Man, I wish I could describe this tisane.
I wish I knew what it was, even.
I got it while visiting China, in Shanghai.
While touring the Yu Gardens – stunningly beautiful, and I don’t say that kind of thing often – and the guide took us up to a teahouse where they serve exclusive buddhist-picked teas (or something along those lines. I don’t recall all the information.)
All the teas had a number; I picked up #2 and 10. 10 was some sort of dried flower – chrysanthemum, perhaps. The other, 2… no clue. It’s green, with small leaves. I can’t tell what it is, because the containers are completely in Chinese.
In any case, I wrestled with the proper brewing of this tea for a while when I got back in April. Always came out EXTREMELY bitter, so I kind of gave up on it, and I’ve had the container sitting in my collection for ages. Yesterday, a friend came over for morning tea, and I decided to give it another try.
Realizing that any hint of heat gave it an offputting astringency, I decided to just put it in a gaiwan with some cool water. Wonder of wonders – absolutely delicious. I mean, I really wish I knew where to get more for when my stock runs out. Really refreshing – it felt as if the water actually got colder through brewing somehow… great stuff.
The taste is… well it tastes like somehting familiar, but neither my friend nor I could put our finger on it. In any case, flavor held out for several infusions, and the liquor had only a very slight green tinge in the water.
Something special, really. Love it.