Tea has become more of a mindfulness exercise for me lately, rather than simply a means to caffeination. I reverently begin this tasting by getting on the level with the loose, green grinds. Dry leaves are sweet-smelling like a japanese tea. They tease me with something that almost smells of raspberry, though I know there is none in this blend.
After brewing the tea leaves got much lighter in color and presented a cloudy olive-green infusion with lots of tiny stowaways from the gravity brewer into my cup.
I cannot stress enough, as with all green and white teas, watch your temperature or you will be drinking something akin to Satan’s bath water (to put it nicely).
I started off with my usual 175F for 2 min but was caught off guard by the bitter chemical type taste. I’d overbrewed it, serious bummer. The leaves were ruined and I’d have to start again from scratch. My second try was with half the steep time. Better tasting, but still a tannic nirvana (different from Darjeeling though). Not my cup of tea. You know those monks are seriously being tested when they drink a tea this strong all day. It for sure keeps them awake in church! I certainly couldn’t keep a vow of silence after drinking it.
As proud as I am of my scientific problem solving approach, I should’ve just read the package instructions. At 160F and right around a minute brew time, the third try was a charm. This delicate leaf brews strong! Tangy still, with a long lingering pucker-worthy aftertaste. But much more palatable than Satan’s bathwater. Upon resteeping, it was a much different flavor because a bit more of the sweetness came out.
This blend is described as sweet like other Japanese teas but that was not my experience, even with a cold brew attempt. But on a good note, I learned my lesson about reading the package instructions. Thank you monks!
Here’s the scoop!
Type of Tea: Green
Where to Buy: Mellow Monk
Blissful Buds™ is made by picking the small young buds at the pinnacle of the tea plant — the leaves richest in catechins. These tender leaves yield a refreshingly sweet infusion, redolent of apples, with berry-like tangy overtones and much less astringency than conventional senchas. This type of tea is also served at the end of a meal at fine Japanese restaurants. (In sushi lingo, this type of tea is referred to as agari.)
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
As an adult, I spent 3 years living in China and Japan where I learned about green, white, oolong, and pu'er teas origins. I was even prescribed traditional medicinal teas while I was there and that's a taste you don't soon forget! But it didn't scare me away from herbals - I really like cold brewing rooibos and tisanes now because I can share them with my toddler.
I am back in school to become a geologist and eventually will work in sustainable agriculture to ensure the teas I love are always in bloom 😉 but those textbooks can be difficult to get through without a strong cuppa. When I'm not studying, I love pairing my teas with salted caramel macaroons or having existential chats with my dad.
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