67
drank Hanami Imperial by THE O DOR
953 tasting notes

Another detour along the path of Project Finish Golden Moon samples. This was another sample The O Dor threw in with my order from them.

It’s unclear to me exactly what is in this. It came in a white envelope with a handwitten label on it with just the name of the tea. The web site isn’t much help either. The dry mixture looks like sencha with red and pink flower petals in it, but it’s also got a couple of little twigs, which seems odd. It smells spectacularly like cherry. To the point where I can’t smell the tea at all. I’m guessing there was some flavoring added as I can’t believe a few dried flower petals could generate the sort of cherry fragrance I’m smelling (even if cherry blossoms smell like cherry, which they may, but I wouldn’t know).

The liquor has that characteristic, hazy sencha look, with little particles suspended in the water. It’s yellower than it is green, and on the lighter side but not pale. The cherry fragrance is present after steeping, but it isn’t as strong and is balanced with another, somewhat savory, buttery scent.

After all this build up, disappointingly, it doesn’ t have a lot of flavor. There is a subtle cherry note at the finish, but what comes before isn’t distinctive. I’m hard pressed to identify it as tea. It’s more like a broth without a lot of flavor. I imagine this is what sodium free “lite” chicken bouillon might taste like — mild to the point of almost tastelessness.

Sad. There’s nothing at all offensive about it, and the cherry is done well. In fact, the cherry being done well is the only reason I’m giving this a rating higher than the Golden Moon sencha, since I’ve experienced a lot of poorly flavored green teas. But I’d hoped for a flavored green breakthrough, figuring if anyone could do it, the French could. It’s a curse, I tell you.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Ewa

Cherry makes sense since “hanami” is the Japanese term for cherry blossom viewing, where you and a bunch of your friends grab a taurpalin, a cooler, and a portable grill and go sit watching the cherry blossoms bloom/fall whatever. It’s all about celebrating the beautiful impermanence of the blooms except not really because it’s really all about drinking. But perhaps the light flavor of the tea is trying to be a message about fragility and impermanence! Let’s go with that.

As for cherry blossoms, they don’t smell like cherry. Or at least not that I remember.

__Morgana__

A tailgate party?

Ewa

pretty much! people get to good sites (i.e. ones with lots of trees) really early and claim a spot and then basically sit there the entire day chilling out. Some groups will rent karaoke machines, and I once saw a really beleaguered looking pizza delivery guy trying to find his customer in what was seriously a sea of people. It’s good times!

__Morgana__

Lol on the pizza delivery!

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Ewa

Cherry makes sense since “hanami” is the Japanese term for cherry blossom viewing, where you and a bunch of your friends grab a taurpalin, a cooler, and a portable grill and go sit watching the cherry blossoms bloom/fall whatever. It’s all about celebrating the beautiful impermanence of the blooms except not really because it’s really all about drinking. But perhaps the light flavor of the tea is trying to be a message about fragility and impermanence! Let’s go with that.

As for cherry blossoms, they don’t smell like cherry. Or at least not that I remember.

__Morgana__

A tailgate party?

Ewa

pretty much! people get to good sites (i.e. ones with lots of trees) really early and claim a spot and then basically sit there the entire day chilling out. Some groups will rent karaoke machines, and I once saw a really beleaguered looking pizza delivery guy trying to find his customer in what was seriously a sea of people. It’s good times!

__Morgana__

Lol on the pizza delivery!

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Bio

I’ve updated this bio as it’s been a couple of years since I “started getting into” tea. It’s now more accurate to say that I was obsessed with tea for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it, and I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I’ve recently started writing fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I much prefer to drink tea without additives such as milk and sugar. If a tea needs additives to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’m going to rate it high. The exception is chai, which I make on the stove top using a recipe I found here on Steepster. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs into the harder stuff, but once I learned how to make a decent cup of tea they became far less appealing to me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist, and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. I’m revising them slightly to make them less granular as I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas against other similar versions. So I rate Earl Greys, for example, against other Earl Greys, rather than against all teas. If something rates very high with me, though, it probably means it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is; will keep this stocked until the cows come home

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; likely to become a favorite, will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again if in the mood for this particular one or a better, similar version not available

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but probably wouldn’t buy again unless craving this particular flavor

50-59 Okay or run of the mill

Below 50 So-so, iffy, would definitely pass
or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

Location

Bay Area, California

Website

http://www.jjroth.net

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