83 Tasting Notes
So, I hope I don’t get in trouble for adding my own tea. It’s much like Mountain Rose Herb’s Hibiscus High, but instead of orange peel and lemon balm, they use lemon peel and lemon grass. I don’t that makes too much of a difference based on how much hibiscus is in it, but I haven’t tried Hibiscus high, and I didn’t realize my tea was so similar until I received the catalog and after I ordered all of my herbs separately.
I have to say I have no idea what I’m doing when I mix tea. I don’t have any proper way of measuring it. My process is rather haphazard actually. First I take all the bags out of the closet. Then I realize I grabbed a different herb, usually lavender, and so I go back to the cabinet for the right thing, usually spearmint, dropping bags in the process. Then I usually add each item to my tea bag, varying the amount, but I usually leave hibiscus as the dominant ingredient.
I actually bought everything originally, because I had rose hips, but making tea with just rose hips left me with a sour and one-note brew.
Anyway, the predominant scent once mixed is of spearmint, followed by the fruity scent of the hibiscus that is almost but not very citrusy. The flavor of hibiscus is rather complex as is the scent, so it overpowers the other ingredients. Since I haven’t had the hibiscus by itself, I don’t think I could explain how the other ingredients assert themselves. I will try to add that later for a more complex description.
This tea is a bright red and very opaque. It almost looks like fruit punch and has a strong fruity flavor. Re-steeping results in a mild orange-red color with no flavor, so I wouldn’t say it’s worth keeping the bag for a second use.
Flavors: Berry, Champagne, Citrus, Lemon, Mint
I have drunk this tea many times, and I have to say it is probably my favorite. I kind of get a little high from drinking it, but I hear that most people get that from drinking a whole pot of green tea in one sitting. I haven’t tried other Jasmine Pearls, but this one is lovely, and I think I will keep buying it from the same place.
I thought the price was a bit much at first, especially for only three ounces, but now I’m more than happy to pay that price. I haven’t gone through the bag yet, but I have made it 6 or so times, and it re-steeps well. My first time brewing I thought I needed to use two tablespoons – big mistake. Most people would probably know that the ball is composed of several leaves, but I was trying to obey the instructions on the bag, but clearly they are misleading. I don’t know the exact number, but you can get away with brewing less than a tablespoon, I think. Maybe ten individual pearls, but you could go with less, I’m sure. Otherwise it will look like you’ve grown a rainforest in your pot after the leaves unfurl.
The smell is rather heady. The moment you open the bag you are assaulted by the scent of jasmine. I can’t tell you how strong the taste is, because I haven’t yet tasted jasmine by itself, but brewed it still has a lovely scent. The green tea is mellow and yet well-balanced. I couldn’t really describe it, but it doesn’t have that concentrated taste of sencha or kukicha. The flavor remains mostly in tact after the second brew with the jasmine fading the second time. It’s not noticeable after the third, but if you used enough tea – generally read as too much tea, you can steep it longer for a third time and still have a fairly mellow green tea flavor.
This tea is worth drinking even for those who don’t like the astringent taste of some green teas. I would buy this tea as a gift for a friend and I think it’s nice enough to give as part of a wedding gift if you pair it with a nice kettle and tea pot.
This is my first time brewing it, but it has a pleasant color somewhere between rooibos and hibiscus, I suppose. The smell is mildly sweet and almost citrusy, and the taste isn’t overbearing. It doesn’t have a bitter taste, which is probably due to its low tannin content. I think this tea has a more mellow flavor than rooibos, so I prefer it.
A few interesting facts; honeybush gets its name from its flowers, because they smell like honey. The plant itself happens to be part of the legume family, so this tea produces isoflavones, a type of antioxidant not found in other teas.
Flavors: Floral, Fruity