Review: Mellow Monk Shaded Leaf Green Tea

Green Tea, Japanese Tea, Mellow Monk Add comments
Vanessa’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"while the flavor is not overly strong but is instead smooth and subtle, it is still an undeniably vegetal flavor that can only come from a green tea, particularly a Japanese green tea. "
Vanessa’s Teaview: 8/10
Other Teaviews: Geoff gave it 8.6/10, Jamie gave it 8/10, Raven gave it 8.3/10
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Shaded Leaf is another fine offering from Mellow Monk, a company that offers quality Japanes teas. As the name implies, this tea is produced by shading the plants "by hand with a woven covering that blocks out much of the sunlight". Based on my knowledge and past experiences, I thereby made the incorrect assumption that this is a gyokuro style tea, but the Mellow Monk website explains that this is a kabusecha tea, which I learned after doing a little research, is similar to gyokuro in that it is shaded, but differs from gyokuro in that it is typically shaded for less time than gyokuro style teas. Mellow Monk also describes this tea as a fukamushi style tea, which means that it has undergone extensive steaming.
The dry leaves are a dark jade green color and are long and thing, somewhat resembling darkly colored grass clippings. The dry leaf has a fairly intense vegetal aroma that is accented by sweet, nutty notes. I strayed a bit from the recommnded brewing paramters (167-degree water and a 2-minute infusion) by using 175-degree water and ~3 minute infusion. I didn't notice any unpleasant qualities in the tea, such as bitterness, that would suggest that I brewed the tea improperly.
This is a mellow yet clearly defined green tea. What I mean by that is that while the flavor is not overly strong but is instead smooth and subtle, it is still an undeniably vegetal flavor that can only come from a green tea, particularly a Japanese green tea. The Mellow Monk site comments on overtones of berry and melon but I have to say that I didn't particularly detect those as much as just a general pleasing sweetness. The tea tends to linger on the tongue, leaving a hint of grassy vegetal flavor with no bitterness whatsoever. This is a high-quality, easy-drinking and smooth green tea. Because it is not as intense as its sencha counterpart, I would recommend this to those that would like to explore the world of Japanese green teas but who aren't quite ready for the full-force vegetal flavors of other stronger green teas.

— To purchase Mellow Monk Shaded Leaf Green Tea, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Vanessa Vanessa
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