drank Sencha Genmaicha by Natsume
1120 tasting notes

June Wedding! Time for something borrowed! I received this tea from my BFF Todd, who gifted me with several teas from Japan when he went on vacation there last March. I actually made this tea during my tea presentation at the library last National Library Week, and it went over really well. I didn’t really have a chance then to actually get to to sample any of my own samples though, heh.

So I decided to make a cup of this for breakfast… I’ve had a few different genmaicha in the past, and haven’t ever had one I didn’t like (though I was quite disappointed that one I bought stateside claimed on its ingredients to have added popcorn… I’m not all about that, and decided from now on I’d rather pay the shipping to order from Japan just to know I’m not getting additives in my genmaicha!) At least I know I won’t have that problem here. There was also, thankfully, a small paper insert inside the tin that had some English on it, which is good for me, as my Japanese isn’t amazing… I could translate the insert, but it would’ve taken me a while! So the leaf in this is sencha, specifically a summer harvest sencha. Most of the genmaicha I’ve had has had bancha leaf; I’ve had one other with a sencha base, harvest unknown.

I’d say the taste is slightly less sweet than some of the other genmaicha I’ve tried; the base has a bit more of a sharpness to it that makes the vegetal grassiness more pronounced, and it has a touch more of a vegetal astringency following the sip. It also has just a touch of a salty note. There is still that toasty, nutty flavor from the roasted rice, but I feel the green tea holds a little more prominence in this particular genmaicha over the rice than in other genmaicha I’ve tried. It’s a quality leaf and a good tea, but for genmaicha I’m finding I actually prefer more “low-quality” ones myself… more rice, lower-quality bancha leaves, just because they produce a naturally sweeter profile. But I certainly have no problems with this.

Flavors: Astringent, Grass, Nutty, Roasted, Salt, Toasted Rice, Vegetal

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

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Hi! I’m Sara, a middle-aged librarian living in southern Idaho, USA. I’m a big ol’ sci-fi/fantasy/anime geek that loves fandom conventions, coloring books, simulation computer games, Japanese culture, and cats. Proud genderqueer asexual (she/they) and supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. I’m also a chronic migraineur. As a surprise to no one, I’m a helpless tea addict with a tea collecting and hoarding problem! (It still baffles me how much tea I can cram into my little condo!) I enjoy trying all sorts of teas… for me tea is a neverending journey!

Favorite Flavors:

I love sampling a wide variety of teas! For me the variety is what makes the hobby of tea sampling so fun! While I enjoy trying all different types of teas (pure teas, blends, tisanes), these are some flavors/ingredients I enjoy:
-Sweet/licorice root/stevia
-Bergamot (in moderation)

Disliked Flavors:

There are not many flavors or ingredients that I don’t like. These include:
-Bananas/banana flavoring
-Hemp/CBD teas
-Smoke-scented teas/heavy smoke flavors (migraine trigger)
-Perfumey teas/extremely heavy floral aromas (migraine trigger)
-Gingko biloba (migraine trigger)
-Chamomile (used in blends as a background note/paired with stronger flavors is okay)
-Extremely spicy/heated teas
-Medicinal flavors/Ginseng
-Metallic flavors
-Overly strong artificial flavorings

With the exception of bananas and migraine triggers, I’ll pretty much try any tea at least once!

Steeping Parameters:

I drink tea in a variety of ways! For hot brews, I mostly drink my teas brewed in the western style without additions, and for iced tea, I drink teas mostly brewed in the cold brew style without additions. Occassionally I’ll change that up. I use the https://octea.ndim.space/#/ app for water-to-tea ratios and use steep times to my preferences.

My Rating Scale:

90-100 – Top tier tea! These teas are among my personal favorites, and typically I like to keep them stocked in my cupboards at all times, if possible!

70-89 – These are teas that I personally found very enjoyable, but I may or may not feel inclined to keep them in stock.

50-69 – Teas that fall in this range I enjoyed, but found either average, lacking in some way, or I’ve had a similar tea that “did it better.”

21-49 – Teas in this range I didn’t enjoy, for one reason or another. I may or may not finish them off, depending on their ranking, and feel no inclination to restock them.

20-1 – Blech! My Tea Hall of Shame. These are the teas that most likely saw the bottom of my garbage can, because I’d feel guilty to pass them onto someone else.

Note that I only journal a tea once, not every time I drink a cup of it. If my opinion of a tea drastically changes since my original review, I will journal the tea again with an updated opinion and change my rating. Occassionally I revisit a tea I’ve reviewed before after a year or more has passed.


My Cupboard on Steepster reflects teas that I have sampled and logged for review, and is not used as an inventory for teas I currently own at the present moment. An accurate and up-to-date listing of my current tea inventory can be viewed here: https://tinyurl.com/xjt9ptx3 . I am open to tea trades (within the United States only!) at this time. Note that I will not trade teas that I currently have in a quantity less than 50g (samplers, 1oz packages, etc.) or any teas that are currently still sealed/unopened in my cupboard.

Contact Info:

Feel free to send me a Steepster PM, or alternatively, check the website URL section below; it goes to a contact form that will reach my personal e-mail.


Idaho, United States



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