Monday, July 31, 2017

Story of My Tea: Hello! Iced Tea Pure Camellia Collection, A Tea Review

I am doing it guys, I am finally building a serious commander deck! Previously my commanders have been the really good pre-cons with some tweaked, or just utterly unplayable joke themed decks, but finally, I am making a good one, having felt inspired to greatness by none other than the Scarab God! This fine fellow is a Dimir zombie engine and oh my am I ever excited to start playing it. Of course, I have to wait for it to get here, got a dinged copy on the way, and then I have to build the (hopefully not too expensive) deck! Maybe I will finally smear Ben's Atraxa deck across the proverbial pavement.

Today I am taking a break from my usual hot steeping for some cold steeped goodness with Story of My Tea's Hello! Iced Tea Pure Camellia Collection. Each pouch is premeasured to make a quart of tea with instructions printed on the bags. I have some issue with this, granted this is just my pickiness, everyone who I have seen that sells pre-measured iced tea pouches use larger amounts...and I usually don't want that much. I am probably a disgrace to my Southern heritage, but I rarely drink iced tea anymore, and when I do usually I like to just cold steep up a cup. So I wish the premeasured pouches were single serve and you could just add multiple pouches if you want a bigger serving. I am just picky like that though so your mileage may vary.

First tea in this collection I looked at was Iccha Kariban, a Japanese green tea from Kagoshima that was developed to taste more floral than usual. The aroma is quite savory, nutty with a sesame seed and orchid undertone. The taste is very crisp and a nice balance between savory and sweet, combining seaweed and ocean air with delicate orchid and sesame seeds and rice at the finish. Drinking this one makes me wish I could be at the beach, but savory Japanese green teas do that to me!

And speaking of green teas, time for a Chinese green, Mao Jian! I am a fan of this tea hot and have never had it cold steeped, so this will be fun! This one is so refreshing! Very nutty, like hazelnuts, with freshly chopped up celery, orchid flowers, and lingering notes of lettuce and bell pepper. I don't drink a ton of green teas anymore, but this one reminded me of why I love it when I do.

Next up is White Peony, and oh how I love Bai Mu Dan, no matter how it is steeped I like it! Strong notes of cucumber and freshly cut hay blend with wildflowers, honey, and melons. It is very sweet and very smooth with a refreshing mouthfeel and long sweetness in the mouth. This one was definitely my favorite of the collection and I happily drank every drop and wanted more!

Onward to the Iron Goddess Of Mercy, the Oolong of the bunch, a classic roasted Tie Guan Yin from Fujian (this is not a Muzha TGY) and another tea I have not tried cold steeped before. It smells and tastes quite toasty! Sweet freshly baked nut bread with drizzles of honey and a baked plum finish. One thing about this tea, usually I drink it hot because the warm coal taste is really great when it is hot, when it is cold it gets a bit of a cold coal taste that while it isn't bad is a little bit odd at the finish. Usually the oolongs I cold steep are green or hong shui style, but roasted is pretty good too!

Lasty, the classic iced tea choice, South India Black, the thing that most us think of when we drink iced tea is an iced black tea, so not including one would just be weird. I don't drink a ton of Indian teas anymore, preferring other regions, but the familiarity of the sweet and malty tea with gentle stone fruit undertones was like a cup full of childhood memories. The briskness and crisp nature of this tea made it refreshing on a hot day.

This tea was sent for review purposes by the company.

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