Big, bold, brassy. This tea is by no means a delicate wall flower of a green tea. Or a delicate anything, really. It comes right out and lets you know that it’s here, it’s a green tea, and that it means to be taking center stage, thankyouverymuch.

However, in its efforts to inform the world of it’s intentions, it may scare some people off. It almost scared me off. Opening the pouch of tea, the scent is an inviting green tea aroma with an enhanced nutty quality, brought about by a roasting step during the processing of the leaf. Steeping the tea, it’s a delicate, pale green color with just a hint of brown; the very picture of an inviting cup of tea. But then, sipping shocked me. Very astringent. Almost a sour quality. And the drying sensation wasn’t restricted to just the mouth, it went down the throat as well. As the brew cooled, the sour faded, leaving a sweeter quality to the cup.

To try and get the best out of this tea, I tried multiple steeping parameters. My first two tries, I used the method referred to on the packet – 1 tablespoon per 5-6 oz of water, steeped in 180 degree water for 3-5 minutes. Their website also recommended trying more leaf with a shorter steeping time. This method resulted in a brew where the sour flavor held on, even once cooled. I then tried the old tried and true proportion of 1 tsp per 8 oz. This resulted in a much lighter brew with reduced astringency and reduced sourness, and a hint of nuttiness at the back of your mouth.

If you are a fan of the big, bold and dry red wines, you will likely love this tea brewed to the original directions. I preferred the weaker brew, but other greens have tickled my fancy more than this one.

Also reviewed at http://www.itsallabouttheleaf.com/504/tea-review-rishi-teas-organic-green-needles-lu-zhen-roasted-2/

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I’ve got a lot of interests: sushi, science fiction/fantasy, medieval recreation, cooking (specifically medieval cooking), reading, British science fiction (Doctor Who!), hand sewing and now TEA!!

My favorites tend to be oolongs and flavored black teas. I like highly flavored teas more than delicate ones. Rooibos tends to taste like dirt to me, and hibiscus is very sour to my palate. But I’m always up to try all sorts of things, and will often find things that I really like which I thought I’d hate.


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