976 Tasting Notes
My first POD (pot of the day) was Teavana Gyokuro Imperial. That’s past tense because it was so delicious that I drank two glasses before, not after, lunch! Yum. Some hope chez Teavana…
Perhaps this tea is why Starbucks acquired Teavana?
second infusion: yellow fluorescence kissed by green. Not quite as good as the first infusion, but still pretty tasty and totally beautiful!
I was surprised to read that Traditional Medicinals recommends infusing two filterbags of Organic Chamomile with Lavender in 8 ounces of water. Wow! That’s a lot of lavender. I say this because I infused only one bag and it was very strongly redolent of lavender, so much so that I could barely detect the chamomile.
This is definitely a high-quality infusion, but I would recommend it to people looking specifically for lavender. The benefits of chamomile are here in nearly the same abundance as in the plain Organic Chamomile: here 1200mg; there 1300mg. So this makes it all the more surprising that two bags should be prescribed. Wait a minute! I see: they are giving the assay for a two-bag serving, which contains 1200mg chamomile and 1800mg of “proprietary blend”, which includes both lavender and lemon balm. This means that a single filterbag packs 3000/2 = 1500mg of goodness, 900mg of which is lavender and lemon balm, so quite a bit less chamomile than the Organic Chamomile filterbag (at 1300mg).
Well, for me, one bag definitely suffices. The liquor is darker golden colored than the straight-up chamomile, and the flavor is all BLUE! Doubling up the dose would just make the taste darker blue, verging on PURPLE! I detected wafts of soapiness, but that may have been my association of lavender with soap and other bath products…
I have tried many of the more complex blends from Traditional Medicinals but never the simplest of offerings, Organic Chamomile, so I decided to pick up a sample box of four different nighttime offerings.
This is a very good filterbag chamomile. It brews up bright yellow and tastes fresh and satisfying. There is a lot of chamomile here: an assayed 1300mg, which I believe is more than most. So no wonder it tastes so good. I’ll have to try do a steep-off between this brew and the Harney & Sons sachet. To be fair, I should probably pit a filterbag against a filterbag, but I must say that this filterbag produces a tasty infusion.
Today’s glass of Adagio Long Jing (which I guess is the same as Long Jing, which I now believe means Dragonwell!), prepared from a sachet, brewed up light peachy veering brown but also green (as odd as that may sound) and tasted very smooth and Long Jingy! This is a good tea.
I still have the small tin of loose leaf from my Master’s Collection, and I am now looking forward to brewing a few full pots.
second infusion: also good
I enjoyed another glass of Wissotzky Timeless Green Tea again today, prepared from the full leaf sachet (not a filter bag). This is one of the best grocery store greens I’ve encountered.
The liquor is gold veering ever-so-slightly green, and the taste is rich and satisfying. I’m still not sure which China green this is as customer service never wrote me back. I continue to believe that it may be Mao Feng. Anyway, it’s good—that’s what really counts!
The sachets are generously stoked with 2.5g of tea which expands to fill the little bag like a fluffy pillow. I’ll have another glass and then reinfuse the bags later today for my post-dinner decaffeinated green.
second infusion: very good. This tea may become a regular rotation sachet for days when I cannot be bothered with a pot.
My first GOD (glass of the day) was Adagio Silver Sprout, to accompany my first MOD (meal of the day), couscous with honey.
The tea brewed up pale yellow veering peach, so I must have used fewer leaves this time. The water was cool, so that did not affect the final brew. I found this cup rather clean and only slightly vegetal. I did not even notice the smokiness in this glass, so next time if I’m craving a smoky green, I’ll double the leaves or perhaps increase the steep time—or perhaps both.
second infusion: better than the first!
I found a cylinder of Tetley Rooibos Vanilla & Pear in the back of one of my cupboards. It is of unknown provenance and age, but I gave the dried bags a sniff and concluded that they were still fresh.
The liquor is an orange-amber color, and the flavor is mostly rooibos, with a smattering of vanilla and fruitiness. It’s really not bad at all. I probably relegated it to the back of a cupboard upon reading “artificial flavoring” among the ingredients. In truth, it tastes fine.
My powers of rooibos-blend discrimination are not very refined, so perhaps others would disagree, but to me this grocery store rooibos seems just as good (or bad) as some of the much more expensive variations on the theme. It is rooibos, in the end, so I cannot muster up a huge amount of excitement even though I find nothing particularly wrong with it. It’s all a matter of taste!
I was planning to compare this tea to Yogi Super Antioxidant Green, but it was a futile endeavor. Like comparing gnocchis to ganache!
This cup was pretty good: pale yellow, with something of a sencha demeanor, despite being produced in China. It’s organic, and it comes in big cylinders of 50 filter bags for a small price. I enjoyed this cup much more than the Yogi which I brewed side-by-side. But the Yogi seems more like a functional health-benefits blend, since that is really their thing.
Once again I have found that keeping the steep time short and the water cool helps a lot with the quality of filter bag teas.
I reviewed this tea from Yogi a while back at my perfume blog. Here’s the link:
Today I brewed up a cup thinking that I’d do a steep-off with Touch Organic Green. That proved to be an ill-conceived scheme since they are completely different kinds of tea! Oh well. The Yogi is heavily scented and packed with non-tea additives, all intended to augment the anti-oxidant and other salubrious benefits of drinking green tea. I find the jasmine scent a bit heavy, but jasmine tea lovers might enjoy this cup.
In today’s steep-off chez sherapop, I have determined that I slightly prefer Tazo Chun Mee Green to Clipper Organic Green—mainly for the smoothness. But it is so very close, and the teas are so similar in appearance, scent, and taste, that I cannot recommend the Tazo over the Clipper, since the latter is quite economically priced. Both of these teas are in the style of baked Chun Mee, and both feature organic leaves. Both are quite decent grocery store filter bag options.
What I learned today is that these teas are much better when brewed for only 2-3 minutes using cooler water. Oversteeped, they lose their appeal for me, but today’s brews were rather tasty!