Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Tao Leaf Tea: Anji Bai Cha Green Tea, A Tea Review

I decided to be a real showoff last night, and I am immensely pleased it worked out. Ben has had to hear my complaining about boss fights in Terraria for a while now, they are the bane of my existence in that game, and having recently heard my lamenting of the Mechanical Bosses, I needed to redeem myself. It is hilarious how in Terraria once you beat a boss and get an upgrade, they suddenly become a cake walk, so I summoned all three in one night and killed them with time to spare! Sadly I am going to have to upgrade my armor before I can take on Plantera, so the spider queen will have to not have quite so many spiders. Always tragic when you have to have fewer spiders fighting for you. I will be going green with Chlorophyte Armor, specifically the ranger set, though I will have to retire my Daedalus Stormbow for that fight, which makes me immensely sad, that bow is the best thing ever.

Today I am taking a look at a tea that kinda changed how I thought about tea. Well, not this very specific tea, but the same tea type. Glorious green Anji Bai Cha by Tao Leaf Tea, a green tea from Anji, China, land of beautiful bamboo forests and apparently some famous historical bridges I just learned. Anji Bai Cha is the tea that taught me to be more adventurous with my tea brewing, to think outside of the gaiwan and to just toss some leaves in a bowl and see what happens. Specifically this is the tea that introduced me to the fine art of glass steeping, aka throw some leaves in a clear glass, add water, and enjoy the eye candy. Whether you pour off part of the liquid and drink from a glass or from the steeping glass itself is up to you. The aroma of the delicate and fuzzy leaves is very vegetal, notes of edamame, lima beans, crisp and fresh bell peppers, mix with wildflower honey, pollen, and a very gentle nuttiness. The aroma is not overwhelming or very potent, it is gentle and green, like a summer morning. 


For the first steeping I decided to decant some of the tea into a glass, too many leaves floating on the top, makes for harder sipping! The aroma of the leaves and tea mixed together in my elegant new glass (pretty sure my friends accidentally made off with my previous glass....glass) is vegetal and nutty. Delicious notes of edamame, bell pepper, kohlrabi (do not get that one often) cooked broccoli, and a sweet butter bean and lima bean finish. 


For the first steeping I decided to decant some of the tea into a glass, too many leaves floating on the top, makes for harder sipping! The aroma of the leaves and tea mixed together in my elegant new glass (pretty sure my friends accidentally made off with my previous glass....glass) is vegetal and nutty. Delicious notes of edamame, bell pepper, kohlrabi (do not get that one often) cooked broccoli, and a sweet butter bean and lima bean finish.

The tea starts out richly vegetal and sweet, a smooth and gently tingly mouthfeel (hello trichomes) makes this a refreshing beginning. I love Anji Bai Cha because it always tastes so clean, and I do not mean as in other teas are pesticide covered or something like, I mean clean like a mountain stream or first snow, it is a purity in its flavor notes, having them blend while being distinctly separate. It is a tea that never tastes muddled to me. The notes that are present start with honey and chestnut and move towards bell peppers and lima beans, with a gentle spiciness at the finish.

As I top off the glass with more water, most of the now very plump leaves have floated to the bottom, so I can enjoy the tea by drinking it straight from the glass. It starts out fairly similar to the first steeping, but the longer it sits the more intense the vegetal notes become, bringing in cooked broccoli, cooked and raw bell pepper, lima and green beans, and has a finish of sesame seeds and honey. Even later on the only bitterness that is ever present is similar to Brussels sprouts, so it is very light (unless you are one of those people that hates Brussels sprouts, I am not) and I find very tasty.

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