Either I am spoiled by Teavivre’s Jasmine Teas or this hasn’t aged well. I tried cold steeping it and there wasn’t much jasmine to it, and the green base was a bit astringent. Ah well, at least I hve some other jasmines to enjoy!
My second Gongfu of today. My previous experience with this tea was not a positive one (so much so that I did not review or rate). My first encounter was bitter and sharp (from what I remember) which I believe to be down to their default instructions. The packet says to use boiling water and keep covered for 5 minutes. It was yucky.
My Gongfu today is using a cooler water temperature and having my first pot steep for 1 minute. My own instructions :)
The leaves whilst raw are a dark brown colour with the occasional yellow flower bud or stem. It has a scent of musky jasmine.
What is produced is a lovely honey coloured tea with that beautiful sweet, floral jasmine scent (that us much expected). This is much tastier than before, it’s far more subtle with the sweet jasmine being fresh, light and at a perfect strength. The quality is not by any means the best but this was a cheap tea (roughly £3 for 227g/8 oz) so for that price it’s a nice every day jasmine tea.
Well first I thought I would have to throw this tea away but my second try with different methods has worked wonders. I may even take this to work. :)
We went kicking around a local asian supermarket today in search of a gaiwan (no luck) and any other random gems we could find. So we picked out a couple of things to try.
I have to say, the price of this jasmine green is really the only reason I picked it up. 150g for sub-$3, in a neat little blue tin. The tin probably isn’t airtight, and I don’t exactly have the faculties (or patience, really) to test that… but the seal is pretty darn impressive.
This tea is exactly what I expect from a Chinese restaurant, which, well, is because this is probably the exact tea I get from a Chinese restaurant. A light floral flavor, the green tea barely coming in at the end of the flavor, a mild but noticeable astringency. Compared to the Jasmine Pearls I have from Mad Hat, the flavor of this tea (particularly the Jasmine flavor) is much more subdued.
They had four different Jasmine teas by Fujian tea, one in a yellow square tin as pictured, one in a red square tin, the blue cylindrical tin that I bought, and then a green cylindrical tin. No differentiation other than a serial number up top that might mean something (mine is 2063). Well, and all of the writing that I don’t understand may mean something too, but I just assume it says Jasmine Tea in Chinese :).
I might keep this around. The quality definitely isn’t that of the pearls from Mad Hat (and I’m eventually going to want to try the pearls from Teavivre), but man… at this price… SO CHEAP. IT IS SO INSANELY CHEAP. Sorry, had to get that out.
Now this my friends, is good jasmine tea! It’s lightly fragranced and not artificial smelling or tasting, so you don’t feel like you’re drowning in a vat of perfume. The base is nice, a little bit coarser than the A & D version, but it still goes down quite smoothly.
This one fell pretty short night the night before last. It was very heavy on the jasmine and quite bitter. I brewed all of them at 176 for 1 minute. That was the instructions on the Teavivre package. None of the other packages had clear instructions. So one ring to rule them all. I think in the future I may have to try a lower temperature and see if I can get rid of that bitterness.
I was busy when we made this so I kinda forgot about it while it was sitting right next to my laptop :/. I think that probably affected the taste, but I’ll try to be as objective as possible.
I get a nice, fresh, floral aroma from the cup. I can’t say it’s specifically jasmine, but seems fresh enough. Unfortunately, I also get a ton of bitter green tea smell too. I think, largely, that’s a result of me letting it sit so long before drinking it, but I also think to some extent it as to do with the tea. It’s just too bitter and not flavorful enough to compensate for the bitterness. The instructions say boiling water for 7 mins which seems like a lot for green tea , so I think it could just be a lower quality tea. It was also pretty cheap :)
I’m going to have to give this one another shot sometime…just don’t know when.
Aroma when Dry: sweet jasmine floral, soapy
After water is first poured: hints of jasmine
At end of steep: hints of grassy jasmine
At end of steep: Light yellow
Staple? Type yes, would not buy brand
Preferred time of day: any
At first?: flat jasmine notes, hints of grassiness
As it cools?: taste gets lighter, slightly soapy
Additives used (milk, honey, sugar etc)? No
Lingers? Yes, with faint floral creamy notes
Got a sample of this from Jillian (thank you so much!) and gave it a whirl this morning. I thought it was a fairly average jasmine; no outstanding notes, no detracting characteristics. Hubby thought it was pretty good. Not one I’ll actively seek out, but not a bad tea at all.