I’m going to let you in on a little secret, and I would appreciate it if you didn’t judge me so harshly… Okay, here it goes.
I don’t really like green tea.
Wait! Wait! Maybe I should clarify this. When I say “I don’t like green tea”, I don’t mean “I think green tea tastes gross”. Because it doesn’t. It’s refreshing and…grassy. And it makes me think of Spring time. What I really mean is, I have a hard time appreciating green tea. I have a hard time telling one green tea from the next because all green tea tastes the same to me. It’s like I’m incapable of picking up on all of the delicate aromas present in the different varieties of green tea. Maybe my taste buds are dull. Maybe it’s the hard water I have the misfortune of using. Maybe it’s because I don’t have the tea tasting experience. Whatever the reason, while I may enjoy a cup of green tea here and there, I rarely write about the green tea drinking experience here at Books & Tea. But, I’m going to make an exception for this post. I’m actually going to write about two green teas I had the pleasure to try recently. BEHOLD!
Organic Gen Mai Cha Green Tea from Two Leaves and a Bud
Ingredients: Green tea and roasted rice
This tea surprised me. Mostly because I’d never heard of Gen Mai Cha, so I was blown away when I found little, roasted rice nestled amongst green tea leaves. I had to do a little research on Gen Mai Cha because I couldn’t figure out why someone would want to brew roasted rice. According to good ol’ Wikipedia, Gen Mai Cha was drunk by poor Japanese people back in the day. The roasted rice was a filler to cut down on the cost of the tea.
I was skeptical of the tea because the scent reminded me of Honey Smack cereal (minus most of the sweetness), and I was never too fond of Honey Smacks. This tea grew on me as is cooled down. When the tea was still hot, all I tasted was the puffed rice, and I couldn’t help but feel like I was drinking watery porridge. This isn’t necessarily bad because I like porridge, but I would have been disappointed if that’s all it was. When the tea cooled down to a luke-warm temperature, the aroma of the green tea finally surfaced, and the flavors seemed to marry. The aroma of the roasted rice mellowed and became nice and nutty, which tasted good with the fresh and light sweetness from the green tea.
I drank this tea at work, which ended up being a great idea. I quit my job at Sears, and now I work as a receptionist at a bank. It’s a high call environment, so the phones seem to never stop ringing. Considering I’m not a phone person to begin with, I tend to get really irritable by the end of the day. Two Leaves and a Bud’s Organic Gen Mai Cha calmed my nerves. I found it to be a very comforting tea largely because of the nutty, porridge-like roasted rice. Maybe it’s a little strange, but I kept thinking about the breakfasts I used to eat before school when I was a young lass.
Bottom Line, Two Leaves and Bud’s Organic Gen Mai Cha is a win. Even though I’m still trying to wrap my head around puffed rice in tea, the flavors in this tea just worked, and they only got better with each sip I took.
Tropical Goji Green Tea from Two Leaves and a Bud
Ingredients: Green tea (Sencha), natural flavoring (whatever that means!), and some other stuff
First, I have to say that I didn’t list all the ingredients, and I apologize for that. There were more ingredients in Two Leaves and a Bud’s Tropical Goji Green Tea, but they’re not all listed on the Two Leaves and a Bud site. I don’t really know why. If I recall correctly, there was dried mango bits too.
Anyway, the scent of this tea was so scrummy. It was sweet and fruity, and I was excited to get brewing right away. And let me tell you, the taste of Tropical Goji Green was just as delicious as its smell. “Flavoring” can be a little tricky because it can overpower the tea, but in this tea it was a nice balance. The flavoring was fruity and slightly tangy, and this paired nicely with the fresh, grassy, and light sweetness of the green tea. I decided to go back for seconds and steeped the bag for a second time. The aromas mellowed a bit, but it was still good the second time around.
Bottom line, this tea was pretty darn tasty. I need more of this stuff because I’m thinking it would make a delicious iced tea. Think of how great it would be to enjoy this outside on a warm day while reading a good book. Fruity and refreshing, I’m sure!