I’m getting really tired of this white… stuff falling from the sky. I don’t do winter. The weather outside, however, is the epitome of winter. I am not pleased.
To protest, I’m having this tea. I’ll admit, I wanted to try this tea just because it was grown in Hawaii. Not only am I a sucker for anything orange, I’m a sucker for Hawaii. I thought it’d probably be a little roastier than what I’d prefer based on a quick glance at the description, but eh. It was grown in Hawaii so I’ll try it anyway just to say I have. And then I smelled the dry leaf.
Ooooh. Ooooh, nice. I have recently come to the realization that pouchongs / baozhongs are probably my favorite type of tea. And that’s what this smells like. But… bolder. Darker. More… Hawaiian. I have a feeling I will like this one.
Smelling it while it is brewing, it continues to smell richer and darker. Pouring it into the cup, I get the fresh, green smell of pouchong overlaid with something dark and warm, exotic and almost spicy. The tea color is a clear, light, yellow-green that really is quite lovely.
Oh this is good. Much darker tasting than an actual pouchong. Warm and sweet, it seems to have an almost candied ginger hint in the tail and there’s a fresh taste left in my mouth after I swallow.
Ugh, I put a lotion sampler on and it smells like chicken sausage and it’s interfering with my tea! I keep trying to delve deeper and end up ‘finding’ the chicken sausage! AUGH! I’ve washed the lotion off (or tried to) but now I just smell like soapy chicken sausage.
Chicken sausage being excluded for the moment, this tea reminds me of Tao of Tea’s Neela. Which is weird because I didn’t like Neela at all but I like this. The Neela tasted a bit raw and rough. This has a similar taste but tweaked just enough where it comes across as fresh and clean. There is a similar smoothness and lightness of flavor but it works in this tea because of the lovely little things going on under that thin, clear surface. Ginger and honey and some darker fruity something or other (and chicken sausage… sigh).
I will admit, I’m drinking this pretty slowly because I can’t just swallow it. I have to slowly move it around in my mouth, taste it fully. There’s just so much going on but at the same time, the notes are delicate. As it cools, the base taste of the tea reminds me more and more of a pouchong but more flavors seem to pop up. This is really lovely and I’d like it even if it weren’t Hawaiian.
I reserve the right to increase this rating when I no longer smell like chicken sausage.
ETA: The second steep is much less chicken sausage and the flavor that was hinting around before, coming out in a few different way, has finally moved to the forefront. When we were in Maui, there were all these thick, almost rubbery, pine cone looking, colorful flowers all over the place. I want to say they were called soap plants or shampoo blossoms or something like that because of the nectar the oozed out when they were squeezed. Anyway, that is the flavor I’m getting.