Thursday, February 5, 2009


Tea: Genmaicha
Vendor: Ippodo
Price: 400 Yen / 100g
Vendor Description: One of the more popular banchas, genmaicha is a mixture of yanagi and roasted genmai (a variety of brown rice). The genmai is roasted at two different levels: lightly roasted and deeply roasted until the rice grains puff. The result is a unique savory flavor and a strong popcorn-like aroma. The quantity of genmai is purposely kept to a minimum while there is an ample amount of leaves with a light bitterness. This provides a perfect balance between the roasted aroma of the genmai and the refreshing aftertaste of the yanagi.

Leaf: The leaf consists of large uneven leaves. The rice is very lightly toasted and in a relatively low concentration. Most genmaicha that I have seen recently have been much more rice:tea.

1st Infusion Parameters: 5g, 5oz, 185F, 90s

1st Infusion: There is a heavy bancha aroma to this tea, it is a very distinctive bancha sharpness. The infusion has a light murkiness with a light yellow color. The flavor is best described as empty upfront with a certain sense of smoothness. There is a bit of bitterness on the backend. Due to the low concentration of rice, the rice flavor isn't very prominent. There is a smoothness ot the flavor of the tea, it seems like that's about all that the rice component could add. The elaves are mostly expanded on the first infusion, having opened rather rapidly for this tea. Considering the 1g:1oz ratio, this is a rather light / weak flavor.

2nd Infusion Parameters: 185F, 2 min

2nd Infusion: This infusion had a mucher darker yellow color. The aroma was more distinctively bancha in nature. The flavor had a much more rounded front end, but there wasn't a very disticntive flavor in it. There was a light sense of bitterness, but it feels like the tea only added color and texture to the tea rather than a disticntive flavor.

Rating: 2/10

Conclusion: This is definitely not one of the better genmaicha that I have had, but there is one thing that is going for it, at its price it is a very price conscious tea. Unfortunately ordering from Ippodo involves expensive shipping from Japan. The tea itself is ok, you would probably enjoy it if you like bancha.

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