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Top Leaf™ Green Tea

5 ratings
Picture of Top Leaf™ Green Tea
Brand:Mellow Monk
Region:Kumamoto, Japan
Product page:

This tea's info last updated: May. 7, 2014

Commercial Description

This is our top-of-the-line honcha, or traditional green tea. Top Leaf™ Green Tea is specially pampered in its own separate corner of the tea orchard. Not only does this tea receive extra fertilizer (organic, of course) during the growing season, but at harvest time, the growers pick only the top layer of young tea leaves. The result is a distinctive, more subtle, gentler flavor. This tea is always first flush.

Brewing Instructions: (from Mellow Monk)

To brew, use 1 heaping teaspoon of tea leaves for an 8-ounce cup or mug. The water temperature should be about 75 degrees Celcius (167 degrees Fahrenheit). For the first steeping, let the tea brew for about 3 minutes. For the second and third steepings, let the tea brew for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Ratings & Reviews

Page 1 of 1 page with 5 reviews

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93 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 4/5 Value: 5/5
(1 reviews) on
This is my first cut me some slack:

I am new to pursuing specific qualities in tea - after being let down by my favorite big-name tea brand, I am trying out teas that are farmed more responsibly, and processed more simply. Mellow Monk meets those initial standards, as far as I can tell, sans travelling to the farms and taking a tour!

The important stuff:

The aroma and flavor remind me of Japan, leaving that pleasant, herbaceous, green tea taste in your mouth. I have brewed this several mornings in a row, for 90 seconds on the first brew, and 60 seconds on the second. I find it hard to describe the way the flavor changes on the second brew, but it is a pleasant more full-bodied flavor.

Overall, I'm very pleased with this tea, and the price is fantastic.

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90 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
(142 reviews) on
This was a great tea! It has a hearty vegetable flavor satisfied my taste buds like no other, and the smell was fantastic. I also loved the cheery bright green color!

I made one brew of this tea, letting it steep for 3 minutes, as suggested. I didn't get a chance to try other steepings, hopefully in the future I will!

This was a excellent sencha!
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83 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 4/5
(293 reviews) on
Very solid, smooth tea! The vegetal scent and flavor reminded me of tea in Japan, and I appreciated the bright green tint of the water. I've enjoyed a few cups of it already, but want to brew it again tomorrow, then give a fuller review once I've really had time to sit down and enjoy it.

Update: A nice sitting down, fairly soothing tea. If the color deep green itself had a flavor, I suspect this would be it. I do detect a little bitterness that I'd prefer not be there, but it's one I could see being an acquired taste. Grassy is a good word for this one.
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93 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
(1 reviews) on
Picked this tea up on the recommendation of a friend, found it a good value.

Tea leaves are small, rolled, deep dark emerald green. Put 1tsp in about 8-10oz of water around 175 degrees F for brewing, for around 1:30.

Tea is very sweet, grassy, and fresh tasting. More of a green color than the cloudy yellow of some sencha I've had.

So far I've only steeped one cup at a a time, but I may update after I've used one 1sp repeatedly to steep 2-3 cups.

Will be buying again.
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92 Aroma: 8/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 5/5
(1339 reviews) on
This is a mellow tea, and probably my favorite sencha I've ever tried, and I also think it is one that would have broad appeal. I found it very easy to brew, pleasantly aromatic, and relatively smooth in flavor, in every incarnation. I also found that it lasted through multiple infusions better than any other Japanese tea I've tried.

Dry leaf is intensely green in color, almost like gyokuro, and has a mellow, pleasing fragrance, suggestive of sweetness.

Brews up a relatively clear cup (less cloudy than a lot of sencha). Quite mild tasting. Flavor is sweet, with little bitterness. Light astringency in the finish, just enough to impart a pleasant body. Aroma is grassy, fresh, slightly floral, and ever-so-slightly toasty.

Easily brews three infusions. I found Mellow Monk's brewing recommendations to be spot-on. Using a 1-2 minute infusion produces just about the right range of strengths that I'd like. The second cup, brewing 1 minute as recommended, was nearly identical to the first. The third cup I found changed character ever-so-slightly, tasting cooler, crisper, fresher, and more herbaceous, but also thinner-bodied.

The leaves still had some aroma left in them after the third cup and I suspect it would have brewed a fourth cup, but I haven't wanted that much tea in one sitting yet, so I can't say.

This tea is not very picky about brewing temperature. I tried upping the water temperature (probably to around 190) just out of curiosity, to see what happened. I find that the tea developed a very slighty metallic taste, noticeable but not even enough to really bother me much. It did not get appreciably bitter, nor develop any of that "overcooked spinach" aroma or other "off" aromas the way most gyokuro and some sencha does if the water temperature is too high.

The tea this reminds me most of is the Ureshino Tamaryokucha I tried from Wegmans (also produced on Kyushu, probably not far from where this is produced), but unlike that tea, this one was much slower to infuse, and thus harder to oversteep and much easier to make multiple steepings from.

I give this tea very high recommendations. It's easy to brew, pleasing to drink, has the complexity to please connoisseurs, but I can see it appealing to a broad audience due to its smooth flavor. The price is also very reasonable; I've tried pricier sencha that I liked less, and the leaf stretches very far, given it can make at least three nice cups from a teaspoon of leaves.
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Page 1 of 1 page with 5 reviews