About This Tea
Supplier: Kent and Sussex Tea & Coffee Company
Ingredients: Chinese Green tea, Japanese Green Tea, Peeled Rice, Flavouring and Strawberry Pieces.
Brewing Technique: 75-80°C, 1-2 Minutes
Seriously, I could smell the flavouring through the packet AND through the postage packaging. The smell of it saturated my post box. Can you imagine how strong Strawberry Genmaicha was when the packet was actually opened?! The aroma is a sweet sour sort of strawberry, that’s incredibly reminiscent of Chewits, the popular 90’s sweet. Despite the fact I knew the smell was obviously artificial, I just wanted to live in it. I wanted to eat the entire contents. I wanted to satisfy my watering mouth, and trust me, it watered A LOT! Alas, I settled for burying my nose in the bag for some time and then eventually making a cuppa out of it.
With an aroma so strong, it’s not surprising that the overriding flavour is strawberry. It’s also not surprising that the smell totally sets you up for disappointment so large it could fill a cup. Unfortunately, with many fruit teas the smell more often than not is totally different to the taste. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s pretty much a fact of life, but tea-bellies we need to remember it and wise up. So. Do. Not. Get. Over. Excited. Again, strawberry is the predominant note, but is laid back in comparison to the aroma, enabling it to mingle with the buttery toasted flavours of genmaicha. There is a slight synthetic taste but this is easily disguised and ignored.
It’s always worth trying out a new fruity tea cold in case you happen to stumble upon a blend to serves as a tasty but healthier hydrating alternative to juice and sugary drinks. It’s also worth testing the best way to make it. Always try as an iced tea (tea infused with hot water, cooled and poured over ice) and as a cold brew (tea leaves in cold water left in the fridge overnight). Surprisingly, or not if you know your science (I don’t know my science), they yield different flavours. Iced Strawberry Genmaicha produces a lightly toasted flavour with the strong artificial notes of strawberry, whereas cold brewing creates a very mild strawberry note with strong toasted flavours!
Traditionally, Genmaicha was served hot and used as a meal replacement for the poor or those who were fasting, so it’s fair to assume that this blend was developed with hot brews in mind. This makes it totally forgivable that the cold and iced versions aren’t great. They’re fine, but are just a tad too synthetic and overpowering for them to be completely enjoyable. Like I said, fruity iced teas are always worth trying, just in case, but this time was not a winner. Despite being disappointed in the initial hot tasting, after nursing my metaphorical wounds and arming myself with the advance knowledge of the stark difference in taste and smell, I was able to enjoy Strawberry Genmaicha. Remembering that fruits teas often taste different to the aroma made the blend 100 times easier to appreciate. It’s safe to say my preference lay with the hot version of this tea, the toasted rice combining perfectly to create a cosy blend that’s well suited to ice cold, sunny winter days. Overall, a fun, fruity and very British twist on the traditional Genmaicha tea.
Fancy trying Strawberry Genmaicha for yourself?