84 Tasting Notes
After hearing about this tea , I had to try it. I mean… not only are the ingredients in this tea independently fantastic but, it’s a World Tea Champion so let me have it!
The verdict: Meh.
This tea has the creamy mouthfeel of Matcha, and the slight astringency of Sencha, which in themselves sound quite nice, but… well… as I already mentioned, each of those teas on their own are fantastic.
I feel that the Matcha conceals the lovely nuances of Sae Midori Sencha. The precise wonder of Sae Midori is that it is so complex! The Matcha overpowers it.
And the creaminess of the Matcha is there, and in its own right it’s lovely… but… it’s not whisked. My impression throughout my entire first cup was, “Aggghh! I really want to whisk the heck out of this right now!!” And this surprised me because I don’t feel that way at all when I have Genmai Matcha / Ryokucha.
So my conclusion is this: This is a good tea. It’s unique, and it gets you jacked. But… in my opinion… the Matcha is best whisked up as a bowl of Matcha, and the Sae Midori Sencha is best savoured and appreciated on it’s own.
This tea… is a quandary to me.
Sure, it’s a Chinese green. But most Chinese greens are roasted. Not steamed. So this tea is unique! It takes a varietal from China that is either just steamed, or it is roasted and steamed. And it’s done quite well.
So, I like it very much for being a pure Chinese green tea. It’s lovely. But… when compared to the Japanese teas I obsess over, I find it to be a bit flat.
I’m with @takgoti @teaplz and @Ricky. This tea was good for a Chinese green, but in the end it just made me want a really good Japanese green tea.
As I spend another day at work, tethered to a computer, watching my muscles atrophy and my interpersonal skills decline… I think to myself, “At least I have Osthmanthus Silver Needle!”
This tea is underglorified.
The explanation is likely quite simple. I don’t think the average American knows what Osthmanthus Blossoms are. Or maybe they do (Do you?) – but I certainly didn’t before my tea obsession thoroughly set in!
So allow me to share, in case you’re unfamiliar. Osthmanthus Blossoms, or “Guay Hua,” usually come from East Asia. Cute little osthmanthus flowers grow on shrubs, and are typically harvested late in the year (autumn). As a result, osthmanthus-scented teas are often the last teas available each year. Osthmanthus scenting, from what I understand, is quite similar to jasmine scenting. Osthmanthus Blossoms are mixed in with the tea, allowed to sit&scent the tea overnight, picked out the next day, and then fresh Osthmanthus Blossoms are mixed in so it can happen all over again. The process is repeated, up to 10 times, and then… voilà! Sweet nectar of the gods.
The difference to note, however, is in the flavour. I don’t want you comparing my glorious Osthmanthus-scented Silver Needle to Jasmine-anything.
While some may find Jasmine-scented teas to be perfumey and overpowering, (me) Osthmanthus creates a unique luxurious nectary flavour unlike any other. I would describe the tea as being smooth and sweet, with notes of honey and ripened yellow fruits, and a subtle floral aroma. The first infusion is always best, as it contains the most of that fresh-steeped Osthmanthus flavour.
And while I’ve seen Osthmanthus Oolongs elsewhere… NOTHING is like this Osthmanthus Silver Needle. It’s perfect.
This tea is easily in my Top 5. I dare you to try it and not like it.
Have a great day everyone! :)
Okay you guys… so… I went to a tearoom here in Milwaukee called Anaba Tearoom.
Very cool place! (Top floor is a greenhouse, main floor is a garden room, and basement is a beautiful teahouse.) I did my typical cafe/restaurant thing, and asked if they had anything excellent/unique that wasn’t on the menu. Sure enough! I ordered two of the options I was given…
-First Flush Houjicha (glorious)
-Grapefruit Oolong (magnificent) (especially paired with the ginger-apple-peanut butter sandwich that I had)
So I asked my server where this mystical Grapefruit Oolong came from. Adagio? Adagio! That’s what she hinted toward at least. So I’m not certain, but I believe it was an Adagio tea. Loved it!
I’ve had a grapefruit oolong once before. It was a blend of a Chinese green oolong (bao zhong probably – it was very crisp), orange blossom, and natural flavouring. It was good, but not nearly as good.
So I’m wondering…
Has anyone had the Adagio Grapefruit Oolong… or any other grapefruit oolongs (or similar teas) that you would recommend?
I’d adore your help! :)
I wanted to revisit this tea and give it a proper evaluation for 2 reasons…
1.) This tea is still by far my favourite oolong. And Rishi must have just released their latest and greatest crop into the public because the flavour of my most recent cups of these tea were different from the flavour I’ve had from previous shipments. It’s always been really good, but what I just had is INCREDIBLE. I can’t stop!
Pairs best with fish and spicy foods, but also makes a lovely mid-morning/mid-afternoon treat.
Also, I recommend brewing this in a glass teapot. It’s so beautiful! A teaspoon of Iron Goddess unfurls to fill half of your teapot. I’ve seen few teas that do it like this one, so set the glass pitcher in front of a window and just enjoy the show!
2.) Rishi announced that they are donating 20% of their proceeds from this season’s sale of Iron Goddess to an organisation that is working to provide relief efforts in Haiti. They posted this article in their most recent newsletter:
Three things I’m crazy-passionate about include:
-Fair Trade efforts or acts of charity.
-The philosophies surrounding Avalokitesvara/Guan Yin/the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy (so much that a related prayer [the mantra of compassion] is tattooed on me.)
… So this whole ‘awesome-delicious tea / 20% going toward Haiti’ -thing pretty much makes my day. It’s the perfect excuse for you to try it if you haven’t yet. And if you’ve had Iron Goddess of Mercy in the past, and enjoyed it, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the latest crop. It’s fantastic. :)
Rishi Tea just announced their arrival of this year’s Sakuracha!!!
I have been meaning to try this for ages now! I have tried the Sakura versions of other brands, and they have left me bitter (emotionally, not in flavour profile) due to the fact that they taint my delectable, pure Japanese teas with flavourings.
Rishi keeps it simple. Sakura blossoms and a high quality sencha. Beautiful! I completely love it!
In the past I have loathed sakurachas (probably due to how the artificial ingredients would bring back not-so-fond memories of cherry varieties of cough-syrup.)
The flavour is very difficult for me to describe because it is so unique. It is a very full, smooth Japanese tea. Very little astringency in comparison to others! Almost a creamy mouthfeel? Lovely. And beware, this tea must be FRESH, because it brews quickly! Lessen the recommended steeping time a bit.
Sorry I’ve been neglecting my Steepster account friends :) Work has taken over my life lately! But I’m going to make a comeback today ;) Hope everyone’s well!
Oh! And on Rishi’s site, they are selling a Sencha Sakura + Tsuki Teapot combo by the way! I didn’t need the Tsuki Teapot because I already own one, but for anyone looking for new teaware, I highly recommend it! My Tsuki Teapot is my favourite teapot that I own, and it’s not at all expensive. Perfect for Japanese greens!
I recommend you go a bit lighter on the infusion time than specified on the package.
Allow it to cool a little extra too, it will allow the astringency of the lemon oil to calm a bit.
When compared with Rishi Lemongrass Black, I preferred the Lemongrass… UNTIL, they had both cooled. Then I preferred the Lemon.
A quandary indeed!
In the past I have had this tea, and found it to be… meh.
But today it was brewed for a tasting at Whole Foods… and our barista brewed it lightly, and very specifically. I actually really enjoyed it!
I’m still very much a purist with my green teas, but if the brewing instructions are followed closely, and you lessen steeping time a bit, I highly recommend it to the fan of a good blended green tea.