Harmony Tea from Mellow Monk. . . . . .

Genmai cha is a special type of green tea with toasted rice.  Some of the rice kernels have popped in the toasting process, looking like little puffed, white popcorn pieces.  I’ve sometimes seen genmai chai billed as the “movie night” tea for its inclusion of these popcorn-like rice pieces. No matter what you name it, genmai cha is a unique and delicious tea experience.

It was a long time in my tea journey before I put genmai cha tea into my usual rotation.  Beyond the puffed rice in the dry leaf, the next most striking impression about the tea is that it is savory.  If you aren’t expecting a savory experience, the brew can be a little unsettling at first.  If you know this tea won’t be fruity or floral going into it, you’ll be much better off.  Tasting Harmony Tea genmai cha from Mellow Monk was no exception.

Brewed, the Harmony Blend smells like warm bread or sticky rice.  With these meal-like flavors, the warm tea might seem almost more like broth than tea.  Over my years of drinking genmai cha, I find this warm brew and its toasty, starchy flavors to be supremely comforting, like sitting in the kitchen when the oven is on and bread is baking.

Despite all this toastiness, it is good not to forget that genmai cha is a green tea, so brew it with slightly cooler water to avoid burning the green tea leaves.  Though the toasted rice is the prominent scent and taste of the tea, there is a role for the green tea to play in the flavor profile.

Green tea on its own can sometimes have savory incarnations, but it is usually a vegetable-inspired savoriness, like buttery bok choy or dark and nutty kale.  The green tea in Mellow Monk’s Harmony Blend is much sweeter, and not too vegetal.  It reminds me of a smooth green tea matcha, green and grassy but still sweet like nutty wheat bread.

It is a rainy, gray day today, and a warming cup of toasty Harmony Tea was just what I needed to turn my mood around.

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!

Growing up, I drank herbal teas like fresh ginger tea during New England’s harsh winters and iced blueberry tea during its humid summers. Over time, I was tempted into trying a wider variety of loose leaf teas by the fandom-themed blends available online. I have since gone on to design my own blends, and I greatly enjoy drafting up flavor ideas and drawing tea labels.

When I’m not thinking about tea I can be found reading novels and comic books, playing video games, or watching movies; my favorite genres being history, humor, sci-fi, and fantasy.

Generally, I prefer bold teas: spicy chais, rich black teas, even smoky lapsang souchong on occasion. But I have also dabbled in herbal rooibos, flavored oolongs, and traditional matcha. I’m glad to be expanding my palette by tasting and reviewing new teas and blends.

Find me on Steepster: http://steepster.com/A2shedsjackson

Fandom blends: http://www.adagio.com/signature_blend/list.html?userId=292149

Genmaicha (Australia) from Blue Hour Tea. . . .

I steeped this at 190 degrees with 1stp tea and 1 cup water for about one minute. (The recommendation was 1-3 minutes, but after one minute it smelled super toasty even from across the room so I figured I’d better drink it before it got strong enough to knock me over.)

This tea does interestingly include a bit of matcha in the ingredients despite being a genmaicha, which is a great addition as far as I’m concerned. Also, I’ve never had a tea from Australia before (that I know of), so I was quite excited by this opportunity!

Once steeped, the tea was hazy and a bit cloudy, possibly from the dissolved matcha, and had a grassy but very light green color. Even in the fragrance I could definitely find the green-tea-flavor melding with the toasted-rice flavor. The liquid was a little thicker than expected, and as I took my first sip I found that it doesn’t taste quite as toasty as it smells. There was a bit more of the buttery, savory green tea flavor than I’d expected based on the fragrance, especially at the beginning of the sip. However, the overall flavor profile was nicely blended with most of the strength of the nutty, toasty flavor coming more at the end of the sip. This tea was smooth, not bitter at all, and it was somewhat astringent but not too astringent.

With sugar it was really great, and yes, I tried it with milk as well, although I know that’s kind of weird. The flavor was actually unexpectedly wonderful–like eating a bowl of matcha-flavored rice cereal for breakfast. (I don’t know if that’s actually a thing, but it should be.)


So the verdict altogether is that if you like genmaicha, you’ll like this tea, and if you like matcha-flavored cereal, you should try it with milk and sugar. In addition to being delicious it should also be really great for you (unless your doctor has told you not to drink caffeine, of course), since green tea and matcha both have plentiful health benefits. The only downside is that, although you can steep it multiple times, the second steeping isn’t quite the same because the match gets mostly used up in the first steeping.

I really enjoyed drinking this tea and would happily drink lots more of it if given the opportunity.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green Tea
Where to Buy:   Blue Hour Tea

Our Genmaicha is a combination of the fresh flavour of green tea with the undertones of roasted rice and the added richness of matcha tea. This premium Genmaicha is grown in the Acheron Valley in Victoria, Australia. There are only a handful of farms growing tea in Australia and this is one of our favourites.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Hi! My name is Tabitha and I’m an uprooted PNW native living in the South with my husband and my cocker spaniel.

My favorite teas are usually dark and strong and go well with milk and sugar. I like to combine tea-drinking with all of my favorite activities, such as listening to music, reading YA fiction, knitting, and writing blog and website content for businesses. Because I’m a well-rounded person, I also have other interests, such as wearing mismatched socks and pretending to be ambidextrous.

S’mores Genmaicha Green Tea from 52Teas

52teas3_1430856114__73092Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy: 52Teas

Tea Description:

I reblended this tea to fulfill part of our start-up Kickstarter campaign’s add-on offers! This was part of the Genmaicha 3-Tier collection – a yummy blend of Matcha infused Genmaicha green tea and chocolate and marshmallow flavors. I added cacao shells & nibs, mini vegan chocolate chips and marshmallow root to the blend. This is yummy!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This gemaicha is a perfect tea for the weather out there today! I’ve battened down the hatches and hunkered down, because the outside world has turned completely white. I’m living in a surreal ghost town of powder. It certainly doesn’t help that the wind keeps whipping up the 3 feet of snow that has already fallen. I can’t even open my front door! And to think it was almost 70 degrees yesterday. That’s Denver spring for ya.

I can’t believe I have already finished this package! I received the 3-tier genmaicha tin set from 52Teas’ initial kickstarter not too long ago. At first I didn’t care for the flavor, especially with the chocolate pieces. It’s a personal pet peeve of mine to have chocolate chips in tea. But I love the flavors of marshmallows and graham crackers, and I did not want to allow these chocolate abominations to keep me from enjoying this tea. So I just picked out and straight up ate the chocolate chips. May I just say that they are a great compliment to the tea – better than if they were in the blend, fusing to the sides of my teapot and creating an odd sludge.

I quickly became addicted to this blend. I think I drank nothing but this tea for about a week straight. It’s so on point – each flavor is well developed and distinct, from the smooth and mellow marshmallow to the crisp and sweet graham cracker right up to the vegetal grassiness and toasty rice flavor of the genmaicha. I love flavored genmaicha, and this blend is a great combination of a funky flavor idea and the classic Japanese green tea.


I dream in tea.
Hello! My name is Maddi and I love to gongfu and listen to good tunes. I live in Denver, CO with my big dumb malamute and three other people who are not bid dumb malamutes. I like to take boiling hot showers and meditate in my closet. I talk about tea so much that it has become a punch line of sorts with my family and coworkers. Besides my unhealthy obsession with the drink that gives me life, I do yoga frequently, watch Korean Dramas religiously, run as a form of moving meditation, make green smoothies out of any vegetables and fruits within the nearest vicinity, and play video games with my patient and forgiving boyfriend. I also cook for a living and have at least one waffle a day.
Likes: Tea, Teaware, All forms of nature, Old movies, People with infectious laughs, Blankets
Dislikes: Watching sports, People who don’t tip servers, Slipping on ice, drinking tea for the ‘health benefits’
I tend to only drink loose leaf, although I will have a bagged tea every once in a while in an emergency. I also never sweeten my tea because, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!’
I like the following flavors:
Majority of chai
Anything Tropical
Stone fruit/melon
I am not so fond of the following flavors:
Strong Bergamot
Cloves/strong cinnamon

Mango Sticky Rice Green from Ette Tea

MangoStickyRiceTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green/Black

Where to Buy: Ette Tea

Tea Description:

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.

Taster’s Review:

This is the tea that got me interested in Ette tea in the first place! The idea of mango and genmaicha is definitely very, very appealing. Really, any genmaicha with a twist gets me excited – it’s the first variety of green tea I ever really liked, and I’m still incredibly partial to it.

Dry, this is very roasty smelling with a distinct, and very fresh coconut aroma. I’m not getting much of the mango yet, but I can see several chunks of it in the dry leaf so I have faith that it’ll shop up in the flavor. For my preparation, I did a very quick 1 minute steep Western style in boiling hot water; I find that’s long enough to draw out the flavour, especially the roastier notes of a good Genmaicha, but not long enough for the brew to get bitter.

This method has worked well here; this has a very strong toasted rice flavor with absolutely no bitterness. It’s also accented by a lovely, clear toasted coconut flavour that pairs phenomenally with the rice and subtle vegetalness of the green tea. There’s also a slight creaminess to the coconut as well. There are some very light nutty notes as well, imparted both from the toasted rice and the green base. The black tea in the blend is a little less pronounced than the green; but I think that’s how it should be.

The mango is less obvious than anticipated, but still very much present and distinct; true to Ette Tea’s description of their blend it’s more show cased in the end of the sip and aftertaste and the sweet, tropical and fruity flavour it provides alongside the coconut does make me think of Thai food, though I don’t know if it specifically conjures up images of sticky rice. It’s delicious though!

This is an incredible tea, and while it’s not totally what I imagined it to be at this point I don’t think there’s a thing I’d change about it either. It’s very comforting, and because of the gentle wave of flavours both sweet and slightly savory I think it makes a really nice tea to curl up with at the end of the day. That said, unlike I would do with a conventional Genmaicha I think this would also work very well iced as something to take with you on a day out and about: the unconventional fruit flavors give this a little more life and lend themselves well to cold prep.

This is definitely my favourite Ette blend so far (something I feel like I’ve said with nearly all the Ette Teas as I’ve had them) and I would definitely buy more of this one!

Hello; my name is Kelly. I’m a nearly twenty tea drinker and reviewer living in Saskatchablah, Canada. I started drinking loose leaf fairly casually a little over a year ago, and at some point between then and now that ‘fun little hobby’ turned into a serious, serious obsession. Typically I drink flavoured blends more that straight but one of my mini goals this year is to get that ratio to a more 50/50 level. I do a daily cold brew, and have at least (but usually a lot more) two hot cups of tea every day. Naturally I lean towards black or white blends, but I WILL drink everything; the last half year or so I’ve been challenging myself by further exploring Oolong and Pu’Erh which are the tea types I know the least about overall. My default for preparation is Western Style with zero additives; so unless I mention otherwise you can assume that’s how I’ve prepared my tea!

Matcha Infused Genmaicha Green Tea from Aiya


Matcha Infused Genmaicha from Aiya
Matcha Infused Genmaicha from Aiya

Tea Information: 

Leaf Type: Green

Where to Buy: Aiya

Tea Description:

Matcha Infused Genmaicha is a traditional Japanese Sencha blended with toasted brown rice and premium Matcha green tea. The refreshing flavor of Sencha combined with the nutty flavor of toasted brown rice, plus the resilient color and mild sweetness of Matcha make this tea distinctly delightful.


Japanese Green Tea,

Japanese Genmai (toasted brown rice)

Matcha Green Tea


Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

When I got my Matcha Infused Genmaicha Green Tea from Aiya sample in the mail I had to brew it right up! I love Genmaicha but I really love Genmaicha with Matcha! It has been a long time since I had a Genmaicha with Matcha from a new company to try so I was really excited to get a sample of this one, from Aiya, who sources excellent tea.

When I came to the site here to do the review I noticed my sister LiberTeas had just posted her review, which you can see here. I almost decided to wait because generally we don’t do reviews of the same teas back to back, but in this case, I already had my sample steeped up and was happily sipping, so back to back it shall be! It can’t hurt either to see two tasting notes on the same tea one day after another.

This Genmaicha with Matcha is far more vegetal and grassy than others I have tried. Others have had a bit sweeter taste. No one can deny the quality of this tea, although I am rather used to the sweetness I have found in others, this is a really excellent cup.

There is an abundant amount of genmai (rice), and while my sister did not get much loose powder from excess matcha in her cup, I did, especially on the first steep. However, like my sister, I also did not see any cloudiness, and the cup was remarkably clear.

The scent of the tea filled the entire house, not just my kitchen, and my daughter remarked how good it smelled, like puffed rice cereal, which I love.

The notes I detect are of grassiness, nuttiness, and rice. There is a creaminess to the mouthfeel as well.

The sencha, crisp and lively, is one of the better sencha I have tasted.

I found this cup extremely relaxing and soothing.