Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: What-Cha
Has a creamy texture and sticky rice aroma, imparted unto the tea during processing by heating the sticky rice plant’s leaves along with the tea leaves.
Sticky rice scented tea is a specialty of northern Thailand, although traditionally green tea is used, Jin Xuan Oolong produces just as good if not better results.
Learn more about this tea here.
I’ve been wanting to try a sticky rice scented tea for a while now; and when I made my most recent What-Cha order I noticed this one offered on their site so I ordered a sample size to satisfy that deep curiosity. What I didn’t expect was just how accurate or obvious the flavour of the sticky rice would be.
Even from the moment I cracked open the sample packet, the smell of fresh sticky rice was filling up my kitchen and getting me excited with how potent and dead on it was. In fact, my first few sips were so overwhelmingly close to real life sticky rice it was hard to taste or notice anything else. I ended up doing three very strong Western Style infusions before the flavour of the sticky rice started to deteriorate. 2 1/2 tsp. of leaf for a 16 oz. mug, with 85C water steeped for two minutes initially with an extra 30 seconds tacked on with each infusion after the first.
The mouthfeel of the liquor was very soft and creamy and it managed to find a way to creep into every crevice of my mouth. Even though I only needed small sips to get a good sense of the strong flavour with each infusion I found myself taking big hearty swigs just because I loved the feel and taste of the tea so much. But it wasn’t just the mouthfeel that was creamy; in addition to the super accurate flavour of good sticky rice this tastes rich and creamy with a lovely buttery quality as well! Some of the greener vegetal notes from the oolong base cut through as well, particular in the finish which provided some subtle contrast of flavour. One of my favourites about this tea, as well, is that it had a delicate taste but not a subtle flavour; and ever though it’s not particularly complex or nuanced it’s scary accurate and really tasty if sticky rice is your thing.
I actually can’t believe I haven’t heard more people talking about sticky rice scented teas; I feel like I just gained access to some sort of exclusive club! I like jasmine scented oolongs as much as the next tea drinker, but this is ten times as good as that – it’s only been a few hours since I finished that last infusion and I’m already salivating at the thought of another. My 10g sample will be gone before I know it, and I definitely intended to buy more of this once that happens.
Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Ette Tea
Mango Sticky Rice is a blend of genmaicha, black tea, roasted barley, mango dices & candied coconut. Very much inspired by the Thai local dessert, the tea brews like a platter of roasted glutinous rice with the coconut and mango coming in towards the finish on the palette.
Learn more about this tea here.
Mango Sticky Rice green tea from the Singaporean tea company Ette tea hits the nail on the head. I have not had a tea this interesting in a long while. The aroma of the dry leaf is underwhelming, but once you dunk those deep dark emerald leaves, teeny tiny toasted rice kernels, and the stray mango or coconut piece in water, something wickedly good this way comes. The aroma of the steeped leaf is also deceiving, but I must plough through! I still smelled normal genmaicha. Sigh. How could I have let my hopes up when I was feeling a bit betrayed? But then, I took my first sip. And was transported back in time.
I am sitting at a kitchen table, my nose barely peeking over the tabletop. It is a blistering hot summer evening. I must be what, 6? 5? My mother is stirring chunks of irregularly cut mangoes into a pot of rice, sweetened with coconut milk and plenty of sugar. I am absently chewing on the skin of one of her slashed mangoes, trying to suck out all the mango goodness. I wait patiently for her to finish, chomping on my mango skins and gnawing on the massive, surfboard pit. When my mother places a small bowl of mango sticky rice that she learned how to make from her mother, I eagerly grab a spoon and begin to devour all the sweet, fruity, coconutty goodness. I could lick a bowl clean in a matter of seconds.
To me, compliments could not be higher. This tea is so spot on with it’s sticky rice-ness, it’s light hint of mango, and coconut, that I am taken back in time. You know a tea is good by it’s time travelling qualities! I love how straightforward it is. I can pick out each flavor easily and distinctly. The name tells you what you’re going to get, nothing mysterious. But the only mystery to me is, “How did they make this tea so good?”