H’mong Kings Tea from Rakkasan. . . .

Generally when you think of green tea you think of Japan or China first. What about Vietnam? Wasn’t on my radar until I spotted this one. This rare wild grown tea is a true splendor to behold. The dry leaves have an incredibly unique aroma. This scent is what I think of when I think umami. It’s almost like they cooked something on the pan before they roasted it. Somewhat vegetal but nothing like the usual vegetal flavors found in tea. SMOKY! Smoky vegetal! But not like Lapsang Souchong. The wet leaves smell like passion fruit. NO I am NOT joking. They don’t taste like it though… Don’t taste the leaves. And the liquid? Awesome. Grassy sweet with just a very slight amount of bitterness. I need more.

More in my cup. The leaves slowly un-twisting in my cup are lovely. The Agony of the leaves. It is interesting how pan firing a tea can give it such a different flavor profile.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Rakkasan
Description

This is a rare wild-grown, green tea produced by Black H’mong families in Hà Giang Province, Vietnam at over 5,200 feet. It is different from other green teas in that it is fired and dried by hand in a wood-fired cast iron pan rather than a drum oven. It has a smoky aroma and earthy and woody notes reminiscent of the surrounding pine forest where it grows. Like other wild green teas, it is naturally sweet with little bitterness.

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Nakamura-en Tea Shop Kyoto Karigane Hojicha from Nakamura-En Tea Shop (available at Yunomi)

Nakamura-en Tea Shop Kyoto Karigane Hojicha is a premium green tea that is made of roasted stems filtered from kabusecha which is a shaded green tea.

The tea shop itself is a quaint, 100+ year old shop near Ryogoku station on the JR Sobu line. The owner is Mr. Nakamura who speaks a bit of English, and selects some amazing teas from around Japan….including this one. The promoter of this wonderful tea is Yunomi Life and it’s available for purchase on their website.

The harvest is spring and the region is Kyoto Pref, Japan which contributes to the overall experience of this tea. The aroma is intense – right out of the bag! The flavor on the tongue is smoky and roasted up front with a sweet end sip.

The layers of flavor have you craving more. This is certainly a tea that you will take your time with. One to contemplate and appreciate. One that you will remember long after the cup is finished. A mighty fine roasted and toasted green!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green
Where to Buy:  Yunomi
Description

Roasted leaf stems filtered from the production of gyokuro (the most premium form of leaf green tea with lowest level of catechin) in Kyoto, Japan.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Anhui Maojian from Tea Runners. . . . .

This is a green with a bite. It has a pleasant, slightly sweet vegetal tartness that’s surprising and unexpected. The description on the tea’s site describes this exciting sensation as “a lively and vibrant piquancy,” a phrase that I am bitter about not having created myself. The person who wrote it is a scholar.

This isn’t a neutral, pleasant green that fades into the background. It has a distinct personality. It won’t take no for an answer. It’s in charge of your attention. Every time I sip it here at my desk, I glance over at my mug in surprise. Aha! Yes! THIS GUY! STILL DELIGHTING THE SENSES.

When Jewel Staite (Space Cases/Firefly actress) started up Tea Runners, I wanted to be hype about it. I loved this actress — but did I love her taste in tea? Obviously, she probably has advisors and experts that help her with the company. But still. I wasn’t sure. My brother got me a month to be nice (his personality is a good one), and I’ve loved both of the teas I’ve tried so far. (There are 4 in each subscription). GOOD ON HER. So I’m happy to endorse what I’ve tried of Tea Runners.

I’m ALSO happy to endorse Space Cases and Firefly. They are late 90s/early 2000s science fiction. If you get nothing else from this post, just know: television in the pre-HBO era was a SIMPLER TIME. A delightful, innocent time. Pure, like this tea. Get on board.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green
Where to Buy:  Tea Runners
Description

This lovely green tea from the Anhui province in China is not only pleasant to look at– its young leaves are touched with mao jian or “downy tips”– but it also brews to a lively and vibrant piquancy. We love the fresh green grass scent and the slightly sweet umami finish in its taste, a welcome combination that makes this green one to savour.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Anji Bai from Teasenz. . . .

In Texas, and the south in general, you can never count on one weather season staying around for too long. One day we’ll have highs in the 80s then we’ll be back to the 40s and 50s.

When I tried the Anji Bai blend, it was one of those weeks where the area couldn’t decide what season it wanted to be in. I was ready for warmth, but at 2:00pm I wanted something a bit lighter than my standard black tea. This brew created a mild color, closer to a true green when compared with the tan that many green teas create in your cup. There was a mild fresh aroma and it was reminiscent of a floral arrangement in the spring.

I’m very glad I selected this particular cuppa because it will be a great tea for when it is hot outside, but you still want a hot cup of tea.

The mild flavor works in this blend’s favor nicely. I was able to enjoy this both with and without a sweetener and I believe you could leave it to your personal preference on how you’d prefer to prepare your cuppa.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green
Where to Buy:  Teasenz
Description

Fresh and creamy soft with notes of citrus and nuts. From Anji, the town of dense bamboo forests and tea cultivation, comes this Anji Bai Cha, one of the rarest of all Chinese teas. With long, delicate, vivid green leaves, Anji white tea is beautiful in every sense of the word. A green tea connoisseur’s dream.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Clouds and Mist from The Tea Spot. . .

How amazing would it be to sip tea while in a tea garden with a cool mist rolling in around the tea trees?

One can picture that vividly when sipping this tea.

This organic green has vegetal and some gassy flavors with hints of earth and an interesting touch of smoke. The wet leaves also retain this smokiness in aroma which I find somewhat interesting for a green.

The clear, yellow liquid has a smooth mouth feel and a wonderful grassy after taste. For those who are not fans of grassy flavors but would like to drink more green tea this is a good one to add to your cupboard.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: The Tea Spot
Description

Clouds and Mist organic green tea makes a lasting impression. Also known as ‘yunwu’, the subtle aroma that comes from its clear, golden yellow infusion is a compelling mixture of smoky, citrus and vegetal. Its earthy taste, reminiscent of sweet, roasted artichokes, is well-rounded, with a slight note of toasted pecans. Clouds and Mist is very structured in its flavor – assertive and smoky in forward body, and developing over time to a softly sweet, buttery finish – making it a perfect green tea for morning. The curly silver-speckled leaves are harvested in the spring from tender tea buds. Praised as ‘green gold’ for centuries, it is one of China’s traditional imperial tribute teas. Clouds and Mist takes its name from the seas of mystically shrouded peaks on which this prized green tea is grown, using USDA certified Organic farming methods. Brews well for three to four infusions.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!