Popcorn Tea from Teapigs

Who can resist the idea of Popcorn Tea, especially when the label has little film reels on it for your next movie showing?  Teapigs isn’t the first tea company to package genmaicha under the pretense of popcorn, but they have some of the cutest packaging.

Genmaicha is a type of green tea blended with puffed rice.  This makes it so that the dry leaf and the brewed tea has a distinct toasty popcorn smell.  It is a unique tea, sometimes slightly savory, but always supremely cozy. I highly recommend trying green tea with puffed rice at least once and see how it goes. Teapigs Popcorn Tea is a great place to start.

The overtones of the tea are warm bready notes, the roasted grain flavors of the puffed rice leading the way in scent in taste.  Beneath that first burst of popcorn, the green tea comes through with slightly more vegetal notes like gentle celery or bok choy.  Alongside the puffed rice, the tea pleasantly reminds me of sauteeing green vegetables in sesame oil.

I love drinking this tea in the late afternoon (or maybe even before a movie in the evening!).  With lower caffeine than black tea, Popcorn Tea makes for a warming and soothing pick-me-up on a busy day.  Even if you can’t snuggle in under a quilt with a bowl of popcorn, this tea can help you imagine you’re there.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Genmaicha
Where to Buy: Teapigs

This tea has flourished from humble beginnings – Japanese peasants used to mix green tea with toasted rice to make it go further. It is now celebrated in its own right as Genmaicha tea, or Popcorn tea. “Sugar Puffs in a cup” – a truly unique blend with an almost nutty undertone.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Genmai Cha with Matcha from Sugimoto America

G500L-300Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green Tea (with Matcha)

Where to Buy: Sugimoto America

Tea Description:

Ingredients: Tea Leaves, Roasted Rice, Matcha

Special blend of Genmai Cha and stone-milled Matcha, the powdered green tea for traditional tea ceremony. The added Matcha gives Genmai Cha a smooth body and vivid emerald-green color. Genmai Cha is a toasty, nutty tea and is one of Japan’s most popular varieties.

Use 1 tablespoon (5g) for 12 oz of water. We recommend steeping with 175F water or above for 30 – 60 seconds. Yields approximately 100 servings/package.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Genmai Cha with Matcha from Sugimoto America is one of those green teas that I have tried a few times but place in a special section of my cupboard because I don’t want to drink it all at once and run out.

The green tea leaves start very flat and plump up a bit when you add the hot water.  The roasted brown rice looks just like popcorn as it stereo-typically would in a tea such as this.  The matcha looks and smells fresh and crisp and coat every spec of the tea/popped-rice combo.

After you infuse about a tablespoon of the mixture worth in hot water for about 30 to 60 seconds – the aroma is reminiscent of a nice warm spring day in Florida with nearby neighbors mowing their already well kept lawns.  I don’t know if this wicked weather we’ve been having has made me think this way – or if the aroma really DOES take me back to my childhood while visiting my grandparents.  Either way…the aroma is pleasant and warming with a bit of sweetness and fresh grass or greens!

Because of the matcha – you will notice the tea water is a cloudy green/gray – but – this just adds to the overall experience of it all!  The match flavor is great!  The taste and texture of the sip on the tongue is more like a brothy-soup than a tea and it’s more filling that just a regular tea or tisane…it’s more like a meal than a beverage.  It’s completely fulfilling and delicious!

This is a tea to savor, a tea to save for when you really NEED it, a tea to have on hand when you need an escape, and a tea to appreciate.  This is a pure delight!


Organic Nonpareil Ming Qian Dragon Well Long Jing Green from Teavivre

Organic Nonpareil Dragon Well Long Jing from Teavivre
Organic Nonpareil Dragon Well Long Jing from Teavivre

Tea Information:

Leaf Type: Green

Where to Buy: Teavivre

Tea Description:

Produced in Tianmu Mountain(天目山), Lin’an County, Hangzhou City, Zhejiang, China

Harvest time: March 8 – March 10, 2013

One bud with one or two leaves

Dry tea is shaped straight and pretty

Soup presents tender a yellowish green color, tastes sweet and brisk; aroma lasts long in the middle and back part of the tongue.

Fresh aroma with chestnut flavor

Low caffeine (less than 10% of a cup of coffee)

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

When I received my samples of the new spring teas my first tasting selection to sample was Organic Nonpareil Ming Qian Dragon Well Long Jing Green from Teavivre. The aroma is strong, awakening, and  as fresh as a tea can smell. The dry leaf is so pretty and bright green. The flavors range through various steepings from nutty, buttery, vegetal, and salty, but every single steep brings forth the freshest flavors you could imagine.

When steeped properly there is absolutely no astringency and of course no bitterness. There is also a lovely light sweetness to the flavor that can be detected at different levels through the various steeps. The color is very light so do not be tempted to over steep this lovely tea. Take your time with it and let the flavors be gently caressed out of the leaf with shorter steep times which will provide you a longer and more relaxing brewing session. Green teas like this one from Teavivre are deserving of your time and focus. I do not recommend a tea like this for an out the door on the go tea. You can do that if you wish, but I feel it is cheating the tea from providing all that it has to offer and really just cheating yourself.

Some teas are great for an on the go pick me up and get me going for my day ahead tea. This Long Jing however is a relaxing, meditative, sip and consider type of tea that will rock your world in a totally different way if you give it time and allow it to. I find that while this tea is refreshing, and so lightly fresh, it has a brothy mouthfeel, verging on creamy in some steeps. I love it when a tea can bring out both feelings, light and fresh, yet thicker in the mouthfeel, as it is an unusual combination.

Teavivre brings us so excellent offerings in their new spring line, and I am really amped up to try them all but today I shall sit with this tea, looking forward to many steeps to come. It is absolutely lovely. See all of Teavivre’s Spring Teas here and learn how you can get samples of all of them for free!

Honey Malt With Chocolate Malt Tea from Malt Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Grain Tea

Where to Buy:  Malt Tea

Tea Description:

This tea mixes the intense sweetness and honey aroma from Honey malt with the extra roasted coffee flavor from the Chocolate Malt. Be Advised: Chocolate Malt gets it’s name from the dark brown color that is similar to the color of dark chocolate. It does not taste like chocolate!
Ingredients: Whole Grains

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

A long time ago I used to do home brewing, so when I saw a tea company offering whole grain teas I had to try it! When I saw the price for this tea, and all the others on the site I was floored at how inexpensive the teas were, and could not help but getting one of their sampler packs! I am so very happy that I did.

I will say this “tea” may not be for everyone. First of all its not technically tea. It is different, and hearty, robust even. This particular grain tea should not be confused with a chocolate flavored tea, be it naturally flavored or otherwise. It does not taste like chocolate. As the tea description says, it is simply called chocolate because of the deep chocolate color of the malt in this tea. It is however decedent, like chocolate.

This tea would be perfect for anyone trying to get off the coffee kick, anyone who appreciates home brewed or crafted beers, or anyone who appreciates a very unusual, sweet, yet savory drink.

I find that this tea is similar for me to genmaicha, which is also sold on the malt-tea site. When I crave it, I CRAVE it and nothing else will satisfy me. I find myself longing for this tea as the weather becomes cooler and cooler heading into autumn, and once winter is here I know I will be keeping a steady supply of this tea around!

There is a very distinct honey flavor to this tea. You can’t get away from that so if you do not care for honey this would not be the best tea to select, however there are other non-honey grain teas you can choose from.  The mouthfeel is full and broth-y and reminds me of an asian soup I had recently in a very nice Japanese restaurant – a mushroom like flavor. Of course it also tastes like malt, very good malt. While some may reckon this malt flavor to say, Ovaltine, and I have had my share of Ovaltine flavored teas, from pure experience I have to say this malt is by far superior to that malt taste.

As you swirl the tea in the mouth you find the honey notes dancing playfully around your palate while the malt notes sit more politely and well behaved on the top of the tongue carpeting it in warmth. The after taste is not very lingering which only makes you want to hurry to the next sip.

I will be headed out to the Renaissance Festival over the weekend and this tea makes me feel like taking it along with me! It would fit perfectly into that atmosphere and I fear I won’t find a better drink while there since I don’t indulge in alcohol anymore.

I do feel this tea would also be excellent iced in the summer.

This is the second tea I have tired out of my sampler pack which by the way is adorable! It comes with two samples, in bags, of five different teas. All of their materials are recycled. The box is cute and wrapped in thin twine. The labeling is very simplistic and they include a nice quote as well.

My quote said: “Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evently, without rushing toward the future. – Thich Nat Hahn

I like this quote and will drink my Honey Malt with Chocolate Tea as such.