Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Japanese Green Tea In: Green Tea With Lemon and Mikan, A Pair of Teas!

Today is a pair of teas that are really pretty cool, two green teas blended with citrus specifically designed by the collaboration of tea masters of Arahataen Tea Gardens and students from a local high school as a way of connecting the younger generation with tea. In Japan, tea has been considered the art of old folks, kids tend to go for bottled tea or other random drinks over a steaming cup, so I certainly appreciate the effort to get more people into tea! These two teas are a blend of Japanese green tea powder, a bit of sugar, and lemon powder or mikan (japanese orange) powder. I love Japanese teas when mixed with citrus, so this is right up my alley! You can have them warm or cold, and since I am contrary I went with luke-warm (80 F) because it is snowing and I wanted kinda warm, but not too warm.

Green Tea with Mikan

So this tea is super vibrant! I was half expecting it to be dull green since usually these instant sweetened teas are really unappealing looking, but no, it practically looks like a piece of vibrant new spring growth sitting in my little wooden dish. The aroma is mostly green tea, I do not smell any citrus, just creamy and grassy green with a hint of sweetness. That changed immediately the moment I added water, with an almost audible woosh I was hit with a very strong wave of citrus! It smells like a mix of tangerine and grapefruit and it is juicy sweet! I kinda eyeballed it suspiciously, half expecting this vibrant green tea to magically poof into a fruit the moment I go to drink it. The taste is pretty spectacular, pleasantly sweet (not too sweet, roughly the same sweetness I would say as a mandarin orange) with a mouth smacking tangy sour orange and grapefruit note. At the end there are notes of creamy sesame and freshly mown grass. This is the kind of tea I want to take on a picnic on a summer day, it is very refreshing and so bright!

Green Tea with Lemon

Again, so vibrant! And again the aroma of the tea itself starts very lightly green with a subtle sweetness, add water and then boom! Facefull of lemons, like the old THX commercials but with lemon aroma rather than sound. This one I was a bit iffy on, mostly because I don't like sweet lemons...yes I am a weirdo who likes my lemons savory (I snack on lemons with salt occasionally) and have always kinda hated lemonade. Sadly this one tastes like someone has made perfectly fresh picnic ready lemonade and mixed it with green tea, and granted the green tea makes it taste so much better, but I can't help but wish for this one with less or no sugar. But if you are a person who likes lemonade then seriously go get this tea, it tastes uncannily like freshly squeezed lemonade. It is really good, and I am saying this as someone who doesn't like sweet lemons!

And really that is the best thing about these two teas, how they manage to taste so much like fresh fruit juice mixed with really good quality green tea...not something I expect from an instant tea. It honestly has made me rethink my prejudice on instant teas, as they clearly can be made to taste delicious....clearly these kids and tea masters know what they are doing!

Tea sent for review

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