6 Tasting Notes
This tea, along with the Salada Asian Plum tea which I have already reviewed, was gifted to us by a very dear person. I don’t hate fruity teas…but I am very particular about them, and usually prefer black teas to be infused with fruit than green or white, so maybe these are at a disadvantage already for me. Nonetheless, I do like fruity iced tea on occasion, so I thought I’d give this a whirl in that form. I hot-brewed it into a concentrate (4 tea bags to 1 quart of water) and added two teaspoons of honey (my iced tea pitcher is a half gallon size) and iced it down to fill the rest of the pitcher. While I can smell a sort of chemically fruit scent, reminiscent of Smarties or Sweet Tarts, it does not make itself felt in the taste. Mostly it tastes bitter and soapy. Green tea does not seem to be a main ingredient, or at least not anything that tastes like green tea. The bitterness is probably from the nettle and dandelion root, which, while admirable in their various health benefits, I have never found either one to taste good, and I’m not drinking this tea for my health. (I have a cabinet full of Traditional Medicinals teas for when I’m sick!) Even iced, I can’t seem to salvage this tea. We may have to toss it out like we did the Salada Asian Plum Tea. Alas.
Flavors: Bitter, Fruity, Soap
We were gifted this tea by someone we love very dearly. Unfortunately, my partner and I did not love the tea. The white tea is very poor quality to begin with. What would you expect from a bag? We weren’t expecting much. If it didn’t have the additional cloyingly-sweet plum flavoring, it could have maybe served as a quick lunch-at-work teabag to brew. However, we found it completely un-drinkable and ended up throwing it out. Can you imagine throwing out tea?? I have never thrown out tea in my whole life. It was an awful experience.
I am lucky enough to have two friends who frequently travel between China and the U.S. and they bring me back the most wonderful teas, most recently, this one. It came in a tin with a vacuum-sealed bag inside. Not a scrap of English all over the whole tin except where it says “Ten Fu’s Tea” and “LongJing,” so I can only hope this is the right tea page to post this note on. It has a light green-yellow body when brewed, very clear. The leaves are long and “needle”-like and open into delicate leaflets when brewed. The smell of the dry leaf is very fresh and outdoorsy, but with a warm roasted note before you brew it. After it’s brewed you can smell roasted barley and something like cooked spinach or asparagus—very vegetal—with a buttery richness. The taste is very smooth and grounding, only lightly astringent. It has a long, languid finish with lasting flavor. It makes you feel very leisurely and relaxed, like you have to take your time and appreciate it, which honestly is my favorite thing about drinking tea in general. I love this tea! I don’t know where you can get it in the U.S., though. I would recommend it to absolutely anyone who loves green tea.
Flavors: Asparagus, Butter, Roasted Barley, Smooth, Spinach, Vegetal, Wet Earth
Fruity, sweet, smooth and cheerful red color when brewed. I was so excited to find this tea, because my friend visited South Africa and came back raving about drinking rooibos tea with milk while she was over there. My only experiences with rooibos up to this point had been with heavily flavored fruity concoctions, which are usually not my cup of tea (groaaan, haha). But I resolved to give it a try and WOW, wow. This tea is great straight, with honey, or with milk. It plays well with other tisanes in blends that I improvise with lavender, mint, and chamomile. I like a pretty strong, long steep of it, and it does do well for a second (slightly longer) infusion. Plus, I feel so virtuous when I drink it, having read about all of its vitamins and health benefits. Bonus! I would absolutely recommend this to anyone, even if (maybe especially if?) you’ve never liked all the various fruity and very sweet rooibos blends out there.
Flavors: Fruity, Honey, Peach, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla
I wanted this to be a tea that I’d actually enjoy drinking…but for me, it’s ended up as a medicinal-only tea. I do think the ginger and turmeric help with aches and pains, but not as much as my homemade ginger tea does, although I don’t always have the time or energy to brew my own from scratch, so this fills in the gaps. This tea tastes very flat. The green tea in it seems to be of poor quality to say the least, and the ginger cannot be felt at all. The turmeric gives a pleasant aroma to the cup, but it’ll stain your mugs yellow which is kind of gross. (The stains wash out fine with baking soda, but ugh.) I can’t drink this at all without dressing it up with some honey and lemon, so yeah, not a good tea. My search for a palatable ginger-turmeric tea that I don’t have to make from scratch will go on. I will not buy more of this and would not recommend it to anyone.
Flavors: Dirt, Spices
A brisk, astringent, invigorating cup. Takes milk well. Blends well with other things, too—I especially like it with a little mint, tulsi, or lavender from my garden. Not that you have to put anything in it—it is delicious straight too and very versatile. Very reasonably priced, too, for the quality! I’ve been drinking this tea very happily for years.
Flavors: Astringent, Tannic