Review of Genmaicha Tea Bags

3 of 104 of 54 of 559 of 100
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My experience with genmaicha is very limited, and it's not my favorite tea type, so take this for what it's worth in that context. If the dry smell alone were the basis for evaluating a tea, I would have launched this stuff into the compost heap, untasted, with prejudice. Maybe I'm just not well-adapted to genmaicha teas. Still, the dry-bag smelled nothing like any sort of tea I've had, but instead, old rice cakes left out in the sun too long, with a hint of burned popcorn. The tea (sencha) was hard to detect at that stage, though plenty of chopped green tea leaves could be seen in the bag, mixed with little nuggets of toasted rice around 1-3 mm in width.

Fortunately the flavor was a lot better! Indeed, this was the rare tea that tasted much more pleasant than the dry aroma. The liquid brewed up a yellow-green color, with flavor very well-balanced between toasted (not burned) rice, popcorn, and a really nice sencha tea that takes well to artificial sweetener. Normally brewed, it was noticeably, but not unpleasantly, astringent, and decidedly vegetal (of course!). It tolerates oversteeping too, based on an accidental then deliberate experiment of up to 8 minutes, with slightly murkier and darker color, but seemingly no more astringency nor excess bitterness. The aftertaste does get a little weird: still astringent, surprisingly bitter, and a bit algal. The wet bag aroma loses all the burned or smoky character of the dry bag, but gains some musty or moldy aroma the dry bag didn't have.

I have read that good genmaicha tea is expensive, but as of this writing, Murchie's Canadian price converts to around US$10 for a 50-bag box. I suspect that folks who do appreciate genmaicha a lot would enjoy this tea overall more than I have, but I'll finish the 10-ct sampler box.

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