Review: Mellow Monk Shaded Leaf Green Tea

Green Tea, Mellow Monk, Sencha Tea, Single Estate Tea Add comments
Geoff’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"It’s still decent enough if you treat it to a trilogy of tastings. "
Geoff’s Teaview: 8.6/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 8/10, Jamie gave it 8/10, Raven gave it 8.3/10
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Mellow Monk is one of my favorite distributors of Japanese green teas for one reason only – they specialize in a specific type and rarely deviate. In this case, it’s my favorite type, a less-refined “curly green tea” known as tamaryokucha or guricha. It is the popular sencha form native to the Kumomoto region. While this is the base that Mellow’s growers go with, they do tinker a bit with different methods to further accentuate the leaves. For instance, there is an oxidized kocha (or black tea) version of their tamaryokucha. In this case, I was trying their rendition of kabusecha – a deep-steamed, shaded green tea.

No better way to put it but to say that these tiny, curly green tea leaves smelled like…well…green tea candy. The aroma was nutty, sweet, and oddly creamy, which juxtaposed awfully well with the residual grassiness of the leaves themselves. It smelled like a kabusecha alright, only more badass. Yes, that’s the descriptor I’m sticking with.

Brewing instructions per the Mellow Monk site recommended 1 tsp. per 8oz. of 167F water, steeped for two minutes. Further steeps after that were for one minute or so. I haven’t encountered many senchas that could stand up to more than one steep, but I thought I’d see about this one.

The liquor colored to a foggy green palette – typical of a very green sencha – with a vegetal and sweet aroma. I expected some grassiness but not as much as was presented here. The initial sip imparted something similar to kale and crescendoed to a top note of glazed almonds before tapering off into subtly sweet grassiness. However, the vegetal profile was still at the forefront.

This lasted two more strong infusions before dissolving to water. The third infusion was by far the best, imparting a crisp slap o’ citrus to the tongue. While nowhere near as dazzling as their Top Leaf, it’s still decent enough if you treat it to a trilogy of tastings.

— 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: Geoff Geoff
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