This is one of the most interesting teas I’ve seen in a while, with its clumps of creamy coloured jasmine rice, scattered pieces of wild rice, and copious cocoa nibs. I’m also intrigued by the fact that it uses both Laoshan gongfu black and Laoshan roasted oolong – this clearly isn’t your typical genmaicha!
That’s borne out in the flavour, most of all. Whereas the roastiness in a “normal” genmaicha comes from the rice, here it’s clearly a result of the oolong. It’s roasty in the best possible way, with just an edge of almost-bitter toastiness amongst a lot of retained sweetness. I imagine a significant amount of the sweetness is coming from the strong malty backbone provided by the Laoshan black, but some of it is the oolong.
Underneath the roastiness is a pretty significant chocolate flavour – to my tastes, it’s milk tending towards dark; creamy, with a hint of deeper, richer cocoa. The rice itself doesn’t appear to be contributing a lot, other than a very light starchiness. It adds to the mouthfeel, though, so I guess that’s something.
This is one of the best genmaicha blends I’ve tried, even though it’s not particularly traditional. The quality is undeniable; it just shines through, and I’m enjoying the chocolate twist. It’s a shame LP doesn’t blend anymore because he had a hand for this kind of thing.