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Recent Tasting Notes
Opening the 7 Indian teas my husband got me in Bangalore one by one, getting now to the ones I might like least. This ginger green tea, according to the package, contains 10-12% dry ginger (powder). “San-Cha´s Taster has fortified the Indian green tea with the world´s finest Indian ginger.”
I´m not such a fan of ginger, as it often completely dominates the taste (I´m not so bothered when it dominates the smell), although I´m rather convinced of its properties to help digestion. I´ve also heard it can help fight colds. So yes, I sometimes drink ginger tea. However, most of the time the ginger tea comes from a tea bag. This must be the first time I drink loose ginger tea. When opening the packet, I couldn´t distinguish the ginger : I see a broken tea with some dust, I smell a green tea. As soon as the tea is steeping, ginger aroma´s start to appear. The presence of ginger in taste is quite secundary, which I can applaud. You can easily drink a second mug or even a third. Absence of bitterness overall.
Flavors: Ginger, Green
The third tea of the teas bought by my husband in Bangalore. A “simple” green tea (i.e. it doesn´t have special aroma´s, it isn´t blended), so it seems. The packet claims that Indian green tea is richer in antioxidants than Chinese green teas, “as researched by health scientists”. It also says : “Made using the traditional Chinese panning process, our special selection has a touch of smoke and is fuller bodied.”
I´m personally not too worried about which tea and which level of antioxidants is recommended, as long as it tastes alright. I tried this tea a few times, steeping it between 2 and 4 minutes and overall the tea is lightly coloured, has little bitterness (at the higher steeping times, the last sips are indeed bitter, which I think is normal), and has quite a full body for a green tea. My main objections against green tea in the past were the grassy mouth-feel and the bitter finish, which I don´t observe here, at least when keeping the steeping time low and when drinking the tea not too cold. I don´t know whether this is due to the green tea being Indian or having more antioxidants, I guess I just almost never drank good quality green tea before. In comparison with the Chunmee variety I tried earlier (see previous tasting note) however, this is a very “thin” tea, without a well defined tasting profile.
This is the second tea I try of the 7 teas my husband brought home from Bangalore.
As I´m not such a green tea fan (I think this might change with these 7 green teas), I wasn´t familiar with the “Chunmee” type. From Wikipedia I read : “It has a dusty appearance and is generally more acidic and less sweet than other green teas. It was originally produced only in the Chinese Jiangxi province, but is nowadays also grown elsewhere. … This ever popular tea has a bright flavor, light tangy sweetness, and a toasty warm clean finish, making it an excellent green tea during the day or night, with a nice well-rounded flavor and aftertaste.” This is thus clearly a Chunmee tea grown in India, and I cannot see the dusty appearance which is mentioned. No, the tea leaves seem bigger than in other green teas I´ve tried. As far as the tasting is concerned, I had the tea steeping for about 2 minutes and found its taste indeed well-rounded without any bitter or too grassy aftertaste, even when you leave the mug unattended for a while and the tea has cooled down when you take your last sips. The grassy aftertaste has always been my worst part of drinking green teas so far and I´m very glad to know there are also green teas which don´t show this.
The package doesn´t give a lot of practical information, but it does says : “For a healthy skin. Diets rich in polyphenols may play an important part in slowing down the ageing process. The Master Tea Taster has selected Chunmee young tea buds since young buds are richer in antioxidants in conjunction with traditional sunscreens may protect the skin from ultraviolet radiation.” I´m quite sceptical about these health claims, but as the tea tastes nice, there´s no reason to drink it only for the possibly healthier skin you might get ;-)
My husband went to Bangalore for his work, and spoiled me with 7 packs (100g each) of Indian green tea blends from San-Cha. This blend contains green tea and a fairly high amount of rose petals (>10%). I used to buy a rose petal-black tea blend from Taylors of Harrogate and the difference is clearly the proportion of the rose petals. While the ToH blend is definitely first a black tea and the addition of the rose petals is subtle, here the rose petals dominate not only in aroma´s , but also in taste. The label didn´t give any information about steeping times, so I had it steeping for 2.5 minutes. The resulting brew could easily perfume the living room. Very floral and fortunately not grassy at all…you would almost forget this is a green tea!