Sunday, January 12, 2014

Verdant Tea: Laoshan Genmaicha, A Tea Review

I apologize about the lack of updates the past couple days, I have been a bit under the weather. Luckily, the main thing keeping me from writing (a splitting headache) has eased so I can present a review to my readers. I had the idea to write a few blog posts to have stored away for days when I am either unwell or busy so I can still have daily reviews, something to work on this week. And now, for tea!

Today's tea is Laoshan Genmaicha from Verdant Tea, it is a blend of Laoshan Green Tea, Toasted Northern Lakes Minnesota Wild Rice, and Organic Toasted Jasmine Rice. Laoshan Green Tea is grown on Laoshan Mountain in Shandong Province and was picked July of 2013. I find myself wondering which lake the Wild Rice came from, I am sad I missed out on harvesting the Wild Rice when I was in the North Woods of Minnesota a few summers ago. The aroma of the tea is rich, the rice has a nutty and toasted aroma that finishes with a sweet, sticky rice aftertone. The leaves's aroma is very, well, verdant! They smell fresh and green, full of fresh vegetation and a mild vegetal tone. It finished with a gentle hint of caramelized sugar.

The aroma of the steeped leaves in a word, yum! But that is not exactly a description, is it? The rice adds a very toasty quality which blends with the green wonderfully. The green leaves have notes of green beans and a hint of citrus. The aroma is subtle, nothing is overpowering and it is well balanced. The liquid is buttery sweet and creamy with notes of toasted rice and nuttiness with a very mild hint of vegetal.

When tasting the first thing I notice is an initial savory quality that is like a mixture of green beans and sage that fades into a rich, creamy, sweet, nutty taste of toasted rice. It is a very smooth transition between savory and sweet that is punctuated with a hint of citrus that lingers in the mouth for a few. The mouthfeel is very smooth, almost creamy. I really like this tea, it is a new take on the traditional Genmaicha and while they have similar ideas (rice and green tea) they are executed quite differently. My biggest word of advice if trying this tea is do not expect it to taste like the traditional Genmaicha, toss any expectations out the window and be prepared for a new experience.

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