Monday, July 25, 2016

Gramercy Tea: Yellow Chrysanthemum Tea, A Tea Review

Oh Accuweather, you did not prepare me for how lovely today would be! I thought the cool weather was supposed to meander in later in the week, but nope, started today! Mostly overcast and cool enough to have the windows open, though had I known I would have gotten out of bed earlier and headed to the zoo! Since this week is supposed to be mostly nice, one of these days is going to be a zoo day, and I am very excited for it.

Today is the start of a theme week, one of many upcoming theme weeks me thinks! This first one will be five days of Gramercy Tea, starting with their Yellow Chrysanthemum. I was desperate for some chrysanthemum too, perfect timing. I had recently ordered some off Amazon, the white variety, though when they arrived they were brownish gray and horridly stale. These arriving were a bit of a life saver, because I love chrysanthemum and get very cranky when I am out. Opening the bag was amazing, seriously fresh smelling chrysanthemums here! Notes of pollen, honey, straw, and flowers...obviously chrysanthemums...but also straw flowers, aster (same family techincally) and a bit of starchy sweetness. These are some of the sweetest smelling chrysanthemums I have sniffed, they look like little bits of sunlight, so overall a pleasant first impression.

You know what is fun, gongfu brewing flowers! I decided to use my serpentinite gaiwan to really show off the flower's striking color. The aroma of the brewed flowers is super fresh, it smells like a bouquet of freshly picked mums, blending pollen, honey, dandelions, straw flowers, aster, and a touch of peppery goodness at the finish. The aroma of the first steep is wonderfully sweet, with notes of honey and pollen, dandelions, and a gentle sharp peppery note at the finish.

Ah, there is that wonderful cooling action I associate with Chrysanthemum. It is thick in the mouth, almost syrupy, and feels cool in the throat and stomach. It has become a go-to drink when my throat is scratchy, especially if it is from being so hot. The taste is sweet, with notes of fresh dandelion flowers, pollen, and a lingering wildflower honey. As the flowery brew cools a bit, the classic (at least to me) crisp peppery note shows up, but is pretty quickly drowned out by honey.

There is no real change from steep to steep, it pains me to say that it is not as nuanced as a tea, but not everything needs to tell an epic story throughout a session, sometimes change is not needed since it reached perfection from the start, and I feel a lot of flowers are like that, and that is fine by me. Lack of change aside, this pile of flowers just keeps going and going, til the end I just transferred my flowers to a bowl and grandpa steeped it, and finally at the end I just ate a few of the flowers because I am a rebel. Having had all the different colors of chrysanthemum used for tea, yellow is my favorite and this session just reaffirmed it.

This tea was sent for review purposes by the company.

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