Monday, May 29, 2017

Teasenz: A Pair of Greens, Tai Ping Hou Kui and Zhu Ye Qing, A Tea Review

So, it is inevitable that since I am obsessed with altering cards that I would want to get all the ones I can depicting my two (three if you count Ral Zarek, but he is not a main character, sadly) favorite Planeswalkers (not their Planeswalker cards because pricey!) On the one hand I can get most the Jace cards pretty easily, I think there is maybe one that is above fifty cents...not so much with Liliana! Oh wow, same with Ugin (stupid spirit dragon!!) and I have a hard time justifying getting a card I only want for the art. I might make an exception for Rise of the Dark Realms though since I need that card for my Commander zombie deck because graveyard to the battlefield is killer.

Today I am looking at a pair of green teas from Teasenz, the first one is Zhu Ye Qing, or Bamboo Leaf Green, named for the tea's resemblance to fresh bamboo leaf shoots. I have long been fond of Zhu Ye Qing, having some of the prettiest leaves in green tea I cannot resist ogling them when I have the chance to drink them. The aroma of the emerald buds is very green, strong notes of edamame, eggplant, zucchini, and sauteed mushrooms and bok choy with a tiny hint of flowers at the finish. Once steeped the tea is strong in the edamame and sweet peas, more green vegetal than savory vegetal with a nice crisp finish of lettuce and bok choy.

The first steep of this tea starts out sweet and crisp, like snap peas and lettuce with a bit of distant floral and undertones of bamboo leaves, it is very much the ideal of light green, gentle in every way with subtlety as its defining feature. The second steep is a different story, it becomes thick and smooth, with very strong savory zucchini and grilled eggplant followed up by undertones of sauteed bok choy and a finish of sweet peas that lingers for quite a while. The following steep is all peas all the time, it is a good thing I am rather fond of peas because wow is it ever distinct, and that is how the tea finished out a couple steeps later, just gentle sweet peas with a smooth mouthfeel.

The next tea I had the pleasure of enjoying is their Tai Ping Hou Kui, that famously flat tea with massive leaves. This is such a fun tea to both look at and drink, partially because it gives me an excuse to use the tall glass method for brewing. The aroma of the long leaves is delightfully crisp and floral, notes of lettuce, bell peppers, and raw broccoli blend with a gentle undertone of orchid flowers. Brewing the leaves fills my tea area up with the aroma of spring time green tea, it is very seasonally appropriate.

I was able to get several refillings and pour of the cup of leaves, I hesitate to call them steeps since I never truly empty the cup, it is a modified grandpa style if you will. It starts out very light and crisp, in both taste and mouthfeel, being a blend of lettuce and bell peppers. Later steeps bring in stronger vegetal notes, though they remain crisp and never truly go into savory or bitter, only staying in the green and sweet spectrum with a touch of a floral quality. this was truly a very refreshing session. I admit I did not pay as much attention to the nuances of taste as I probably should have, I was washed away in how refreshing the tea was and it ended up fueling my painting binge, so I call that a win!

This tea was sent for review purposes by the company.

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