drank Genmaicha by Rishi Tea
10 tasting notes

I should start out by saying that the Rishi Tea Genmaicha I have is very old and probably stale. Sometime in 2004, a friend gave this to me as a gift after overhearing me rave about how much I like genmaicha. It was a wonderful, delicious gift, and I managed to use up about half of it before I had to move. Eight moves and later, I finally unpacked it and have been drinking it again.

Even when stale, this tea is amazing. It’s the only genmaicha I’ve seen where some of the rice has been popped. (You can see what look like miniature pieces of popcorn in the blend.) The scent out of the bag is grassy and nutty. The first few seconds of brewing it bring out an intensely nutty scent (yes, like sesame or peanut). After that, the toasted rice and green tea even out, and you’re left with an intensely flavorful and balanced cup of genmaicha.

I’m especially happy with this tea because it is so forgiving of brewing mistakes or bad brewing practice. If I accidentally over-steep this tea, which sometimes happens, it develops the taste similar to green tea blended with mugicha (roasted barley tea). It’s also pretty forgiving of steeping with water that’s too hot.

2 min, 0 sec

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When I was a child, my mother used to make me tea: mainly herbal blends (chamomile, etc.) and flavored black teas (all fruit flavored). She also introduced me to Good Earth tea (Original Flavor). Occasionally, we’d also drink jasmine tea. We’d add a spoon full of honey to our tea and drink it together.

When I first tasted a plain non-herbal, non-flavored tea, I thought it was the grossest thing I’d ever tasted. It was horribly bitter, tannic, and I almost spat it out.

Later, someone introduced me to an artfully brewed oolong tea — which was nothing at all like the bitter, tannic vileness I’d drank several years earlier. This was… Light. Delicate. Amazing!

Since then, I’ve been trying out different teas here and there, and experimenting with brewing techniques as best I can. I still have a weakness for herbal blends and fruit flavored teas — and a cup of Good Earth is always welcome — but I’ve been spending more time drinking whites, greens, and oolongs.

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