Wednesday, 13 November 2013
Kuma Green 1228 (Mellow Monk)
Kuma Green 1228 is Mellow Monk's newest tea, a tamayokucha-style sencha, which would mean a certain level of steaming and shading to this tea. This sencha is largely the product of a single man, Kazuo Watanabe, two-time winner of Japan's Minister's Award for quality. The name of this tea comes from the address of Watanabe's estate in Kumamoto, and Watanabe personally tends to the plants - growing, tending, picking, and preparing the tea leaves.
The leaves are very small and dark, fine little wispy curls. Sticking my nose in the bag has brings a big, billowy vegetal aroma of freshly mown grass, crisp apples, and warm sunshine hitting cool, shaded mountain moss.
The liquor is a hazy pea-green, with an aroma of baked apples, warm sand, and an oh-so-slightly roasted grassy note. The first sip is smooth, with warm grassy flavours giving way to deeper, rounder, more vegetal notes. There's a bit of spinach, cantaloupe, and summery prairie grass on the tongue, with a mildly astringent aftertaste of applemint and maybe even chicory. Complex and refreshing.
Kuma Green 1228 at Mellow Monk