• Reviews

    Mellow Monk Artisan’s Reserve

    Country of Origin: Japan Leaf Appearance: deep green Steep time: 1 minute Water Temperature: 165 degrees Preparation Method: kyusu Liquor: deep green, somewhat cloudy I’ve been posting quite a few blasts from the past lately. Mellow Monk is definitely among those. All of my previous reviews of their teas are from 2012 and 2013. Although it has been a while since I tried any of their offerings, I’ve been avidly following their adventures in Japan through social media. Paul Kotta, Mellow Monk’s co-founder, is a genuinely nice guy and very knowledgeable. He was kind enough to give me the pick of any of his teas. When I saw that the Artisan’s Reserve was a blend…


  • Reviews

    Mellow Monk Kuma Green 1228 Sencha

    Country of Origin: Japan Leaf Appearance: small, deep green Ingredients: green tea Steep time: 2 minutes Water Temperature: 165 degrees Preparation Method: kyusu Liquor: bright greenish yellow +Mellow Monk is definitely one of my go-to’s for Japanese green tea. I’ve reviewed quite a few of their teas but I think that this one just might be my favorite so far. The leaves, both dry and while steeping, were incredibly aromatic. If you could bottle the smell of spring this tea is what it would smell like. The taste was incredible smooth with a pure and sweet vegetal character. I was surprised at how many fruity notes there were. I was reminded of crisp apples and honeydew…

  • Reviews

    Mellow Monk Blissful Buds

    Country of Origin: Japan Leaf Appearance: very small, deep green Ingredients: green tea Steep time: 2 minutes Water Temperature: 165 degrees Preparation Method: kysusu Liquor: bright, cloudy green According the product description for this tea, Blissful Buds™ is a mecha, or bud tea, made from young buds and shoots. For more information on mecha, check out this great article from +Ricardo Caicedo at My Japanese Green Tea. This type of tea is often served alongside sushi (which I’m really in the mood for now). Just as with +Mellow Monk Frosty Garden, I prefer to let the small leaf particles settle before sipping. The taste was grassy, vegetal and somewhat fruity with a lingering sweetness. It had…

  • Reviews

    Mellow Monk Frosty Garden Green Tea

    Country of Origin: Japan Leaf Appearance: deep green, needle like with some paler stems Ingredients: green tea Steep time: 2 minutes Water Temperature: 165 degrees Preparation Method: ceramic teapot Liquor: yellowish green, somewhat cloudy According to Mellow Monk’s website, Frosty Garden™ is a shiraore (also known as karigane), a luscious sencha mixed with some leaf stems. This was my first time having this type of tea which made it doubly exciting. The leaves are very fine, so much so that they clogged the strainer of my glass teapot on the first attempt. I tried again in a ceramic teapot with a built in mesh strainer and that worked much better. The liquor had a…

  • Reviews

    Mellow Monk Top Leaf Green Tea

    Country of Origin: Japan Leaf Appearance: dark green, slightly curled Ingredients: green tea Steep time: 3 minutes Water Temperature: 170 degrees Preparation Method: clay teapot Liquor: bright green This tea was incredibly light, sweet and refreshing. The taste was vegetal but not in the grassy way that you would expect from sencha. It reminded me very much of sugar snap peas. A buttery finish and notes of citrus added a complexity that made this tea everything that I could ask for. There was no astringency and the aftertaste was cooling with an almost minty quality. After three steepings, I was very full of tea but definitely felt like the leaves still had more…