18 Tasting Notes
I have yet to be happy with this one. Adagio’s recommended quantity and temperature yielded astringent water. Tripling the leaves to a tablespoon yields a stronger (but still subtle) beverage, but it quickly turns the corner to harsh bitterness.
Success lies somewhere near the two teaspoon mark. Problem is, at that point it’s butting heads price-wise with much more interesting teas. It also doesn’t seem to be usable at any quantity for more than two steeps (and even two’s pushing it if you’re following Adagio’s recommendations).
It’s not bad, it’s just not good. Or much of anything else, really. Unremarkable, simple, and straightforward. I don’t mind a delicate tea when it’s rewarding or complex, but Green Pekoe just kind of… exists.
I did not have high hopes for this one upon opening the package. It smells like alfalfa. How could it possibly taste good? Well, if alfalfa tastes like White Monkey, I’m going to Petsmart and brewin’ me up some alfalfa.
Steeped to Adagio’s recommended 2 minutes I found it much too light. Steeping to 3 minutes provides the best initial steep in my opinion. It’s still quite light, but 3 minutes gave me a flavor more akin to tea than hot water. Delicate, clean, and refreshing, White Monkey hides a pleasing sweetness under all that alfalfa bluster.
I’m often a fan of brewing directly in a glass cup, and for White Monkey this yields an interesting change in the taste profile if left unfiltered. What starts out light, sweet, and without a hint of vegetation (and frankly orgasmic) slowly becomes richer, more buttery, and pleasingly vegetal. The scent moves from a nice fresh alfalfa to a gross overcooked broccoli with a connecting flight in boiled spinach. This tea is a filthy trickster, its scents belying its flavors.
A second infusion doesn’t recapture the initial sweetness, but does develop a surprising honeydew melon note. It also takes on a lingering creamy mouthfeel I don’t particularly care for in tea, but it’s not bad. A third infusion at 5 minutes cut back the creaminess while introducing a vaguely citrus, vaguely melon rind flavor to the honeydew. You could probably squeeze out a fourth, but I took the rind note as a portend of bitter doom.
The dry tea leaves smell sublime, the steeping tea smells amazing, and a deceptively clear beverage (at Adagio’s recommended steeping time) yields a clear, smooth jasmine flavor. Additional infusions progressively tone the jasmine down and let the green shine through.
This is definitely one you want to filter. Leaves left in the cup, it becomes unbearably floral and approaching soapy near the leaves.
Not bad, but I’m not in love. Opens with a clean black and only the subtlest hint of lemon flavor, evolves with an unexpected grassy note (presumably from the sunflower petals), and rounds off to a bright, tart lemon finish.
I could definitely do without the weird grassiness, and I wouldn’t mind a little more lemon kick during drinking. Might be a good candidate for iced tea.