Review: Mellow Monk Top Leaf Green Tea

Green Tea, Japanese Tea, Mellow Monk Add comments
Vanessa’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The flavor of this tea is pretty intense, with spinach-grassy notes dominating. However, a natural, yet not overwhelming, sweetness tea that keeps the vegetal flavors in check."
Vanessa’s Teaview: 8/10
Other Teaviews: Geoff gave it 10/10, Jamie gave it 9/10, Erika gave it 8/10, Troy gave it 9/10, Sophie gave it 8.4/10, Katie gave it 8.5/10, Raven gave it 8.5/10, Samantha gave it 9.0/10
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mellowmonktopleafThis is my first exposure to Mellow Monk Teas, a company specializing in Japanese green tea, specifically Tamaryokucha. Tamaryokucha is a type of sencha green tea that is processed slightly differently so that the tea is less astringent compared to sencha. An added bonus of Mellow Monk tea is that they are committed to ethical and responsible tea production. The Mellow Monk website provides ample information on tamaryokucha as well as their ethical and responsible means of sourcing and cultivating tea. The Top Leaf that I am sampling today is described as the “top-of-the-line” offering from Mellow Monk. The dry leaves are a very dark emerald green, and there is not a uniform size or shape to the leaves. On average, the leaves are fairly small and thin. Curling of the leaves is more evident in the larger leaf pieces.

Past experience with this type of tea has taught me that the water must not be too hot and the infusion time must not be too lengthy. Thus, I prepared my tea using steaming water and a two minute infusion. The tea is a mossy greenish-yellow color with a strong seaweed/vegetal aroma. After infusion, the leaves looked much like chopped spinach. The flavor of this tea is pretty intense, with spinach-grassy notes dominating. However, a natural, yet not overwhelming, sweetness tea that keeps the vegetal flavors in check. I also noted that the tea has a thick mouthfeel to it, almost like a sort of creaminess. The Mellow Monk website mentions grapefruit overtones, but I have to admit that I really didn’t taste any such flavor.

Even though the Mellow Monk website doesn’t mention it, tamaryokucha typically can be used for a brief second infusion. So I heated up more water and re-steeped the leaves for 30 seconds. The appearance of the second infusion is pretty similar to that of the first. The flavor is notably weaker and offers little more than a remnant of the green tea power that was packed into the first infusion. Clearly, the first infusion is where this tea shines.

Overall, this is a nice example of a tamaryokucha. I am, admittedly, no expert on tamaryokucha, and have had only had a few other offerings with which to compare this one. But I can say that this offering packs a more intense green tea flavor than others that I have had. It is smooth, not bitter, but definitely very green.

— To purchase Mellow Monk Top 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.

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One Response to “Review: Mellow Monk Top Leaf Green Tea”

  1. Geoff Says:

    The brewing instructions on the Mellow Monk site were pretty intense. I noticed at a 145F steep temp, you get a brew that’s milder on the vegetal notes.

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