Review: Mellow Monk Shaded Leaf Green Tea

Green Tea, Japanese Tea, Mellow Monk Add comments
Jamie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Flavors are not static and there's quite a bit of dynamism to the taste that is wholly temperature dependent and makes the sipping of this tea quite engaging."
Jamie’s Teaview: 8/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 8/10, Geoff gave it 8.6/10, Raven gave it 8.3/10
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If I were in the market for Japanese green teas, Mellow Monk is definitely a purveyor that I would place at the top of my list for consideration. They offer a limited repertoire of Japanese Green Teas and all of them that I have been fortunate enough to sample have been exquisite. Mellow Monk's Shaded Leaf offering is no exception. I thought I would include their own notes on this tea before offering my own impressions of the brewed leaf.

"Shaded Leaf™ is our most premium green tea — a fukamushi kabusecha ("deep-steamed covered tea"). A few weeks before harvest, the tea plants are shaded with a woven covering that blocks out much of the sunlight. This stimulates the plants to produce extra catechins, including super healthy EGCG. After harvest, the leaves are steamed longer than usual (fukamushi). The result is an exquisite, wonderfully complex flavor profile, with overtones of berry and melon and a fresh, vibrant, subtly floral aroma."

I will admit immediately that I did not notice berry notes in this green tea, but melon is definitely a possibility.

I prepared this tea using Mellow Monk's own very specific brewing parameters. I steeped one teaspoon of the deep jade leaf per 8 ounces of 167 degree water for two minutes and made a second infusion using 3 minutes as a steep time. The dry leaf has a sweet delicious scent characteristic of high quality Japanese green teas. The liquor is somewhat opaque and quite a deep jade color. The scent of the infused leaf is sweet, brothy and vegetal. First sips are very brothy and vegetal sweet with a body that is quite viscous. This brothy quality fades quickly to be replaced by notes of astringency, dryness, sweetness to be sure and very prominent bittersweet perks along the way that one could do worse than to interpret as a melon like sweetness. This tea is interesting and delicious. It has a heartiness to it that is playful and light as well. Flavors are not static and there's quite a bit of dynamism to the taste that is wholly temperature dependent and makes the sipping of this tea quite engaging.

A second infusion is less overtly sweet with more bitter notes prominent. The bitterness is definitely pleasant and vegetal flavors, too, are more forward. The tea is still hearty and there's an invigorating quality to this green tea that is very helpful in terms of waking up the mind and giving a pleasant, alert sense. I find that with this offering, the first infusion is notably more delicious than the second, but I would be daft to suggest that the second is not worth exploring.

This is an enjoyable, delicious green tea. Highly recommended.

— 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: Jamie Jamie
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