1695 Tasting Notes
Today I abused this tea on purpose. Over-leafed, over-heated, and over-steeped. I wanted to see what happens, you know, for science. As Adam Savage says, “Failure is always an option.” Prepared this way, the base behaves like a more typical Ceylon tea – with a hefty bite and bitterness. Normally I use abt 3 g for a normal mug (10 oz), and water at around 190-195 F, with a 3 minute max steep and it is always smooth and refined with a proper hit of Bergamot. Today was more like 5 g, full rolling boil, and at min a 4 minute steep. I drank all but next cup I’m going back to proper brewing.
Just read through my old reviews of this tea and still agree with every one of them. Smells intense. Not for smoke weenies. Taste is milder, layered, and sweet. I miss you The Persimmon Tree.
Yesterday was the last of the Christmas music for another 11 months. Christmas music is brutal for a guitar and bass. I noticed even our professional level drummer was having a hard time making 12/8 timing fun.
Finished off this week, just me on guitar and one singer. She has an awesome voice. We did El Shaddai. It isn’t a Christmas song really, but fit the moment. I played fingerpick style. Our bass player is a much better guitarist than me, but when I finished, he looked at me and said that was an awesome job. Meant a lot coming from him.
Back to this tea – my wife hates it when I brew it. She can’t stand all that wonderful smoky aroma that fills the house. Mmmmm.
Today is another mandatory sip what I really want tea day. I think I may have reached near saturation point on try every tea. So this one has been a favorite for a few years now. Of course the Persimmon Tree is currently on hiatus with no clue if or when they will be back. So I have been holding this one back. Can’t even explain why I love this. I think it is because it is so unusual. It isn’t really a floral tea, even if it is, and the green base has such a strong presence that I find comforting. I have two ounces and then I have to find a new source. I think What-Cha has this or a very similar tea.
Taking a break. I have been working on putting together Christmas chord sheets and learning to play carols since before Thanksgiving. Then in my free time I have my, much neglected of late, tea blog, and several forums I frequent, along with my Kerbal Space Adventures game to which I’m addicted. Somewhere in there, needs to be some tea, just for the pure enjoyment, time.
I finally set everything aside and dug into the mountain of tea until I found Zombie Pearls. I love this stuff. With the first steep, the little bug shaped pearls barely open. This always tastes crisp and clean. Today while this was steeping I grabbed a big spoon of peanut butter. As I was enjoying it, I thought I might be ruining the tea I desperately needed. Instead I accidentally stumbled upon the most perfect pairing, at least to my uncultured taste buds. The cucumber and other white tea notes rose above the peanut butter and really shined through.
If you haven’t experienced this tea type I highly recommend it – and peanut butter (in my case Great Value brand with the red lid). Yum!
As you may or may not be aware, I battle with respiratory issues. Well, during Thanksgiving my niece had a scented candle burning. It was a light cinnamon something and quite pleasant. Until I got up the next morning. I had a major flare up. Fought it with lots of drugs and anti-biotics. Was feeling pretty good until yesterday. We plugged in a couple air freshener night lights, and a few hours later I could feel it clogging up the lungs. So back on the drugs. I am telling you this so as you gather with family this holiday season that you might think twice before lighting that candle or setting out that potpourri if one of your guests has a weakened system or has asthma.
Anyway, this tea – from a bag. Smells pretty inviting. I have no idea what an actual mango smells like (I’ve led such a sheltered culinary life). This reminds me of peaches but more prickly and with some tartness. If that’s mango, then nailed it. Don’t read the list of ingredients or you’ll just go eeeewwww. OK I’ll tell you – hibiscus, rosehips, and chamomile are in there as well as stevia. (All together now – eeeewwww) The however is that it works here. What I taste is that sweet fruity tartness. It is actually pretty enjoyable. My only complaint is the bitterness in the aftertaste from the stevia. On the other hand, I think it is there to complete the tartness/sweet of the fruit flavor. I would like to try it without the stevia and see for myself if it is necessary.
A new to me company even if they have been around for years. Their website (tea-and-coffee.com) has some 700! different blends. This one smells so calming. I could set this out in a dish and just enjoy the aroma… or I could drink it.
The taste is more subtle than the scent suggested. Based on the ingredients, I was a little concerned it would be a big chai like smack to the senses. Nope. Just like the aroma, this is mainly a pleasant orange tasting tea with the spices filling out the flavor rather than trying to steal the stage.
The flavor kind of goes orange, cinnamon and clove, cardamom, then drifts into the slightest heat from the pink peppercorn. So subtle but a nice touch. It has a sweet lingering aftertaste.
I added sweetener and though it wasn’t needed, it took sweetening in stride. This is a pleasantly cozy cup.
My experience with this tea is a little different than the other reviews. I used 2 tsp as I was making a 12 oz mug. The recommended was 1/2 to 1 tsp per cup. I did use the recommended 175 F (80 C) water and though shooting for 3 minute steep, it ended up 4 because I couldn’t find my strainer.
The glass teapot was a flooded forest of whole leaves. The aroma was a neat spinach. The cup looked like liquid sunshine.
The taste wasn’t anywhere near what I consider bitter. It does have a touch of bite, though overall this is very smooth. Amanda called it, I think, almost brisk. Yes almost brisk, but so easy to sip. Vegetative but to me not grassy. Nicely sweet. There is a sensation (not a taste) like a citrus tartness, late in the sip. What really sets this apart from a Chinese green was the additional note that I interpret as hazelnut.
Mug two at 1 1/2 minutes was very similar to the first. The nondescript vegetative is more seaweed here and there is a touch of mineral. The hazelnut is present but reduced.
This would go 3 rounds, I pretty sure, but I am already at 24 oz so I’m being a quitter.
If you love Chinese green but want something a little different, this Korean green would make a good choice. Also 10% of sales go to aid Korean orphans.
The last of this one for my morning wake up cold milk latte. This natural banana flavored but not quite actual banana in flavor. More candy like. I like it but don’t love it. Maybe I just used too much? It’s another that others rated higher than my opinion.
This leaves only pumpkin pie matcha to finish up my flavored matcha. That may wait. I can’t believe I am going to write this but, you can only have so much pumpkin pie in a one week span and I am already teetering over the line. I must be getting old.