Posts Tagged ‘Green tea’
Tea Company: The Jasmine Pearl (website)
Ingredients: Green Tea
Vendor Suggested Preparation: Scoop a heaping teaspoon of tea leaves into your infuser. Heat water to 200° – 212° F (boiling). Pour 8 oz. of water over tea leaves. Steep tea for 5 minutes (depending on taste preference). Remove infuser and enjoy tea.
I recently received an e-mail from The Jasmine Pearl’s co-owner Chuck – o’ the of the Chuck-’n-Heather combination – to try some new wares from Taiwan. One was an aged oolong, another was a GABA green tea, and a couple of other offerings he left a mystery. However, the one that he seemed most eager to present was an organic green tea he received from his Taiwanese supplier. Said trader mentioned that it was “what green tea should taste like.”
Alas, when I and a tea compatriot did make it down, the last of the Formosa Green had vanished into the palate-y aether. He said that the actual bulk delivery would be arriving in the next few days, though, and that he’d let us know. True to his word, three days later, an e-mail showed up saying it came in. I tried it, liked it, bought an ounce…but I was unconvinced that it was the end-all/say-all for green teas. It was the second Taiwanese green I’d tasted, but it wasn’t the best. Perhaps I needed to subject it to my approach.
First off, I will say that the leaves were gorgeous – dark, bold green, long, twisty, and packed with aroma. I sniffed butter, lemons, grass, and…some kind of nut. Overall, it reminded me of a more pleasant-seeming Mao Feng. Far different than what I was expecting from a Taiwanese green. The last one I had smelled like Fruit Roll-Ups.
I completely forgot to ask what the best brewing approach was for this. Not that I was too worried about it; green teas were somewhat easy to figure out. I went with 1 tbsn. in 8oz. of 175F water and a steep time of three minutes.
What result was a relatively clear brew with a green tinge and a gentle, almost lemongrassy aroma. The flavor echoed the lemongrass comparison but with a twist. It was more like lemon verbena dipped in honey – citrusy, sweet, creamy, grassy, and oddly herbal on finish. If this is what green tea is supposed to taste like…I can deal with that.
You can purchase the High-Elevation Formosa Green directly from the The Jasmine Pearl website.
Tea Company: Golden Moon Tea (website)
Ingredients: Finest Black & Green Tea, Cardamom, Cloves, Cinnamon, Spice Oil
Vendor Suggested Preparation: Brew at 212° F (boiling) Steep for 4 minutes Use 1 teaspoon per serving Can be re-steeped up to 2 times
Dry leaves are black, wiry, tightly rolled leaves
Smell is of cinnamon
Wet: the leaves completely unfurled revealing black and dark green torn leaves
Finest black and green tea, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and spice oil
I made this tea stovetop. Here is my recipe:
1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup 2% milk, entire sample packet
Simmer for 9 minutes, let stand 1 minute, strain and Enjoy.
As the tea simmered, I was reminded of the homemade cocoa my Mother used to make when I was little. The color was a milky, chocolaty inviting cocoish kind of color that invokes memories of gentler times.
Someone once said that this tea was a tea for all seasons. I agree with that statement, it is a gently spiced tea that is very satisfying. The absence of pepper + the presence of a green tea contribute to the overall mildness of this blend. I could see myself drinking this at night outside enjoying my fire pit.
I believe that you really need more leaf to make this tea really pop, leaving the question in my mind: how much to purchase a full tin or half a pound? It is really one of those teas that warrant a BIG bag purchase.
You can purchase the Kashmiri Chai directly from the Golden Moon Tea website.
Tea Company: KTeas (website)
Ingredients: green tea
Vendor Suggested Preparation: 3 grams tea leaves (1 teaspoon) per serving. 140 degF water. 2 minutes. May increase steeping time 1 minute per subsequent steeping. (But KTeas says not necessary!)
This marked the last Hawaiian-grown tea I had yet to try from K Teas. Grown at the Hilo Tea Garden estate residing near Mountain View, Tea Hawaii sourced this green tea with the gentle drinker in mind. K Teas describes it as a pan-fired green tea reminiscent of some Chinese varieties. I’d say that’s a very apt description.
The curly, long, yellow-to-green leaves looked exactly like Mao Feng green tea. The buttered vegetables aroma was even there. If I was looking at this blind, I would’ve passed it up as a Mao Feng. A grassy one at that.
Brewing instructions were peculiarly light. The sample bag recommended steeping 3g. (roughly 1 tsp.) of leaves in a cup of 140F water for two minutes. That sounded rather low, but – to be fair – some green teas required delicacy. Japanese varieties, for example. This green tea looked like it was prone to spinaching if not carefully observed. I obeyed their instructions almost to the letter, save for the amount. Since the sample was small-ish, I opted for “almost-a-teaspoon” in 5oz. of water – just in case I screwed up the first brew.
The liquor infused almost completely clear, even more transparent than white tea. Heck, I’ve seen water that brewed darker. (California, anyone?) I think there was an aroma of leaves and butter, but it was extremely understate. There was a Mao Feng-ish presence on taste with a creamy back, yet in all honesty…this was water. Warm water.
I tried a second steep with the same leaves at 160F and three minutes. Now it looked like a green tea – one with a nice grass-to-floral scent. On the tongue, it was even more pleasant with a nutty mouthfeel. I likened it to a Japanese aracha instead of a Mao Feng. This proved that the instructions were way too light. So, go with your gut on this one. Brew it light but not too light. A good green tea awaits you if you oblige it.
You can purchase the Olas Green Tea directly from the KTeas website.
Tea Company: The East India Company (website)
Ingredients: green tea
Vendor Suggested Preparation: not listed online
It has been a long time since my last review, but I am finally back in the country and yearning to try a new tea and share my experience with all of you! For this first review, we have “Cannon Ball” by The East India Company. While I would love to tell you exactly what this tea is, I am not quite sure. Their website lists it as a green tea, and the description suggests it is a green tea, yet the label on the container specifically says “It is a lightly fermented oolong tea.”
Well….okay then! This tea basically looks like an oversized version of gunpowder green tea, thus the naming fits, cleverly. The smell of the dry leaves is faintly reminiscent of that smokiness present in gunpowder green tea. Yet the slight floral taste brings to mind…shockingly…light oolongs. This tea becomes more and more mysterious, and I grow more and more curious!
Unsure as to the water temperature, I opt to use 1 cup of water prepared for green tea (to be on the safe side), coupled with 1 teaspoon of leaves. What works for gunpowder greens and oolongs should work for this too, right?
Three minutes of steep time, says the packaging. I can do that! (My time overseas has not taken from my tea-making skills.) The resulting brew is a pale yellow-green and smells like…hmmm…very light, floral oolong. Not overly floral, as one might encounter in the tasting of a jasmine oolong. At the same time, it carries the gunpowder green tea flavor, but with a little extra, as though one took a pouchong and mixed it with a gunpowder. This is definitely different, in a pleasant way. Overall, however, the brew seems a bit weak, and perhaps a longer steep time is required.
I love the smokiness of gunpowder green tea, and the fact that such a quality carried over in a new way to this tea definitely caught my attention. While this is an interesting and decent tea, it might be better to order a small sample to try initially. I thought I would love this tea, yet I now can only see myself drinking it occasionally, not every day. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would rate it a 73/100.
You can purchase the Cannon Ball directly from the The East India Company website.
Tea Company: Grand Tea (website)
Ingredients: Green Tea
Vendor Suggested Preparation: 85 Degree Celsius Water, steep 1-2 minutes
Sometimes, I get a tea for review, and I go through the entire sample trying to figure out what the heck to say about it. Usually, I’m having problems coming up with something nice about the tea, or just something interesting to say.
I drank through the entire sample of this tea while coming up for the review, but for a pleasantly different reason. It was because I was a LOT more interested in drinking the tea than in writing any silly words about it. It was such a pleasant drinking experience I just didn’t want to stop.
It had plently of the slightly masculine, vegetal flavors, but it’s missing the astringency that can often come with dragon well teas. It’s a light, flavorful, and very sippable. The flat green leaves were not as as large and bright green as some other dragon well teas, but they were fragrant and brew up wonderfully.
Good overall tea, a nice example of this category. Have a cup!
You can purchase the Xi Hu Premium Dragon Well directly from the Grand Tea website.