123 Tasting Notes
Took this to work with me yesterday and blew it. I used my Tea For Life set with the metal infuser and WAY too much leaf. The leaf soaked up a good third of the water and didn’t turn it loose, and I think I oversteeped by about 30 seconds to a minute, so I ended up with strong, bitter tea.
I cut it with a dash of half-and-half, which helped, but locals reading this beware: this was definitely user error. Exercise moderation in all things!
I got my David’s Tea shipment so will be reviewing that genmaicha shortly.
Been a long time away from Steepster! I stopped by Path of Tea to try this again. This time I used about 1 1/2 tsp tea for a 10-12 oz. mug, water not quite boiling, steeped 3 minutes. I still don’t have it right. Also, plenty of browned rice but no popped kernels in this purchase — the dry tea looks the same except for the absence of popped rice. Wonder whether that makes a difference? Still smells lovely but tastes slightly bitter. Onward.
Re-steeping. This time I used a timer set for exactly 3 minutes as recommended on the packaging.
Lovely floaty show in the French press again, like watching the old Aquarena Springs mermaid show in San Marcos when I was a child.
Brewed, the buttered-toast aroma is still there but fainter, as I expected. Flavor milder, again as expected, but a bit stronger than I expected. I don’t have much experience with re-steeping so honestly, I expected bleaugh. It’s actually quite pleasant but I don’t think I will try a second time. The toasty flavor is best at the back of my tongue.
I would certainly buy this again.
After spending most of Friday night/Saturday morning awake while monitoring the process of a server replacement, and THEN realizing I needed to go in to work Saturday afternoon to re-enter data that didn’t make it, I was desperate for something comforting and I became fixated on finding some loose genmaicha to take with me.
The Path of Tea delivered! (Well, not literally. You know what I mean.) I was lucky enough to find one of their designated parking spots open. I dashed in and whimpered, “I need some jin-MY-cha!” mangling the pronunciation badly. With a Texas accent.
So after a few moments of gentle confusion during which they thought I needed to sit down and have a nice quiet cup, or maybe a whole pot, and I learned how to pronounce it (hard G, matcha rather than MY-cha) I walked out amid sweet smiles and choruses of “Come back again!” with a small bag of loose tea and continued on to work.
Oh, the tea itself? Excellent.
Lots of rice kernels among the tea leaves. I did not see any popped kernels as shown in the photo. Dry, the leaves were smallish and did not exude much aroma.
I used a clear glass French press so I could see what happened to the leaves and I may have steeped a bit too long because of my fascination. Everything rose to the top of the water. I never did see the rice among the steeping leaves because of their buoyancy. At last the leaves began to unfurl and some sank through the water, every shape imaginable – some long and bladelike, some like little shreds of torn silk. The water in the press seemed a little murky so I suppose there was some tea dust as well.
In the cup the aroma was fabulous. Buttered toast! The first sips — ok, gulps — were exactly what I craved, very sweet, almost as sweet as if I had added honey or something. Then the toasty note took over as it cooled a bit. As it cooled more, a slight bitterness was there but I think that was my fault for oversteeping. I didn’t even time it but it was probably over 4 minutes. There are a few shreds of leaf in my cup that got through the press and yes, a little fine residue that looks like dust.
I have two more small quantities of genmaicha on the way, from Den’s and from David’s tea, and at least one more local potential source of organic free-trade genmaicha. It’s going to be fun deciding which turns out to be my favorite.
If I had to drink this stuff every 4 hours to maintain an even mood I’m not sure I’d consider it worthwhile.
In fact, I’m lowering the rating — which is primarily a reflection on its palatability. I can’t tell whether it’s helping with the mood. I’m pretty cranky right now, even with a yummy cup of sweet Bengal Spice in between doses.
OK, trying this stuff again. We are having “issues” with the database I help manage at work, so I decided to try this as recommended therapeutically by Yogi — 2 teabags per cup, long steep, every 3-4 hours. On cup 1 now, with half-and-half.
Flavor is distinctly medicinal. I’ll be back after a bit to say whether it seems to be helping on the cheerfulness/optimism front.
Bought this out of curiosity after having my mind blown by Amethyst. Having it with a dash of half-and-half.
I can taste a bit of spinachy oolong, but it’s pretty timid. Not bad and I would drink it in a pinch but I think I’m already spoiled and will not buy this again when it’s gone unless it’s the only oolong I can find.
I have been trying to do a sipdown of the way-too-many teas I have on my shelf and this one came to work with me today. I brewed it strong — 2 bags in my usual cup — and maybe a bit longer than recommended. I’m drinking it plain because I just didn’t want to dilute it, after a whiff of that toasty nutty scent.
This is still the only genmaicha I’ve tried and I still love it. Next time I’m going to try a loose variety, though. I think Numi offers this loose on their website, or maybe I should try Adagio. Any other strong recs out there aside from Adagio?
My other favorite is this: http://www.fantastictea.com/ujinotsuyu-uji-tokuyo-genmaincha-japanese-green-tea-with-roasted-rice.html
Insanely cheap, but so good! I drink it iced all summer.
Wow, iced? I’ll have to remember this link — because they are currently sold out and I need to stop buying tea anyway!
If there are any Japanese/Asian grocery stores near you they probably carry this, it’s a pretty popular brand. And yes, I ice mine! Cold brew it actually, we go through around a pitcher a day.
I discovered an old tin of this while I was clearing out some of my clutter. It was almost full! I have no idea when I bought it, but I know it hasn’t been available in the States for a long time.
This was the tea that, years ago, turned me into a tea drinker although not a very steadfast or adventurous one. At one time this was my breakfast beverage of choice, and when I started looking for a replacement I hit upon Taylor’s of Harrowgate’s Scottish Breakfast blend. To my faulty memory, the Scottish Breakfast was reminiscent of my late lamented Russian Caravan, unlike other teas I discovered that were called Russian Caravan, Russian Country, etc. I had absolutely NO memory of the slight smokiness of the Twinings Russian Caravan. Which was still there when I finally brewed a cup!
I think this is mostly Assam with a small proportion of Lapsang Souchong. Others say it’s Keemun, and the recent copy above says its Chinese tea, not Indian, so either the blend has changed or I can’t tell because the tea in this tin is so old and my taste buds are, too! It’s a much fainter smokiness than any of the other Russian Caravan teas I’ve tried, but since I have no memory of that from earlier days I don’t think it has deteriorated in the case of my aging tin. I suspect I was drinking a bit of full-strength Lapsang Souchong (probably also Twinings’) in those days as well.
Anyway, this long ramble comes down to several things: it was nice to revisit an old friend, and I will be sorry to empty the tin, but good to know how well the tea apparently held up. I also know now that there are newer friends out there that can fill the place this tea once held in my cupboard.
I enjoyed reading your rediscovery of an old friend. I had this years ago but so long ago I really don’t remember anything about it.
I’ve been MIA for a few weeks trying to clear out some of the clutter in my home. Seemed like an appropriate occasion to at least sample this tea, LOL! Note the warnings in the description, though.
I can’t comment on its efficacy at this point, but the flavor is… interesting. The spearmint hits you when you tear open the packet. First taste after brewing is sweet — cinnamon and licorice — then I’m getting the fennel and again the spearmint. I can’t detect the lavender at all, the clove is lost in the cinnamon, and the black pepper is a faint aftertaste that fades quickly.
Altogether it’s fairly palatable, esp. with my usual half-and-half, but I’m not sure I would drink it for enjoyment. Celestial Seasonings’ Bengal Spice is similar (minus the St. John’s Wort, Lavender, and spearmint) and more to my taste.
This is delicious although I’m not seeing the purple color claimed by Old Wilmington.
My first oolong! I got sidetracked by the discussion on gaiwans and gaiwan alternatives so I put of brewing this for a few weeks. This evening I just gave in and tried it in a French press, steeped for about 2 minutes. Yes, I saved the leaves and will be trying multiple infusions!
I wasn’t expecting the rolled leaves, for some reason. And I noticed that some floated to the top of the water and others sank immediately and stayed there. They unfurled quite slowly – another reason I’m encouraged by the possibility of multiple steeps. That’s a new concept for me!
What I taste is sweet, mellow Tea with a capital T. Maybe a slight hint of smokiness. I’m trying to understand what others mean by a buttery flavor. It’s definitely very rich-tasting. Is that part of it? I get a sweet, almost flowery aftertaste. Or, no — winey?
Not feeling the need to add anything to this. Just enjoying the tea. I will definitely be ordering more.
I actually fell asleep last night still thinking about this tea. That’s seriously weird. But I still haven’t tried a re-steep and now I think it’s too late even though the leaves have been refrigerated. Maybe I’ll start over tomorrow.
Not all Oolongs are buttery. A purple leaf may not produce a purple tea either. I’ve learned that one. I have a purple Pu-erh…it makes regular looking tea. Some Oolongs get buttery or silky feeling on the tongue only when they cool down. Some get better as they cool and some get astringent. You never know. Part of the fun of discovery.