Review of Mellow Monk Top Leaf Green Tea

Brand: Mellow Monk
Tea Rating: 95/100
Steep Time: 2-3minutes
Steep Temperature: 175 Degrees
Price: $14.75 per 100-gram packet( about 3.5 oz.)

Tea description from Mellow Monk: “This is our top-of-the-line honcha, or traditional green tea. Top Leaf™ Green Tea is specially pampered in its own separate corner of the tea orchard. Not only does this tea receive extra fertilizer (organic, of course) during the growing season, but at harvest time, the growers pick only the top layer of young tea leaves. This tea is always first flush.

In the package, this tea smells pretty light, but I can smell some light vegetal notes. The steeped liquor is a light green,yellow color, which reminds me of the Ford Fiesta Green Color. The steeped leaves turn from what almost looks like a black tea, to unfurling beautiful small green leaves. The flavor in the first steep is buttery and has a vegetable flavor. The flavor was also pretty citrus heavy, but the slight grassiness in the tea counteracted the citrus notes nicely!
the second steep was pretty acidic, but this time around the grassiness was much more prominent. The second steep has much more of a tannic astringency. It makes my mouth pucker, BUT also makes my mouth very moist, leaving me craving another sip!

The third steep has a flavor of fresh mint, and is refreshing, like a freshly cut cucumber that just came out of the refrigerator! While the butter aspect left me in the second steep, it is back in the third steep. The buttery mouth feel is amazing in this steep, and coats my mouth very well. It leaves my mouth moist and ready for more.

Mellow Monk Tea is a certified green business, located in San Francisco, CA. Their business is certified as sustainable and is a certified Bay Area Green BusinessTo become a green business,  Mellow Monk has to go through an evaluation to display how they have ‘green’ed their company. Some of the things Mellow Monk has implemented as day to day business practices are:

  • They minimize paper usage by doing all-electronic promotion (no mailings or print catalogs, for instance) and record-keeping, as well as using recycled papers whenever possible for labels, order slips, etc.
  • All Mellow Monk growers in Japan are family-owned and -operated, as well as being certified under the Japanese government’s Eco Farmer Program.
  • Aso is the perfect natural environment for growing tea — a high elevation, plenty of rain, sunny spring, not-too-hot summer, and cold winter, which allows the plants to hibernate
  • The growers also rely on strictly organic fertilizer to supplement the natural richness of Aso’s volcanic soil

Learn more about their sustainability practice here! This is all very exciting, and I love to find companies that include things I love like living ‘greener’ and tea!

find Mellow Monk on:

All photographs included in this post are property of Melissa Wrzesniewsky and are not to be taken,shard, or used without the artists consent.

One response to “Review of Mellow Monk Top Leaf Green Tea

  1. Thanks for the review, the pics were nice too.
    I couldn’t find much info on the term “honcha” – I found one explanation that defines it as “true green tea.” Or a “pure variety of green tea.” Wonder what impure green tea would be?

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