Monday, March 8, 2010

Three For Tea

Another gorgeous old organ, 300 years old and still playing beauti-
fully. This was my many greats-grandfather's church in Durlach and we worshipped here one Sun day. It is amazing to worship, walk, eat in the places where someone you are related to lived nearly 300 years ago. But let us move on to this century and some tea!

Another sunny day, another group of Aura Tea samples, Ti Guan Yins, #1, #2 and #3 Green. Please note, these are all considered green teas, not the more usual TGY Oolong. I thought I would do these all together, as, judging by their names, they are somewhat similar. They are all pretty teas, made up of small tightly wound green balls. I brewed them all at about 185 degrees for 2 minutes.

Number 1 smelled wonderful, with a nice floral scent overlaying a solid but pleasant vegetal base. The liquor was a pretty pale gold and I did 2 infusions, the second a little longer than the first. The tea was light, but smooth, with that vegetal base and lovely floral taste. The second infusion was more of a green citrussy taste, quite different from the first, but every bit as good.

Number two was a disappointment. First of all it smelled very heavily vegetal, with no floral at all. A bit like baked asparagus, with something like a Japanese green tea taste, which I am not fond of. It was also a pretty yellow and I hoped the taste would be an improvement. Sadly, it was not to be, as it tasted more and more like an almost seaweed Japanese green with too much dried weed or something or veggie. I don't know if this reflects the quality of the tea or just my personal preference. Probably the latter.

By the time I got to #3 I was a bit leery, but I needn't have been. This has the most floral scent of all, as well as the most floral taste. I don't think it was as nuanced as #1, but it would be a real toss-up for me to try and choose between them, although I think #1 has an edge because it is somewhat more complex. The second infusion was somewhat lighter, but with a bit more flavor, if that makes sense. The two infusions together were very good.

I got my order from Tony Gebely's new company, Chicago Tea Garden. It came in 2 days and was packaged very nicely indeed, with shrink wrap over the canisters, a picture of the tea on the front and cards telling you not only how to brew the tea, but having a space on the back for “Tasting Notes”. High marks for all of that. I am “tea-ed out” for the day, so tasting will have to wait until tomorrow.

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