Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Mauna Kea Tea
Selectively harvested for naturally low caffeine contents.
Organically grown at our farm in Hawaii
Learn more about this tea here.
Of the three teas/tisanes that I received in this month’s Steepster Select box, this was the tea I was most excited about, because it was the one of the three that I had not yet tried. (OK, technically, I had not tried the Honey Bush from The Tea Smith, but I have tried honeybush on many occasions, just not from that particular vendor)
When I opened the pouch, I was surprised to find smaller leaf pieces that have been cut and torn. It actually looks a bit more like a green Yerba Matéthan a green tea, the leaves even had a lighter feel to them than what I’m typically used to with Camellia Sinensis; the leaves have a lightness to them, almost wispy, much like what I’d expect from Yerba Maté or Guayusa.
But, even though this looks a bit like green Yerba Maté, it doesn’t taste like it. Then again, it doesn’t really taste like a typical green tea either. It is very light-bodied with a nice roasty-toasty taste. When I think of a roasted green tea, immediately I think of Houjicha, but this doesn’t quite taste like Houjicha either. With the first couple of sips, it almost tasted like a thin, toasty Matcha, which I thought was a little weird until I did a little bit of snooping around on the Mauna Kea website and found this:
The tea leaves used here are for our “Sweet Roast Green Tea”. Our sweet roast process is a hybrid process between matcha, or powdered tea used for Japanese tea ceremony, and orthodox style leaf tea. Because of type of leaf used in sweet roast process, roasting becomes critical part of sweet roast flavor.
It’s a very unique flavor – quite unexpected! – and I really like it. I recommend this to those who are looking for something a little different! It would also be an excellent choice for those who find the roasted quality of Houjicha to be somewhat heavy for their palate, I think that this is lighter than Houjicha while maintaining that sweet, toasty flavor.