How can something that smells like old wet leaves taste GOOD?

I’ve always been a tea lover. My dad is a tea drinker and he is the one who started me on tea. Green tea is my favorite, but I’ve recently discovered a few white tea varieties I am partial to.

I traveled to China in 2005 (job-related trip). But while there I bought myself some tea to bring home. Up until my trip I had always bought tea that came in those lovely little meshy bags – the TEA BAG! But in China most of the tea I came across was loose-leaf. So I wanted to venture out, but procrastinated once home with my China tea. I didn’t have the equipment at home to brew me some loose-leaf tea, and put off getting out and buying one of those tea ball thingys.

Only recently did I actually purchase a tea ball. This was prompted because I wanted some jasmine tea and couldn’t find any in our local supermarkets. I finally found some at Target, but it was the dreaded LOOSE-LEAF! So I bought the tea ball to brew my jasmine tea. Loved it!

I also drink tea all day at work – have some in my big 22oz. mug right now. I decided I had to be able to drink loose-leaf tea at work too. But a tea ball at work? No, no. I needed something fancier than that. So I headed on over to (I love to shop online, not so much in actual stores). There I found a lovely tea brewing thingy that came with 4 small canisters of green tea to sample. The thing is made by Adagio Teas and you can check it out here.

If you looked at the Adagio tea thing on Amazon, you might have noticed that it says that selection of sample teas you receive may vary. Mine did – I did not get the white monkey I was so looking forward to! (not really, never heard of white monkey tea…) I did get green pekoe, kukicha, citron green, and genmai cha.

I have tried all four varieties and liked all but one. I tried the citron green first which had a nice citrus-y smell to it – mmmm. That one is my favorite of the four followed by the green pekoe and kukicha. Genmai Cha – not so good. I actually had to go online and look this tea up on Amazon before I would drink it. When I poured it into my tea brewing thingy it looked like there were little brown worms in it. When I looked up the tea I realized that the brown worms were popped rice. Here’s the genmai cha description from Amazon:

Green tea from Japan that is the snap, crackle, pop of teas. Genmai Cha is an exotic Japanese recipe that combines popped rice and corn with tender and delicate green tea leaves. First used by peasants as a cost-saving measure,our Genmai Cha Pop tea is now equally popular with modern urbanites. Both groups enjoy a refreshing cup thats both sweet and nutty.

After finding out there were not worms hiding in my tea sample, I went ahead and brewed some to try it out. Apparently my tastes are too refined for the Japanese peasant tea. I did not like it. I have heard good things about gunpowder tea, despite the off-putting name. I think that might be the next tea I try. I will also order some more of the delightful citron green.

Today I am drinking the green pekoe. As I was brewing my second cup (reusing the tea leaves from the first cup since it seems I can get two good cups out of each batch of leaves) I thought to myself, “This smells like old wet leaves.” Yet once it was done brewing, I had nice, tasty green tea. Good thing I don’t work off smell alone!


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