Monday, 31 October 2011

Top Leaf (Mellow Monk)

I'm going to admit this right off the bat - I probably have a bit of an observational bias with this tea. I bought this green from Mellow Monk because it had won first place for steamed green tea in the 2011 North American Tea Championship, so my expectations are pretty high.

This is a honcha - a "true tea", what the Japanese would consider the most quintessential, traditional type of tea. This is first flush, grown in volcanic soil near Mt. Aso in Kyushu.

The leaves are the tiniest of tips, tightly curled, so much so that I had to use the finest mesh I owned. The liquor is the lovely green, just what you would expect from a good Japanese tea. The aroma is grassy with a hint of nutmeg and cantaloupe. There's some really interesting flavours in this, it's vegetal, floral and grassy all at once, with almond, butter, hay, and melon popping up. There's a bit of bitterness in the aftertaste that balances out the initial sweetness.

This is an astoundingly complex green, I can definitely see why it won.

Top Leaf at Mellow Monk

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