I have been naughty recently and let my Canton Tea Club parcels build up so that come Friday I would have three tea’s that I have not tried or reviewed. DOH! It’s just been rather hectic here recently with my husbands and mothers birthday (which was on the same day) plus my busy daily working life and then visiting a friend who has unfortunately taken ill. Right now though my husband is watching football (Sweden vs England) after spending the day at home with a bad abscess in his mouth under the top lip (poor thing) but looking after him got me a day off work so that I can catch up on a few things, including my reviews.
Just heard a saying on the football that I have never heard before. “It was delivered on a six pence”. I have no idea what that means but it distracted me briefly. 0.o
This tea was received as Canton Tea Clubs sampler for week 5. Each week you receive a sample of tea (which so far can be anywhere from 5g to 25g depending on price) and a print out explaining how to brew the tea, what it is and where it comes from in detail. It’s a lovely introduction to some tea’s for those that have never had them. This will be my first time trying a Hawaiian tea so I find the information very useful, plus they have a separate steeping guide especially for the gaiwan *super smile*
Brewing instructions for gaiwan:
5g of tea with 70 degrees Celsius water. Wash the tea before the for 3 seconds before steeping properly starting with 7 seconds and increasing each steep with 5-10 seconds.
This is what 5g of tea looks like inside my gaiwan.
The leaves look like dry autumn leaves that you see on the ground at the end of fall. They are dark green and dark brown with a yellowish tinge. The leaves are stiff and dry and would crumble very easily without care. They have very little smell other than that of a general dried leaf, a little earthy yet a touch of freshness (from what once was).
The instructions that came with this tea say that this tastes like fresh watermelon and cucumber which are two of my most favourite foods ever (I could eat both of them forever and ever) so I must be honest and say I have high hopes for it, plus with it being my first Hawaiian tea it sounds extra magical.
Once washed the leaves take much stronger characteristics. I can smell a mixture of seaweed, flowers and melon, altogether it’s fresh, sweet and dry.
First steep colour.
First Steep – 7 seconds
Colour is yellow that smells of subtle yet sweet melon (I wouldn’t say specifically watermelon) . Taste wise it’s sweet and fruity, a little floral and fresh. Simply put this does tastes like a combination of melon and cucumber but very subtly so, as far as the first steep goes that is. So far this is delicious, if it increases in strength then things will go from good to great for me.
Second Steep – 17 seconds
Same yellow colour and same fragrance. The strength has however increased to conjure a delicious cocktail of melon, cucumber, flowers, fresh cut grass and cucumber.
Third Steep – 22 seconds
Same colour and same gentle smell. The flavour has again doubled in strength and has lost some of it sweetness but gained more floral and fruit tones. There is still no bitterness or nastiness at all. I think I’m starting to fall in love with this tea.
Fourth steep – 32 seconds
Same colour but the smell is a little more floral now. Very fruity now and still very fresh and slightly sweet yet dry. The cucumber is really coming through now also, if you eat a large piece of cucumber then you get a specific taste that I find hard to describe other than being green, fresh, watery and gentle but it’s the same sort of taste I get with this tea. Delicious.
Fifth steep – 42 seconds
A little more melon now in the fragrance and still the same yellow colour. Still v=picking up the melon and cucumber but now I can taste the flowers stronger than the previous steeps.
Sixth steep – 48 seconds
Now the colour is starting to pale slightly as is the fragrance. Also still tasting flowers before the fruity melon and cucumber mixture but it’s still fresh and delicate.
Seventh steep – 58 seconds
Now very pale in colour and not much of anything detectable by smell alone. This tea finishes off with a sweet melon flourish.
Final steeps colour.
I’m happy to report there were no bitter, harsh or chemical/unnatural flavours in this tea at any steeping stage. The quality of the tea was marvellous as are the refreshing vegetal, floral and fruity flavours. I loved my steeping of this tonight and I look forward to finishing off what I estimate to be two gaiwans worth (so around 10g). For only £5 a week for UK members the Canton Tea Club is a bargain.
Overall rating of 9/10. Yummy.
Tea after steeps. (It reminds me of fresh cabbage leaves).
This tea was so nice that my beautiful baby Ivy (full name – Ivory. I call him Ivy and my husband calls him Ivor) came to investigate. Proof that kitty does indeed love tea.
Isn’t he beautiful? =^_^=