Today I am looking at three different teas of a completely different sort than I usually examine, with some help from the Tea Barbarian (aka Ben) since he is my in house expert in all things Earl. I was contacted through Instagram by Pique Tea to try their tea crystals, and I admit I am enough of a tea snob at this point that when I first saw it I was tempted to go a big nope, but I was curious so I investigated further. Unlike the ungodly gross instant tea I occasionally drank in moments of desperation when I was a youngin’ this is organic whole leafed tea, sourced by Roy Fong (of Imperial Tea Court fame) and then crystallized. No sugars or grossness, in theory this is just dehydrated brewed tea waiting to be rehydrated. Kinda sci-fi and I like that, but at the same time and with this introductory caveat I am not sure this is the tea for me, regardless if it is the best thing I have ever had or any spectrum in between. A huge part of the enjoyment of tea for me is the sensory bliss of examining the leaves, the process of brewing (one of the reasons I favor Gongfucha so much) and while I would not go as far as to say that tea is spiritual for me, I wouldn’t say it isn’t either. And while the tea crystals are incredibly easy to brew, they do take what I consider the most fun part out of the equation. But, enough of that, time to find out if they are any good or not!
I tried the Jasmine first, a green tea that has been scented with jasmine, so yay for not blending jasmine oils in with the tea. The crystals themselves have a fairly faint aroma, granted I didn’t want to accidentally inhale them so there was not the full on piggie searching for truffle snuffling that usually happens with leaves. Once I poured the hot water onto the crystals the aroma became very strong of jasmine, its heady scent wafted out of the cup and around my tea-desk like a flowery fog.
The taste was decent, I was not hugely wowed, but in this tea’s favor I have not been wowed by a jasmine in a long while, part of me thinks I have just gotten over jasmine in favor of osmanthus, rose, and tangerine blossom. The jasmine was quite strong and it didn’t taste like perfume, it tasted like flowers with a light green tea base, nothing really stood out as spectacular or awe inspiring. It was very convenient for a quick brew before dashing out the door to run errands, and chilled it becomes a bit sweeter.