I am a black tea sort of girl. Black just seems to work best with the flavorings I tend to reach for so typically when I am shopping, I hang out in the black tea section of shops. This has always been the case and though I have grown to enjoy other types of tea, I do still tend to gravitate towards black. However, since starting my tea journey, there has been one exception and that is genmaicha teas. Something about genmaichas just called to me and I made it my mission to try them all. This is one I have not tried so when I saw the familiar roasty rice and popcorn pieces peeking out of the traveling teabox I had, I immediately got the kettle brewing.
After just two quick minutes in 175 degree water, I had what my sister described as a canary yellow. Then she told me its like the color of a canary singing it’s melodic song that hints at its mellow nature. This is why I continue to ask her how she would describe the colors of my tea. I would have probably just said “yellow”.
As far as genmaichas go, this is a nice one. The first thing I noticed is that this has a strong roasty rice flavor. There is a touch of umami but mostly it is a rich, roasted note. The base is buttery and smooth and a tiny bit vegetal which provides the perfect counterbalance to the popped rice flavoring. Harmony tea seems to be a fitting name for this Mellow Monk blend since the flavors blend harmoniously (see what I did there?!).
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Mellow Monk
Harmoney Tea™ is a genmaicha — green tea mixed with roasted brown rice. The rice imparts a nutty, toasty flavor that makes genmaicha one of the most popular types of green tea in America. Unlike some tea growers, this artisan roasts his own rice, which he buys from local farmers. (During roasting, some of the rice grains pop like popcorn. This popped rice is also included in the mixture to enhance the flavor.)
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
I don’t know why, but the smell and taste of this blend reminds me of flavored coffee. Maybe that’s because back when I was a coffee drinker I used to drink this blend that was called “maple sleigh” so now I just associate maple with coffee. I’m not sure, either way this blend definitely has a strong maple scent. I steeped this one and it is actually very dark for a green tea, and that is because it is a houjicha blend! I have tried one other maple houjicha blend, and both were delicious but I feel like this one has a much stronger maple flavor. This one also includes almond slices in addition to maple flavor and I really enjoyed that aspect!
This blend is really smooth and creamy maple, kind of like maple walnut. The almonds give a nutty component and the houjicha gives a nutty and toasty component, and of course the maple adds that sweetness. All in all, these components are in perfect harmony with one another. This is another one of those blends that are absolutely perfect for a cold winter day, curled up by the fire eating sugar cookies and listening to Christmas music. Why, oh why, is it spring?! I know that most of the readers here are probably psyched for spring/summer, and I am too, except for the fact that I keep drinking all these fall/winter teas and its making me want the Holiday season instead.
Anyways, I will always highly recommend Tea Source because I have not tried a blend I disliked and I will definitely recommend Toasted Maple Green because it really is delicious!
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Green Tea
Where to Buy: TeaSource
Full-bodied (especially for a green tea), very aromatic, very maple-y, naturally toasty, and slightly sweet.
Contains: Japanese hojicha green tea, almond slices, flavor, calendula petals