9 Tasting Notes
The aroma of the leaf in the tin is vegtal, but also rich, almost buttery. It yields a mild cup that is green, but not the professed emerald green on the label (which I have seen in other brands). It is gentle and grassy on the first infusion, and sweeter on the second.
The brewing instructions on my package called for 175 degrees for 30-45 seconds, however, I found the resulting infusion too weak, and increased the time to 90 seconds, which was sufficient without any trace of bitterness.
Smells of earth and cinnamon. By scent I can’t yet tell if that is a good thing.
As hinted by it’s name, it’s not a traditional chai, so I taste the pu-erh predominantly, and the cinnamon is less a flavor than a sensation. A warmth in the throat, following the earth. It does not have the complex spicing of most chai’s, using pu-erh, cinnamon chips, cardamom and “spice oil”. It says it has a smooth citrus bouquet – which I can detect in the unbrewed leaf, but not in the infusion itself. It’s… Ok… If I think if it from a chai perspective it’s not very complex. If I think of it from a pu-erh with cinnamon, it’s fairly decent.
Second cup – with a pinch of sugar. It brings out the cinnamon more, yet subdues the pu-erh.
Interesting, but don’t know if I’d buy this. I’ve had better pu-erh’s and better chai’s, and don’t feel the two combined necessarily make up for the other’s weaknesses.
Unsure exactly which type of Ti Kuan Yin this one is (it was gifted to me by my mother in a decorative tin), but it is a highly graded one. Appears to be from China (the ones from Taiwan are brown, and these are a bright green). First steeping: Pale color, floral aroma with a bit of vegetal hints at the end (how I miss my aroma cup right now, as I’m sitting in my office). Very light, smooth taste. Can’t wait for the second steeping – it’s always the best.
Unfortunately, this bagged rooibos lacks the complex sweetness I’ve tasted in other brands, and ended up tasting rather flat… I picked this up in the health food store, and knew it was a gamble as Flora (who makes Bija teas) is a natural foods company and was worried the company’s focus would be less on taste and more on getting something healthy in your body. I lost on this gamble.