Drank this tea with an old friend in honor of Ashmanra’s April Sipdown prompt: A tea you serve to tea newbies! Took me a minute to think about this prompt, my answer just kept changing in my head. The imaginary newbie in my head would shift from someone who has only had fruity teabag tisanes but looking to jump into loose leaf, to someone who has some ancient gifted Teavana rotting next to a rusted tetsubin, to someone who is trying to kick a soda habit and is diving into tea. There are so many different paths to cha, and the tea that helps you jump off the deep end is so important, yet personal.
So i decided to ask myself, what was that tea for me? I’ve been a tea person for most of my life, and the pivotal moment for me was when my cousin moved back to the US from Japan and brought us these bagged teas, I couldn’t tell you if they were Yamamotoyama or some other brand. But the two flavors, genmaicha and hojicha – blew me away. I had no idea tea could taste like that!
This is the king’s version of those teabags I had as a child. The scent of the dry leaf is verdant and savory, the soba they use is teeny and chestnut brown – a perfect complement to the big beautiful bancha leaves. I appreciate the use of bancha here, it’s more mellow and a lot less funky than a sencha genmaicha for a newbie. The slightly nutty grassiness of the bancha compliments the popcorn toastiness of the soba cha so well. I had become bored of genmaicha as of late, but this blend combo reawaken my love for my first love tea.
Now if I was starting someone out with this tea, as a true newbie, I’d send them home with some taiwanese oolong. That’ll knock their teabag socks off XD
Flavors: Butter, Nori, Nutty, Popcorn, Seaweed, Toasted Rice