Monday, 23 July 2012

Yuzu Dream (Mellow Monk)

This tea from the fine folks at Mellow Monk (whose teas I have consistently enjoyed) is a bit different from their usual unflavoured traditional teas. This is a tamayokucha, (lit. curled green tea) in Japanese, a shade-grown steamed tea. It's flavoured with small pieces of yuzu peel, a citrus fruit I have never encountered before, but is akin to a sour mandarin or a grapefruit.

The leaves are curled or in pieces, and a deep forest green punctuated with contrasting orange-coloured yuzu peel. The aroma of the leaves is strongly fragrant, of tangy dried citrus with an edge of earth dried mango underneath.

The liquor is a slightly hazy yellow with a creamy, buttery aroma with a citrus undertone, not unlike a citrusy of a milk oolong!

The first sip is tart citrus, followed by a milky, sweet, graham cracker note, with a vegetal undertone, followed by bold sharp citrus in the aftertaste, with a similar mouthfeel to biting into citrus peel, but with no bitterness. Yuzu seems to me, at least what I can tell from the tea, to taste like a grapefruit wrapped in an orange skin. This is a gorgeous tea, and I'd strongly recommend it even to people who don't like flavoured teas.

Yuzu Dream at Mellow Monk


  1. It's a very unique tea that I have never tried. I want to try it myself to see how the yuzu and green tea flavors fuse and create an unbeknown taste.

    1. I had never heard of this tea, or even of tamayokucha before. I really like it!

  2. Tamaryokucha doesn't seem to be that well-known in the US, although there is one example of a widely-distributed one, sold by Two Leaves and a Bud. They shorten the name to "Tamayokucha" but I think the full name is "Tamaryokucha". I think it is also called Guricha.

    I wrote an article on RateTea some time ago about this type of tea, guricha or tamaryokucha. Apparently there is a pan-fired tea by this name that was invented to be sold on the market to Muslim countries, which tend to prefer Chinese-style pan-fired green teas. I'd be really curious to try this, but I have only ever tried the steamed variety, and only the one example from Two Leaves.