1082 Tasting Notes
So glad that I picked up two envelopes of this tea at the Teavana holiday sale, as Jade Dragon is a quite decent Mao Feng! I brewed up a big pot today as the weather is cold and drizzly and there is no way that I’m going out. Perfect weather to celebrate the onset of spring with Mao Feng!
As always, the liquor is pale yellow veering green with a slightly vegetal taste and a smooth texture. I could drink another pot of this—and I shall. Second infusion coming up later today!
Having just imbibed a large mug of Teavana JavaVana Mate, which reminded me of Tazo Pogo, I decided to brew up a mug of Pogo posthaste! It turns out that the similarities are more superficial than deep. The Pogo has a darker, smokier quality, with less cocoa and a good dose of chicory. The roasted mate is the big overlap between the two blends.
I brewed Pogo quite strong today, with the result that the cup with cream looked just like coffee! In fact, it reminded me a bit of French Market coffee with chicory! There was almost a caramel texture to this batch, which reminded me of Golden Monkey—always a good thing!
I do believe that I prefer JavaVana Mate to Pogo, but they are both good and satisfying cold weather comfort drinks and coffee surrogates. I am now very much looking forward to the arrival of my Numi sample set including a few different pu-erh blends…
This blend from Teavana is a pleasant surprise. Why exactly, I’m not sure: assam tea, roasted mate, cocoa and vanilla bits? What’s not to like? I suppose that I did not examine the ingredients list before infusing, and so I simply assumed that this would be yet another of the Teavana foody things—with more food stuff than tea.
Not so. This is a perfectly respectable and even rather tasty savory cocoa black tea blend. I drank my small pot with half and half, and as advertised (they bill it as a coffee substitute) JavaVana Mate did have a lot of heft but also smoothness to it. Reminds me a bit of Tazo Pogo…
I brewed up a big pot of Tealux Lu Shan Yun Wu today and drank a glass right after eating soft-boiled eggs, and then again after a bowl of warm green lentils seasoned with sea salt, pepper, herbs and olive oil. Basically I find once again that this is a great meal-ready tea. Very subtle, smooth and thirst quenching. It would go well with sweets, too since there is no real vegetal taste whatsoever.
The liquor is pale yellow veering green, but a bit darker than last time because I used more leaves.
I like it, I do!
According to the Harney & Sons website, their loose leaf and filter bag and sachet chamomile are all sourced from Egypt. I’m going to start posting my tasting notes for my bulk bag (1 lb) of the loose buds right here. Previously, I appear to have rated the filter bags here, which was probably a mistake. I need to change the rating and somehow make it clear that I am talking about the loose leaf format.
It’s great! I brewed up a therapeutic dose of this gorgeously scented stuff, and drank two large glasses. This is a part of my twelve-step recovery program after The Big Move.
Nourishtea The Duke of Earl was naturally irresistible at a measly $6 for a big fat can (110 grams) of single-origin, high-altitude Sri Lankan tea laced with organic bergamot oil! As advertised, the infused tea leaves really are red, and appear to be torn into similar medium-sized pieces.
The liquor is dark amber and the flavor is good. Maybe not my favorite Earl Grey, but a fantastic value for an organic and fair trade single-origin blend with a high-quality black tea base. The dried leaves are very richly scented, but the bergamot does not overwhelm in the brewed tea. I do not have the sense that anything is being covered up or hidden here (as is often the case with mediocre Earl Greys). No scratchiness or rough edges, happily.
Le Duc is a solid Ceylon Earl Grey offering—in addition to being all-natural, organic, and fair trade.
My second Paromi experience, Palace Green brewed up deliciously. Buttery and smooth with a pale greenish-yellow liquor and a light, only slightly vegetal quality. Yum. An excellent green tea. Looking forward to a second cup followed by a second infusion of the two spent sachets.
second infusion: this was truly delicious with the same pale greenish-yellow liquor and the same smooth buttery taste. I am impressed.
My very first Guayusa experience, this one from Runa, Ginger Citrus, tastes very gingery, with the solid bite I favor in ginger infusions. What’s new to me is the slippery texture (or is that slimy?) of the guayusa itself, which reminds me of the texture of licorice root infusions. The difference is that this was not very sweet at all—despite the text claiming a “naturally sweet taste”. Of course, it’s all relative. Next to licorice root, this is definitely not sweet. Next to bitter maté, well, okay, yes, I guess that it could be considered sweet.
The orange flavor here is far more subtle than the ginger, and overall this was a pleasant caffeinated non-tea experience, though I still have no idea what guayusa itself tastes like. The blend is definitely better than most of the maté blends I’ve tried, so I’ll be checking out the other flavors from this line…
I’m always on the look out for loose tea at Whole Foods and other grocery stores, but I’m finding that the pickings are generally pretty slim. The sachet format seems now to be regarded by “normal” consumers as the best thing since sliced bread. We tea-aholics know, of course, that a can of loose leaf is worth about 100 sachets—and usually tastes better, too!!!!
My latest discovery has been these inexpensive loose leaf organic and fair trade teas from a Canadian company previously unknown to me: Nourishtea. I picked up a couple of the cans at one of the local grocers and was somewhat shocked at the low price (~$6.00 for ~ 100 grams? What???) When I read the text on the cans, I was even more surprised to find that the teas used are single origin. The Emerald Path features China Mao Jian from Zhejiang, and the crispy, wiry leaves reminded me of some Mao Fengs I’ve tried.
The brewed tea is pretty good. However, the water I used was a bit hot (my thermometer is still MIA from the move, and I did not realize until I put the glass to my lips that the water was hotter than I usually use for green tea), so I’m going to try again with a cooler temperature. So far I’m optimistic!
second infusion: the high quality of this tea was confirmed in the second infusion, during which the leaves nearly doubled in volume. They look fresh and green and the leaves are quite large once unfurled from the compact wiry dried form. I do recommend this tea. The liquor is darker golden, but the taste is smooth and delectable. No bitterness, no roughness. A very good single origin China tea: Green Mao Jian from Zhejiang—amazingly available at my local grocery store!