Thursday, February 5, 2015

What-Cha, Vietnam Wild 'Five Penny' Green Tea

What-Cha Description:
A wild growing green tea with a vegetal taste combined hints of fruit and smoke.
It has a complex taste as a result of the wild tea trees being shaded by mountain mist and is processed using traditional methods which utilise a wood fired oven.

Sample provided by What-Cha, Tea Redefined

My Review:
It snowed here last night. Little more than a dusting, but it kind of put me in a meh mood today. I am just ready for spring. It took much of the day just to desire a cup of tea. I know, stupid meh mood.

I decided to do away with the random What-Cha grab today. Instead, I sat aside a few white teas for an upcoming white tea face off. Then I rummaged through the remaining samples for something that said spring to me. This one caught my eye.

I do not know what the name 'Five Penny' means, but I understand Vietnam and Green Tea just fine. I have found the other Vietnam teas I've tried to be little known jewels.

Opening the sample bag, I catch a sweet, kind of fruit or slightly berry, grassy scent. It is fresh and crisp.

Pulling out a scoop of leaf, I found my meh mood gone, replaced by my childlike tea wonder. I may have said, "Oh, Cool!" when I first saw this. The leaf is a sort of battleship gray. Yeah, it has some olive hints, but yeah, battleship gray. I also noticed the tips aren't silver or tan like normal. These are white.

The leaf is dense, solid twists and large in size compared to most of what I have been drinking lately. I think my, "Oh Cool!" is justified.

I used my clear glass teapot and 176 F water. The steep was two minutes. The leaf didn't dance. What movement I saw was more like the slow graceful moves of a swan out on a lake.

The liquor poured a light golden green tint. It seems slightly cloudy but that may be my fault. I did nor use a strainer and my teapot won't completely drain without being turned nearly upside down. It's all good. I only had to fish a few leaves out of the mug. If I weren't taking pictures, I would have left them.

The wet leaf is now a large dense mass. It is fresh and green, having lost all of its gray coloring. It has a green living vegetal aroma of steaming vegetables. I should really hang out in the kitchen more and learn to better identify which vegetable, but that's as close as I get for now. Moving the leaf to the plate, I was amazed at just how heavy it feels. Really, it just makes me think jungle foliage.

The sip hits fast with an amazing green tea bite. It is big and powerful for such a  delicate looking brew. It is what I call the good kind of bitter. It doesn't make you flinch or pucker. Instead, it leads me to stop, close my eyes, and settle in to enjoy.

The bite settles down but does not completely fade. As it drops in intensity, I get a front tongue tingle, mixed with sweetness, and taste similar to corn.

At the end of the sip, a mild fruitiness appears mixed with the corn, and a viney plant taste. It does not strike me as grassy.

I have heard others mention the smoke that What-Cha mentions. I almost never catch smoke in green teas. I do not catch it here either. I guess I don't know what I am to expect. It is often easy to catch in black tea. Someday, I may get a glimpse and realize I was tasting it all along.

So are you tired of winter and feeling in a meh mood today? I can tell you this one brought me righ out of it this afternoon.

You can find What-Cha, Vietnam Wild 'Five Penny' Green Tea here.

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