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Frosty Garden from Mellow Monk

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 Read More

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Blissful Buds from Mellow Monk . . . .

Tea has become more of a mindfulness exercise for me lately, rather than simply a means to caffeination. I reverently begin this tasting by getting on the level with the loose, green grinds. Dry leaves are sweet-smelling like a japanese tea.  They tease me with something that almost smells of raspberry, though I know there is none in this blend. After brewing the tea leaves got much lighter in color and presented a cloudy olive-green infusion with lots of tiny stowaways from the gravity brewer into my cup. I cannot stress enough, as with all green and white teas, watch Read More

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Aso Black from Mellow Monk. . . . .

This tea is “a black tea made with leaves from the same green-tea cultivars used to make traditional sencha,” which gives it a distinct flavor. I’d compare its flavor to oolong teas, which typically straddle the black-green divide. It does have that mossy, nutty flavor that I associate with green tea, but a base like an evergreen forest in the spring. It’s vegetal, yet rich at the same time. It’s the tea equivalent of Loki’s outfit. *Smolder*, am I right? And that’s how I feel about this tea. It’s kind of subversive, like Loki. “I took a green tea and Read More