drank Top Leaf by Mellow Monk
1235 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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Hi, I’m Cameron! I’m 28 years old and currently living in Austin, Texas with my boyfriend of 5 years. We’re both software engineers working in the Semiconductor manufacturing field. I am a staunch lover of pugs and other squishy-faced dogs, although sadly I do not currently have one.

I joined Steepster back in 2014, and was a very active member for a couple of years. I then took a break and have just started to drink tea again (in 2018). I am happy to be back! I have emptied my (virtual) cupboard and will fill it up slowly as I drink more teas!

I prefer my tea lukewarm or at room temperature and without milk or sugar. I will often sweeten iced tea. I brew Western style, and love to use small teapots and Japanese-style cups so I don’t have to wait for a giant mug to cool! My favorite teas tend to be black or green, and often flavored.

I am also an avid yarn collector (errr, I mean knitter!) when the hot Austin weather allows for it… Find me on Ravelry under the name LorenWeiss!

I love swaps! If you see something in my cupboard that you’d like to try, just let me know via PM!

Tea Preferences:

Chinese black teas
Chinese green teas
Japanese green teas
Earl Grey
Red fruits
Berries (esp. blueberry)

Strong ginger
Strong bergamot
Strong hibiscus
Red rooibos

Favorite Purveyors:
Bird & Blend
Dammann Frères
Yunnan Sourcing

Tea Rating Scale:
90-100: Outstanding! Permanent cupboard resident
80-89: Great – a possible staple
70-79: Good, but I wouldn’t buy it
60-69: It’s decent
50-59: Meh… I may or may not have finished the cup
40-49: Ick. Couldn’t finish it.
00-39: Repulsive, I spat it out

I will sometimes refrain from rating a tea if I feel I’m too biased due to my personal dislikes, or if I suspect the sample has been compromised by age.


Austin, Texas



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