Mellow Monk: Monk’s Choice

Vendor: Mellow Monk
Monk’s Choice (sencha)
Origin: Japan
$9.95/100g pouch

Check, check it out, we’ve just reached the one month mark with this thing. Wonderful. I hope you are having as much fun as I am.

I’ve been excited about posting this review. Well, I’m excited to post any review; the great thing about my foray into the world of tea is how much there is for me to explore. Obviously there are various styles of tea, but there are even more vendors to pick from with different offerings from different regions– not to mention variations in harvest time– you get what I’m saying. Only if I had the money to explore all those options. Imagine having to create a hybrid Dewey Decimal system for your tea collection. That would be awesome.

Annnnd we’re back to reality. Unfortunately, I do have a limited tea budget so I have to take some extra time to figure out not only what tea I want to try but more importantly from where I want to buy it. The TeaChat community is especially useful in such matters; the advice and experience of others is invaluable. So are some of the tea blogs I frequent (I’ll save those for my future “feature” posts).

When deciding what type of tea I’d try out next, green just made sense. Sure I’ve had some insipid bagged versions and imitation stuff in a bottle loaded with hfcs but I needed to try the real deal. Would you guess it, I don’t know much about green tea… yet. But no worries, I am learning as I go along. My current knowledge of green tea extends to brewing guidelines… and well… that’s about it.

Mellow Monk has a whole lot of greatness going on: simple, yet inviting website, quality tea at an affordable price, and an attractive business model. They may only do one thing (green tea), but they do it with excellence. Their tea comes directly from small, independent family growers in Japan. What they sell is unblended, single-estate tea. Even better, if for some reason you don’t like the stuff– why in the world wouldn’t you?– they will give you a refund. Not many tea vendors provide such great guarantee.

Leaf: 1 heaping teaspoon
Water: 170°
Steep time: 3 min for the initial infusion, 30 seconds to 1 minute thereafter

MM describes their Monk’s Choice as their “table wine of green teas.” It’s a quality, everyday tea that won’t dissapoint. I find it to be quite suitable for drinking any time during the day. The taste and smell reminds me of spinach. It is slightly sweet and has a taste of subdued, vegetally earth. Any leaf fragments that escape into the cup from brewing are pretty astringent, but the rest of the cup is mellow and lovely. The liquor is a light straw yellow with a tint of green.

If you have never had green tea before, I highly recommend getting this tea from Mellow Monk. Also, if you are new to green tea, see my related side post here.




Brian Steele | The Uncouth Palate


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