I knew I was going to like this the minute I opened the package and the jasmine wafted out. Not an approximation of jasmine. It smelled like walking through a bower of blooming jasmine vines.
The aroma is divine — it’s not overpowering nor is it too subtle. It’s pretty much right in the sweet spot. The tea is just the pale side of a medium yellow and clear.
The flavor is pretty much indescribable. The jasmine flavor is juicy but not perfumy, and it’s pretty much throughly integrated with the tea base to the point where they are one. The tea isn’t the main event here, but it is not missing either. There’s just enough to keep the tea from crossing the line into mouthful of flowers territory.
It didn’t occur to me that the name could be confusing — apparently the “mandarin” confused some folks into thinking this might have orange or some other fruit flavor as well. But the ingredients list no fruit. I took it to mean Mandarin as in elite class rather than fruit.
If it means that, it deserves the name. This is a wonderful tea. I’m trying to play devil’s advocate with myself and ask myself whether I would be enjoying it so much if I hadn’t had a jasmine in so long. Jasmine green teas are among my very favorites, pretty much my guilty pleasure.
So far my answer is — who cares?