98 Tasting Notes
Dry, this smells like vegetation and shade. The aroma of the brewed tea is soft and inviting, and the flavor…my perception of it requires some explanation. As I sip, I taste a vegetal note that spreads through my whole palate and then—this is the interesting part—seems to go down. Not in the sense that it goes down my throat, but…it deepens and spreads out. The synesthesia comes through here. I am thinking for some reason of a green, supple root of a plant arcing through the air. The strength of the flavor leads me to think that it could end up being astringent at the end of the sip, but it’s not. Not at all, just smooth and fresh. It won’t make much sense to say it tastes cylindrical, but that’s the best way I can explain it. Very slightly sweet. I’ve never been into white teas before, my previous experience with them not being great, but this…this is special. This is destined to become a favorite.
Before I begin: not a particular fan of citrus tea or chamomile, although the latter one is starting to grow on me, since it was one of the most reliably available teas in Costa Rica. With that in mind, onto this tea.
Smells powerfully citrusy. No surprises there. I think I steeped this a minute or two too long, and especially after I saw hibiscus in the ingredients, I was concerned for a moment that it would be another incarnation of Wild Sweet Orange (GAH!), but it wasn’t. Tangy and citrusy, but definitely drinkable. Still not my cup of tea. Ah well. It was warm. Not bad if you like this sort of thing. I just don’t.
Side note: when steeping, this suddenly turns an odd green color, and then gradually shifts to purpley red.
So I said I wasn’t a fruity tea fan…well, that’s generally true, except in some cases. This is pretty exceptional. The bouquet of the dry leaf is delicious, and after the steeping begins…oh man. All sorts of tropical lovelies that blend into something I can only call Papayapplango. The green tea, surprisingly enough, really comes through, even though it’s got the fruit as a potential obstacle. A nasty fight could ensue, and with my rather iffy experience with fruity teas, I was honestly expecting one. But…they work together almost seamlessly. And the fruit tastes full and juicy and sweet. Not the most natural-tasting of fruit, but it tastes good all the same. To keep it from going overboard on the sweet side, the soft, vegetal green balances it out. Wish I’d had enough time this morning to re-steep this sachet before I left. One of the better fruity teas I’ve tried.
Tried this before at my school’s cafe, which just started carrying Mighty Leaf. I wasn’t in the mood for anything caffeinated, so I went for this one. Anyway, this time around I couldn’t determine the water temperature (no thermometer), but it was probably around 180 F (I’m getting better at estimating). Steeped around 4 min. Possibly too long. This one is a little sharp for my tastes, and a bit jumbled. I’m not the biggest fan of fruity teas anyway, but even so, this isn’t one of my favorites. I can’t really taste the tea here. It’s fighting to stay ahead of the fruit and I think the fruit won. Ehh. Smells nice though.
Bye, Sencha Uji. You’re delicious and grassy and slightly sweet (more evident in the second and third steepings), and you’re everything I could want in a green. I’ve got some Dark Green Needle coming in the mail, but don’t for a second think that that means I’m replacing you. You’ll always have a special place in my heart, and you’re welcome in my home anytime. I’ll see you soon.
So happy. So. Happy. Just got home from Costa Rica last night…it was an incredible experience. Now that I’m back, I can have REAL TEA…and I kicked the celebration off with two cups of Nutcracker Sweet. Drank it black (we don’t have any soymilk right now). Perfect. Every time.
It’s good to be home.
So after my previous bad experience with this bugger, I had to figure out how to make it palatable when it was given to me when I asked for black tea. Solution: steep it for 30 seconds. The best it can do is be bland and inoffensive liquid that resembles tea…which is all I’m looking for while I’m traveling. Three more nights and I can get my Yunnan Golden Buds from Verdant!
First breakfast in Costa Rica! I got pretty excited when I saw tea, no matter what the kind. This would probably have been a passable black tea if I had read the instructions and had steeped it for 1-2 minutes, instead of 5 like I normally do for black teas. It was so unbelievably bitter that I couldn’t finish it, but ah well. Gallo pinto more than made up for it! Oh, and one of my side goals for this trip is to manage to drink tea every day. So far it’s gone well!