Saturday, December 20, 2014

52Teas: Snowflake Gyokuro, A Tea Review

So much groggy in my brain today! I had a really bad allergic reaction (just discovered I am allergic to aloe, this explains so very much about my life) so that means benadryl, which in turn means sleepy. If I did not have a mountain of things to do (ah the holidays) I would curl up in bed with my kindle and catch up on some reading. Currently I am reading a book about using Cognitive Behavioral Theory to help anxiety and depression in adults in the Autism Spectrum, a book about food in the Medieval times, and a book on food allergies. Fascinating stuff, if I finish them up before the end of the year I would have read 96 books this year, I was hoping to hit 100, but alas, I have been too busy!

So today's tea is a wintry blend from 52Teas: Snowflake Gyokuro. Yeah, I did a double take too when I saw it was a blended Gyokuro, I am not sure this is a an act of genius or a horrible sin, I mean it is Gyokuro, that stuff is supposed to be sacred, right? Regardless, I knew I needed to try it for many reasons: it has marshmallow root (best stuff ever), it is winter themed, and it is a blended Gyokuro...I mean when will I get the chance to try that again? So, this is a blend of Gyokuro, Spearmint, Peppermint, Marshmallow Root, and Organic Natural Flavors, I really enjoyed 52Teas other minty, marshmallow green tea Graveyard Mist, so in theory I should like this...problem is, Gyokuro is not always a sweet tasting tea, in fact usually it is pretty umami, so this could be a real adventure. So from the aroma, all I am getting is mint and marshmallow, it is very sweet and the mint clears my sinuses, wintry indeed! I can certainly see snow being represented by the cleanness of mint and the gentle sweetness of marshmallow, but I wonder where the aroma of the Gyokuro is?

I was a bit stumped on how to brew this tea, after much debating I *gasp* just decided on a basket in a teacup, though I did not follow the directions on the package, I have had too many bad encounters with Japanese teas brewed too hot, so I opted for 155. So, I found the Gyokuro after steeping, it is there under the mint and marshmallow, there are notes of spinach, hay, and fresh sea air. Not going to lie, this combination is incredibly odd, not off putting at all, but just not something you expect to run into ever. The liquid is very similar, the mint is mellowed out a bit, the marshmallow is just as sweet, and the Gyokuro is still doing its thing, with the sea air taking on more of a kelp tone.

This tea is hard to describe, and it might win the award for one of the weirdest teas I have reviewed (that is only because I have not reviewed any of 52Teas bacon themed teas on the blog yet, I have the notes though!) Like with the aroma, the combination of things going on in my mouth is not off putting, it is just something I never thought I would mix together. First is mild mint with a cooling sensation that fills up my nose, you can definitely tell it is spearmint and peppermint, then there is the Gyokuro. It is savory, a blend of sea air, kelp, spinach, and mown grass. It is so bizarre, but it actually works really well together. I went for another steep and this time I only got hints of mint and marshmallow and much stronger Gyokuro. If there is any of my stash left come summer time, I might have to try this cold brewed.

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