Full disclosure: this tea was sent to me as a free sample by the vendor. However, there was no expectation that I would provide a review.
Spent some time on the porch this morning and tried this tea out in further preparation for the full on shin-cha experience.
I must say I’m a little skeptical of shin-cha mixed with toasted rice and coated in matcha. Can the base leaf itself really be that good if there’s this much other stuff going on? Maybe this is the best use of shin-cha this year, considering the variable and broadly poor harvest.
The first steep is viscous, but largely tastes of strongly toasted rice. Maybe the first 6g of tea that tapped out of the bag had an inordinate amount of rice kernels, but this is one toasty cup of green tea. Dark emerald green soup. In the flashy finish quick glimses of tangerine citrus and umami-forward theanine sweetness. This tea has a real savory edge to it, hinting at sesame and green onion. Mild and a little heavy on the rice.
The second steep was completely empty. This tea does not steep more than once.
Flickr photo at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/the_skua/4668561111/