21 Tasting Notes
Very nice for what it is (nice flavor; economical; easy, multiple steeps; etc.) — but it’s doomed from the beginning. Combining a one-minute/175 tea with a 5-minute/212 tea is rather unfair to both. Shall we understeep the spearmint (as recommended by Teavana), oversteep the green (ugh!), or find some middle way that ruins them both? Alas, poor spearmint, it’s just along for the ride…
Very nice but worth the price?
I like this tea. It’s got a well-balanced cashmere-y flavor that is less green and more tea. It is almost impossible (within reason) to make bitter. I’ve steeped – and resteeped – at 160 and 175, from one to two minutes and everything in between. The second cup tastes almost identical to the first. The third is where it starts to fade out.
Overall a solid, pleasant, easy green tea.
Having said that, I’m not sure it’s worth the price. It’s really a good tea. But at $20 a pop I’m not sure I’d go back right away. Maybe someday but I’m off to explore other greens for now…
Steeped as directed (boiling water, 4 min). Aroma was wonderful, was looking forward to exploring it. But tea was slightly bitter (though above average overall). Will try again at 200 for 4 min.
200/4: lighter flavor, same bitterness
200/3.5: more of both
190/4: good flavor, least bitterness
Cannot figure out this tea. Did I get a bad batch? Can’t seem to escape that bitterness.
Tried and tried but finally dumped it. What a bummer.
Another contender for my morning cup(s) of gyokuro. Much better than the Hibiki-an organic but still missing that bright green flavor of, yes, Teavana’s (conventional).
More bland than bitter, the flavor nevertheless is more like kale or another bitter green. Too bad too as TG’s service is wonderful and I’ve got so many fond memories of their shop in Heidelberg. I was sort of hoping this would be “the one”.
This tea is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma! (With apologies to Churchill and the Soviets – but it’s true.)
In the tin: smells like bacon – and very strongly, too. The Boy even said so unprompted.
In the cup: smells like a forest fire.
In the mouth: it is like drinking a spirit or concept of tea – like a dream about tea. My taste buds were grasping for the flavor as it slid down my throat. What is it? What am I tasting? The more I try to taste it the more ethereal it becomes. Trying to analyze this tea is like trying to grab sand.
So it’s all Elizabeth Taylor in the tin & cup but all Greta Garbo when you drink it. Naturally, you want to keep on drinking it…
BTW, my very first taste of this was not as a brewed tea but pulverized and mixed, with some nice sea salt, into a good butter which was then spread on a baguette. Incredible. The salt really enhanced the smoky flavor and it was gobbled up in a flash. I’m looking forward to more culinary experimentation with this one.
This is a really well balanced blend. It has a soft, bright herbal flavor that is clean and fresh without falling into the traps of being astringent or boring. The flavors blend well together: not too much mint, lemon, or lavender. (The lavender’s almost imperceptible.) You can actually taste the chamomile as much as any of the others.
It is a nice evening standby and I anticipate drinking quite a bit of this in the summer as it is quite refreshing and soothing. Well, done TTL!
Purchased as an organic replacement to Teavana’s gyokuro. Though it seems irredeemably mainstream to say anything nice about Teavana, their gyokuro has a full, bright, grassy flavor that is proving difficult to match.
I had high hopes for this tea based on the consistently high reviews that Hibiki-an teas receive. This, apparently is not one of their better offerings. The flavor, initially, is more subtle than that of Teavana’s gyokuro but it finishes with a robustly icky flavor reminiscent of a neglected flower vase. The bright grassiness is not there – at all. It’s been replaced with some green veggie you bought, oh, a while ago, on a health kick and avoided until it became a slimy, mushy thing that could be thrown away without remorse.
Steeping instructions all over the place! Label says thirty seconds at 208F. Wikipedia says twenty to thirty at 175F. Various purveyors recommend three minutes (!) at 160-180F.
First try: 6 gr at 175F for 45 seconds…
light, nutty flavor with kind of umami and faintly creamy taste.
Next try: 8 gr at 160F for 1:00: same flavor but more of it. Still seems a bit hollow though. Will try more time and possibly a splash of milk…
OK, got it! 8gr at 160F for two minutes. Super rich and roasty toasty nutty almost like coffee. I added a splash of milk and it tasted like a light, ethereal, summery cup of coffee. Love it. Can’t wait to wake up to this in the summer.
What possessed me to set the timer for three minutes? In any case, two and a half minutes is way too long to steep this. It got decidedly tannic and rough.
Also, 6 gr a bit light – 8 gr might be better.
8 gr, 2:00: still fairly rough – drinkable but not really enjoyable.
Same exact flavor at 1:00! What is with this tea?!
If it can’t turn out some lovely, bergamotty goodness at thirty seconds it’s going in the trash…