|"Salty! ...and surprisingly flat given it's multi-colored appearance."|
What tumbled out of the package when I opened this tea reminded me of “Jane’s Krazy Mixed-Up Salt.” I was delighted by this cheery blend of leaves in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Ah, but my taste buds were not so delighted by the festive-looking leaves. I was hoping for bold complexity, but got a tea so weak, (or as some would say “delicate,”) I could barely taste it.
I brewed the leaves in “fish eye” (bubbles resembling fish eyes, about the size of pearls, rise to the top of the kettle at this level of boiling, producing temperatures between 175 and 180 degrees) water for one minute, as directed.
The color was yellow, not tawny as I experienced with other Oriental Beauties. As for aromas and flavors, all I could tease out was seaweed and salt. While an ocean-evoking hot beverage is a fine thing, this brew lacked any waves of depth or mystery. Unlike other Oriental Beauty teas I’ve tried, this seemed more like leftovers than the sweet, carefully-crafted leaves also known as Asian Beauty.
Taiwanese teas dubbed “beauty” are distinctive because they are processed by leaf hoppers, tiny green insects that chew on the plants. Their saliva imparts a fruity, somewhat fermented flavor to tea leaves, but in this case it was so faint I couldn’t detect it. It was overpowered by the savory notes.
If you have sensitive taste-buds and prefer savory teas, by all means this is for you. I think it is a fine quality tea. It just wasn’t for me.
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