My mom brought me this stash of green tea from Japan last week. Japanese green tea is my favorite.
The tea on the left and in the center (in the white bag) is genmaichai, or roasted rice tea. If you look closely at the bag on the left, you can see brown pieces of roasted rice and even some white ones, which look like micro pieces of popcorn.
She bought the white bag at Mitsukoshi, a Japanese department store I knew in Hong Kong. The green bag on the left is from Yaohan, another Japanese store I used to frequent in Hong Kong. I assumed the white bag, which had been wrapped in the Mitsukoshi red and white paper, would be of higher quality. It’s presented nicer and comes from a store higher on the ladder of Japanese department stores.
So I did a taste test.
I first drank a cup of the Mitsukoshi tea. It had a light roasted rice flavor and a light green color. I liked how it tasted smooth and not too bitter.
The next day I opened the Yaohan bag, which wasn’t wrapped in department store paper or presented in an understated bag. But as soon as I opened the bag, the powerful aroma of roasted rice pervaded the kitchen. Yum.
The Yaohan tea had a darker, brownish green color, and the roasted rice flavor was more pronounced than in the Mitsukoshi tea. I’m sure each has its merits, but it goes to show you really can’t judge a tea by its packaging.
The third bag, on the right, is powdered matcha, another favorite. I’m going to drink that this morning.
What’s your favorite type of tea?