Frosty Garden from Mellow Monk is a Kumamoto-style guricha with tea leaf stems. Apparently, the curly-shaped guricha leaves are prepared using a steaming process, rather than a pan-fried process, which give this tea its special flavor.
First and foremost, let me say that I like the name of the tea, and it’s helped me be inspired while drinking this brew. This is a well-balanced tea, just the right mix of both vegetal and fruity notes, and both sweet and savory tones. The vegetal notes feel like spring grass that grew up fast and got caught by that last, sudden wet frost. This tea feels green and fresh, like melting frost on new grass, very wet and green.
There are also some brighter notes, which taste more lemony with a hint of savory herbs like sage or parsley. In the aftertaste, there’s a bit of green almost-melon sweetness. The most I drink this tea, the more I experience a buttery mouthfeel with hints of toasted nuts.
Reminding me of the cusp of spring weather where new greens meet the last clutches of cold, Frosty Garden from Mellow Monk is aptly named, and a fresh, fantastic brew.
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Mellow Monk
Frosty Garden™ is a shiraore (also known as karigane), a tasty sencha mixed with some white leaf stems. That, plus a slightly different tea-crafting technique, results in a uniquely “soft” tea—a lightly herbaceous aroma, a gentle, creamy sweetness with nutty overtones, hints of sage, and a savory finish. This tea is always first flush—made from the first harvest of spring leaves.