JusTea’s Glowing Green

Glowing Green by JusTea
Green Tea / Straight
$17.00 for 60g

First Impressions

I picked up this tin of Glowing Green at a local retail shop shortly before the 2018 Vancouver Tea Festival and I was kicking myself because I could have gotten in there instead (along with so many pretties that JusTea had available). I’ve talked about JusTea before on One More Steep – they’re a tea company that partners with a tea farm in Kenya to create a fair trade tea product. Tea that comes in tin like the one shown below come with a hand carved, beaded wooden spoon.

Glowing Green is a straight green tea, with tea grown from Kenya. The tins have pretty tight fitting lids, that feature a clear plastic window on top so you can see the tea inside. Each tin is hand-wrapped with Kenyan fabric, which I think is a really nice feature about this product. The tea leaves themselves are gorgeous and they look like they’d be pretty large once steeped. There’s an earthy aroma to it that reminds me of what it smells like after it rains, with vegetal notes that remind me of dark green, leafy vegetables.

Preparation

There weren’t any steeping instructions on the tin, but on the JusTea website they recommend steeping Glowing Green in 175°F (80°C) water for 3 minutes. I followed the steeping instructions.

First Taste

Glowing Green steeps to a pale yellow. There’s a lovely aroma to it, it reminds me a lot of grass/hay with a hint of cabbage. The flavour is the same as the aroma of the steeped tea. It’s really quite inviting, I find that there’s almost a floral sweetness to it this green tea which makes it pleasant to sip. I found it to be nicely balanced between the different flavours that I was able to find in my cup.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Glowing Green five times (six steeps total). I found that the tea was a darker yellow for the first two resteeps before getting lighter after that. The flavour profile remained very similar to the initial steep, I found that the vegetal notes got stronger with the first two resteeps and then weren’t as prominent after that.

My Overall Impression

I loved JusTea’s Glowing Green. I really enjoyed the subtle flavours within this tea, I found that it was a really nice green tea with some great flavours that popped up throughout each sip – the grassy notes, the hay flavours, the bursts of vegetal notes were all nicely present and well-balanced. I liked the fact that this tea resteeped really well, which really shows me the quality in the tea leaves. And I really like knowing that the tea is fair trade, and that JusTea also works with artisans who hand carve spoons to help create economy on a local scale in Kenya. It’s always important to me, as a consumer, to know that people are being paid fairly for their work and efforts, and I love that JusTea shares on their website how they do that.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.

Recipe: Matcha White Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s the season for holiday baking, work cookie exchanges, and another tea themed cookie recipe from yours truly! I’m spearheading the cookie exchange at my work this year, so I just had to create something new – my colleagues are starting to have expectations! This is my third year working on my unit, and this is my third cookie recipe on One More Steep! Previously, I shared my recipes for Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies and Matcha Sugar Cookies.

I’m a huge fan of chocolate chip cookies, and I just could not resist changing it up by adding matcha! These cookies have a crunchy exterior with a melt-in-your-mouth inside that is bursting with white chocolate sweetness and matcha goodness. It genuinely reminds me of a matcha latte – and I’m loving it! If you’re a fan of matcha, this is the cookie for you. If you’re a fan of matcha lattes, white chocolate chips, or cookies in general – this is also the cookie for you.

Recipe Yields: 3 dozen. Baking Time: 12 minutes.

Ingredients:

1½ cups granulated sugar
1 cup butter (softened)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1½ to 2 cups white chocolate chips*
2 tablespoons matcha powder

* I used a full bag of Hershey’s Chipits White Chocolate Chips (225g) with each batch, which is just a smidge over 1½ cups. You can use or more white chocolate chips according to your personal preference.

Wanting to make this recipe vegetarian/vegan friendly? It’s easy! Substitute with vegan butter (or margarine), aquafaba (3 tablespoons of aquafaba is equal to 1 whole egg; aquafaba is the fluid from canned chickpeas!), and look for dairy-free white chocolate chips (they do exist!).

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°F.
Beat sugar, butter, vanilla extract, and egg together until well blended.
Mix in flour, baking soda, and matcha until evenly green.
Stir in white chocolate chips (I found this easier to do with my hands).
Roll dough out into balls that are approximately the size of a rounded tablespoon, lay out cookies at least 2″ apart as these cookies will spread.
Bake 12 minutes or until edges are light brown.
Allow cookies to cool for 1-2 minutes before transferring to cooling racks.

Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker The Big Book of Cookies, “Chocolate Chip Cookies”.

If you make these delicious Matcha White Chocolate Chip Cookies, I’d love to see your photos! Be sure to tag me on Instagram (@onemoresteep #onemoresteep) or comment below with a link to the photo!

Steeping Blooming Teas

Blooming teas, or flowering teas, are bundled tea leaves around dried flowers. Typically when you pick up a blooming tea ball, you only see the tea leaves because the flowers are meant to be a surprise. During the steeping process, the ball opens up, unfurls, and the dried flower ‘blooms’ as it is hydrated in the steeping process. Commonly found flowers in blooming teas include globe amaranth, chrysanthemum, and jasmine flowers.

Blooming teas are typically made with white or green teas, as these teas are light in colour and allow you to visualize the floral blooms better. You will want to steep a blooming tea in either a clear glass teapot or cup in order to take in the whole ‘show’, as I like to call it.

Some people find that it’s difficult to steep blooming teas properly, or they wind up oversteeping blooming teas because the teas can be delicate and sensitive to oversteeping. I thought I’d share some of my methods of steeping a blooming tea to make a good cup of tea! Blooming teas can be expensive per pot, so it’s important to steep it properly to make it worth it!

I use a clear glass teapot, I find this best to see the blooms and to watch the ball of tea itself as it steeps. It just makes for a more beautiful tea experience.

The kettle I use has preset temperature settings (the Breville IQ Kettle, I’ve had it for 2+ years and it’s still going strong with daily use!) and I use the lowest temperature setting which is meant for green teas, 175°F (80°C). After the kettle has finished reaching the temperature, I let the water sit for about 5 minutes prior to pouring the water into my teapot. If you have a standard kettle that only boils (100°C/212°F) water, you’ll want to let the water sit for longer to cool down – open the lid or taking off the lid will help the water cool down faster.

Lowering the temperature of the water reduces the likelihood of scalding or burning the tea leaves and causing a bitter flavour. Some companies will provide steeping recommendations, but I find sometimes that their recommended water temperature is too high given the fact that there’s a longer steeping period for the blooming tea to fully open.

Each blooming tea will steep for a different amount of time, I consider it to be ready when the ball has opened up and the flowers have ‘bloomed’ as well – some blooming teas will have the flowers floating up to the surface. Often the process of blooming can take up to 5 minutes or more. I find that blooming teas with a white tea base are far more forgiving and less likely to result in a bitter cup of tea than one with green tea base. Blooming teas can also be resteeped! Because the flavours come from the tea leaves and blossoms, there’s generally no added flavouring and the tea leaves can be resteeped usually once or twice. The flavouring may be a bit weaker than the initial steep, but you can get more bang for your buck by resteeping the tea leaves.