Review: Mellow Monk Top Leaf Green Tea

Green Tea, Japanese Tea, Mellow Monk Add comments
K’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The sort of tea that I would love to have as a staple."
K’s Teaview: 8.5/10
Other Teaviews: Geoff gave it 10/10, Vanessa gave it 8.0/10, Jamie gave it 9/10, Erika gave it 8/10, Troy gave it 9/10, Sophie gave it 8.4/10, Raven gave it 8.5/10, Samantha gave it 9.0/10
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mellowmonktopleafMellow Monk has a narrow focus; it's a company that does one thing and does it well. All of their teas are guricha/tamaryokucha-style, which means they're a curled leaf rather than a flat one, and all their senchas are from the Kumamoto prefecture. This one in particular is described as their pampered leaf, getting its own corner of the tea orchard. It's fed extra-lots of fertilizer, and come harvest time, only the top layer of leaves gets picked. It's always first flush, and it won first places in the Steamed Green Tea category at the 2011 North American Tea Championship.

I follow the website's suggestions for steeping, putting 1 teaspoon in my 8-ounce pre-heated kyusu and steeping for two minutes. The beautiful, deep forest-green leaves produce a slightly cloudy pale yellow-green liquor. It smells vibrant and sweetly vegetal.

The flavour is creamy with notes of citrus and artichoke. There is a very slight bitterness that I particularly enjoy. The finish is surprisingly clean save for a slight sweet, vegetal aftertaste that sticks to the back of my throat.

Steeps two and three, 30 seconds and one minute each, respectively, are similar and unremarkable. Simple with a clean finish, they're nothing too special, but they're good. An easy follow-up to a solid first steep.

Overall, this tea doesn't come across as a pampered, top-of-the-line green tea. But it's not priced that way, either. It's an affordable green with a solid flavour, making it more of an everyday tea than anything else, and I'm Okay with that. It's definitely the sort of tea that I would love to have as a staple.

— 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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