Sunday, May 22, 2011

Tea Review 114 - Mellow Monk Crimson Grove

Crimson Grove Black Tea
Mellow Monk

Given that Japanese tea and green tea are pretty much one and the same, the chance to taste a black tea from Japan is one that I couldn't pass up. Black tea has been produced in Japan since the late nineteenth century, but typically on a very small scale, much more so than green.

The chance to taste any tea from Mellow Monk is also one that I'm not likely to pass up, given the experience I had with some of their Japanese greens a while back. Here's what they have to say about their Crimson Grove variety of Japanese black tea:

Crimson Grove is black tea (kocha, or "crimson tea" in Japanese) made from the leaves of green tea varietals grown in the pristine foothills of Mt. Aso. Gently harvested leaves are lightly fermented, for a smooth, smokey taste uniquely combined with a mild sweetness not found in ordinary black teas.

Crimson Grove is a special presence in the world of tea — a black tea made with lightly fermented leaves from the same tea plant varietals used to make traditional sencha. The flavor is brisk and clean, with a green-tea-like sweetness and a black-tea-like smokey, nutty taste, finishing with overtones of nutmeg.

Well said. While this is definitely a tea I'd be more than happy to revisit I'm not quite sure what to compare it to. The closest I can think of would be one of the better, more full-flavored Ceylons I've tried. But even though words have failed me somewhat I'd recommend it nonetheless.

Sample provide by Mellow Monk
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