A coworker of mine recently received a bunch of random tea samples from a family member; the sort that are the individual serving size vacuum sealed in those little red/blue/gold/whatever foil bags – she tried one of each and decided she didn’t like them, so they’ve now been passed off to me to give ’em a shot and see if I have any success…
The packaging is basically all in Chinese, except for a couple which have the word “Tie Kwan Yin” on them – but two of them do have pictures on the front, this one and a package that appears to maybe have a picture of burdock root!? The photo on this one is a bundle of asparagus – intriguing, right? Obviously I had to start with the cryptic asparagus tea – so I opened up the package and, well, it’s weird. It doesn’t really look like tea leaf at all, but it’s certainly got that very green kind of “generic herbal ingredient” look. I made it into one giant mug and shared that with everyone in the lab so we could all experience this cryptic asparagus tea; I think the leaf kind of looked like Jiaogulan (the kind that’s not rolled with glucose) but our resident plant expert said it had more of a asparagus stalk appearance.
Whatever the hell it was, it smelled very salty – like seaweed or, ironically, sea asparagus. I also thought that there was an aroma of like very, very dark chocolate; just that sort of dense and bitter cocoa type of thing but I have no explanation for why this weird “asparagus tea” was giving me chocolate vibes from the dry leaf.
Steeped up… Well, it was an experience. It tastes kind of like a Japanese green tea in that it’s got a lot of very saline marine/seaweed type of notes; really green and grassy too. Whatever chocolate I might have been experiencing in the dry aroma 100% was lost in the taste. I was not in any way a fan of this, which isn’t surprising given my strong aversion to Japanese green teas. Of all the people in the lab only one person liked it, and he got the rest of the mug all to himself because of that.
I am happy I tried it though, whatever “it” was. I really do love trying new things, and this was certainly a new experience. I’m excited to see what’s in the rest of the little mystery tea packages!!