Golden Slumbers January 20 2016

Golden Slumbers is a specialty Japanese style green tea that is blended with fire-toasted rice. A good grade Japan sencha is blended with the toasted rice. The fresh vegetative character of the green tea is imparted on the cup, but it is tempered with the character of the rice. There is a natural sweetness and almost chewy character to the finish of this tea. During the firing of the rice, it is not uncommon for rice to 'pop' (not unlike popcorn), hence the pet name 'popcorn tea.' Legend has it that during the 1400's, an important samurai warlord in Hakone on the Izu Peninsula of Honshu Island was having tea with his patrol leaders, discussing battle strategy, when one of his servants, who was named Genmai was serving hot tea and while leaning over the warlord, rice that he had surreptitiously taken for a morning snack fell out of his pocket into the steaming tea, and 'popped' on hitting the hot beverage. The warlord was angry, jumped up, brandished his samurai sword and beheaded the servant. He then sat down and continued his meeting. He enjoyed the flavour of the tea (including the rice) and decided to honor the late Genmai by naming the brew Genmaicha (cha being the Japanese word for tea). It was henceforth served to him morning and night.