I’d like to preface this review by making clear that I’m hardly an expert on straight-up green teas. Anyway, I felt like this tea was just another that made me think “a green tea is a green tea!” I know there’s some pretty different-tasting types on the market, like jasmine and matcha, but this isn’t one of them. It had a strange aroma that reminded me a bit of baking soda combined with dried grass, and the taste was pleasant but not really memorable. I like green tea, so this isn’t a negative review—it’s just one that confesses that I didn’t find this much different to other green teas I’ve had in cafes or bagged supermarket brands. My experiences in those contexts haven’t been negative, but Kusmi is a bit premium, so I guess I would’ve expected that the flavour of this might have something different. It’s very slightly fruity at the beginning, but that aspect was barely noticeable. It had a pretty “Japanese” flavour for some reason, and I think it tastes the same as genmaicha but without the rice bits. That probably sounds stupid, but what I mean is that the tea in this must be the same tea that’s based on. It’s very grassy, though not in a particularly fresh, sweet kind of way, and has a bitter, green aftertaste.
As with other green teas, this really does get bitter when you over steep it. The grassy flavour ends up being a combination of grass and sharp bitterness after maybe 10 minutes (“Who steeps their tea for 10 minutes?!” you ask? I like to try things a number of ways, and tasted it throughout the process, to see what would end up happening). Be mindful of that (even though this is not as easy to do in this case as it usually would be, because the water doesn’t get flavourful for a little while), and perhaps don’t expect this to have an especially unique flavour. It also didn’t really work re-steeping this. There was little flavour on the second steeping and it was a bit like drinking slightly bitter hot water.
I had it unsweetened and without soy milk, which always seems like the only way with plain green teas. It’s that kind of experience.