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Monday, January 25, 2010

Review: Two Leaves and a Bud’s Gen Mai Cha Green Tea

The Subject: Gen Mai Cha Green from Two Leaves and a Bud.


Water temperature: 180° F
Steeping time: 3 minutes

Tea type: Green
Scents, flavorings, etc.: Toasted rice kernels
Aroma, dry: Planty, grassy green tea aroma with toasty rice overtones
Aroma in the cup, plain: Planty, grassy green tea aroma with toasty rice overtones
Taste, plain: Planty, grassy green tea aroma with toasty rice overtones
Aroma in the cup, enhanced: N/A
Taste, enhanced: N/A

2nd Infusion: Lighter color, slightly cloudy, more toasted taste comes through

Chilled: Didn’t try

So far, this has to be the most unusual and unexpected tea we’ve tried. Mixed with the tea leaf pieces are “popped” rice kernels (they expand during the roasting process). We can see why this tea is so very popular in Japan. One disappointment, though, is how broken up the tea leaf pieces are. That might happen in the roasting process as well.

Both hubby and I found the aroma and taste to be enticing. The toasted rice hovers over the smell and flavor of the green tea like a solo oboe hanging over the strings in an orchestra. It creates an extra dimension that elevates this above any other green tea we have tried so far.

The tea “liquor” is free from bitterness, so no sweetener was necessary. You may want to try this unsweetened and then decide if you need to add anything (honey, stevia, aspartame, sugar, etc.). My guess is you will want this tea just as it is.

Be aware that when you buy a certain quantity, you will be getting about half “popped” rice kernels (by volume, not weight) in with the tea leaf pieces.

Another organic tea (deducted half a teapot). The “organic” labeling is questionable; I am concerned about people buying something just because of that. You need to know more about the tea than that. Buyer beware.

Disclaimer: The tea reviewed here was provided by the company named. However, the rating of the tea and any opinions concerning it are strictly objective.


  1. I wasn't even aware that Two Leaves and a Bud made a I checked their website and see that they've added a bunch of new teas...exciting!

    Two Leaves and a Bud uses USDA Organic Certification, according to their website. Do you think they should display the USDA logo rather than just saying organic? Maybe this is something we could bring to their attention.

    I'm starting to think about "best practices" to advocate for tea companies, in terms of promoting organic agriculture, but discouraging companies from misusing the label. I agree that seeing the term organic without any explanation can be misleading--even if the company is doing their part it gets consumers in the habit of just seeing the word and not thinking about it any more than that, sort of like you said.

    What do you think?

  2. Uh, that's not what I meant. Please see my article:

    Part I --

    Part II -


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