Saturday, August 1, 2015

Liquid Proust Teas: Jackseed Gyokuro, A Tea Review

Remember a while ago I had allergy tests and they came back that I was not allergic to anything? I think that the test might have been incorrect, because I was feeling better! My sore throat and slightly stuffy nose and cough had eased up, then I spent a day outside and then another with all the windows open and I woke up sick again! There are no new things in the house to cause irritation, so it must be allergies, it being so wet this year that it must be mold. I dunno, I am sick of this sore throat, so time to take loopy allergy meds and crank up the air purifier to full blast! On a more fun note, I started a Wedding Registry (because why not, even though I do not even have a set date yet!) and I am having fun trying to figure out what to add. So far there is a cat tower and a vase, progress!

Today I am taking a look at Liquid Proust's Jackseed Gyokuro a blend of Gyokuro from Wakayama, Roasted Jackfruit Seeds, and a dash of Vanilla. I admit, I found this tea very intriguing! I am a sucker for blends using out of the norm ingredients, I love the imagination and bravery it takes to make and test something like this, and as someone who has dabbled in making bizarre blends...it is hard work! It feels wrong to take something as precious Gyokuro and make it into a blend...or does it? The aroma of the tea is ever so slightly fruity, like apricot and a little like almonds, with a tiny hint of distant vegetation. The aroma is very light, at the very tail end of the sniffing there is a hint of distant sea air, which is fascinating.

It was quite fun watching the tea go from emerald green leaves to vibrantly green once steeped, I just love how intensely green Japanese teas get once steeped! The aroma of the soggy leaves and seed bits is fruity, again the apricot notes are present, add in chestnuts and a touch of almonds for nutty sweetness. Then boom, straight into strong almost salty, buttery, asparagus and kelp, the Gyokuro showed up, hehe! The liquid is pretty mild, not much going on, a touch of green vegetation notes and a tiny touch of nuttiness, really it is very mild.

The tea starts off mild, very smooth mouthfeel and rather thick. Not as thick as I am used to with Gyokuro since I brewed this more Western style than the traditional ton of Gyokuro and very little water method. The tasting starts with buttery asparagus and fresh kelp and sea air, this moves to chestnuts and apricots. It is a little different from apricots, more like a blend between an apricot and banana with a papaya edge, it could in fact, be Jackfruit, but I have not had the pleasure of eating that in well over a decade, and it was only a small taste. Clearly I need to go on another palate expanding adventure! After that burst of fruitiness it moves on to savory again, with a finish of asparagus and a touch of broken hay and grass, which is very subtle. I am honestly not sure how I feel about this tea, I found myself wanting more from the nutty and fruity notes, like they kept teasing me, but on the other hand the subtle wisps of flavor fascinated me, like I was chasing down an adventure, a treasure hunt in my mouth. I am tempted to get more and brew it traditional using my pseudo-houhin and see how the tastes change, a curious tea and a curious experience!

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