Treasure Green Tea Co.

Recent Tasting Notes

Another probably old/poorly stored sample that I have! But going to have some fun with it anyways.

The leaves aren’t particularly fragrant, but I am picking up a bit of a salty, toasty aroma. Not particularly inspiring, but then again, they are old.

First steep 95C/25s
Although a deep reddish brown, the steeped liquor has very little scent. The tea tastes slightly sweet and toasty, but it’s all quite mild. The finish is mildly of oolong tea. Now that I’m thinking about it, I’m almost getting a flavour like fall leaves, you know, from the times when you were a kid and hid in a pile of dried leaves on the lawn, and if you covered your face there was this distinct dry leaf smell. Maybe it’s because tea is also a leaf, or maybe there’s some other reason, I don’t know!

Second steep 95C/25s
A little bit sweeter, and again that toasty flavour. My mouth feels a bit dry afterwards. I think it was after(?) this steep that I smelled the wet leaves, and they smelled like burnt toast! Interesting.

Third steep 95C/30s
Similar to the second steep but a bit weaker, and a tiny bit of astringency in the finish.

Fourth steep 95C/30s
The liquor is starting to lighten in colour at this point, and I’m not tasting all that much anymore.

Fifth steep ~93C/~30s
… I can see why they recommend 2-3 steeps. I think this one will go down the drain.

Overall, not a great tea in my opinion, but I recognize that I may be biased due to the tea’s age and poor storage, particularly since my concern is a lack of flavour (it was very weak), and not a bad flavour – I like toasty sweetness! So, I will refrain from rating right now as it wouldn’t be a fair judgement.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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Whoops. Brewed this one up and had nary a sip. My bad. It was the last of the leaf too. Ah well, another oldie gone. Perhaps I can get some more in the future.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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79

Finished off the remainder of this packet today (sipdown!!); about 1.5 tsp in 8 oz. of water. A pretty tasty cup of dragon well, for sure – a fair bit of vegetal flavour, though not as much sweetness as had it been fresher, I suspect (this is like, 4-year-old tea, though it appears I only opened the packet for the first time about 4 months ago). Unluckily for me, I just accidentally choked on a big mouthful of it, and spit it all over my bed, marking the second time THIS WEEK that I’ve had to change my bed sheet due to a tea spill, and at least the third or fourth time in a couple months (although this is the first time it was due to choking). I have really got to work on this… not only am I wasting tea, I’m making messes! Thankfully I usually have spilled straight teas that are light in colour/flavour…

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 30 sec
Babble

Wow, a 4 year old tea. I feel better about some of my teas that I drink that are quite old, too.

Do you have a favorite vendor for Dragon Well?

Kittenna

Yeah, I have some oooold teas! Put them in my “drink now!” pile, but I don’t have a lot of will to drink them since I have so much newer, more interesting stuff!

I actually haven’t tried a lot of dragonwells. I have some from Teavivre, and I’ve tried a couple others, so I know how they should taste, and can recognize when a tea is a bit older (sometimes). I personally really like Verdant’s Dragonwell-style Laoshan Green, and also their Mrs. Li’s Shi Feng Dragonwell.

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79

Ok…. the sample I have of this is clearly too old to fairly be rating, but I’ll write a tasting note anyhow. My guess as to its age is perhaps 3+ years, and although it was in an sealed, unopened packet, green teas do not have that sort of longevity. Shame on me.

Anyways, it’s worth a shot! I used 2 tsp of leaf to coax at least some flavour out (since I have a sample bag that’s maybe about 6-8 tsp worth, I can try again if that’s too little/too much). The leaf looks like that of a dragonwell, but unlike the picture here, it simply looks old and tired. Somewhat like the Rishi leaf from yesterday, although that turned out to be just fine.

Although the instructions indicated a 25-30s infusion, I gave it a whole minute because I really didn’t think that would be long enough.

The resulting brew is light in colour (darkening a bit as it sits), and the aroma is really strange. I want to call is a brothy sort of umami (I learned about umami in my cheese tasting panel, which sadly ended today, but it was a fun experience!). I haven’t really had teas with this sort of brothy aroma… it’s kind of throwing me. There is a hint of “tea” in there though, but I have to wonder if there wasn’t some contamination going on. Which brings me to a story of a different packet of tea I had that I brewed up, and it tasted like smoked salmon! My cousin informed me that it was probably stored to close to… my smoked salmon… (legit, my aunt sent smoked salmon with the tea), but I really wasn’t sure. Fast forward to now, and I think I may have been unwittingly tasting a pu’erh or lapsang souchong :D The things you learn! I still have the packet, but can’t read the writing on it quite, but you can be sure I’ll be sampling it again, although it’s another 1.5 years older now, hahahaha.

Ummm, but I digress. I’m sorry, apparently I’m “chatty” today, which is probably a procrastination technique to get out of inputting the sheets of data sitting accusingly next to me (I was supposed to do it yesterday). (See, here I go again! Shut up, girl!)

So the tea! The strangely umami/broth-y scented tea! Actually tastes better than I would have expected, given its age. I can believe that in its day, it was a fine tasting dragonwell. It actually does taste like one, just not with any particular strength. There’s a hint of the characteristic rock sugar flavour, and the crisp-cooked veggie flavour, but they aren’t terribly strong. Yet that said, it does taste like green tea, and it is enjoyable! In fact, in a pinch I could probably drink it to satisfy a craving for Verdant’s dragonwell, although I wouldn’t be nearly as satisfied.

I expect one of the places I’ll really notice a difference is in re-steeping; while I can get 3 good infusions from Verdant’s leaves, the Rishi version from yesterday gave me one for sure and a potentially good second infusion (I probably just let it sit too long), and I’m not sure these leaves have anything left in them now, although I will give it a shot for curiousity’s sake.

Anyhow, I’m glad this one wasn’t a complete failure. I decided last night that I really need to get going on my oldest tea samples, so this was a start on that :)

ETA: Er… whoops. The re-steep got 13 minutes, and tastes seaweedy and astringent. Ah well!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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81

Finally and I do mean FINALLY I am tasting this wonderful green given to me in a trade with Krystaleyn Thanks girl! Sorry it takes me forever and a day to get to some of your teas.
This is REALLY yummy! Like Krystaleyn I get the sweet buttery pea flavor, bright and almost sparkly! This may even make a lovely iced tea but I would highly suggest adding extra leaves as it is a light tea.
Thank you Krystaleyn – you sent me more than enough to play around with trying it iced and such.
I like this one quite a bit!
Never heard of this tea company either so going to check them out!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Kittenna

I definitely still like this tea, but I think it’s being surpassed by some from Verdant. I’ll have to compare them someday. The main reason is that I tend to get astringency very easily with this tea, and not so much with Verdant’s (the flavour, however, is lovely).

The company’s in Vancouver’s Chinatown. I’ve been there with my aunt, and that’s where she buys much of her tea from. I have numerous samples from there that I need to get through that are old (this one and a couple others aren’t though).

Azzrian

I would have to do a side by side as well.
So cool to have a place like Chinatown to go to!!

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67

Another unfortunately-stored sample from my unenlightened days. Here’s hoping I can get something out of it! There were no recommendations for steeping parameters, so I went with two heaping tsp of leaf (it’s rather fluffy and old) and the parameters for TreasureGreen’s ‘Treasuregreen Silver’ green tea.

First infusion (~84C/2min)
As I’ve had a fair bit of luck steeping greens in increments of about 30s, I started with this one at 30s, but after pouring it out, the “tea” smelled like hot water, so I poured it back in to infuse for another 30 seconds. Same deal at this point, so I let it go another full minute. Don’t really have high hopes for it, because the water probably cooled down quite a bit with all the back-and-forth I was doing.

Steeped, this one pretty much has no smell to it. Hoping it tastes like more than just water… Ok, it does, but definitely not very strong. It’s a very mild green tea, I am getting a vegetal taste, and almost a bit of a toasty flavour(?) No astringency or bitterness, but just VERY mild. I like it though! If it was stronger, I think I would quite enjoy it.

Second infusion (~87C/3min)
This one got a solid three minutes. Again, no real aroma. The flavour is a bit more on the toasty side and less vegetal, but still rather weak. I’m pretty sure age and storage are huge factors here.

I’d like to try this one again, freshly purchased. I think there’s potential! It just wasn’t very strong. I think I have enough of this left to give it one more shot, and there might be a bit more leaf left than I used today, so here’s hoping that decreasing the amount of water + more leaf might bring out a bit more flavour. Current rating is based on a bit of speculation that this tea will be stronger when fresh :)

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

such bad luck with teas lately! maybe it’s your kettle? :(

Kittenna

I’m pretty sure that this tea is just a consequence of poor storage and age. It is upwards of a year old, and has likely been stored nearly that long in a definitely-not-airtight clipped bag. I actually don’t use a kettle at home – I microwave water in a cup :D (Or boil in a pot on the stove.) Can’t justify buying two kettles, and the one I do have is much more necessary at work. Neglected to use filtered water today though; that could have muddled flavours.

Work is a different story though since I have an electric kettle there and because Guelph’s water is pretty hard IMO, it’s quite caked with scale. I wonder sometimes whether teas brewed there are off because of the water.

However, I think the main reason for my bad luck with teas lately is just that I haven’t paid enough attention to steeping parameters (or I have, and it turned out they weren’t really appropriate). Things are looking up though! I haven’t really screwed up any teas today, and I’ve tried five!

Indigobloom

oh hard water is not fun to make teas with! though it tastes good cold, I guess the minerals affect the flavour. Bleh!
phew, I was getting worried for you. Bad tea runs are so depressing.

Kittenna

As depressing as it may be, my wallet certainly approves! Haha :)

Indigobloom

heh, yes mine to! it’s a balancing act… my tea happiness vs that of my wallet!

Jaz

Just curious, when you use filtered water what are you using? I always use tap water, but I never considered that using water that goes through a brita might produce a better taste.

Kittenna

Yep, a Brita pitcher filter in my fridge is how I filter my water. I dislike the way tap water tastes here when it warms up (it’s fine cold), and the Brita fixes that. My assumption is that it’s better for brewing teas (particularly straight, lighter-flavoured teas) than unfiltered water. To be honest though, I’m not sure about that – I actually just posed a question on Verdant Tea’s website (on an article about water for tea) regarding water quality & filtration, as I would like to know!

Kittenna

Actually, http://verdanttea.com/the-first-ingredient-in-tea/

David Duckler has already replied to me :) So informative! I should probably go replace my filter now though – just occurred to me that I haven’t since early January! Whoops!

Missy

I’ve read about that. It’s funny because I hate drinking tap water. It tastes like pools smell especially when its warmer. I keep telling Dylan you need to drink spring water, minerals taste good. I guess it makes sense it would make tea better too.

smartkitty

Krystaleyn – Oh… Oops. I haven’t changed my filter in about that long either. That could explain the less-than-stellar results with my fave greens lately.

TassieTeaGirl

Oh my, that sounds tricky, trying to manage water quality and hardness! I’m glad I live in an area that has pretty good tap water (and I can get lovely water fresh off the mountain 15 mibs drive away from my house!)

Kittenna

smartkitty – Haha, even though I signed up for Brita’s filter change reminder program, I still forget (such is what happens when you read reminders at work). But I changed it yesterday, go me!

TassieTeaGirl – I was a big fan of my hometown’s tap water. When I drank filtered stuff there it was more because it was colder having been in the fridge. Here in Guelph though, the water is considerably harder and like Missy says, tastes/smells like a pool (so heavy chlorination?) when warm, and that makes me gag.

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84

Prior to really getting into tea, I used to assume that all tea was equal and therefore brewed at about boiling, and you could leave the leaves/teabags in forever, etc. etc. So this led to many instances of me drinking said teas and tasting some goodness, along with (often) significant amounts of tannins and other undesirable flavours. But I just assumed that was how it was.

A year and a half ago, I learned about different temperature requirements for different teas, and a friend gave me a bit of a primer to this effect, so I used his suggestions as to steeping temperatures for the teas I had, which improved them a bit.

Fast-forward to now, when I have a MUCH better idea of things to do and not to do with teas, and I’ve re-discovered my ziploc bag of all these tea samplers. I can’t say I stored them marvellously (some are opened and clipped shut), and some I’d had for a few years, but I decided to look them up on the company website and give brewing them properly a shot!

So I’ve clearly drank this one before, as the bag was opened, and there really wasn’t very much leaf left. Maybe about a teaspoon. So I only filled my little tea-strainer thing halfway with water to account for that, so about 4oz water, maybe?? I have no idea what I thought when I first drank this tea, so this is essentially an entirely new experience :D

First steeping: 95C/~20s
The liquor is a clear reddish-brown, with only a slight scent to it. There isn’t a lot of flavour to this first steep, although I’m getting a definite sweetness and finish of that lovely oolong flavour I mentioned yesterday in regards to DT’s Quanzhou Milk Oolong. Ok, actually there’s enough flavour for me to enjoy this one, it’s just not initially evident.

Second steeping: ~93C/~20s
Wow, there’s definitely more sweetness coming out here. I’m not used to this, but I really am enjoying it! I need to expand my vocabulary more so I can really describe what I’m tasting. Maybe… it’s like sweet grass? No grassy taste, but kind of an almost vegetal-y sweetness. Mild and pleasant. The aftertaste is again the oolong-y taste

Third steeping: ~95C/~25s
Hmm, I feel like we’re losing flavour now. It tastes much like the previous cup with less flavour. Maybe a touch more of a roasty taste, but that’s it. Still good though.

Fourth steeping: ~93C/~25s
This one mostly tastes to me like toasted rice, with a hint of oolong aftertaste.

So the most intriguing sip is definitely the second cup, where the maximum sweetness is noticeable. I’ll definitely have to try this one again, once I get some more of it! Fun experience!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Bonnie

Great story simular to many of us who were blind as to what to do with tea at one time and cooked the soul out of it! Good for your Aunt and glad you kept the tea. It shows how much she meant to you in those memories!

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71

Whoops, yet again I failed to read instructions and ended up with a very light cup of tea. No worries though, still tastes good. I once thought that this was a jasmine-scented tea; now I believe it to be a different sort of floral, perhaps lilac, maybe orchid. But not jasmine. The tea beneath is just a light, green oolong, a bit buttery, but mostly with that characteristic TGY flavour. A decent tea, but I’m no longer quite so fond of it, and I don’t think age is the issue, merely a changing palate!

ETA: So! I finally understand why people prefer infusions other than the first of green oolongs (such as this). While my first cup was drinkable just fine, the oolong flavour wasn’t terribly noticeable, however it really emerges after that first infusion. And apparently, that’s what I love! Yum. On the third infusion of this right now, but I think that’s it. I gotta get to doing some sipdowns…

Preparation
Boiling

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71

Seriously, the smell of this tea is absolutely DIVINE. Dry or steeped, it’s light and flowery (jasmine comes to mind….), and the taste is very much the same. Of course, I only read the brewing instructions upon looking it up to add to the database (1 tbsp/cup, 3-4 30-35s steeps), so my tea is definitely weak today, as I only used ~1 tsp of leaves and steeped it at who knows what temperature for 45s and then 1min 15. Nevertheless, it is yummy and relaxing, and exactly what I wanted tonight.

Preparation
0 min, 45 sec

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87

Well… this one’s a bit old now. Entirely my fault :( Definitely has lost some of its intense vegetal flavour, but it’s still quite nice with a short infusion. Another lesson learned re: green teas. Buy small amounts and drink them quickly!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec
Indigobloom

I (re)discovered that myself today!!

CHAroma

I second (or third) that! ;)

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87

Actually followed the instructions this time! Go me! Well… mostly. I put the tea in my 8oz. steeper before reading the instructions, and used 1 tbsp of tea instead of 1 tsp. But that’s ok; I like my tea with lots of flavour.

Anyhow! Here’s my review of the series of steepings. I should note that the colour of the liquid transitions from a bright greenish yellow to a dark golden yellow by the end. Apologies for the long review; I’m trying to work at properly reviewing the straight teas I drink.

First steep 85C/25s
WOAH! This is a new flavour! I can definitely taste the sharp vegetal almost like freshly boiled peas flavour, but there is a sweetness I’ve never tasted before. Like honey. WOW. So there is something to be said for following a company’s guidelines! This is incredibly enjoyable. I’m reminded, strangely, of the time when I tried to make a sweet asparagus dish where I pretty much stir fried asparagus with soy sauce, garlic, and brown sugar until it was pretty much caramelized. There’s a similar flavour in the two. Yum. This is good.

Second steep 86C/27s
This one tastes more like the tea I’m used to, with mostly just the vegetal flavour. It’s good; a bit mouth drying, but definitely delicious. There’s maybe a bit of honey flavour, but nothing like the richness from the first sip that blew me away.

Third steep 87C/30s
This sip takes the tea into a more average range, for me. There isn’t as much flavour, and the vegetal flavour is mostly gone. Nothing wrong with it, but it’s just dry and boring, especially after the first two. I’m a bit disappointed – I was hoping the delicious flavours from the first two sips would continue at least one cup further! I think it was perhaps after this steeping that the leaves started to lose their boiled veggie smell and developed something a bit funky. We’ll see if that carries over into the flavour.

Fourth steep 88C/35s
Darn, same deal with this cup, but even less flavour.

Fifth steep 90C/45s
Likewise.

Looks like this is a 3-steep tea for me. Not really all that disappointed, since it’s hard to drink 5 cups of tea in a night anyways!

I am absolutely blown away by the first cup though. That intense, rich honey flavour was so unexpected and delightful! Upping the rating even more :D

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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87

Ok, so I tried to actually be diligent about temperature and time this time around.

First steep: ~80C, ~45s Definitely my favourite. It’s light and smooth, deliciously vegetal like a perfectly boiled veggie, and not grassy at all. No astringency, and I love it. This steep is the reason I love this tea.

Second steep: ~83C, ~2min Flavour has definitely changed. It still has the delicious vegetal smell to it, but it’s a stronger flavour and there’s some astringency at the end of the sip. Still good, but not as fresh or smooth as the first steep, and it gives a bit of a dry mouth sensation. Probably should have gone with a shorter steep time, but oh well.

Third steep: ~86C, ~4min I think I’m out of good steepings. This one has mostly lost the appealing scent as well as the delicious vegetal flavour. It’s not bad, but it’s weaker and drying in the mouth, and it just doesn’t have the yumminess I want. So perhaps if I try a series of shorter steepings e.g. 45s, 1min, 1min30, I will get three tasty steepings instead of just two.

I also have to admit that I sampled the tea leaves tonight… tasty :D Reminiscent of the first steep, and quite tender. Would eat again.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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87

Mmmmm, my favourite Japanese green tea. Short steepings are definitely necessary; I can usually get about three out of the leaves if I want, although I like the vegetal, grassy first steep the best (which produces a bright greenish liquor) so sometimes don’t bother. The second steep is usually a bit mellower, while the third loses much of the vegetal flavour that I really like. I have a bad habit of leaving the leaves steeping too long the second time around though, so often get a bit of a tannin-y flavour, which is irritating but entirely my fault.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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