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!


Genmai-Matcha Matsujirushi Green Tea from Steepster

Genmai-matchaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Steepster Select

Tea Description:

Sencha leaves are expertly mixed with popped brown rice and milled matcha powder. A most comforting and delicious afternoon tea. You won’t find a greener tea anywhere!

Taster’s Review:

During my years as a tea reviewer, I’ve tried several different Genmaicha with Matcha type blends like this Genmai-Matcha Matsujirushi Green Tea from Steepster.  It’s essentially a Genmaicha blend that has been dusted with Matcha powder.  As the tea brews, the Matcha mixes into the hot tea and it becomes part Genmaicha and part Matcha.

And, it surprises me to say this, but this may just be the best Genmaicha with Matcha blend I’ve yet to try.  I’m not sure why that is, perhaps it’s because the Genmaicha here has a base of Sencha leaves rather than Bancha.  I don’t know if that’s the reason, but I do know that this tastes exceptionally good!

The flavor is much of what I’d expect from a Genmaicha:  roasty-toasty and warm, but with that strong note of freshness from the green tea.  The Sencha is light and refreshing with just a hint of bitterness that contrasts with the sweetness of the rice notes as well as the sweetness from the Matcha.  It’s absolutely more sweet than bitter, with just hints of bitterness popping up around mid-sip that offer something a little different for the palate to explore.

And of course, it’s the Matcha that makes this different from your ordinary, run-of-the-mill Genmaicha.  The Matcha makes the tea a little smoother and richer.  It’s a thicker consistency, so the palate enjoys a smooth, velvet-y texture.

This is really a refreshing drink.  I drank most of it while it was hot, but since the temperatures are reaching the 90s these days, I decided to let some of it cool so that I could see how it tastes chilled.  And it makes a tasty iced beverage too.  It’s very invigorating!

Yunomi Monthly Mystery Tea Sampler’s Club: Monoucha Genmaicha from Ishinomaki, Miyagi

Monthly Mystery Tea Sampler’s Club

Recently, I had the unique opportunity to join Yunomi’s Monthly Mystery Tea Sampler’s Club, and I just received my first shipment!  Yay!  I received three sample sizes of three different Japanese teas, and this review will be about the first tea I sampled from the group of three:  the Monoucha Genmaicha from Ishinomaki, Miyagi  

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.

Where to Buy:  Yunomi

Taster’s Review:

Monoucha Genmaicha

LOVELY!  I’ve tasted a lot of Genmaicha tea in my “career” as a tea reviewer, and before that, as a tea purveyor.  But this Monoucha Genmaicha from Ishinomaki, Miyagi as sold by Yunomi might very well be the very best that I’ve tried thus far.  I can taste the freshness of the Sasaki-san Sencha in every single sip, as well as the beautiful sweetness from the toasty rice.  This is SO good!

Perhaps it’s the addition of the “rice cracker balls” that are in this blend that makes it different … I don’t know for sure.  What I can tell you is that I taste something different in this cup of tea.  It tastes sweeter … it tastes fresher, it tastes toastier.  It tastes BETTER!

When I was measuring out the tea, I noticed the aforementioned rice cracker balls and I did a double (and a triple) take, because they looked so … unusual.  I mean, with a typical Genmaicha, I usually see little bits of popped rice (that look like miniature kernels of popped popcorn), but these little balls were so uniformly shaped … they looked so different from the usual popped rice that I would see in a Genmaicha … and there were a lot more of them than I would usually see in a Genmaicha too.  Then I came back here and read the description and saw that there are in fact these little rice cracker balls in the tea … that explains it!

And they do make a difference in the taste.  If you like Genmaicha … this is one that you really should try … taste the difference!  It’s remarkable!

Browncoat Genmaicha from 52Teas

BrowncoatGenmaichaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Tea Description:

Our Browncoat Genmaicha is a premium Japanese genmaicha with organic cacao nibs and organic chocolate flavors. (Yes, it’s vegan too!) I’ve been doing some experimenting with genmaicha and while I normally would never think of blending green tea with chocolate, the toasty rice element in genmaicha makes it perfect for some rich, sweet chocolate tones. This being one of our nerdy homages, I don’t think it’s going to last very long, so get yours while it lasts.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I don’t watch Firefly. I don’t know what the Browncoat references … and I lose 50 nerd points.

But even though I don’t get the whole “Browncoat” thing, when I first read about this Browncoat Genmaicha from 52Teas – their tea of the week for December 10, 2011 – I was very excited and looked forward to trying it.  Chocolate PLUS Genmaicha?  Oh yeah!  Sounds great to me.

And it is indeed great!  The bittersweet flavor of chocolate melds beautifully with the sweet, toasty notes of the genmaicha.  The result is a cup that is a little bit sweet, a little bit bitter (but in the way that chocolate is a little bitter) and a whole lot delicious.

The natural creamy notes of the genmaicha work well with the chocolate-y notes.  It is a very comforting cup … and it’s tasty hot or cold!  I know this because I got busy doing something, and my first cup of this tea went cold before I could enjoy it as a hot beverage … but I tasted it cold and it is really good like that!  YUM!

Genmaicha Chai from Culinary Teas

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Culinary Teas

Tea Description:

Genmaicha Chai has delicious toasty rice notes dappled with green tea and a lively spice finish. It is a ceremonial tea union of Japan and India.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I love spiced chai, and I adore Genmaicha … so it doesn’t surprise me at all that I am loving this tea.

The Genmaicha is sweet and toasty, and the roasty-toasty taste of the genmaicha works so deliciously well with the warm chai spices.  The spices are not overpowering or even what I’d call spicy, at least not spicy-hot.  They are warm and comforting and well-balanced.  I taste notes of ginger and pepper – I find that these two spices in particular work in unison, providing a gentle, peppery heat.  I also taste the warm, sassy notes of cinnamon as well as the cloves and cardamom.  A hint of coriander ties all the flavors together in a very pleasing way.

And even though the spices are strong, they do not overwhelm the soft sweetness of the Genmaicha.  The roasted rice adds a satisfying level of sweetness to the cup so if you like a semi-sweet cup of chai but don’t like to add sugar to your tea, this chai may be just the ticket for you.  The buttery tones of the green tea add a hint of creaminess to this as well, providing a smooth quality without adding milk – which I typically do not add to green teas.  I suppose this blend would be quite good with milk, although I’d recommend steeping it at double or even triple strength before adding the milk to avoid overthrowing the delicious flavors of this cup.

Culinary Teas never ceases to impress me with their high quality teas, not to mention their reasonable prices.  Their products are fresh and delicious, and they are a really nice company too – I like that they have an online presence.

When I drink tea from Culinary Teas, it’s is like enjoying tea with dear friends!