Saturday, January 30, 2016

Second Alarm Farm: Hawaiian Green Tea, A Tea Review

Now that I have a Carno in Ark, I find myself contemplating my next dinosaur goals. On the one hand Rexes are a classic favorite (I slept with a humongous plastic T-Rex as a kid) and have a ton of health and stamina, but on the other they are made of fail in water. Spinos are like the all rounders, great on land and water but a little weaker, but they are everywhere around our base and slightly easier to tame. In a game as resource management intensive as Ark, having a slightly lower drain on resources is a win. Now, if you are wondering why a Carnotaurus is not enough of a hunting beast, I tried taking down a Paraceratherium with him (his name is Pimento if you were curious) and we both almost died, where a Spino or Rex can take down pretty much everything by a Gigantasuarus or one of the big horrifying sea monsters and some of the soon to be added in dinos. If you are wondering why I just don't get a Gigantasaurus, they are stupid rare and hard to get...so maybe one day.

Contrary to popular (and by popular I just mean all the signs at the Charleston Tea Estate) there are several tea farms around the United States, and Hawaii is very well known for its rich volcanic soil creating some epic tea. Problem is this tea is rather niche and fairly hard to get, since a lot of it gets sold to tourists and it is not cheap, but luckily I have tea friends that get access to some cool stuff and they like to share. Smash cut to Second Alarm Farm, a tea farm who grows both tea and coffee in Pahoa, Hawaii, from what I gather they are currently distributing their teas to local shops, but they are in the works with Tealet so we might see them soon. The leaves are massive and fluffy, they look like they were picked and dried off the tea plant yesterday, I am so amused by fluffy leaves. The aroma of these leaves are the most 'tea' I have ever sniffed, it is like taking a leaf from my tea plant and letting it dry and then sniffing it. It is pure leafy green and slightly sharp vegetation, it smells like spring time and a tea farm. Not incredibly nuanced, but if you want to sniff a tea that clearly smells like a fresh from the plant leaf, this is as close as you can get without visiting a farm or owning a tea plant.

I decided to brew this one in my gaiwan, because why not? The aroma of the now soggy leaves is very green and very fresh, still strongly resembles freshly plucked and dried tea leaves, but with an underlying honey sweetness and a touch of very distant pine needles. The liquid is fresh and crisp, with notes of lettuce and bell pepper and an underlying sweet buttery note.

The first steeping is light in both taste and mouthfeel, it reminds me of licking rain water off a large plant leaf. The taste is a blend of sweet and vegetal, very light acacia honey mixed with sharp fresh bell peppers, fresh cabbage, and crisp broken vegetation. It is immensely refreshing and very organic tasting, I feel as though I am tasting the tea at a very pure state.

Second steeping brings a slightly stronger aroma, still primarily lettuce and bell pepper, but also a hint of cabbage and broken leaves. The taste again reminds me of rainwater and growing things, with an addition of bell peppers and cabbage, the finish is light and sweet with a lingering mineral aftertaste.

For the final steep, the lightness of this tea dominates, the aroma is mostly notes of distant bell pepper and a touch of broken leaves. The taste is rain water and gentle crushed leaves, it tastes like summer storms and I find that very refreshing, even if the taste is a bit lacking.

This tea was a gift.

1 comment:

  1. I consider myself well-versed on Hawaiian tea farms. And I've never heard of this one.

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