Review: Maeda-en Genmai-Cha Brown Rice Tea With Matcha

Genmaicha Tea, Japanese Tea, Maeda-en, Matcha Tea Add comments
Lynn’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK" A nice taste of toasted brown rice came through, and the sencha was there, but the matcha, which should have had something to say in this first steeping, was a no-show, neither bitter nor sweet. "
Lynn’s Teaview: 5.5/10
Other Teaviews: Troy gave it 8/10, Katie gave it 7/10, Jenn gave it 7/10
Your Reviews:Add your review »
maedaengenmai1According to Maeda-en’s listing for this tea, genmai-cha was invented in Kyoto in the 1920s and perfected by a tea dealer who added roasted brown rice. James Norwood Pratt gives a somewhat more colorful account in his New Tea Lover’s Treasury: “This tea originated among peasants unable to afford straight tea who added toasted rice (which they themselves grew) to extend the infusion.” Whatever the case, it can make for a delicious combination, sweet, vegetal, and bakey. The addition of matcha green tea powder adds another level of complexity, giving the infusion a more pronounced sweetness and thicker body.

The dry tea sample provided contained a roughly 50-50 mix of dark green sencha tea leaves and toasted brown rice, interspersed with some popped rice. (“Popcorn tea” is a western misnomer.) The sencha and rice were generously dusted with green matcha powder. The prevailing aroma was encouragingly sweet, a combination promising good sencha and reasonably good matcha. With Maeda-en’s description of “extra savory, extra delicious” in mind, I began.

Following the purveyor’s directions, I placed a generous tablespoon of dry tea in a pot, added a cup of water that had just come off the boil, and let it steep for one minute. The resulting liquor was a bright peridot green, and had a moderately toasty aroma. The flavor, however, was somewhat disappointing, pleasant, but not what I would call savory. A nice taste of toasted brown rice came through, and the sencha was there as a very subtle sweetness, but the matcha, which should have had something to say in this first steeping, was a no-show, neither bitter nor sweet. It might as well not have been added at all.

Because I’ve had 1) better genmai matchas and 2) better teas from this company, I decided to give it a second chance. I fired up the teakettle, spooned some fresh tea into the pot and let this batch steep for three minutes. Both color and flavor deepened a bit, with no bitterness at all, and I would recommend the longer steeping. I continued to sample it as it cooled, and, as sometimes happens, the flavor developed more as it did so. The most pronounced note is the rice, which is very good and lingers in the back of the mouth for some time. Altogether not a bad tea, but not a great one, either.

— To purchase Maeda-en Genmai-Cha Brown Rice Tea With Matcha, 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: Lynn Lynn
Teaviews.com Reviewer
» Read more about this reviewer on Lynn's profile page.
» Find a list of recent posts by Lynn.

    



One Response to “Review: Maeda-en Genmai-Cha Brown Rice Tea With Matcha”

  1. Review: Maeda-en Genmai-Cha Brown Rice Tea With Matcha · China Best Tea Says:

    […] View original post here: Review: Maeda-en Genmai-Cha Brown Rice Tea With Matcha […]

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

WP Theme & Icons by N.Design Studio
Entries RSS Comments RSS Log in