The folks over at Mellow Monk were kind enough to send me a new tea to review after seeing me restock some of my favorites from their store. They sent their Blissful Buds blend! According to them this tea is also know as an "agari" in sushi lingo. Apparently it is what is used to cleanse the palette and refresh after a delicious sushi meal! It is made from the youngest buds and shoots of the tea plants, and it yields a very sweet and refreshing cup.
The leaves unbrewed are an incredible dark emerald color, and are so finely rolled that it felt like I was touching dry coffee grounds at first. Once the hot water hit they blossomed into rich, bright leaves with a lovely green mist making the brew take on a more solid and foggy appearance.
The aroma is strongly vegetal and green. Like steamed asparagus -- it is snappy and savory. Followed by that, the first sip is astringent, but not as much as other Japanese greens. The astringency drops off into a sudden tangy sweetness that I found comparable to a mildly tart plum. Followed by that was an aftertaste that was creamy and reminded me vaguely of a milk candy fading off of the palette.
The color of the brew is incredible. Yet again I'm finding myself wowed by how vibrant their Japanese green teas are. It was a lovely glowing green, and the sun caught it and illuminated the cup wonderfully.
It was just my luck that while sipping this and jotting down notes a summer thunderstorm rolled through our area. I sat in the windowsill with the windows open and enjoyed this tea with the rain cooling down the yard and watering all the plants. The color of the tea made me think of our backyard after a rainstorm. Bright green and alive! Now, if only I had some delicious sushi to truly tie this tasting experience together ...
Thank you again to Mellow Monk for having such incredible offerings & for being generous enough to send me another one of their teas for me to write about! It's always such a delight!