I tried this for the first time a few days ago, so forgive me if I’m not perfectly eloquent today!
First of all, the smell of the dry leaf is ricey and sweet and fun. It definitely begins to evoke the concept of a cherry cheesecake. I’m pretty fond of a genmaicha, but haven’t had a ton of experience with them. I was first introduced to genmaicha by a friend of mine I used to work with. She was allergic to just about everything except for rice and green tea (I think you see where I’m going with this). She was even unable to drink black teas. I’m not quite sure why, but somehow that was the case.
In any case, I had a small amount of genmaicha with her a while back and enjoyed it, but wasn’t blown away. To be fair, I wasn’t exactly blown away by much green tea at all. I’m pretty sure it stems from the fact that everytime I had green tea for a very long time, it was prepared improperly, usually with too hot of water.
So when I saw the Cherry Cheesecake Genmaicha, I knew that I wanted to try it. After heating my water, I allowed it to set and cool for a few minutes to get water temperature more along the lines of what is needed for this kind of tea. I allowed it to steep a couple of minutes and poured myself a cup.
I wasn’t fond of the smell of the wet leaf, it was a bit too heavy on the rice aroma. But the liquor itself, well… that just smelled delicious! The tea itself was nice a lightly flavored. It was like a nice green tea with a hint of the rice (almost simulating the taste of a crust if you keep entirely in cheesecake terms) and a very mild sweetness. I think my favorite part was how mild the cherry flavor was. It was definitely present, but just sort of interlaced itself with the rest of the flavors to enhance the overall product.
Not listing my preparation details as I can’t remember them that precisely, but I definitely enjoyed this and may have to get one of the other remaining bags of it to ensure I have some on hand for a while!