Saturday, April 25, 2009

Tea Tasting Saturday #17 - GenMaiCha

When I opened this week's tea sample, I thought just one word: Granola! But the tea didn't *taste* like granola ...

Category: Japanese Green Tea

Purveyor: Harney & Sons

When purchased: March 2009

Dry leaf appearance:
I knew this tea was supposed to have rice in it, but I wasn't expecting the mini-kernels of popcorn! (And yes, out of curiosity I did eat one of the pieces of toasted rice popcorn, which tasted just like stale regular popcorn.)

Wet leaf appearance: Like you accidentally mixed a spoonful of leftover rice from the previous night's dinner with your green tea.

Steeping temperature and time: 1 teaspoon of tea, 190 degrees, 2 minutes.

Scent: I have liked so many of the teas I've tried this year, it was high time I found one I didn't much care for! And I didn't much care for this one. I wasn't even *thinking* about the rice in the tea, but as soon as the hot water hit the tea leaves I caught a strong scent of rice cakes. I'd just as soon eat styrofoam, so having this scent in my tea was not something I enjoyed.

Color: A pale green.

I like rice, a lot, so I was surprised at how very much I disliked this tea. Apparently my palate can live with last week's "fish tea" but not with this week's "rice tea."

Additional notes: According to the book, "Once considered a cheap peasant beverage, GenMaiCha has recently come into vogue among Japanese urban elite and in the United States as a health drink." (But I'll be sticking with some of the other Chinese and Japanese greens as my "health drink.")

Next week's tea: Hojicha


  1. hi angela! Your description of teas is so entertaining! I am enjoying your reviews.

  2. Is this book described as 100 teas you should know about? This is a success!

    I'm with you, Angela...everything may mix up in the stomach, but getting it there in a palatable way is sometimes better in purist form...I don't think having a whole meal in one teacup (or blended in a glass) is to my usual taste...

    Glad you are testing this stuff first so we don't have to! But what in the world do you do with the leftovers that you purchase? It kind of looks like tea potpourri

    What is that brownish portion in the mix?

    It's good that we have a person who will give us an honest opinion! Kudos, Angela!

  3. I got a canister of a GenMaiCha from Adagio in my tea of the month subscription, and initially I didn't like it. But I gave it a couple more tries, and it actually grew on me. It's not the first one I reach for by any means, but it's nice when I want something different.

  4. Interesting. I love genmaicha - but then, I've never eaten rice cakes!

  5. Gwendol, the brown stuff is the rice, and when you see it steeped, it looks just like ... rice! (I think I have a mental hangup with "drinking" my rice.)

    But that said ... Skulleigh and Melanie, you have reminded me that I usually like to give second chances in life (to people and things!), so maybe I'll sample again sometime!

  6. I enjoyed this review. GenMaiCha is not one of my favorites, but it is interesting to try teas that are out of the ordinary.


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