Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Green Tea Diaries - Oh What's in My Cup

My favorite green tea in my favorite tea thermos, both from China
I like to start morning off with a cup of green tea.

For years that tea was blended by Gypsy Zen Tea, a California company known for its creative blending of teas and other natural ingredients that has done me wrong twice. First I had to stave off its discontinuance of my beloved Cocaberry blend by mail order and Grocery Outlet shopping and then I had to go through that all over again when Gypsy Zen ended production of pomegranate green tea replacement I compromised on.

Now I'm just playing the green tea field, brewing up individual samples of tea bags I've collected at Fancy Food shows and elsewhere as well as going through my own substantial stash of loose and bagged teas. (FYI - for more serious tea drinking I prefer full leaf brewed teas without added flavors - but my morning tea is different.)

Below is a list of the teas I've sampled with any notes. I'm sure eventually I'll fall in love with another tea and eventually that tea will become unavailable but at least this way I'll have a lot of tasting notes to call on to find a replacement. Watch for Facebook and Twitter status updates for additions to this list.

Most of these teas are bagged, I'll note when they are not.  These teas tend to taste best and not need additional sugar when brewed with just under boiling temperature water and steeped for only a few minutes.

Many bagged green teas in this country look like sweepings from the processing room floor - tiny bits of chaff and dried leaves.  I've indicated when a bag seems to be filled with full leaves.

My favorite morning green tea of all time is the loose leaf jasmine blend I brought back from China.  I keep it in an airtight container and just need a pinch to make a lovely cup. 

  • Stash Moroccan mint (a stand by - I think the mint helps the taste)
  • Te sweetest jasmine pearls (the best so far -- nice fabric tea bag and nice leaves)
  • Stash fusion green and white tea
  • Harney tropical green
  • Te Shangri La (nice leaves, nice bag but didn't care for added flavor)
  • Republic of Tea Pineapple Ginger (doesn't seem to go bitter, nice pineapple taste)
  • Harney's Bangkok Green Tea (silk "sachet" with slighter larger tea leaves but still bits and pieces. Very strong coconut and ginger flavor, seems more like a Thai sauce than a tea.)
  • Lahaha Jasmine Green Tea (sachet type tea bag with full leaves.  Very perfumy, but nice, no bitterness at all.  Organic, all natural.)
  • Lahaha Lemon Green Tea (same sachet, decent tea leaves, dried lemon peel pieces). Not so good. No lemon flavor.  More bitter than the jasmine.  Would not have again.
  • Tea Tibet "Kindness" Green Tea.  Just green tea -- but the best cup of plain green tea I've ever had from a tea bag.  Quality tea leaves (maybe a bit broken rather than whole).  This is a non profit company that supports Tibetan educational projects and orphanages created by Kombucha Wonder Drink.  The tea itself is from northern India.  www.teatibet.org
  • Ahmed Green Tea with Mint - first one that needed sugar -- tasty with it, not so without
  • Numi Gunpowder Green - a superior taste, would definitely get again
  • Republic of Tea Honey Ginseng Green Tea -- not bad, but I kept thinking I was drinking a melted cough drop.  If I had throat issues or a cough I'd drink this up.

More to come!

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