198 Tasting Notes
I had a tea party for my birthday with some incredible cakes and of course a selection of teas. I wanted to get a few more people enthusiastic about tea. I can recommend it, it was a wonderful afternoon. Of course there were people who asked what my favourite tea was, so I showed them this to give them the idea. It’s an excellent tea – probably not the best First Flush Darjeeling there is, but it’s delicious and much cheaper than some of the other ones you can get
It’s taken me three or four tries to get this tea right, something which I probably should have expected as it’s quite cheap on the scale of First Flush Darjeelings. Now I’ve got it right, though, it’s absolutely delicious and I know exactly why I tell people that First Flush Darjeelings are my favourite type of tea. So sweet and gentle, I just love drinking it.
For the record, the trick is to use slightly more leaves than usual, use water at 85degC and steep for 1.5 mins or thereabouts.
I had a really good christmas and got lots of new tea from people who see my obsession as an easy opportunity to buy me presents (I’m not complaining). But several of them remain unopened while I drink my way through this one. It’s easy (in a bag) and yet tastes very nice. It’s got the balance of fruit and tea quite well – it’s quite sweet but not so sweet that I screw up my face like I do with some so-called teas
I can’t decide whether the addition of the kwai flower improves this. I tend to think not actually.
I’m not really into flowery teas though, so the fact that this is getting is reasonably high rating shows that it’s a pretty good tea. It also stands up very well to being steeped several times without losing the flavour, so it must be good tea!
It’s a proud day today. I gave a cup of this to my housemate. He has had several cups of green tea at work and been very disappointed. They were cheap teabags and my personal experience is that it is very hard to find a good green teabag.
So I let him try a sip of this gyokuro that I was drinking and – wow! – he really loved it. He gulped down his builder’s tea (Tetley) and asked for a whole cup to add to the little sip he tried at first. He even said it was a little bit sweet.
I have been persevering with my housemate for over two years and he is finally showing real signs of understanding tea, and really appreciating the difference between the good stuff and the bad stuff. And he has such good taste in tea: as I have said before, I think this tea is excellent!
The best part about it was the funny face he pulled when he scalded his tongue. I know it’s mean to laugh, but I couldn’t help it and I laughed and laughed and laughed and he stuck his tongue out at me.
I have a picture in my head of what a green tea tastes like. Gunpowder tea, for example, tastes a bit like it, sencha tastes even more like it. Now I have discovered Gyokuro and it seems to me to taste more like a green tea than any green tea I have ever tasted.
It’s delicious, and incredible how you can get so much flavour without tasting bitter. The experience is like a rainforest. You pull the infuser out of your pot or cup and some impossibly vibrant coloured stalks are showing through the mesh. The infuser drips with yellowish exotic-looking liquid. It smells full of life and energy and you can almost hear the animal calls and rustles that you would hear if you were in darkest Paraguay.
It’s a rainforest in a cup. Impressive for a leaf from the opposite end of the world