6g, 600 ml Brita filtered water, cold brew Hario bottle overnight
Sometimes things blow you away due to how outstanding they are in their field. Other times, they’re impressive because of something completely unexpected. This tea goes in the latter category.
I ordered a few teas to try from Open Door Tea a few months ago, breaking my own rule of usually avoiding places that also sell weird or flavored blended teas (historically I have had terrible experiences with places that mainly focus on blends and only seem to dip their toes in to single varietals/cultivars) since I really wanted to try a 白毛猴 (white monkey green tea).
In the same order, I added a sample of the Hairy crab oolong, which they’d run out of, so this was substituted, to my dismay and disappointment. I grumbled about the silly name, about the blend itself (why would you blend 3 teas with disparate brewing temps? no matter what temperature you choose, it’s only going to be optimal for one and not the other 2), about how I wasn’t going to be able to try the Hairy crab oolong. Silly, I know. This is my outlet, let me be. In the end, knowing how bad I am with brewing green teas, I didn’t want to risk a standard brew of this, and gongfu and the time to dial in brews didn’t seem worth it so I tossed it into a Hario cold brew bottle and tried it in the morning. I was shocked at what I was tasting, and made a neighboring dormmate try it to assure that I wasn’t crazy about what I was tasting. This tastes wholly like a well-made (not overly sweet or too artificial) taro bubble/milk tea! Nothing like what I expected. I drink a fair amount of jasmine and oolong, but I’ve only tried tea bags of gunpowder green (some economics professor stocks the Numi kind in the lounge which has since been closed for COVID-related reasons), and they’re about as terrible as you’d expect. My dormmate noted hints of jasmine and oolong, in addition to the taro bubble tea, but I was only able to taste taro bubble tea, with a small hint of smoke, and a slightly sweet aftertaste.
In sum, understatedly delicious. Not something I’d drink on the daily, but I’ll definitely order some for those blazing hot summer days when you just want something cool and sweet. Not sure how this would be warm, but given how good it is cold brewed, probably won’t bother warm-brewing.
Flavors: Smoke, Sweet, Taro Root