Genmaicha is traditionally a Japanese roasted rice green tea that I enjoy. So, whenever I see a variation on it, I try it. This blend was made of coconut, cocoa nibs, and toasted rice with a black tea base which sounded like an interesting spin!
Description: “This blend starts with a deeply chocolatey black tea, hand-picked by the He Family in Laoshan, and amps it up with a touch of roasted cacao nibs, coconut flake and Laoshan toasted rice.”
Instructions: Mug of tea – 5 grams | close to boiling water | 1 minute | or use less tea and increase brew time*
Review: Right off the bat, the blend sounded promising since I like sweeter teas. The dry blend had an overwhelming smell of coconut, grains, and milk chocolate which reminded me of coconut chocolate bars or coconut chocolate chip cookies. The coconut flakes coated the dark dry black tea leaves, cacao nibs, and toasted rice.
After brewing for 1 minute with 5 grams of tea, the amber brown liquor was mildly cloudy and had a light oily film on the top. There was an evident charcoal and smoked smell when lifting the cup up to drink. Despite the smell, the taste was woody, sweet, malt, cocoa, and baked bread forward, with only lingering charcoal and jasmine notes. When cooled, the charcoal taste is much more apparent with a hint of sweetness and grains. The taste reminded me of a dark chocolate KitKat bar.
Brewing with less tea and longer brew time brought out a sweeter baked good taste and reminded me of malt or cocoa drinks, such as Vitasoy Soy Malt drink. When the liquor was cooled, the grain taste was more apparent with a pleasant malt flavour at the back of the throat alongside some dryness. I also noticed that liquor has less film when you use less tea.
The wet leaves were dark and twisted with coconut and roasted rice and smelled like typical genmicha with a woody, nutty earthy, and roasted smell. *I found the website a bit sparse on information such as brew time and the actual ingredients. I assumed what the ingredients were based on the description of the tea. I ended up reaching out to the company to confirm the brewing recommendations. That being said, I really enjoyed the taste of the tea and I could see the inspiration from Genmicha! This is pretty coconut-forward, so I would only recommend it to people who enjoy that flavour paired with cocoa (4/5 rating).