Crimson Grove

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Black Tea
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205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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From Mellow Monk

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.

About Mellow Monk View company

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18 Tasting Notes

6768 tasting notes

Oh! Mellow Monk – among my favorite MONKS :)

I got this in the mail today and what an experience! WOW!
First, let me start by saying this is a black tea made from green tea varietals! Ahhhhh!

This has a sweet tomato-soup-like flavor to it with a gentle smoke almost like a bisque type note underneath. As the sip progresses the smoothness increases! It’s really special!

This is completely warm and comforting without spice. It’s not bitter or astringent – it’s sweeter and it’s lovely!



Please educate – what does this mean, “black tea made from green tea varietals”?


Here’s some more info I found on their website:

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, smoky 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 smoky, nutty taste, finishing with overtones of nutmeg.

Packaging. Crimson Grove™ Black Tea comes vacuum-sealed for freshness in resealable, standup foil packets. Each packet contains 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of tea, enough to make 40–50 cups of brewed tea.

How to brew. Use 1 teaspoon of tea leaves for an 8-ounce cup or mug. The water temperature should be close to boiling (about 100 degrees Celcius or 212 degrees Fahrenheit). (Be careful when handling hot water.) For the first steeping, let the tea brew for about 2 minutes. For the second and third steepings, let the tea brew for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. CAUTION: After steeping, allow the tea to cool before drinking.

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348 tasting notes

I dug the heck out of this Japanese black tea (or “kocha”). It reminded me more of a Taiwanese black with a kukicha consistency and a mild fruit note. What I greatly appreciated was the lack of black tea astringency and/or a bitter foretaste. It was all honey and metaphorically reminded me of sweet tree sap in texture. Quite good.

Full Review:

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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109 tasting notes

Mellow Monk really wasn’t high on my list of tea companies to order from until I looked at their web site. I liked the idea of all their teas being grown by small, family-owned farms, imported directly from Japan. All of their teas are first flush. I also like it that all their tea comes from the southern island of Kyushu, which never had high levels of radiation last year. I’m impressed that MM only chooses teas that are popular locally and not primarily produced for export. They shipped really fast. My tea arrived safe and sound but I’d appreciate a little sturdier packaging than a plain, brown kraft envelope.

So, a black tea from Japan seemed like such an anomaly that I had to try it. Upon opening the pouch, I am hit with a slightly smoky scent that reminds me a bit of a Formosa Keemun and/or Dark Roasted Oolong. The dry leaves are short and mostly chocolate brown with a smattering of chestnut colored tips or bits of twig in the mix.

The brewed leaves smelled a bit like a Taiwanese Ruby Red-slightly malty and minty. The liquor is fairly light-darker than a FF Darjeeling, but not much else. It has hues of burnt orange, amber, and chestnut brown.

The flavor is very smooth, zero bitterness or astringency, and about as mellow as you can get with a black tea. As for specific notes, I am having a hard time gleaning those. I can’t say that my cupping mimics what MM describes. To me, it tastes mostly similar to a Formosa Keemun (not exactly like) but I feel like I am still figuring this out. I think my rating number may change the more I drink this.

Brewing based on MM’s instructions, I got two cups of tea. I think maybe I can get a third if brew a little longer.

I wouldn’t recommend this based on the smoke alone, because I don’t think there’s enough of it for those who really enjoy smoky notes. However, if you like milder black teas or just enjoy the idea of a black tea from Japan made with green tea varietals, you may like this tea.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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21 tasting notes

Taste is pretty mellow- not a ton going on- I feel like I don’t have to think about the taste much (unlike say a Yunnan black).

Good but not mind blowing. It’s $19 for 100g and worth a try just because it’s a Japanese black and it’s from Mellow Monk. I dig them.

MM recommends steeping for 2-3 minutes, then 1 minute for the next two steeps. I found the 2/3 steeps to be a bit light for my tastes at only 1 minute. But then again, this is a different kind of black so the experience is meant to be different.

I need to spend some more time with this but I probably won’t be buying it again.

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Geoffrey Norman

Very curious about this one.


Go for it. I definitely don’t want to discourage others when I say I probably won’t buy it again. It is a good tea. Also, they have a 20% off coupon they posted on Reddit that’s good until January : MELLOWREDDITOR

Geoffrey Norman

Awesome, thanks! And don’t worry, I’m not discouraged. I like MMs stuff quite a bit. I’ve had the Top Leaf and powdered guricha they put out. Quite wonderful.

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40 tasting notes

This tea is different. The leaves looked chopped up. The liquid was a dark color and It has a smooth and woody flavor. It is like a darker oolong tea. I like this tea’s flavor.

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1 tasting notes

I love green tea(and drink it every day) but sometimes have a taste for black or it happens to go better with what I am eating. This tea is a very happy blend of both worlds. Has a very nice aroma and love the bit of sweetness and smokiness.

Boiling 1 min, 30 sec

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4 tasting notes

This is a nice mellow black tea. When you don’t feel like green and you don’t feel like a deep black tea, this is a happy medium.

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4843 tasting notes


I’ve not had a lot of Japanese black teas, but the few that I’ve had I’ve really enjoyed. So it was a real treat to have the opportunity to sample this Crimson Grove from Mellow Monk.

A tea with sweet and warm notes. Hints of smoke and nutmeg. Not an overly aggressive type of black tea, this isn’t the tea you’d want to turn to if you need a vigorous shake awake. Instead, this is the kind of tea to turn to when you want something cozy and contemplative.

Here’s my full-length review:

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687 tasting notes

One of my Steepster friends told me about this company. I wanted this tea because it sounded interesting. It smells different, like a darker green or dark oolong. The flavour is on the sweet side, with some smoky taste. There is mostly a smooth and mellow cup, and the smoky taste is subtle enough to be present and not overpowering.

Overall, it is very plesant and kinda makes me think of the forest of Mirkwood.

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

Sounds yummy!


But Mirkwood is scary…Greenwood?


their green teas are really good

Lariel of Lórien

Yes, I meant when it was still the Greenwood.

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