Review of Japanese Matcha Gen-mai Cha Premium Organic

AromaFlavorValueTotal
7 of 104 of 53 of 576 of 100
Very GoodGoodReasonable

An enjoyable, but not super interesting tea that struck me as a little pricey. One of my favorite genmaichas yet. Thank you to Upton, for throwing this in as a free sample with my order!

Dry leaf looks a dusty bright yellow color, much more yellowish than most Matcha. Aroma is very mild, mostly of the toasted rice.

This tea was fun to watch brew: as I poured water over the leaf, it initially washed off the dusty green matcha, exposing the brown and white colors of the toasted rice...but as the tea steeped, this color disappeared again under the cloudiness. I brewed it in a coarse-mesh basket infuser so that I could be sure that the matcha got out into the cup. I was careful to use a low water temperature when brewing.

The cup had a cloudy appearance, but much thinner than matcha. The aroma was mild and mostly of genmaicha, although it was noticeably more vegetal. Flavor is exceptionally clean, and there's a certain boldness and strength that is usually absent from most genmaicha (as well as the bancha that usually serves as its base.) Lightly bitter and savory, with a hint of sourness. The toasted rice aroma is mostly evident when holding the cup up to your nose before sipping: upon sipping it it becomes a bit more vegetal. Flavor and overall character of the cup is mild. I used a heaping teaspoon and it was still on the weak side. Very low astringency, but this made the tea come across as a bit watery or thin-bodied.

Resteeped better than I had expected; I suppose this is where this tea stood out. The resteep brought out more of a savory flavor and the toasted rice aroma, but had less vegetal notes.

Overall, an interesting experience to drink. Seems more caffeinated than typical genmaicha, especially in the first cup.

I very much enjoyed this one, but I'm not sure the amount of enjoyment justifies the price. There are many good Japanese green teas in this price range, and I think I'd prefer drinking a high-end sencha to this one. And some genmaicha, I enjoy just as much as this for less than half the price (it can be just as smooth, fuller-bodied, and often less caffeinated.) One of the big selling points of genmaicha, to me, is how cheap it is, so this offering puzzles me a bit. If left to my own devices, I'd just buy the cheap stuff.

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