987 Tasting Notes
I purchased this at the Toronto Tea Festival on Feb 2, 2014. I was unable to taste a brewed sample, but the dry leaves smelled wonderful.
Packaging: Unlike most loose-leaf teas I’ve seen, this tea came in a vacuum-sealed foil pack, so the leaves were initially packed in quite tight. You cut open the top with some scissors, and after it’s open, it’s got one of those pliable metal bars so you can reseal it. The front of the package has some Japanese characters on it, so I believe this vendor just buys directly from a particular tea farm/importer and then applies their own label once it’s been received. I’m not saying this to be negative – the tea is of VERY high quality. I paid $12 for a 50g package, but it typically sells for $15.
Leaf: The leaves look thin and deep green, almost like grass clippings. Dry, the smell is highly vegetal – it smells strongly of fresh-cut hay. Sweet and almost floral, even. Wet, the smell stays exactly the same (floral and hay-like), although the leaves don’t expand/unfurl much.
Liquor: This tea needs only 1-2 minutes to steep. Once steeped, the liquor is a pale green-yellow, like tender plant shoots. The taste of the liquor stays very true to the scent of the leaves – fresh, green, and floral, with only a hint of the astringent taste I find in other green teas.
Overall, this is a lovely and light green tea.
This teapot is easy to clean. The infuser is sturdy, and since it’s perforated steel instead of wire mesh, it’s much easier to clean, and doesn’t discolour as easily. However, it’s very big, and I have a habit to underleaf tea in big teapots and oversteep them to compensate. This is a good teapot for company, but it’s not good for individuals unless you’re absolutely sure you’ll be able to drink a full litre of tea in a few hours. I suggest putting a tea cozy on this one just in case.
There are only 2 things wrong with this teapot, and both of them involve the lid: 1) The “stem” that forms the handle on the lid is hollow, so if you want to lift up the lid, it will get too hot to pick up easily. 2) There is no hole in the lid to equalize the pressure from pouring out the tea. If the lid is on in just the wrong angle, the tea will come out in spurts rather than as a smooth, steady pour – this is much more apparent on the 45 oz pot compared to the 24 oz one.
An excellent teapot – it pours well, is easy to clean, and is just the right size for a 2-3 mugs worth of tea. The infuser is sturdy, and since its perforated steel instead of wire mesh, it’s much easier to clean, and doesn’t discolour as easily.
There are only 2 things wrong with this teapot, and both of them involve the lid: 1) The “stem” that forms the handle on the lid is hollow, so if you want to lift up the lid, it will get too hot to pick up easily. 2) There is no hole in the lid to equalize the pressure from pouring out the tea. If the lid is on in just the wrong angle, the tea will come out in spurts rather than as a smooth, steady pour.
This tastes kind of apple-y when brewed, but there’s something about the cloying sweetness of the dry blend that I don’t like. Plus, there are so many small leaf pieces in my sample that getting the infuser clean afterwards is a real hassle. I’m probably just going to compost the remaining dry leaf.
I’ve only drunk this tea while ill. When you’re all stuffed up and can barely smell things, this tea is lovely – the mint and orange work well together, and the tea just feels intrinsically good to drink.
I imagine that it would be quite different if you drink it when you’re not sick! To a healthy nose, the dry mix smells quite pungent (also, my sample doesn’t have many juniper berries). My mother, who doesn’t like tea at the best of times, let out an audible note of disgust when I asked her to smell the dry blend.
All that aside, it’s even better if you add some agave nectar.
I used to drink this one a lot before I switched over to loose-leaf teas. I remember liking it several years ago, but I think that if I tried it now, it would bee too sweet/cloying to me. A former coworker of mine said it smelled just like dessert. This is really more of a beginner’s tea than anything else.