Finally, I have finished the pile of Toshie’s Jewels for my planned garland. Though finishing my garland I think it is too big for my Tea Lair and I will put it in the bedroom instead. If I am lucky Espeon will not take up acrobatics to attack it, if not, well it will be entertaining to watch. The paper I used is probably some of the prettiest origami paper I have used, the detail on the patterns is just spectacular, I want more but it is obnoxiously hard to find and really expensive. It was luck and ebay that got me the paper in the first place.
Today’s tea is Lotus from The Persimmon Tree Tea Company, a Vietnamese green tea scented in the traditional way with lotus blossoms giving this tea an ancient feel. The process of scenting a tea is really quite neat, for Lotus scent, the green tea is stuffed into a lotus blossom overnight or the stamens are taken from the lotus flowers and placed in a jar overnight with the tea, there they absorb its aroma and lends a floral taste to the tea. The website advises multiple steeps, so you know what that means, gaiwan time! The aroma of the dry leaves is pretty intense, very strong anise aroma with touches of honey, yeasty bread, green stems, and just the faintest hint of pepper. It is strange to call such a spicy aroma heady, but it is like sniffing a spicy flower.
After a nice visit with some warm water in the gaiwan, the now wet leaves’s aroma fills my tea lair with anise and pepper. The aroma is a paradox, it manages to be both heavy and light, it is one of the few times I have a hard time explaining the effect. The intensity gives it weight, but the notes in the aroma make it seem light, it is a pretty cool sniffing experience. The liquid has notes of cream, anise, honey, pepper, and a touch of refreshing green at the finish.
The first steep starts off quite sweet and rich, like honey drizzled yeasty bread that was baked with loads of anise. This initial spicy sweetness fades to a mildly peppery and cooked spinach finish. The mouthfeel starts out smooth then fades to just a tiny bit dry at the end.
Second steeping time! The aroma is not as strong, the anise and pepper notes are very delicate and there is an aroma of fresh vegetation, very reminiscent of walking through a garden after a rain storm. The taste is also more green than the previous, it starts with fresh vegetation and spinach. This fades to anise and pepper and then finished with a fairly potent honey aftertaste.
And now it is time for the final dance with this scented tea, the aroma of the third steep has gone around to being anise heavy, with accompaniment of raw honey and fresh vegetation. The mouthfeel starts a bit dry, almost sharp, but that changes to smooth fairly quickly. All that is left of this tea is anise and a touch of pepper, the blend of just anise and pepper this time around reminds me more of spicebush than actual anise. There is a hint of raw honey at the aftertaste that lingers for a bit. This is truly a unique tea, if you have never experienced Lotus scented tea I would definitely recommend it.
For photos (including origami! woo!) and blog: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-persimmon-tree-tea-company-lotus.html
Flavors: Anise, Pepper, Spinach, Stems