Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Verdant Tea
Laoshan Green Tea is the epitome of humble beauty, a tea cultivated on the slopes of a Taoist holy mountain, naturally shaded by ocean mist, and sweet and creamy like a comforting dessert, yet unknown outside Shandong province where it grows. As Laoshan Green grows into its role in the west as one of the top rated, most highly praised green teas available, we thought it was time to return to its humble roots with a Laoshan Genmaicha.
This Genmaicha is warm, comforting and savory, a perfect balance of toasted rice and creamy green tea. We take a mixture of fragrant jasmine sticky rice for its sweet, thick milky quality and blend it with our own locally harvested Minnesota wild rice, picked on canoes on our northern lakes, and carefully toasted in tiny batches in-house to yield the perfect puffed rice for Genmaicha. The wild rice adds a deep nutty and vaguely floral sweetness that perfectly compliments the green-bean taste of our fresh Laoshan Green.
Laoshan Genmaicha Green Tea from Verdant Tea is not available from the vendor at the present time, but, I decided to do this review anyway, in the hope that it will become available soon! It’s a really lovely Genmaicha!
It is also one of the more unique Genmaicha teas I’ve ever come across, and for that reason, if you are a “purist” and are looking for the traditional Japanese style Genmaicha, you may find this to be a bit too different for your taste. There’s nothing wrong with being a purist, mind you! I’m just saying that this tea is certainly different from the standard Japanese green tea blended with toasted, popped rice.
I infused these leaves twice, and the two infusions really tasted very much like two different teas! The first infusion tasted very much like the Laoshan Green tea with very subtle toasted rice notes. The vegetative tones were prominent, with creamy notes that melded quite beautifully with the vegetative tones. However, it was difficult for me to taste the “Genmaicha” in this tea … that is I didn’t taste a lot of the toasted rice flavor, and I found myself wanting to taste that sweet, nutty flavor together with the luscious creamy tones … because I thought they would just be … heavenly together!
The second infusion was definitely my favorite of the two, and that’s because this time, I could taste the toasted rice! It was still not quite as prominent a flavor as I normally experience with a Japanese Genmaicha, but it was more prominent than the first infusion. The Laoshan Green tea was not quite as creamy or vegetative this time. It was still very flavorful, but the flavors were more mellow this time, and I suspect that this is why I could taste the rice.
I found this Laoshan Genmaicha to be a really unique Genmaicha experience … perhaps one that is a bit too different for the purist, but for someone like me, who enjoys trying teas that take a twist on a classic favorite … this one is right up my alley!