Even after a few months in a metal tin, being opened and closed every few days, this tea is still holding up very well. One has to be very careful not to over steep, but when the temperature and timing are right you get a wonderfully soft, round, almost buttery cup.
Shouyanagitsu Shinichi Shouten
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This is much better than genmaicha I have purchased stateside, but I believe that is largely because I tend to get genmaicha in import grocery stores, not tea shops, in large, cheap quantities.
This was an absolutely shocking shade of green when I poured the first cup. But it began to fade and darken almost immediately.
The flavor is both darkly vegetal and brightly toasty. I start to get a sense with this of what genmaicha may be all about.
The brew also has a sticky thickness in the mouth, almost like a broth. Which is not unpleasant, but… unexpected.
I don’t think genmaicha will ever be my truly favorite favorite of green teas, but this is very tasty.
OK, Japanese green tea snobs, it is time for the rubber to hit the road. For years I have been having people tell me that “every day” green tea in Japan is better than even the best teas available in the USA.
Well here it is, a bag of green tea so authentically Japanese, I can’t read anything on the bag except the “4”.
Now, this is a truly fantastic shaded green tea. A perfect balance of sweet and bitter greens, soft mouthfeel, and vibrant color even after an hour or two in the pot.
But I have had just as good, or even a bit better, purchased through shops in the USA.
I think it is time for the Nihonophiles to accept that the Internet and international shipping and distribution has eliminated the barriers that once kept all the best teas in the domestic markets.
Don’t get me wrong, this is top shelf, and I will savor every cup. But it is time to put the myth to bed.