Review of Organic Ryokucha Green Tea

AromaFlavorValueTotal
8 of 105 of 52 of 580 of 100
ExcellentExcellentOverpriced

This tea really grew on me, and by the end I adored it. The sample I got - which was enough for one cup - suggested brewing it very quickly, just 30-45 seconds, with water just below the boiling point. In retrospect I think that following those instructions would have worked out well, but I'm paranoid about using water that hot with more delicate green teas, so I did two steepings at 175 degrees, first one minute, then two.

With the fist cup, I could get a little of the toasted rice smell - more like toasted bread than popcorn - and a strong whiff of matcha. The taste was, at first, almost too much for me. It was powerfully vegetal and seaweedy, rich and deep and umami, to the point that the toasted rice element was drowned out. Whatever the base tea is, it's a much higher grade than what's usually used in genmaicha, and it showed.

As I kept drinking the cup, however, I started to get that familiar roasty-toasty genmaicha taste as well, which continued buzzing on my tongue for a good ten minutes after I was done drinking. The result was this deliciously savory balance: rich, vegetal, a bit darkly fruity, and toasty. The toasty element was even stronger in the second infusion, and the tea remained very, very flavorful. I strongly suspect it would have been good for a third or even fourth steeping.

In short, this is a really flavorful, satisfying tea: the base tea and the matcha seem to be of high quality, and they play nicely with the toasted rice. As other reviewers note, it might not be worth the high price point, but it's delicious.

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