drank Top Leaf by Mellow Monk
22 tasting notes

Been on a bit of a Japanese green kick and I have tried a handful of senchas, gyokuros and a highly touted shincha over the past few months — I must say Top Leaf is the cream of the crop. For my tastes, and wallet this is the best sencha I have found yet!

Everything about this tea is very well rounded, without a single glaring flaw or characteristic dominating the flavor profile or aroma. Top Leaf brings the entire gambit of Japanese flavors together seamlessly into a full bodied and near perfectly balanced cuppa creamy green greatness: sweet, creamy, savory, nutty, vegetal, mildly oceanic with a forgiving faint citrus-like astringency. Really I can’t emphasize enough how well balanced these elements are in this particular tea, its certainly an accomplishment!

Another high point, Top Leaf is relatively flexible and forgiving with regards to brew temp and time which is not a characteristic shared with many other senchas I have encountered. It brews wonderfully mellow and sweet at gyokuro-like temperatures ~ 120 and can tolerate a full minute of 180 for the savory 2nd steep without getting overly bitter. Anything in-between is great too of course! Really, you have to completely blow it (in sencha standards!) to muck this one up.

Overall a great great sencha and certainly worthy of a spot amongst one of my favorite teas. Its exceptionally well balanced bordering on exquisite! I have gone through 3.5 oz and recently ordered more! In my opinion, you’d be hard pressed to find a better quality japanese green for the price.


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