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Recent Tasting Notes
I’m normally not a huge fan of green tea, but this is one of the few teas we have at work so I thought I’d give it a try this morning. To my surprise, it’s pretty good. I only steeped the tea for about 2 minutes and I found that was the perfect amount. It’s slightly sweet and orangy (I know that’s not a word but bear with me) with a floral aftertaste and no bitterness! This isn’t my favorite tea but it’s the best available at my work!
Flavors: Flowers, Orange Zest
I grabbed a bit of this from the bulk section in Whole Foods and it has been kicking around for a while until today. My sinuses are a bit stuffy, so I’m not tasting as well as normal, but I got ZERO matcha flavor from this. When they say sweet, they mean it and sweet is about all I got from this. It seems more like a matcha with training wheels or arm floaties to get you to step into the matcha water. It just doesn’t do it for me.
I unfortunately reserved this “Reserve Tea” for a few years so I may not have the freshest notes. I kept it in the shipping box for a few years and the final few months sealed in my refrigerator
Scissor harvested vibrant green because is was slow grinded(pale/yellow color indicates “cooking” of matcha do to heat from friction of high speed grinding) on a mill is quoted at only grinding 3-5 kg/day. Sweet enough to make thin style usucha (2g to 2.5 oz water) matcha. A great matcha if you can afford it. L-theanine to boot (usually I fell hyped after matcha this knocked me on my butt, my world literally slowed down) but relatively low caffeine which was shocking I am used to other matchas being super high in energy, a possible reasoning may be first flush quality japanese tea are lower in caffeine (bitter) but high in amino acids leading to a sweeter taste.
Roasty Toasty Graham crackers come to mind with a hint of caramel, less mineral taste(what wuyi are known for) than other wuyi’s but still a great toasty oolong. Short and simple Im a fan of this one and at less than $5/oz I think its a great staple to keep in mind as a daily wuyi, but no means is this a home only reserve but for the price I think its got everything one could want in a wuyi.
Flavors: Caramel, Mineral
Camphor and Menthol are definitely the notes I get in a big way and I am not sure if I like that in my tea. Don’t get me wrong this is one of the highest quality leaf I’ve seen and the buzz I got off this one was epic. I will try to mess around with steeping times or maybe let it grow on me. Im bound to make myself like it which is why I’m holding off on a numerical rating until I get it right. Hate to say it but at the moment it reminds me of Vicks Vapo rub or a Ricola throat lozenge.
This was first High Mt. Oolong and I saved it until I bought my first gaiwan/yixing. Still on the hunt for a yixing but I finally bought a gaiwan from rishi so here we go. I can completely understand after steeping it why they suggest and thankfully I saved this for a gaiwan. I followed rishi steeping instructions and the first steeping was fairly light but smooth the second I got hints of passionfruit. The third, fourth and subsequent infusions were exceptional smooth and floral followed by ….. Five minutes later a head rush buzz that forces a smile on your face. By far my favorite part about this oolong is the buzz it gives you lol( for that matter just about all rishi oolongs give a buzz but this one especially). All and all its a delicate, calming experience and definitely what I would call a “home tea” meaning only brew it at home when you have time to brew it correctly and enjoy the full experience(aroma, flavor, feeling). I would not recommend brewing this western style or in a tumbler on the go you will miss the subtle joy of this guy. That being said don’t buy it and and reserve it (for 3+ years like me lol) just because it is a “Reserve Tea”. I can only wonder what it could have been if I had opened it earlier.
Flavors: Butter, Flowers, Gardenias
Wasn’t sure about this concept an “earl grey” oolong, in fact it was in my stash that i stowed away and forget about. Stumbling about the bag I saw the “expiration date” was nearing (purchased a bunch of rishi tea when i first was introduced to tea 3-4 years prior) so I figured now was a good of time as any to try it.
After just one steeping in im gaiwan I was hooked. I never actually tasted real bergamot oil before only artificial flavorings and scents or somethings other earl greys have included random citrus as a cheaper substitute(orange, lemon, etc). This stuff is the real deal you get that unmistakable zesty bergamot flavor and relaxing scent with the creamy smooth mouthfeel of the oolong. The oolong by itself is super high quality the leaves are big vibrant green and whole pieces but with the inclusion of the best bergamot essential oil you will find. I am a traditionalist(no flavors artificial or natural, no fruits inclusions, no rooibos/herbal etc) but this is one non-traditional tea I will most certainly purchase again. If
this one is interesting. the buttery mouthfeel seems inversely proportional to the body/flavor, which is exquisitely delicate by contrast. as the tea cools down i’m getting an unsweetened honey note from the nose! directly upon steeping however, this smelled more strongly of corn. i appear to be getting that note a lot from green teas lately. interesting! this one is perhaps more of a wheatish-corn (a silhouette of corn husk)….something strawlike. i was reminded of my beloved bunny’s Timothy hay when i smelled the dry leaf. i imagine he would like this.
color of the tea liquor: a light golden hay. identical in appearance to many white teas, in fact.
the dry leaf is a very pale jade with furry white tips! (think the most desaturated color of jade you can get, like a white-grayish green…) reminds me somewhat of a Silver Needle in the way some of its tips appear to be covered by a silken peach fuzz.
speaking of jade, look at this tea set!
the overall impression is one of subtlety. Rishi’s Emerald Lily is subtle in the way Golden Moon’s White Persian Melon & Coconut Pouchong were, in terms of the liquor’s weight, taste, and color. would almost never guess this was a green! it’s what i’d call sylphlike.
i plan to resteep this one for sure, as the leaves haven’t quite fully unfurled. looking forward to that!
someone award Rishi for perfumista tea company of the year in creating masterful herbal blends. this is a burst of sunshine! the dry leaf is a delectable, invigorating and splendorific mélange of rich, golden, super lemony ginger. the aroma is outrageous, and a truly beautiful composition. as the Rishi website puts it, this tea is ‘remarkably bright’. Indeed!!
from this i definitely smell lemongrass, ginger & zesty citrus oil….you know how orange or lemon essential oils (well any essential oils, really) can be so potent your eyes widen from the experience? well, you’d be hard-pressed not to experience that here. if you love citrus as i do, you’ll appreciate the way it is masterfully incorporated into the blend. it’s difficult to stop inhaling it!
the taste is another matter. as i’ve had this before under the guise of Rishi’s Turmeric Lemon, i remember it being somewhat unpleasant with the earthy, dusty turmeric appearing to take center stage after steeping. not the yummiest thing to drink, although i certainly love it in different curries. one thing worth nothing is that the ginger hits you right at the back of the throat, with a zing! so there’s no doubting its freshness.
turmeric boasts of a number of health benefits, so that’s why i’m drinking this. my only wish is that the lemon, ginger & citrus oils could eclipse the turmeric flavor better, but i’d say Rishi did a really good job with such a fussy spice. nothing a hearty squeeze of lemon & a tablespoon of honey can’t fix!
I got this tea as a Christmas gift and I wouldn’t have picked it up myself with Hibiscus in the name. Overall though it’s quite tasty. Even with the hibiscus it still has a nice fruity flavour. The hibiscus is strong but the other ingredients seem to round it out and make it less tart.