drank Top Leaf by Mellow Monk
972 tasting notes

Hooray, it’s here! Miss Mandy mentioned in her note that Paul from Mellow Monk was looking for more people to try and review his teas, so of course, I sent him an email and he sent me this tea! Thanks Paul! This tea is described as being a “honcha”, which means it’s a traditional green tea. I tried to find more information on this type of tea via Google, but I didn’t come up with much in the way of useful information. C’est la vie!

The small leaves of this tea give me the impression that they were allowed to shape themselves naturally while drying. Some of them are rolled into tubes, some are slightly curled, and I even found one that had rolled itself into an oolong-style pellet. Their color is a dark and rich green with a touch of blue, and it reminds me of evergreen trees. Dry scent is quite sweet and gives me impressions of dark grass and hay with a light saline seaweed note. I did three steeps with this tea – 2 minutes, 45 seconds, and then 1 minute. I used 8 ounces of 175 degree water each time.

The first steep (2 minutes) smelled very buttery and creamy with sweet steamed spinach, seaweed, and light citrus notes. Tasting it, I was amazed by how richly creamy and buttery this tea is! It’s silky in the mouth, with mild and sweet steamed spinach, butternut squash, and seaweed flavors. I could detect a light citrus note, and it was especially apparent in the aftertaste (the tea’s description mentions grapefruit, and this seems accurate to me). There was just the slightest hint of bitterness that really served to prevent this rich and creamy tea from becoming cloying and overwhelming.

The second steep (45 seconds) surprised me with a more vegetal aroma of spinach and seaweed and less creaminess. And then I was surprised again by the sweet and mellow taste of honeydew melon. Overall, the flavor was milder with this steep. There was still some of that spinach and seaweed combination in the aftertaste, and I found it to be mildly astringent, making me want to drink more.

The third steep (1 minute) had a similar aroma to the second, but was milder in intensity. Overall, I found this steep similar to the second. It still featured that sweet and lovely light honeydew melon flavor, with just a touch of mild spinach. It was also slightly more astringent than the second steep, and a touch too mild in flavor for me.

Overall, this is an extremely delicious tea! The mouthfeel is amazingly silky and the sweet and creamy flavors pair with it beautifully. I did notice a touch of astringency that developed as I continued to steep, but even at its zenith, it was still very light and inoffensive to me. Thanks so much to Paul at Mellow Monk for giving me the opportunity to try this tea! I have already promised a sample to one other Steepsterite, and any others curious about this tea are welcome to one as well!

Flavors: Butter, Butternut Squash, Citrus, Creamy, Honeydew, Seaweed, Spinach, Sweet

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Hello, my name is Cameron. I’m 25 years old and currently living in New York state with my lovely boyfriend (a software architect). I am currently not employed, which leaves plenty of time for cooking and tea-drinking! I am a staunch lover of pugs and other squishy-face dogs, although sadly I do not currently have one. :(

I originally got into tea a couple of years ago. My sister introduced me to Teavana (there was a store in the nearby mall) and I was hooked. I have just started to drink tea again and I am very grateful to have found this community where there are so many with experience and wisdom to share!

I am a shameless Western steeper!

I love swaps! If you see something in my cupboard that you’d like to try, shoot me a private message and we’ll work something out!

My general tea info:

Taiwanese Blacks
Yunnans (esp. Pure Bud)
Lightly Roasted Oolongs
Japanese Greens
Most “Dessert” Flavors (caramel, toffee, butterscotch, cake, cookie, etc.)

Favorite Companies:
Capital Tea Limited
Yunnan Sourcing

Not A Fan
High Mountain Oolong
Overly Floral (esp. Rose)
Strong Licorice Root
Rose Hip
Strong Bergamot

Rating Scale:

90-100: Spectacular, a staple
80-89: Delicious, might buy again
70-79: Pretty good, won’t repurchase
60-69: Just “okay”
00-59: Undrinkable!


Saratoga Springs, New York

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