Review: Mellow Monk Kuma Green 1228

Green Tea, Mellow Monk, Sencha Tea, Single Estate Tea, Uncategorized Add comments
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"With its complex yet bold and bright profile, this would be a nice treat for sencha connoisseurs."
Sophie’s Teaview: 8.9/10
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mellowmonkkuma1228Made traditionally by a master tea maker, this guricha-style sencha is named after the estate where it was grown. The leaves have been steamed into forest green, grassy-looking spears. Their scent is a mild blend of citrus, grass and white chocolate notes.

Senchas can be tricky to brew. I carefully follow Mellow Monk’s brewing suggestions, infusing a generous teaspoonful of leaves in 8 ounces of water heated to 75 degrees Celsius, for 2 minutes. The water becomes very frothy as I pour. The resulting greenish-gold cup is murky, with lots of dust settling at the bottom. It features a broth-like, vegetal scent. Taking a sip, the tea has a bold profile. The flavours are alternately fruity, vegetal and savoury, with lots of grapefruit and buttered greens notes. It also hints at more subtle tones, such as peach, jasmine and bitter chocolate. Rich and robust, it stands up to food just fine.

According to the folks at Mellow Monk, this tea can be re-steeped at least twice. Following a 30 second-long brew, my second cup is brighter, featuring lots of lemony overtones. The grassy, broth-like backdrop acts as a nice counterpoint. It’s not as complex as the first infusion but still very satisfying.

I brew the leaves a third time for 1 minute. The flavours are lighter and simpler now. There are some broth, lemon and greens notes. Amazingly the cup is not bitter at all, although a little dry in feel.

I try a final fourth steep. After a 2 minute-long brew, the flavours are again very vegetal, but with a bitter and dry mineral edge this time. I wouldn’t bother with a fourth brew in the future. It’s drinkable but it pales in comparison to the previous infusions.

With its complex yet bold and bright profile, this would be a nice treat for sencha connoisseurs. It’s combination of fruit and buttered greens is very refreshing and addictive to drink. Although they are a little pricier, I would definitely turn to Mellow Monk for any of their top of the line Japanese teas. Their commitment to small-scale, environmentally friendly, family-run farms is worth supporting. Once again, bravo!

— To purchase Mellow Monk Kuma Green 1228, 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.

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