Perhaps it was a sense of dejection engendered by my momentary lapse from the self-imposed and somewhat solipsistic Blazing New Ratings challenge, but I spent the entire afternoon walking around in the sun! Upon my return, I read a note by Cheri who seemed to think that I had thrown in the towel—or sachet, as it were.
No, not at all! I accidentally brewed up a tea which I had already reviewed, but the point of the Blazing New Rating challenge is precisely to brew up every tea in my house still new to me before consciously choosing to brew an old standby. Mistakes were made, but they were unintentional. My lapse was closer to involuntary manslaughter than to first-degree murder. And so I pick up the ball—or pearl— and move on…
Tonight’s steep-off chez sherapop pits Teavana’s Jasmine Dragon Pearls against the Jasmine Pearls “curated” by Steepster Select (can we talk? I hate the way the term curated has been appropriated by the social shopping industry! It used to actually mean something. Now it means: we want you to buy this product. To illustrate the utter vacuity of the concept, ask yourself the following question: what product for sale was not curated?).
Tonight’s more pressing question is simply this: Which Jasmine Pearl reigns supreme? Could they perhaps be the very same tea?
No, I have determined, they are not. In a direct side-by-side comparison using 2 grams in a 9 ounce glass of water at 76C steeped for about 3 minutes, I have determined that, although the Steepster Select pearl is good, the Teavana is just a touch better.
The dried pearls look very similar, with visible silver striations. The fully unfurled leaves, too, look nearly the same: long, slender, and light green. The first noticeable difference between the two teas was the color of the liquor. The Steepster brew was slightly more golden than the Teavana, which was slightly more green. More green does not necessarily translate into better tea, but often it seems to—at least to me.
I am not knocking the Steepster Select Pearls, mind you. I started with that glass and determined that the tea was very good. It’s just that when I a took a sip of the Teavana Pearls glass, I realized that it was slightly better.
(Blazing New Rating #27)