12 Tasting Notes
1) Starting out, this has a really fresh bouquet. As i like to steep my greens long, I am going to steep for 5 minutes and see how that changes. My water temp is 220 F. Right now I smell the nettle, the mint, and the green tea itself the most.
2) The mint is definitely the strongest after steeping.
3) First taste: needs a bit of sweetener. I am using white sugar, about 1/4 tsp.
4) Now it’s good to go. Nice and mild, but the mint is definitely present in an almost overpowering way. I think this is a “try and recommend for mint lovers” kind of tea, but not for me.
This is easily one of the best fruit infusions I have ever had, and not just because it’s incredibly expensive, rare, and virtually non-existent in my country (the US). Unfortunately, the quantity you are served at Blue Bottle Coffee siphon bar in Chelsea/Meatpacking District of NYC is far too little: I would say about 3 to 4 ounces alongside a bourbon-infused marshmallow (which is also fantastic).
The first thing you notice is the aroma is intoxicating: like cherry raisins and papaya and tobacco husks. Then the taste, bitter and sweet at the same time, but also fruity and playful. Some say apple chips, others say licorice, but I stick with dried fruits like cherries and cranberries.
Served unsweetened, it is perfect as is and it should be steeped for a minimum of 6 minutes, though 8-10 is preferred. WHile it does not serve the same caffeinating quality of coffee, it certainly packs a robust fruit flavor with earth undertones and even some orange rootiness the longer it steeps. The color is gorgeous and is not to be denied.
Good luck finding it though as there are only three companies on record who even sell it and I’ve only found one coffee bar in the NY metro area that serves in miniature glasses.
Tried this at Blue Bottle’s siphon bar and was quite shocked. It brewed more like a white than a green and the fact that he only steeped it for four minutes (as the label recommends all baristas do) was sort of odd. I guess when ordering tea at a highly coveted coffee siphon, you get what you pay for.
While it’s good enough weak and with no tweaking in small cups, I prefer it lightly honey sweetened and served piping. Yes, at $7 for a 2oz tin it can be a bit on the expensive side, but fear not. It is worth the investment. Pick some up in SoHo if you’re in New York and try the hot chocolate while you’re at the store.
Definitely the perfect Chinese tea that needs minmal tweaking. Good for the afternoon when you want to drink something mild. Did you know that studies have shown that Pu erh has been linked to the suppression of fatty acid and cholesterol in the body? Pretty cool.