Young Mountain Tea’s Nilgiri Green Swords

Nilgiri Green Swords by Young Mountain Tea
Green Tea / Straight
$6.50USD for 1oz

First Impressions

I picked up Nilgiri Green Swords at Young Mountain Tea’s table at the 2017 Vancouver Tea Festival This green tea was one of the teas that they had available for sampling and I enjoyed it. This green tea comes from the Nilgiri mountains of south India, and comes from the Coonoor Tea Estate. Interestingly enough, this tea was inspired by the traditional Dragonwell (Longjing). These tea leaves are dark green with a flattened ‘sword’ shape – it’s no mystery where the name of this tea came from

The dry leaf of Nilgiri Green Swords has an aroma that is an interesting mix – when I opened the packet (resealable kraft paper bag that’s lined in foil), I could smell grassy notes, along with what reminded me of apricots. The description of the tea on the packaging suggests that this tea tastes like peaches.

Preparation

Young Mountain Tea recommends steeping Nilgiri Green Swords in 180°F (82°C) water for 3 to 5 minutes. I opted to do my initial steep of Nilgiri Green Swords at 175°F (79°C) for 3 minutes.

First Taste

The first steep of Nilgiri Green Swords steeps to a pale yellow, and it has a very subtle grassy aroma to it. The taste of this green tea has a light sweetness to it, and a mild vegetal base. While the description of the tea was peaches, I still taste apricots – so still some fruity flavour to it. With the apricot comes a bit of sweetness, making this tea pleasant to drink.

A Second Cup?

I did resteep Nilgiri Green Swords a few times (four resteeps total), adding an extra 30 seconds per steep. I found that the flavours became more developed – the apricot/fruit sweetness came through more with each steep, while the vegetal base remained mostly the same. The colour of this tea became more and more golden yellow with each steep.

My Overall Impression

I liked Young Mountain Tea’s Nilgiri Green Swords. I found the flavour to be pleasant, and enjoyed the fact that the fruity flavour was present in this green tea. I wish it had reminded me more of peaches, but the apricot flavour that I was able to pick out was delicious and balanced well with the vegetal flavour component of this green tea’s flavour. I think it did well with the resteeping process, and enjoyed watching the tea leaves open up. It’d be a nice tea to pair with a slice of pie or other sweets that lean towards the savoury side.

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Lazy Meadow’s Vanilla Sencha

Vanilla Sencha by Lazy Meadow
Green Tea / Flavoured
$7.00 for 100g

First Impressions

A second tea that I purchase last summer at the PNE from Lazy Meadow (the first being Japanese Treasure, which I reviewed earlier this month). Vanilla Sencha came in similar packaging – simple folded top-bag with a label on the front with some information about the tea.

This tea smells richly of vanilla bean, which I love. Vanilla always makes me think of baked goods (especially cake!), so I was quite drawn to this tea when I first smelled it last summer, and I’m still quite drawn to it now. The green tea base is overwhelmed by the vanilla.

There is no ingredients list on the label, unfortunately, but based on my best guess I would say that Vanilla Sencha consists of sencha green tea and vanilla flavouring. My nose isn’t that adept to determine if it’s artificial or natural flavouring, unfortunately.

Preparation

I steeped Vanilla Sencha using the green tea setting on my Breville IQ Kettle – 175°F (79°C) for an initial steep of 2 minutes.

First Taste

Vanilla Sencha steeps to a beautiful light orange, the aroma from the tea is mostly that of vanilla. It reminds me of baking in the winter (mostly because that’s when I do most of my baking…). The tea itself has a sweetness to it, which I’m attributing to the vanilla, with a very light grassy flavour to it. There’s a touch of umami to it, just a bit of a saltiness that reminds me of seaweed snacks. Overall though, the flavour lends itself to be on the sweet side, due to the flavour of the vanilla.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Vanilla Sencha once, and found the flavour to be primarily that of the sencha green tea base itself. Unfortunately, the vanilla flavouring and sweetness was lacking in the second steep. I would say that Vanilla Sencha is good for just one steep.

My Overall Impression

I thought that Lazy Meadow’s Vanilla Sencha was just okay. While the aroma of the dry leaf was very inviting, I did enjoy the first steep because of the vanilla notes. Once the vanilla flavouring was all gone, I found the sencha base to be lacking in flavour in comparison to the first steep – especially considering how much I enjoyed the vanilla smell and taste in this green tea blend. I think it’d be a good afternoon tea candidate, since the vanilla notes would play off of the smell of vanilla in the cupcakes and cookies.

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Tea in Texas’ Blue Ambrosia

Blue Ambrosia by Tea in Texas
Black Tea / Flavoured
$10.00USD for 3oz

First Impressions

Blue Ambrosia by Tea in Texas is the third of the Tea in Texas trio of teas that I received for my birthday last year, and when I smelled the dry leaf, I was beginning to think that I had saved the best for last. Blue Ambrosia has this amazingly fruity smell to it. It reminds me a bit of pineapples and mango, so it wasn’t that big of a surprise to read the label on the bag that suggests that it’d be great for an iced tea.

Blue Ambrosia is made up of: black tea, rose blossoms, cornflowers, safflowers, and tropical oils. I do wish that they had included what the tropical oils were, but alas, they did not.

Preparation

The steeping instructions for Blue Ambrosia are to steep in 212°F (100°C) water for 3 to 5 minutes. I opted to steep for 4 minutes.

First Taste

Blue Ambrosia steeps to a dark orange, with a beautiful fruity aroma. When tasting the tea, I found it to be smooth with zero astringency. The flavour of this tea has a sweetness to it, which I attribute to the flowers mostly. The tea is quite tasty, and I enjoyed the fruity flavours. I wish I knew which tropical fruits were represented in this blend, but it does have a great fruit flavour to it with a slight floral flavour.

As an aside, Tea in Texas is accurate in this tea being a great iced tea.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Blue Ambrosia, and found that while that the floral flavours and sweetness were much stronger in the first resteep of these tea leaves. However, the tropical flavours were quite weak and mostly gone. I’d say that if you enjoy the fruity flavours, then Blue Ambrosia is good for one steep.

My Overall Impression

I loved Tea in Texas’ Blue Ambrosia. I really enjoyed the flavours of this black tea blend. I wish I knew what the fruity flavours lasted more than one steep, because that was one of my favourite aspects of this tea. The shift from fruity to floral still makes this tea tasty though, and I found that Blue Ambrosia had a very sudden shift in flavour and still didn’t need any sweetener added to it to make it a delicious cup of tea.

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