Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Yunomi: Hida Mugicha Barley Tea, A Tea Review

Today my mom and I visited an old favorite spot in the countryside, a small cave on the side of the road that holds an amazing treasure. We visited the Rossville Road Cut, a rock hunter's dream, just pull over, grab your gear, and find some loot. This specific rock-hub is known for its ancient hydrothermal activity causing the native copper in the stones to turn to a glorious crust of Azurite and Malachite. The little cave is about five feet deep (at this point anyway) and I have always been leery about hammering in the cave (the fracture lines make the ceiling look fragile) so instead of bringing home huge showcase pieces I collect the bits left by other collectors. I also managed to get my hands on some Grossular Garnets and other pieces that need cleaning and proper IDing, perhaps my Saturday Musing will be about my finds.

I am going to be honest, reviewing this tea was a stupid idea! Yunomi was awesome and sent it as a sample with a requested pair of other samples, and I couldn't not review it, that would also be dumb. The reason is was a bad idea to review Hida Mugicha Barley Tea is I have Gluten Intolerance, luckily it is not Celiac, but it acts like a food allergy (don't worry I won't give details about what happens) so never let it be said that I am not really dumb sometimes. So, the teabag with the Mugicha was huge, clearly made for a pitcher, so I snipped it open and took out enough for just a cup. The aroma is really kinda great, very grainy and toasty with a touch of earthiness and a hint of sweetness. It reminds me of a combination of cereal and multi-grain bread, the toasted notes bringing out the natural sweetness of the barley.

Giving this tea a steep is mouthwatering, inability to have gluten and occasionally craving it something fierce aside, this tea smells delicious. That is, it smells delicious if you are a huge fan of toast, grain, and a distinct earthiness that only barley can present. The liquid without the mugicha reminds me of early autumn, a blend of the grain, toast, and earthiness just reminds me of the harvest and the golden quality the sunlight takes on this time of year.

Tasting time! The taste reminds me of bread, specifically multigrain bread...or barley soup...or the taste the air gets when you are toasting your own grain. I have noticed that this tea is not about taste, but about the imagery that pops into my mind while experiencing it. It is subtly sweet and earthy, much like barley, what more can I say other than this is a tea that tastes like toasted barley. Chilled this tea is incredibly refreshing, I am so glad to have experienced it (check it off my 'to try' list) and I am sad that I won't be having more of it. And don't worry, I actually tasted this tea a bit ago, my trusty notebook kept the details safe for me, so you all can know that my body's hatred of gluten did not do me in.
Malachite and Azurite cave!

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