1085 Tasting Notes
After a recent and rare positive experience with a jasmine-scented tea (from Numi), I’ve been wondering whether my tastes and physiology have changed or it’s just that I now drink better tea. I figured that the MIghty Leaf Organic Spring Jasmine would be a safe bet, especially since the scent of the sachet revealed both true jasmine and high-quality green tea.
The brew struck me as a bit bitter initially, but I also noticed that it was on the hot side, so I’ll try with cooler water next time. Interestingly, as the tea cooled down, the flavors became smoother and more appealing as well, so the brewing temperature might not be the only factor in proper tea gustation. Perhaps it also should be imbibed at a lower temperature?
second infusion: the spent green leaves looked so fresh and smelled so fragrant that a second round seemed de rigueur. In fact, the sachet made a full large second glass of very good jasmine-scented tea! The jasmine scent was lighter, but that just allowed the green tea to shine through. Now I am happy to have picked up a box of these sachets. I’ll do a steep-off with the Numi soon, though I’ll only be able to compare the first infusions since the Numi is in a filter bag, and I’ve yet to successfully reinfuse tea in that format.
I just noticed that the Harney & Sons Japanese Sencha filterbags offer this epithet below the name of the tea:
Well, that’s certainly nice to know, but I drink it because it tastes very good—one of the best filter bag greens—and can be prepared with no real effort. In fact, this has become my go-to sencha for when I’m about to run out the door but just need one last boost of sencha wonderfulness before I depart. The taste is very satisfying, but even the beautiful citrine-peridot-colored liquor adds a sparkle to my day and helps to convey me calmly on my way!
I’ve been focusing on China green teas recently, but now I’m switching gears for a sencha suite. First up was today’s Thé Santé Fukujyu. Very smooth and satisfying. The liquor is pale green and there was no astringency whatsoever to this batch. I used cooler water and a short steep, in addition to a finer meshed sieve to catch the smaller particles.
I like it, I do!
second infusion: I drank this right after some jasmine green tea, and by comparison this sencha seemed mighty fishy! It really tasted like seaweed in a way that I had not noticed before.
Last night I hit upon the perfect preparation method for the Harney & Sons loose-leaf Egyptian Chamomile. I used a large Bodum French press and added about three tablespoons of the dried flowers, popping the buds along the way.
The infusion was rich and golden and the plunge mesh filter miraculously managed to remove all of the particulate matter. I have discovered that a slightly shorter steep time with more flowers is the best approach, and I certainly don’t need to worry about running out anytime soon—I have the 1 lb bag!
I was feeling groggy, so I brewed up a small pot of this action-packed Golden Monkey from Yunnan. Delicious—and I do feel better now!
second infusion: better late than never… I just discovered that the second infusion of these rich brown twisted leaves produces a fantastic batch of decaf black tea! The liquor was almost as dark amber as the first infusion, and the flavor is better than most any decaf black I’ve tried! Holy cow—so much excellent decaffeinated tea has been dumped down the drain!!!!! Well, at least now I know to reinfuse the apparently spent leaves from the initial (not the final) brew!
This bag has put me over the top. Obviously it’s late (1am), but I also have now consumed a hefty quantity of passion flower, chamomile, catnip, hops, et cetera!
The flavor is better than I recall it having been—of course, my powers of mental acuity are now severely impaired. I did notice that valerian is not listed among the ingredients on my new box of Relaxation Teas (of which Nighty Night is one). So the herbalists chez Traditional Medicinals appear to have changed the formula but not the name of this blend.
Well, whatever works—and this does!
After a glass of Easy Now, this Organic Chamomile with Lavender (also from the Traditional Medicinals “Relaxation Sampler”) seemed almost savory. I found the lavender less hard-hitting than the last time I tried this blend. I must be craving flowers today, as I’ve imbibed jasmine, chamomile, passionflower, and lavender so far!
I feel that these relaxation teas are all quite fresh and full of therapeutic doses of the various components. Chamomile with Lavender is a nice change of pace from a simple chamomile soliflore infusion.
This stress-relief formula from Traditional Medicinals features passionflower, chamomile, and lavender, along with lots of other stuff. I originally thought that the sweetness was due only to the licorice root, but there is also stevia leaf here. It’s really quite tasty for a functional infusion. Anice blend of flowers and herbs with less sweetness than Tazo Rest (which is more like sugary rose petals).
I decided to brew this bag of Easy Now before the Nighty Night, which packs about twice the soporifics. I wanted to be able to make it through the fourth episode of season six of MI-5. No problem—the show was suspenseful enough anyway!