drank Orchid Tea by Teaopia
107 tasting notes

Okay, so I bought this tea along with a wee yixing the last time I went to Teaopia. (I previously found the whole concept of yixing intimidating, but this little one was so affordable, and I’d recently been thinking I wanted something special for Nepal Black, the first tea I got down to 1 packet of sugar with…and the first tea I anticipate regularly drinking clear. So I’m going to give it the yixing.)

I bought this one based entirely on the description of it. It sounded like a green that green tea lovers would prize. I’ve been so afraid lately that straight greens will never be something I can drink – I want to love everything in the tea world, but ew…drinking green veggies is often what green tea seems to be about, and I just don’t know about that. I hoped as I shelled out for this one that it would be a game-changer, that I would taste it and know that straight greens remain a possibility in my future as a tea drinker.

I’m not sure what to make of the smell. I sure don’t think that’s what orchids smell like. (My perfumed soap-and-lotion workplace used to sell a scent based on orchids, and I don’t remember it smelling like this…) I guess it must be what green tea dipped in orchids smells like, but it comes off smelling like…I don’t know, cooked broccoli.

The leaves, though! To my untrained eye, they appear totally unbroken. It’s kind of hard to scoop them from the tin because of this, it’s like trying to scoop up a teaspoon of confetti made from kid’s construction paper. (Wish I had a picture! Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be one on the Teaopia site.) I don’t think I even used a full teaspoon, because they were so large and I was concerned about them not having enough room to expand in my Perfect Mug infuser. Really, I think this is a tea for a teapot or even a gaiwan, but I wasn’t in the mood to pull my gaiwan out. I have a glass teapot my aunt gave me (the spout is chipped, but it’s free for that reason, so I’m hardly complaining), but she’s a tremendous slob and I won’t trust it until I scrub it silly.

And would you believe…I was so busy staring into the cup and trying to get a handle on the wet scent that I forgot to time this steep? What a moron. I think it was about 2.5 minutes, though.

It was probably a waste of time, because all I can really get out of the wet scent is…over-cooked broccoli.

And the taste…

Well, the taste is…amazing, actually. Yep. It smells like over-cooked broccoli, and I anticipated a disgusting taste so strongly when I first brought it to my mouth that my brain actually balked in confusion when it hit my tongue and my first impression was only, “Huh?” Because, you know, this is good. Really good.

It hasn’t got that ugly, grassy vegetal taste to it. Hot, there’s no bitterness to it at all. I absolutely cheated by putting honey in this, but, mentally comparing this to other greens I’ve had with honey, I’m positive this is naturally quite sweet. I will have to get some balls and try this clear to know for sure. It’s so amazingly smooth and sweet and calming…and if I just sit here holding it in my mouth, it’s rounded and it’s like sweet ball bearings in my mouth. I just wish I had more tasting experience so I could pick out any notes and describe them better. Again, I will have to try this clear and see if anything comes out more clearly without honey.

I have largely avoided greens, so I have so little to compare this to, but oh my god, this is good. The best green I’ve ever had, easily knocking every other straight or flavoured green out of the running. The only other non-black tea I’ve enjoyed this much has been jiaogulan (which I have a hard time not thinking of as a green tea, even though it is not technically tea at all).

Can’t believe I only got 50g of this! What was I thinking? Oh right, I was thinking I wouldn’t like it and would go through it slowly. Argh, funds are so low right now, but I’m thinking I will have to scrape together the cash for another 100g before it is sold out.

So! Seems I’m just picky about greens, but they are still open to me. Whoo!

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

Will be curious how the “without honey” thing goes. I like the combo (green/honey), but know where you’re coming from for sure.

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Will be curious how the “without honey” thing goes. I like the combo (green/honey), but know where you’re coming from for sure.

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I’ve always been a tea drinker – I grew up drinking Tetley’s Orange Pekoe and their Chai, and considered myself to really like tea.

I’ve been working various retail jobs to put myself through higher education. One day at my store, a customer left a newly purchased bag of loose-leaf behind. We waited for three days for said customer to return, but they (likely not realizing where they had left their bag) did not return to claim the would-be brew. Too bad for them; lucky for me! I claimed the bag, took it home, and awkwardly made my first cup of loose-leaf tea with the only strainer we owned which was small enough.

I haven’t bothered with Tetley since. For the most part (and due to convenience), my patronage is limited to David’s Tea and Teavana. I also order from 52teas and Verdant Tea.

My rating system – hah, I don’t have a rating system. I rate teas a lot like Ebert rates movies. Everything’s relative.

I may often forget to mention it, but you can safely assume everything I drink is sweetened in one way or another – most rock sugar, or honey for green and white teas. I have not yet achieved drinking most tea clear. The few teas I drink unsweetened include milk oolong and genmaicha so far.

The guy in my avatar can be bought at Teaopia or here: http://www.jas-etea.com/products/Jingdezhen-%22Easy%22-Gaiwan-%22Blue-on-White-Phoenix%22-100ml.html

I currently work for Teavana. But I just work there, and my opinions about any of their teas are entirely my own and not meant to be reflective of the views of the company.

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