Kashima: Monoucha Genmaicha ‘Tsukihime’, Ishinomaki Brown Rice Tea From Kashima Tea Garden/Yunomi.us & Kumamoto Earthquake Tea Fund Announcement

TEA-YBE-002-genmaicha-web-031_e99a95be-c745-4b48-988f-9dcb5a14469d_grandeTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green Tea

Where to Buy: Yunomi.us

Tea Description:

Sencha from the town of Monou in what is now Ishinomaki City brews into a deep forest green with a strong astringency. With a 400 year history of tea farming, the town of Monou is the northernmost tea region, and the field managed by Sasaki-san is the northernmost tea field in Japan.

Monoucha Genmaicha blends Sasaki-san’s sencha with toasted rice grains as well as rice cracker balls (plain and matcha flavored) for a uniquely toasted nutty flavor.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This review will be one of the my lengthiest reviews to date here are Sororitea Sisters and it’s because of Kashima: Monoucha Genmaicha ‘Tsukihime’, Ishinomaki Brown Rice Tea From Kashima Tea Garden/Yunomi.us & Kumamoto Earthquake Tea Fund Announcement.  Yes!  It serves a duel purpose.  The tea review will be of the Kashima: Monoucha Genmaicha ‘Tsukihime’, Ishinomaki Brown Rice Tea From Kashima Tea Garden/Yunomi.us and then you will see an announcement about The Kumamoto Earthquake Tea Fund to follow.

Upon opening the package of Kashima: Monoucha Genmaicha ‘Tsukihime’, Ishinomaki Brown Rice Tea From Kashima Tea Garden available for purchase at Yunomi.us I found the aroma to be somewhat subtle but pleasant.  To the eye – this tea looks just like you think it would for a Genmaicha.  You see popped rice, flatted green tea leaves, matcha coated balls – you name it!

Once I infused this eye and nose pleasing green tea I noticed the post-infusion water was murky grey-green which isn’t surprising for a Genmaicha.  The aroma of the tea once infused is more roasted than prior to infusing.  Again it’s a lovely smelling tea!

As for the taste it is very green tea tasting with strong roasted notes!  It’s somewhat reminiscent of a broth but a bit heavier and I’m ok with that.  I’m more than ok with that!  I’m enjoying this quite a bit.  This is one of the most well-rounded Genmaicha’s I have tried in a long time.  It seems to offer everything I’m looking for without it being lopsided on one characteristic over the others.  This Kashima Monoucha Genmaicha ‘Tsukihime’, Ishinomaki Brown Rice Tea From Kashima Tea Garden (available atYunomi.us) is one for the ages!

Now…I would like to bring something to your attention.  And I’m pasting info below straight from the source(s).


EarthquakeThe Kumamoto Earthquakes were a series of earthquakes between April 14-16, 2016, with the main shock at magnitude 7.0. The earthquakes have resulted in 63 deaths, 3000+ injuries, and nearly 200,000 people evacuated to shelters in the aftermath.

Affect on Kumamoto Tea

Kumamoto is also a tea production region, and while we don’t believe tea production was affected in any major way by the earthquakes, tea producers and merchants, particularly small-scale operations that rely on local business for their livelihoods, will be affected as the region attempts to recover from this disaster. Merchants with shops in the most heavily damaged regions for example, experienced major damage to their buildings.

Tea people helping tea people

As part of the global tea community, we wish to contribute to the recovery of the region by creating this tea fund for the purpose of buying tea from these companies. While information is still coming in, we suspect the small tea shops in the hardest hit towns will benefit most from this fund rather than tea farmers or factories, but we will keep you updated on the contribution page.

TEA FUND – We would like to stress that while the sentiment is to help the region, this is a for-profit business effort. Suppliers, the small tea companies who we buy from, will make a profit, and profits we make from this specific fund will be used to buy more tea from these suppliers. This shifts the financial risk of the inventory from these tea companies to ourselves. A full accounting of funds will be updated regularly on this page (see below).

CHARITY – If you choose the option to donate to charity, 100% of your funds after transferred into Japanese yen will be donated Civic Force, a non-profit organization established in 2009, and was active after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake in rescue and relief efforts. They sent staff immediately to earthquake hit regions in its aftermath to aid in the search for survivors trapped in collapsed houses and buildings. Images and video from Civic Force. **We are unaffiliated with this non-profit organization but have received permission to use their images and video. Contributions will be aggregated and donated in full at a rate of 110 yen / USD (transaction fees and any other expenses paid by Yunomi).

12977115_1029558613785059_9081217382806729245_o_grandeTHE TEA FUND – HOW IT WORKS

  • For every $10 contribution, you will receive 30 grams (3.52 oz) of Kumamoto-grown tea.
  • Tea will be shipped to you beginning in July by Standard Airmail without tracking (buy tracking here if necessary).
  • Tea will be sourced from a Kumamoto tea producer or a tea merchant in the most heavily affected areas.
  • We will procure tea at retail price. Purchasing will be made in June at the earliest. The first few days after an earthquake are focused on rescue, then relief in the weeks following the disaster. Allowing for at least 1.5 months should be enough time for life to return to some semblance or normalcy and beginning of recover. However, we will monitor the situation and adjust accordingly.
  • Messages will be translated and sent to the companies we buy from, and to Civic Force.

Again…if you would like to donate please CLICK HERE for the Kumamoto Earthquake Tea Fund.

Mexican Cocoa Rooibos Blend from Trail Lodge Tea


Tisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Rooibos & Honeybush

Where to Buy:  Trail Lodge Tea

Tisane Description:

Mexican Cocoa Rooibos is a Trail Lodge exclusive herbal tisane. You’ll feel like you’re having a Mexican Fiesta when you sip this tea. It’s a rooibos and honeybush blend with the perfect amount of cocoa and chilli. There’s just enough chilli to give it a little kick, and it will help warm you up an a cool day. Add milk for an extra special treat. Ingredients: Organic Rooibos, Organic Cinnamon, Organic Honeybush, Organic Cacao Bits, Chocolate Seeds, Organic Safflower, Organic Chili Flakes and Natural Flavor.

Learn more about this tisane here.

Taster’s Review:

This Mexican Cocoa Rooibos Blend from Trail Lodge Tea is seriously YUMMY!  I’m not always big on rooibos, but, I find this blend to be very good, and I attribute this to a couple of factors:  first, the rooibos used in this blend is organic rooibos, and I’ve found that there is a notable difference in taste between organic rooibos and conventionally grown rooibos.  Second, the base of this tisane is crafted not just of organic rooibos but organic honeybush as well, and I find that tisanes created using both of these South African herbs are very tasty.

And … let us NOT forget about the CHOCOLATE!  This blend has lots of chocolate-y flavor, enough to bring a big smile to this chocoholic’s face.  I also love the fact that there is a touch of spice from the chili pepper flakes in this blend.  There is just enough of the pepper flakes to add a gentle warmth that gradually increases, offering a very soft “burning” sensation in the throat without becoming too spicy or hot.  I like that gentle warmth that radiates in the throat, and I LOVE the contrast of the spicy notes with the sweet, rich chocolate flavor.

The spice is further accentuated with the addition of cinnamon … adding a touch more warm spice but also a nice hint of sweetness to the cup.  I like the way the cinnamon is represented in this tisane … there is a pleasing cinnamon note that gives the overall cup a very satisfying “Mexican Cocoa” kind of flavor … but they didn’t go overboard with the cinnamon.  Cinnamon can often be a selfish spice in blends – but it’s not like that with this blend, and I applaud Trail Lodge Tea for managing to keep this tisane so nicely balanced.

I also applaud Trail Lodge Tea for going the extra mile with this tisane, and turning it into a “charitea” – for every 2 ounces of this tisane that is purchased, a dollar is donated to the “Ninos of Mexico.”  Here’s what Trail Lodge Tea says about this charitea:

Trail Lodge Tea now has a new “charitea” that is also are own exclusive blend. It’s called Mexican Cocoa Rooibos. You will feel like you are having a Mexican Fiesta when you sip this tea. It is made of a blend of rooibos and honeybush with just the right combination of chocolate, chili, and flavoring as well as other high quality ingredients. Trail Lodge tea is donating a portion of every sale of this tea to Ninos de Mexico. That’s why we call it a “charitea”. Ninos de Mexico is a wonderful Christian Mission that’s main purpose is to help orphaned and at-risk children living in the Mexico City area. They do this by raising children in loving Christian homes and providing the children with medical care and education. The mission currently runs four homes for children, a medical clinic, and a private school. So you can enjoy some delicious tea and help disadvantaged children at the same time. Click the link below to learn more about Ninos de Mexico or go to the herbal tea page to order some Mexican Cocoa Rooibos.

I like this tisane … not only for its amazing chocolate flavor and warm spice notes … and not only because its all ORGANIC … but also because when I sip it, I know that there are children who are benefiting from this charitable organization.

Lost Malawi Tea from Rare Tea Company

Tea Type:
Black Tea

Where To Buy:
Rare Tea Company

Product Description:

Lost Malawi comes from Thyolo Mountain in the Shire Highlands of Malawi.
You can see a short film about the tea and why its so special here:

This is a single estate tea grown and lovingly made on a farm called Satemwa . It’s not a modern industrial blend churned out by vast machines. Lost Malawi is an old fashioned tea crafted in small batches with great care. It has a depth and quality almost forgotten. Like all good crops the leaf is seasonal – picked only when the tea bush is at is best. For this reason there is only a limited supply.

Strong and satisfying, Lost Malawi is the perfect Afternoon Tea . Delicious with milk and sugar, it is also wonderful on its own. To compare this to an ordinary afternoon tea blend would be like comparing a line-drawing with a sculpture. This is like drinking tea in 3-D.

Lost Malawi is 100% Fairtrade tea.

Part of the money you spend goes on providing the local community with fresh water, adult education and solar power as well as scholarships for orphans.

Tasters Review:

My very first thoughts of this teas were…Strong, Burly, and Bold!  Darn hefty, even!  This is Rich and Awakening!  It has masculine and earthy flavors within, too!  I thought it was a Fantastically Bold Brew, indeed!  I really liked this one right away but after trying it again I liked it even more!  It’s a perfect morning cuppa!  It’s earthy but bold and dark!  A goodie for sure!


Champion Black from Shanti Tea

Tea Type: Black Tea

Where To Buy: Shanti Tea

Product Description:

A strong morning blend of Tanzanian and Asamese black teas, made exclusively for Clean Air Champions, a non-profit organization whose mission is improve air quality by working with respected athletes to educate and inspire Canadians to adopt practices and lifestyles that enhance both environmental and personal health.  10% of the proceeds from the Champion Green and Champion Black teas is contributed to this great organization.



The Champions

Presently, over 120 active and/or retired National Team, Olympic and Paralympic athletes from across Canada have joined as members of Clean Air Champions. These Champions are passionate about our mission for a variety of reasons: many suffer from respiratory illnesses worsened by air pollution which can be detrimental to their athletic careers; others have careers in medicine or environmental sciences and understand the seriousness of the issues as they relate to human health and our planet; while others are concerned about the lack of exercise, and increasing rates of obesity and asthma in today’s youth. Whatever their reasons, these athletes are committed and passionate about helping to fulfill the mission of Clean Air Champions.


Learn more about the Clean Air Champions on their website.

Tasters Review:

Our friends at Shanti Tea in Canada have done it again!  They’ve come out with another lovely black tea.  And not just any black tea…a ChariTEA!  (Read above if you haven’t already)

The aroma of this one is that of a fairly strong black tea.

What really made me swoon was the color after infusing it!  It’s a gorgeous deep burgundy color.  Both the aroma and the color of the tea made me crave the bold taste from there-on-out!

This is a bold – but not bitter – black tea.  It’s malty yet well-rounded!  The aftertaste is pretty pleasant, too.  It’s smooth on the tongue and warms the heart!  I really REALLY like this tea!  This is one of those unflavored black teas that everyone should have on hand!