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Recent Tasting Notes
I picked this up at Shaw’s, along with a Ingenui-Tea teapot from Adagio tea.
The teapot is ridiculously convenient and awesome, and this tea is great too! It’s a cheaper version of Tiesta Tea’s Fireberry blend, basically. It is sweet and berrylicious. Tastes like a cup of healthy goodness, and it is both responisible socially (being organic) and hibiscus-wise. ;)
Flavors: Black Currant, Fruity, Hibiscus, Rooibos
This is a decent jasmine tea for the price (I paid about $10 CAD for the 100g tin on well.ca). The green tea base is mild, and balances well with the jasmine flavour. I’m getting a bit of a soapy aftertaste occasionally, which I’m not thrilled with, but overall it’s totally drinkable.
I know I left a review on this tea before but feel like leaving another one. I dreamed I was having jasmine tea last night so woke up wanting jasmine tea. I botched the first brewing. Got the temperature right but put in too many pearls. Too strong. Ditched that and brewed 1/2 tsp, 8 oz, 185F, 3 min. Perfect. Or at least the way I like it. Balanced jasmine notes, good astringency without being bitter. Love it. Had a second cup too.
Flavors: Astringent, Jasmine
Backlog- You just can’t beat the price of this tea. It was a bit over $7 for 100g. I brewed it up the other day. Haven’t had too much of Jasmine Pearls lately. It was like sitting down with an old friend. Brewed for 2 min at 185F. Jasmine was done perfectly. Not too weak or too strong. I used to like extremely potent jasmine until I learned it only comes from artificial flavouring. Now I prefer the jasmine to be more natural.
I think this tea could get bitter easily if not brewed right. I could detect only faint bitterness near the end of my cup.
Flavors: Astringent, Jasmine, Vegetal
Nourishtea The Duke of Earl was naturally irresistible at a measly $6 for a big fat can (110 grams) of single-origin, high-altitude Sri Lankan tea laced with organic bergamot oil! As advertised, the infused tea leaves really are red, and appear to be torn into similar medium-sized pieces.
The liquor is dark amber and the flavor is good. Maybe not my favorite Earl Grey, but a fantastic value for an organic and fair trade single-origin blend with a high-quality black tea base. The dried leaves are very richly scented, but the bergamot does not overwhelm in the brewed tea. I do not have the sense that anything is being covered up or hidden here (as is often the case with mediocre Earl Greys). No scratchiness or rough edges, happily.
Le Duc is a solid Ceylon Earl Grey offering—in addition to being all-natural, organic, and fair trade.
I’m trying to see if I really can discern the difference between Mao Feng and Mao Jian. Yesterday I had Teavivre’s hearty Mao Jian, and today I’m following up with Nourishtea The Emerald Path, which is also a single-origin Mao Jian.
I drank this two-glass tetsubin right after a lunch of soft-boiled eggs, toasted English muffins with butter and sliced Campari tomatoes. So of course it was great! ;-)
I do find this batch of Mao Jian less rugged than the darker, more vegetal and sometimes meaty Teavivre. I’ll have to do a side-by-side steep-off one of these days!
It wasn’t all that long ago that I had never even heard of Mao Jian. Now I’ve experienced this one from Nourishtea and another from Teavivre. My latest discovery is that Mao Jian is basically second flush Mao Feng! Who knew? It appears that the following analogy holds:
sencha : bancha :: mao feng : mao jian
Or maybe we could compare second flush or autumn flush darjeeling with the first spring flush? That might be a better comparison, because I find Mao Jian more similar to Mao Feng than bancha is to sencha. In fact, bancha tastes and smells nothing like sencha to me. Haute sencha reminds me a lot of gyokuro, but even the best bancha is sui generis. In contrast, darjeeling is always darjeeling to me: whether first, second, or autumn flush. Perhaps that will change over the course of this year, as I should be a darjeeling expert after twelve installments of the Golden Tips subscription plan. But that’s another story…
I drank a two-glass tetsubin of this Mao Jian for my mid-day green. It seemed a bit heartier than before, probably because I used more tea. The liquor was pale greenish yellow. I like this tea.
I wanted to compare this Mao Jian from Nourishtea with the one from Teavivre, but this is not exactly a steep-off chez sherapop, as I brewed and drank this tea after the Xin Yang Mao Jian. I also failed to use the same parameters.
For this two-glass pot, I used 76C water (not 79C) and steeped for about three minutes. To be honest, I am not sure which I prefer! All I can say for sure is that I do like Mao Jian, in general.
The liquor of this brew was greener and lighter than the Teavivre, but it might be because there were small particles of broken leaves in the bottom of the glass for the Xin Yang. Another interesting difference is the appearance of the dried leaves, which are darker and more uniform in color in this case.
In order to decide which Mao Jian I prefer, it looks as though I’ll have to do a serious steep-off chez sherapop!
Today’s lunchtime pot was Nourishtea’s Mao Jian: The Emerald Path. Once again I was pleased with this organic single-source China green—a happy discovery at the grocery store a few weeks back.
Once again I noticed that I enjoyed the second glass more than the first, though I had of course removed the infuser basket, which strongly suggests that the flavor is affected by the temperature at which the brew is imbibed. I used slightly hotter water today, but I think that in the future I’ll go back to a lower temperature, since this tea seems best brewed à la japonaise…
Today’s post-lunch POD (pot of the day) was Nourishtea’s Mao Jian (The Emerald Path). I’m happy with this China green. The liquor is pale greenish yellow and the flavor slightly vegetal—but closer to Mao Feng than sencha. Definitely a good mealtime tea!
I noticed today that my large tetsubin cools the water by almost 10 degrees C! Good to know…
second infusion: once again I found that the leaves nearly double in volume upon reinfusion. The flavor is still good, and the color more gold now than green.
I’m always on the look out for loose tea at Whole Foods and other grocery stores, but I’m finding that the pickings are generally pretty slim. The sachet format seems now to be regarded by “normal” consumers as the best thing since sliced bread. We tea-aholics know, of course, that a can of loose leaf is worth about 100 sachets—and usually tastes better, too!!!!
My latest discovery has been these inexpensive loose leaf organic and fair trade teas from a Canadian company previously unknown to me: Nourishtea. I picked up a couple of the cans at one of the local grocers and was somewhat shocked at the low price (~$6.00 for ~ 100 grams? What???) When I read the text on the cans, I was even more surprised to find that the teas used are single origin. The Emerald Path features China Mao Jian from Zhejiang, and the crispy, wiry leaves reminded me of some Mao Fengs I’ve tried.
The brewed tea is pretty good. However, the water I used was a bit hot (my thermometer is still MIA from the move, and I did not realize until I put the glass to my lips that the water was hotter than I usually use for green tea), so I’m going to try again with a cooler temperature. So far I’m optimistic!
second infusion: the high quality of this tea was confirmed in the second infusion, during which the leaves nearly doubled in volume. They look fresh and green and the leaves are quite large once unfurled from the compact wiry dried form. I do recommend this tea. The liquor is darker golden, but the taste is smooth and delectable. No bitterness, no roughness. A very good single origin China tea: Green Mao Jian from Zhejiang—amazingly available at my local grocery store!
This tea was actually the completion to my biggest fear mission ever. Let me explain, the way I first got into drinking tea was drinking china green tips by tazo that my mother brought home one day. After buying it over and over again I thought that personally it was way too expensive and I was spending way too much on it. After doing some research I saw that I could lower my cost with buying it loose leaf. I tried going through many a type of green tea as I couldn’t find the exact taste I was going for since googling the type it was wasn’t so successful and I was still new to the team game so I had a lot of trial and error times but finally I found this. This is label led as a Mao jian, but now knowing that tazo is a Mao feng? I’m still quite confused as if Mao feng and Mao jian is the same thing. Because buying the teavana Mao feng they are the exact same just this is at a much lower price point. If anyone can explain that I’d be so thankful. Anyways, without all this I wouldn’t have come to love all my new acquired tea loves. This tea is nutty, not too vegetal which I like and has rich notes that make me go ahhhhh. love love love it. It will always have a special place in my heart
Read our whole thoughts on the tea at our tea blog: http://teaconnoisseurs.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/sun-soaked-darjeeling/
Brooke: I wouldn’t want this mix every day because I am not necessarily a huge fan of simple black tea but it is the perfect black tea. It is so clean: nothing added, nothing modified and no extra flavours in there. I do really enjoy it; I am looking forward to offering it our guests. 8/10
Stacey: How often do we have guests? In any case, this is simple and delicious. I’m happy. ‘Nuff said. 8.5/10
Dry the leaves of this bop ceylon smell of raisins, a little sour and dusty. It brews to a dark mahogany. The tea smells of malt and something sweetly vegetal like cooked peas overlain by lemon and plum/cherry tones. It is sweet on the tongue at first sip but the flavour dissipates quickly leaving a sensee of cool dryness in the front of the mouth. The flavour doesn’t seem to hold a lot of base notes but the top notes are a fruity floral with a hint of vegetal. The floral is sweet with a faint hint of spice like clover mixed with carnation. The fruit is sweet hinting more of plum or a sweet blackberry rather than tart like the lemony smell might suggest. The floral/fruit mix it actually at times reminds me of sweet grass, quite nice. Oddly enough a bitter malty tone appears only after drinking
about half of the cup. The tea flavour is nice enough but it lacks depth and body. It is kind of thin for a breakfast tea. I think it would taste rather thin with milk, however if you drink tea black it is pleasant enough.
This was the first white tea that I tried in the loose form and the tea that made me understand that I have to switch from bags to loose tea. I’ve tried many different brands of bagged white tea before that and every single one was turning into dark brown liquid in under 60 seconds of steeping time. This one was first to brew into a golden color.
Overall taste wise it’s a very pleasant tea. I enjoyed it quite a bit until I stuck my head into the premium department and realized what else is out there. It’s sitting a little lower on the quality scale for me because the leaves in my tin came quite broken up and I even got a stem or two.