Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cup 7-- Genmaicha Extra Green

Forgive the blurry picture i can't seem to get the color of this right and have a stable image :/

but in any case, strap in to your seat ladies and gents because today we're going into the realm of Japanese Greens.

Japan is known for their green tea. In Japanese language the word for tea "cha" or "o-cha" refers to green tea, not to black. If you want a different kind of tea other than green you have to specify which kind, or else you'll get green tea. For centuries their samurai have created and performed the art of the tea ceremony, "chado". It developed alongside Noh theater and the Bunraku (puppet plays).

The art of the tea ceremony was to help Samurai appreciate the beauty in simple and imperfect things as well as to train their minds and bodies into a particular pattern of activities. While today the tea ceremony is mostly thought of as an art for females, it originated as a male-dominated activity. The Samurai learned about tea from Buddhist monks who used the powdered matcha in their religious ceremonies. As the Samurai started to study Buddhism they also learned about tea and made it into a warrior's art.

Matcha is powdered green tea. The leaves are very finely ground and then mixed with water and whisked to a frothy neon-green beverage. But what does matcha have to do with this Genmaicha?

Genmaicha is green tea with brown roasted rice. Many kinds of genmaicha have matcha added to it to improve it's taste and color. This Genmaicha Extra Green has matcha added to make it have a very bright color and a stronger flavor.

Genmaicha was originally a drink for the poor, since the rice that was mixed with the tea made it cheaper. However, now a days it is drunk by all.

This tea has the smell of freshly made rice when brewed. The taste too is influenced by the rice and is kind of starchy. While this tea is very green in color it also tastes pretty green. It's sweet but yet at the same time it tastes like i've been eating vegetables and nuts.

While this tea really only brings the bang of the matcha in taste and color on the first brew, the following few brews still have a good genmaicha flavor and smell. makes me want to eat some toast, yum.

This Tea is one of the ones that i got in my Den's Tea Sampler pack. The Sampler Pack, which can be found HERE, gives you four different kind of loose teas to try, as well as two of their bagged teas. It also comes with a wide variety of literature on green teas and the health benefits of green tea. For 3 bucks it's not a bad deal, and it gets refunded on your next order over $15. Although i personally didn't much care for 2/4 loose teas (too vegetal) on the first time around, it was a really good way to try several varieties and to gain a greater understanding of the world of green teas.

Don't be too hasty to go right now and order up a lot of preme-o japanese greens though. The picking season for greens will be here soon ( March and April usually) and you'll be able to snap up some fresh green deliciousness!

Kind-Green Tea
Brew Time-Less than a minute
Water Temp-170* or there abouts
Color- Neon green
Fragrance- nutty and ricey
Taste-slightly bitter yet sweet and starchy
Best during-early afternoon
Style- Loose
Price per oz- $2.12
Place bought- Den's Tea
Overall- yum~

1 comment:

  1. I love your tea cups. Also,I found your word origin note really interesting-
    Japanese- cha, o-cha
    English/more- chai
    Arabic and Persian- chai
    Hindi- chai
    Uzbek/Central Asia- choi

    I think if you ask for chai anywhere in the world, someone will figure it out :)


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