This is a limited edition tea by Ippodo that I purchased at their store in NYC. I was looking for something cheap and tasty to drink and found this to be a great affordable tea that was a cut above grocery store genmaicha. Unlike other genmaicha, the toasty roasty “popcorn” taste of the toasted brown rice is much less apparent. Instead, there is smooth and bright, juicy, lemongrass-like note that erupts in your mouth while the savory brown rice translates into a creamy avocado flavor that is sweeter in nature than the fishy, savory, umami I normally find in Japanese green teas. The tea itself is quite pretty as well. The dry bancha consists of very shiny, smooth, uniformly cut pieces that are such a rich vibrant green. I really can’t stop looking at it! Consequently, the liquor produced is a bright “spring-y” green.
I HIGHLY suggest steeping it only briefly. In my opinion, the grassier taste and additional dryness and slight bitterness that accompanies a long steeping don’t really add anything great to this tea. Brewing instructions from ippodo also suggest a short 30 second steep time and to pour out the tea completely rather than leave it continually stewing in the pot with the leaves.Amount you get for the price makes it great for daily sipping.