Just tried some "Megami Sencha" for the first time
I bought some loose Megami Sencha from my local Wegman’s and I actually enjoy it. I found though that the color was somewhat green after I brewed my cup but apon some further research I found that apparently its supposed to have a greenish color apposed to your typical yellow hue with most Japanese green teas. What are your thoughts on Megami Sencha? As someone who is just getting into green teas and Japanese green teas specifically do you think its a good representation of Japanese greens? I liked the flavor, very vegetal but I’ve read that the second steep usually gives you a more balanced flavor. I’ve also been considering to try some Genmaicha, the fact that it has brown rice to me is pretty fascinating and I’d love to try it out. Thanks in advance your feedback and/or opinions!
I haven’t tried that yet, but I do like green teas that are really green. I like the grassy flavor, but I guess it’s a matter of taste.
My favorite type of Japanese green tea is genmaicha, I highly encourage you to try it. The toasted rice (it’s not really brown rice) adds a nice nutty flavor.
The Megami Sencha at Wegman’s is from the company Ito En, and it’s what’s called a “fukamushi” sencha which means it’s deep steamed. Some senchas are light steamed “asamushi”, some are medium steamed “chumushi” and some are fukamushi and they all have differences in flavor.
In my experience, fukamushi teas like the Megami sencha are more deeply flavored and vegetal, while the lighter steamed ones are sweeter and more “buttery”. Since you get tea from Wegman’s I would HIGHLY recommend you try the “Uji Kabuse” green tea, that’s the best of the best at Wegman’s. It’s part shade-grown so it’s much sweeter than most senchas, and it has a lot of complexity in the flavor. Just be sure to use a low steeping temperature. That one’s expensive but it’s well worth it. The Ureshino Tama Ryokucha from Wegman’s is also very good.
I know Wegman’s changes their stock of bulk teas often, but if they still have those teas I really suggest you try some.
Thanks for the feedback! Honestly, upon my second cup I’m realizing that this tea isn’t doing much for me. I mean, I feel like I’ve brewing it correctly but its super vegetal and has such an overwhelming spinach-y taste to it. Perhaps this isn’t the best Japanese green to try first? I’ve been told that Genmaicha is pretty good as well, any recommendations on where I should buy some Genmaicha?
Honestly most genmaichas taste pretty much the same because the toasted rice dominates the flavor of the tea, but Harney and Sons’ matcha iri genmaicha is pretty good. I think i recall Wegman’s having a good genmaicha coated with matcha a while back.
Kwinter, you are right, the toasted rice dominates the flavor, that’s why the genmai (toasted rice) should be of good quality to begin with. Genmai made from mochi rice is of much higher quality than that made with normal sticky rice.
Genmaicha is my favorite type of tea, and to me there are notable differences in quality in the various choices available. One thing I would recommend is to buy a good genmai by itself, then you can mix it 50/50 with your favorite green tea and make your own genmaicha.
Ricardo, do you toast your own rice? Are you in a place that has easy access to things like mochi genmai? I’m just beginning to experiment and am having wildly different experiences from steep to steep!
Barb, I’ve tried toasting my own rice but haven’t gotten good results yet. I want to make a blog post about it at the end of this month, hopefully it works by then! I’m doing it with normal Japanese rice because it’s cheaper and easier to get.
If you live in the US you can order mochi genmai from www.obubutea.com, they will ship it to you from Japan.
I love Japanese green teas (I don’t like Chinese) and a good, strong sencha is one of my favourites. It was actually the first green tea I started drinking in my teens. Now my favourite green (and favourite any tea, actually) is genmaicha, as others have mentioned. It’s so yummy! I really love the nutty/rice flavour mixed with the grassy flavour of Japanese greens. I definitely recommend trying it!