67
drank Hanami Imperial by THE O DOR
1180 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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I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. 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 write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tea skills and tastes developed they became far less appealing to me. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with 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. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

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

80-89 Excellent; will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

People have sent me tea on occasion, and I was once persuaded to send some Tazo Om to AmazonV. I’ve also done at least one group buy here on Steepster, the famous Doulton-led Dammann Freres experiment years ago. But mostly, I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it, though I don’t put samples in my cupboard and not everything I have at any given time is showing in my cupboard. I do try to remember to remove things from my cupboard once I no longer have them.

I was an early internet adopter and have been online in various environments since around 1990. Steepster is one of the nicest online environments I’ve ever been privileged to participate in and that is saying something. :-)

Location

Bay Area, California

Website

http://www.jjroth.net

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