Home from vacation, all my new tea is stored and put away, now it’s time to start trying some in a controlled and proper brewing style.
This is the first I will try, Gorreana’s Hysson cha verde. (green tea)
Gorreana boasts being Europe’s oldest tea factory, opening in 1883. The Azores also boasts one of the few places man did not introduce tea leaves, they grew there naturally. Of course, the volcanic rock nature of the islands make them much different from what we are used to, and that difference is apparent in this tea. More on that below.
I used a standard green tea brewing method. After a pre-rinse, I poured 180 degree water over 11 grams of leaves in my 32 ounce Bodum Assam teapot. I clearly have vacation brain, and I forgot to set the tea timer, so instead of a standard short 1:00-1:30 steeping time, this came out more like 3ish minutes. Oh well.
It still came out great. The grassy taste is nice and smooth, with a strong hint of wet Earth and a faint hint of butter. It is there, though.
There are some differences in this tea then I recognize from a standard green tea. First off, it has a bit of tartness to it. It’s not so much bitter, but more of a hint of a higher acidic level. Other reviewers have called it an apple taste, which I do agree with. It actually balances well next to the grass and Earth flavors.
Next brew I will try a short infusion to see if I can pull out a bit more of the butter that I know is there. You know, when vacation brain goes away…
One disappointment: I bought this at the Gorreana tea plantation on Sao Miguel Island in The Azores. I would like to see larger leaf particles in the bag. It seemed like they put it through the grinder as if to make tea bags, and put some in “loose leaf” bags as well. I would love to try this tea in a whole leaf style, I think it might have even more potential than it already has.
I also brought home some dried Azorean Jasmine from a neighbor on Pico Island, I might add some of that for its lemon flavor in the future. Should go well together!
Flavors: Apple, Butter, Earth, Grass, Tart