tea to turn to when you want something cozy and contemplative.
Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/08/24/crimson-grove-black-tea-from-mellow-monk/
Mellow Monk is one of my favorite sources for top notch Japanese Teas. I’ve not been disappointed by anything that I’ve tried from them, and they carry one of my all-time favorite green teas. So, I was only too happy to try this Kuma Green 1228.
For my full-length review, please check out the blog: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/10/30/kuma-green-1228-sencha-green-tea-from-mellow-monk/
A beautiful dry leaf. It looks a bit like freshly cut grass only much darker than any grass that I’ve ever seen. I’d love for my lawn to be this color. I’d be the envy of the neighborhood. It’s beautiful. The aroma is grassy with fruity notes.
A remarkable Japanese green: sweet, fruit (I tasted notes of apple, grape and melon with a hint of citrus toward the tail), not so much buttery as it is crisp and refreshing. Clean. Vegetal.
There are some savory notes but nothing that I’d call bitter. Just sweet with a savory note. Brothy. A hint of tart toward the tail from the citrus.
After a few sips, I start to pick up on a Jasmine note. Beautiful! A very satisfying and well-rounded cup of tea. Be sure to resteep this one, it’s well worth the effort. The second and third infusions were quite lovely. I little more vegetal than the first, but still very enjoyable.
Last night, my son came over for supper. He said pop make us some tea. I already had a bottle of Lipton Citrus Green Tea poured (he hates it). I told him I had this Just-Right Roast cold in my den fridge. I tried to explain it to him as different than he was used to drinking.
He poured a tall glass over ice. Took one drink, then said, “It tastes like the time I burned my rice.” I prefer to think of it as genmaicha like. Actually, I guess his reaction was kind of accurate for a first time with hojicha type tea. He added sugar and did finish his glass with the Parmesan chicken, broccoli, and mashed potatoes.
He was not impressed that it won first place three years in a row. I laughed under my breath.
Yes, I know it’s fall. I drink iced tea all year round, just as I do with hot tea. This one comes in paper pyramid sachets. Each sachet makes one quart. Mellow Monk says this is a good cold brew candidate. This blend apparently won first place in the North American Tea Competition in its category in 2012, 2013, and 2014. Kind of impressive.
I used two sachets with two quarts of cool filtered water, then placed the pitcher in the fridge and walked away. Five hours later I poured my first glass. The roasting is similar in intensity to the few genmaichas I have tried. The taste is very nutty just as Mellow Monk said. I have never had a hickory nut so I can’t confirm it as the specific type. No bitterness. It is a little drying at this point. Very different.
On my blog I mentioned how green tea was as popular as black tea in the south prior to the world wars. Of course that means sweet tea. So I added sweetener to the glass. It was very good this way.
24 hours later I poured a second glass. This has really matured. The flavors are deeper with no rough edges. Deep nutty goodness. I had no desire to add sweetener. I finished the glass with a lunchmeat sandwich with jalapeno ketchup. The tea stood up to the sandwich with no effort.
If you like the roasted taste of hojicha and are looking for something unique then this is a real treat.
This is my second free tea sample for review from Paul at Mellow Monk. Thanks again, Paul, for the opportunity to try your lovely teas! This is Mellow Monk’s version of sencha, and the 1228 refers to the grower’s street address, which I thought was really cool. The leaves are rather irregular in terms of both size and shape – some are long and thin like needles, some are shorter and wider, some are somewhat curved. There seem to be a lot of broken leaves, although by looking at it I would say this is intentional. The dry scent is a lovely comforting combination of sweet alfala hay and succulent grass with some honeydew notes. I did three steeps of this tea, all at 165 degrees: 1.5 minutes, 45 seconds, and another 45 seconds.
The first steep was 90 seconds. The liquid is a lovely yellow-green that reminds me of a certain lemon-lime carbonated beverage! The aroma is both sweet and savory, the sweet being grass and butternut squash, and the savory being a touch of seaweed and vegetable broth. It also smells creamy and buttery with notes of soy milk. Wow, the sweetness in the taste surprised me! It’s quite sweet with steamed spinach and dark grass notes, but there is a savory touch of saline seaweed and vegetable broth. The texture is definitely thick and creamy, and I’m detecting a light touch of floral. The aftertaste is all sweet grass.
The second steep was 45 seconds. The aroma seemed quite similar to me – a combination of sweet butternut and savory seaweed broth. The taste, however, was even sweeter than the first steep. The texture has lightened a bit, and now there’s a touch of crisp, sweet apple. I’m still tasting steamed spinach and the floral has identified itself as jasmine to my palate. There’s a very slight drying sensation and a tiny hint of bitterness in the aftertaste.
The third steep was also 45 seconds. The liquid is just slightly lighter in color this time, and perhaps a touch more green. Aroma is sweet and mild with spinach, grass, and jasmine notes. Again, the taste is super sweet, and it reminds me of honeydew melon juice. The foundation of steamed spinach and sweet grass remains, and the jasmine seems to have become slightly stronger for me, especially in the aftertaste. Astringency is extremely slight, and I’m picking up a light lemon flavor after the sip.
I really enjoyed this one! I did find it to have some similarities to the Top Leaf – both are quite sweet with spinach and honeydew notes, but the Kuma Green 1228 had a distinct natural jasmine flavor while the Top Leaf was more citrusy. Both are totally delicious Japanese greens from Mellow Monk!
If anyone would like to try a sample of either of these lovely teas, please let me know with a comment or a PM. Willing to share!
Flavors: Apple, Broth, Butter, Butternut Squash, Creamy, Grass, Honeydew, Jasmine, Lemon, Seaweed, Spinach, Sweet
I think I have food poisoning. I got sick at work and had to leave 2 hours into my shift. I’ve gotten sick a few more times since then. So I’ve been sipping on some broth and some tea and trying to settle my stomach. Green tea is usually a good choice for doing so.
1 tsp, 8oz water, 175F, 60s.
Hmm, vegetal and savory, a bit bitter and astringent. The flavor is good, so I’m going to try lowering the temperature and decrease the time.
1tsp, 8oz water, 130F, 30s.
This is just what I need my delicate stomach. Soft, gentle, soothing. Smooth with no bitterness or astringency. Vegetal, a bit like spinach, with a touch of citrus and a hint of melon. I love knowing that this is just as good hot as it is cold brewed. When I’m feeling better I might try slightly warmer. Either way, it’s yummy and calming.
Phew, it has been a busy busy week. Work all week, midterms, a home football game/tailgate, and still trying and failing to find time for the gym and sleep. I received this last week, and since it was out I decided to try it cold steeped, something I haven’t been doing much off lately, but I realized it’s easier and quicker for me than regular methods. I’ve been making up a cold steep the night before and then taking it with me for breakfast at 6am on the way to work.
I love this tea. Sweet, fruity, vegetal. This is one of those perfect iced green tea teas. Sweetened or not, I love it. Some mornings I’m craving sugar, so I sweeten it and am rewarded with a refreshing, citrusy, melon-y, fruity, slightly “green” green tea. Some mornings I’m I don’t crave sweet, so I drink this straight and enjoy the vegetal, sweet, mild, brew. It reminds me of a spinach salad made up of spinach, mandarins, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Leaves me feeling satisfied despite not having time to actually eat breakfast.
I will try this hot steeped the traditional way, but for know I’m really enjoying this cold steeped. I’m not sure if I like this or Top Leaf more cold brewed, so I’ll have to do a taste off and see. Either way, both are excellent choices for me.
One of my Steepster friends told me about this company. I wanted this tea because it sounded interesting. It smells different, like a darker green or dark oolong. The flavour is on the sweet side, with some smoky taste. There is mostly a smooth and mellow cup, and the smoky taste is subtle enough to be present and not overpowering.
Overall, it is very plesant and kinda makes me think of the forest of Mirkwood.
Hooray, it’s here! Miss Mandy mentioned in her note that Paul from Mellow Monk was looking for more people to try and review his teas, so of course, I sent him an email and he sent me this tea! Thanks Paul! This tea is described as being a “honcha”, which means it’s a traditional green tea. I tried to find more information on this type of tea via Google, but I didn’t come up with much in the way of useful information. C’est la vie!
The small leaves of this tea give me the impression that they were allowed to shape themselves naturally while drying. Some of them are rolled into tubes, some are slightly curled, and I even found one that had rolled itself into an oolong-style pellet. Their color is a dark and rich green with a touch of blue, and it reminds me of evergreen trees. Dry scent is quite sweet and gives me impressions of dark grass and hay with a light saline seaweed note. I did three steeps with this tea – 2 minutes, 45 seconds, and then 1 minute. I used 8 ounces of 175 degree water each time.
The first steep (2 minutes) smelled very buttery and creamy with sweet steamed spinach, seaweed, and light citrus notes. Tasting it, I was amazed by how richly creamy and buttery this tea is! It’s silky in the mouth, with mild and sweet steamed spinach, butternut squash, and seaweed flavors. I could detect a light citrus note, and it was especially apparent in the aftertaste (the tea’s description mentions grapefruit, and this seems accurate to me). There was just the slightest hint of bitterness that really served to prevent this rich and creamy tea from becoming cloying and overwhelming.
The second steep (45 seconds) surprised me with a more vegetal aroma of spinach and seaweed and less creaminess. And then I was surprised again by the sweet and mellow taste of honeydew melon. Overall, the flavor was milder with this steep. There was still some of that spinach and seaweed combination in the aftertaste, and I found it to be mildly astringent, making me want to drink more.
The third steep (1 minute) had a similar aroma to the second, but was milder in intensity. Overall, I found this steep similar to the second. It still featured that sweet and lovely light honeydew melon flavor, with just a touch of mild spinach. It was also slightly more astringent than the second steep, and a touch too mild in flavor for me.
Overall, this is an extremely delicious tea! The mouthfeel is amazingly silky and the sweet and creamy flavors pair with it beautifully. I did notice a touch of astringency that developed as I continued to steep, but even at its zenith, it was still very light and inoffensive to me. Thanks so much to Paul at Mellow Monk for giving me the opportunity to try this tea! I have already promised a sample to one other Steepsterite, and any others curious about this tea are welcome to one as well!
Flavors: Butter, Butternut Squash, Citrus, Creamy, Honeydew, Seaweed, Spinach, Sweet
Drinking this cold brew, and not bad. I prefer it hot, though. Top Leaf is still my go to cold brew green. While this tea is more buttery and savory cold, Top Leaf is a sweeter vegetal type of green when cold brewed.
So Paul from Mellow Monk told be this morning that he is looking for more Steepsters to do reviews of his teas, so if anyone would be interested in receiving any Mellow Monk teas in exchange for reviews, let me know and I’ll give you his email! (:
I’ve loved the two other green teas that I received from Mellow Monk, so when I got this in the mail yesterday, I couldn’t wait to try it. My boyfriend made burgers for dinner, and after such a heavy meal, this seemed like the perfect choice to calm my tummy.
1 teaspoon, 8 oz water, 160F, 60, 40, 60 second steeps.
The dry leaf smells darkly vegetal, but sweet. The wet leaf smells less sweet, and more like steamed dark vegetables.
The first steep steeps up cloudy with fluffy looking floaties that settle down to the bottom after a couple of minutes. The flavor is gentle, but savory. Soft and buttery, fleshy and dark vegetal. Like a broth made from broccoli, green beans, spinach, and maybe a bit of seaweed.
Second steep, this is less cloudy, but still some speckles at the bottom. The flavor is more gentle this time, lighter, more seaweed and less green bean. Still silky and buttery, a little less savory, and a little more sweet, melon like note. There’s also a sort of mineral note at the end of the sip.
Third steep is even more sweet and melon and seaweed and gentle. It’s a little bit on the weak side, so I don’t know if I needed a longer steep, or warmer water.
Another solid offering from mellow monk, and another I can see myself cold brewing and taking with me to work in the morning.
from the (Mostly) Unflavored TTB
This tea had so much promise, and was just so disappointing. It was the end of the sample in the box, and it was smooshed at the bottom of the box. I could see the leaves were pretty broken up and there was a lot of dust, but I crossed my fingers and tried it anyway.
Bitter as heck, with hints of the flavors I wanted this tea to have. But bitter, nasty bitter.
So hopefully I’ll see this in some other teabox or somewhere and can try it again, because this didn’t work for me.