A little while back, Pluck Teas was kind enough to send me a selection of their teas to try. They were very generous and allowed me to pick what interested me and as someone who has a low key obsession with genmaichas, this Movie NIght tea was at the top of my list. It was only after it arrived that I realized I actually tried this tea once before at a brunch restaurant in Toronto, which is weird given I don’t usually order teas at restaurants because I don’t trust them to make it properly. Nevertheless, I recall liking it well enough so I am excited to revisit the tea now.
When I got to prepping the tea, I noticed the recommended steeping parameters seemed a bit much for a green tea. The package calls for a 3 minute steep in 194 F water. I went by this method as I would hope the company knows best on how their product should be prepared but for my own comfort I brewed a second cup using my more typical steeping method for green teas of 2 minutes in 175F water.
Since it was done steeping first, I started drinking the the cup using my steeping parameters first. The flavor is quite light but with a bit of a toasty top note from the rice. It is more of a popcorn flavor as opposed to a roasted rice kernel given the airy lightness. The vegetal note from the base, which is barely noticeable initially, slowly builds. It is smooth and lingers under the tongue long after you finish drinking. It is a nice tea prepped this way but definitely light on flavor.
As I neared the end of the first mug, I moved on to the tea brewed per Pluck’s recommendations. The color of the steeped tea is noticeably darker and more bold than the mug steeped for less time, which makes sense because more infusion would occur when more heat and time is added. There is distinctly more flavor as well. I guess Pluck knew what they were talking about because my worries of a burnt tea given the higher temperature and longer steep time were unwarranted. The green tea base is clearly a high grade tea since it handles the heat perfectly and contributes a beautiful grassy/vegetal flavor. The popped kernel here is also more noticeable than in the cup I had before and rather than shyly hoovering atop the tea and giving off a light and airy popcorn vibe, it confidently contributes a burst of roasty flavor that seamlessly flows from the base tea.
Genmaichas are such simple teas, being made of green tea and toasted rice (usually) and yet each variation can be so different based on the quality of ingredients. I have no question that Pluck Teas used some high quality stuff in this blend. More than that, the tea can be so drastically different based on how it is prepared and when prepared properly, this is a winner.
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Pluck Teas
Popped and toasted rice kernels, blended with premium high grown sencha tea. Toasty, malty, umami, with a slightly sweet finish. Pairs well with Asian dishes and is a classic with sushi. Enjoy hot, or over ice.