Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Teas Unique: A Trio of Korean Green Teas and Chocolate, A Tea Review

One thing has led to another and I have sent myself on a knowledge quest...where the heck did Ammit come from? Ammit (in case you are not into Egyptian mythology) is a lion, crocodile, hippo hybrid that eats the hearts (and the rest) of those judged unworthy when weighed against the feather of Ma'at on the scales, she just happily sits under those scales waiting for a tasty snack, and that is all well and good, but where did she come from? Did Osiris and the gang just wake up one morning and find Ammit sitting under the scales and unanimously agree to just leave the monster? Did they put out a wanted ad on the Egyptian equivalence of Craigslist? Did Tawret just show up with her one day all 'hey guys I have a present for you' and that is where she came from? Egyptian mythology is usually good at saying where a specific thing comes from, but not with Ammit and I find that a little odd!!

Enough of my weird mythology musing, it is time for some Korean green goodness! I am looking at the green teas sent from Teas Unique, starting off with Korean Mt. Jiri Sejak (Second Pluck) 2016 Organic Single Estate Green Tea. First off, can I just say I love the way Korean green tea looks? I find the leaves to be very pretty with their curls and shades of green, they are very appealing to my eyes. This tea is also pretty easy on the nose as well, with a wonderful blend of savory and green, mixing bell peppers, lima beans, green peas, with toasted soybeans, a touch of toasted nori, and hands down my favorite aspect of Korean green tea...rice crackers. I have said it before, Korean green tea reminds me of arare, those oh so addictive Japanese rice cracker snacks. Brewing the tea brings out stronger green notes, pushing the starchy notes into the back but still maintaining a solid savory aroma.

This tea is a perfect balance of sweet and savory, combined with a thick and smooth mouthfeel you end up with a mouth full of enjoyment. It starts sweet and nutty, with a slight fried rice (as in just rice that has been fried, not the meal of fried rice) and sesame seed note, this moves to vibrant green bell peppers and peas with buttery zucchini note. The finish is crisp yet smooth sauteed bok choy and butterhead lettuce with a sweet chestnut aftertaste that lingers for quite a while. It lasts for several steeps, I find that Korean greens last a little longer than most Chinese greens, that middle steeps are more savory and the later steeps are sweeter, taking you on a journey between tastes.

Next up, Korean Jeju Island Second Flush 2016 Organic Single Estate Green Tea Powder (Matcha), yes, Korean Matcha. I have not experienced this before, and you all know how I love trying new things! The color is sage, and the texture is soft, very surprisingly fine powder that barely needed sifting. The aroma is fascinating, notes of sage, cucumber, spinach, lettuce, white pepper, and a touch of toasted sesame blends together for something that is very green but also mellow, I really like the cucumber note! Once I whisked it up the aroma took on a slight floral note along with the notes present in the dry tea.

First off, the foam is really nice, as is the smooth mouthfeel (it is well known how I dislike chalky Matcha) even though the color is a little on the pale side. The taste is fun, it is like a Korean green tea but as a Matcha, complete with the toasted nut and rice notes with lettuce and cucumber and a slight bitter romaine lettuce finish. I have seen some people say never have Matcha unless it comes from Japan (granted Chinese 'Matcha' is usually pretty awful) but the Korean stuff is pretty good, granted it is fairly different in taste from Japanese Matcha, being a lot more roasted in taste. So if you ever find yourself wanting a Matcha with more of a roasted taste and less of an in your face green this could be a really good option.

Onward to Korean Boseong Sejak (Second Pluck) 2016 Organic Single Estate Whole Leaf Green Tea, I found it pretty neat that this tea is the same pluck as the Mt. Jiri, but from a different region, so the differences will be from where it is grown. The aroma of the bright little curly leaves is quite savory, strong notes of toasted nori and sesame seeds with a side of toasted rice and sauteed bok choy, it is green and starchy! Once I steep it the aroma picks up more green, edamame and a touch of fresh spinach join the other notes for a very crisp smelling tea.

So where the Mt. Jiri Sejak was very thick and smooth, this one is light and crisp with a softer smoothness, it is the difference between sauteed veggies and raw veggies. One thing I really liked about this tea is how it is not a weak green, from the first steep it is a burst of edamame, sesame seeds, lettuce, and bok choy, but there is no bitterness at all, just strong savory green and a touch of nutty sweetness. The aftertaste is gentle peony and butterhead lettuce which I really liked, any tea that tastes like peony is an instant win in my book.

Lastly a brief look at something that vanished in record time, Matchacolate Roasted Green Tea Matcha White Chocolate Bar. I am, some say unhealthily, addicted to chocolate, I can tear through a bag of chocolate like the Tasmanian Devil tears through a wall, I have very little impulse control as it is and with chocolate, it is just gone. I tried to get good tasting notes from this bar, but I admit, I did not...I ate it too quickly!! I really did enjoy it though (sadly I was the only person in the house who did, but that is not surprising. It is not terribly sweet (good for binging) and doesn't taste much like any chocolate I have is strongly roasted with crisp green notes. It tastes like drinking Hojicha while eating not sweet as usual white chocolate and I really liked how unusual it tasted...I want more but they are sold out *cries*

This tea was sent for review purposes by the company.

1 comment:

  1. I love all of your tasting notes. Love this post in general! Your descriptions for the korean teas make my mouth water! I can't wait to try some Korean matcha!