Deprecated: Hook custom_css_loaded is deprecated since version jetpack-13.5! Use WordPress Custom CSS instead. Jetpack no longer supports Custom CSS. Read the WordPress.org documentation to learn how to apply custom styles to your site: https://wordpress.org/documentation/article/styles-overview/#applying-custom-css in /home/cuppag5/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 6078
pea

Hunan Mao Jian from Harney & Sons

hunan_mao_jianTea Information:

Leaf Type: Green

Where to Buy: Harney & Sons

Tea Description:

While looking for the best teas in Changsha, we found this organic green tea. Not every occasion demands the best tea, so this is a nice one to drink more often.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Mao Jian has become one of my favourite green tea varieties over the last year or so, and I’m always pleased to try one that’s new to me. This Hunan Mao Jian from Harney and Sons looks pretty much as I’d expect – thin, wiry leaves that are a little curly and twisted, a fairly uniform dark green in colour, and pretty long (most around 2cm, but some more like 5-6cm). Dry, it doesn’t seem to have a great deal of scent. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in water cooled to around 170 degrees.

 Once brewed, more variegation in terms of colour is revealed. The wet leaves are a mixture of bright grass green at the tip and a darker kelly green towards the stalk. There are a few yellowish tinges, and the odd patch of brown. The scent is delightful, like freshly steamed green vegetables. Really fresh, vegetal teas like this one are what finally won me around in terms of green tea, and this is a perfect example. The liquor itself is a very pale green, with a mild vegetal scent.
 To taste, this is beautifully sweet and delicate, and very reminiscent of freshly shelled peas. It’s a pretty mild flavour all told, but smooth and buttery with absolutely no bitterness or astringency. There’s a slightly stronger vegetal flavour in the mid-sip, reminiscent of green beans, but it doesn’t linger very long and it’s still very much at the mild end of the flavour spectrum. The aftertaste contains a hint of floral, although it’s not too perfume-like or overpowering. It reminds me a little of lillies. As it cools, I’m picking up an edge of sharpness that puts me in mind of lemon zest. It adds a savoury twist to an otherwise relatively sweet ensemble, and works well as a refreshing, clean tasting element of the overall flavour.
 I’m enjoying this one for its fresh, sweet flavours, and ultimately clean, refreshing flavour. I actually think it’s a green tea I’d enjoy drinking most in summer, possibly cold brewed or iced. It’s good hot, too, and it’s really making me think of warmer days while I sit here in the middle of my centrally-heated winter. This is a really great green tea, and one of the most unique Mao Jian’s I’ve tried. Delicious!

Anji Bai Cha Green Tea from Nannuoshan

anjibaichaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy: Nannuoshan

Tea Description:

Anji Bai Cha owns a delicate, soft and relaxing taste, with a light sweet aftertaste.

Characteristic of this green tee variety is the colour of the leaves, rather white than green; in Chinese, bai means white. The lack of pigment is due to the low chlorophyll content of the plant.

The leaves are long and thin, with the necessary self-tension to maintain, thanks also to the roasting technics, their straight shape while drying. Upon steeping, the leaf opens and doubles its width.

The origin of Anji Bai Cha is protected. Only the tea produced in the certified area of Zhejiang province can be labelled Anji Bai Cha.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I’m more open minded about green teas these days, after discovering that there are some I actually like (and some I even love!) That they’re not all bitter, astringent and brown came as a bit of a revelation to me. This one is a stunner just to look at. The leaves are long and spiky in appearance (a minimum of 2cm long, and broader across the middle than at the tips), and a fairly uniform grass green. They appear to have been rolled horizontally, and unfurl a little when wet. The scent of the leaves, once brewed, is of asparagus and spring greens. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in water cooled to around 175 degrees. The resulting liquor is a very, very pale yellow – really almost colourless.

The taste is very mild also, although a lot sweeter than I anticipated based on the scent of the brewed leaves. I was expecting something vegetal, and while there are hints of that, the main flavour I’m picking up is actually reminiscent of sugar beet. It’s thick, sweet, and a little syrupy. Once the initial flavour fades there’s a touch of fresh pea, but it’s pretty faint. It’s not at all what I was expecting from a green tea. As my cup cooled, I did find that the vegetal flavour intensified a little, although it’s still mild in the grand scheme of things. It remained smooth throughout, though, with no bitterness or astringency to be found.

This one makes for a very pleasant, and unusual, cup. I like it when I come across teas that challenge my expectations – often they’re the ones I end up enjoying most because they’re so unlike anything else. This would be a good green tea to introduce those who are wary of the variety, simply because it avoids the characteristics most likely to put someone off. I’d also recommend it to those who love green tea, as an example of something honestly quite different and unusual. An intriguing tea!

 

Morning Organic Matcha by Grace & Green

morningmatchaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy: Grace & Green

Tea Description:

A matcha tea with only a slight hint of bitterness. Organically produced, its flavour is smooth and rich. This tea is perfect for everyday consumption, boosting health, energy and concentration.

Produced by Marukyu-Koyamaen (Uji, Kyoto, JAPAN), one of the top tea production companies in Japan. Well respected amongst tea connoisseurs, Marukyu-Koyamaen pride themselves on the excellent quality of their products.

Learn more about this tea here. 

Taster’s Review:

I started this morning in my favourite way – with a matcha latte! Grace & Green kindly sent me a sample of their Morning Organic Matcha to try, and as a matcha fan, I was very keen to give it a try! The matcha comes packaged in a resealable tin, initially with an internal ring-pull style seal. The matcha powder itself is a beautiful kelly green shade, and the scent is delightfully vegetal. You can tell this is quality stuff – the brightness of the powder in itself is a good indicator. I used 1/2 tsp of matcha for my cup, and whisked it up with a little boiling water to make a paste while waiting for my milk to heat. I added the milk once it was near boiling, whisking all the while to ensure the powder was well incorporated. The resulting cup is a startling creamy mint green, almost like mint choc chip ice cream!

To taste, this cup is all the things I love about a matcha latte. The initial flavour is the sweet creaminess of the milk, but the matcha emerges clearly in the mid-sip. It’s very vegetal, as you might expect, almost in the way of freshly cooked asparagus, or wilted spinach. It also has an edge of sweetness, however, that helps it to build an accord with the milk. You’d think they might fight against each other in terms of flavour, but they’re actually very complementary. What I’m most struck by is how smooth this matcha is compared to some others I’ve tried. It’s blended very well with the milk, with only a little clumping evident at the bottom of the cup. That could be my whisking skills, though! There’s also a distinct lack of astringency or bitterness, which is at least partly why it works so well as a latte. It makes for a delightful start to the day.

In the interests of research, I also tried this matcha in a couple of other ways, both of which worked equally well. 1/4 tsp stirred into a small glass of cold water made for a refreshing mid-afternoon pick-me-up. Again, I found it to be smooth, with a minimum of clumping, and no bitterness or astringency at all. The vegetal flavour of the matcha is very apparent taken this way, but as it’s so fresh-tasting and reminiscent of sweet spring vegetables, that’s more of a bonus than anything! My third way of trying this matcha was similar to the above, but stirred into a small glass of apple juice rather than just water. I made a thin paste first with 1/4 tsp of matcha and approximately 1 tbsp of cold water, and then topped off the glass with fridge-cold apple juice. I was actually surprised by how well this worked, but the sweetness and lightly tangy acidity of the fruit juice paired beautifully with the vegetal flavour of the matcha. I’m reminded of fresh garden peas more than asparagus or spinach when tasting the matcha this way, and this would be an ideal preparation for those who aren’t so keen on the intense flavour of matcha when taken alone.

While I enjoy matcha for its versatility, I have to admit to being impressed by this offering from Grace & Green. It lacks the bitterness of some other matchas I’ve tried, which was what used to put me off most. The sweet, fresh taste of this particular matcha is second to none – it’s comparable to the flavour of a spring Bi Luo Chun to my mind, albeit stronger and more concentrated. I also appreciate the ease with which I managed to blend it each time. Although I did experience a little clumping with my latte, it was at a minimum. This would make an excellent matcha for those who like green teas with strongly vegetal notes, or those who are looking for a fresh, high quality, affordable matcha powder. The shipping speed was also excellent, arriving in the UK from Japan in just 6 days. Highly recommended.