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.