Taste Testing Old Tea
Back when the century had ticked over into another millennium, I was given seven canisters of China Tea. These dragon-covered tins languished on a high kitchen shelf, unopened and forgotten in favour of Queensland-grown black tea from the Russell family.
Eventually it was decided that the pantry shelves had to be Covid Cleaned, e.g. needing a serious going-over. Various items were inspected and sorted into good and bad piles but the tea, packed in Hong Kong and imported to Australia, remained in a different category.
The dragon artwork proved a lure and inquisitiveness won.
Although the tin lids were dust coated and faded, it was decided to open all seven of them, brew the contents—in cup and pot—and drink regardless of aroma. Flavour was another matter. To add to the excitement, one tin had lost its label and the large tin was Earl Grey teabags.
‘Hmm, not for me thanks’ I said, but the intrepid Dot B was up for it.
The lid seals had perished but once the canisters were ‘prised’ open, the interiors were pristine clean. I only sniffed the contents and did not taste it, nevertheless considering its age the Jasmine Tea was still beautifully aromatic.
Subjective comments as recorded by Dot B, daredevil tea taster.
- Luk On: Drying but pleasant after tones, would drink again.
- Oolong: Smooth but common. A nice cuppa.
- Earl Grey Tea Bags: Tastes like a boring black tea. Smells funny without lemon.
- Shou Mei: Bit of nothing taste-wise but smells nice. Slight metal aftertaste.
- Jasmine: PHWOAR smells like FLOWERS and tastes like tangy FLOWERS.
- Pu Li: Tastes like hot wee, smells like hot wee. Not recommended.
- Mystery Tea: Smells like tanbark and tastes … kind of Green?
Pro tip—don’t eat pickles after tea tasting.
Put the kettle on and brew a pot of tea—milk and sugar optional—sweet treat essential. Or check out my earlier post regarding the ubiquitous Afternoon Tea ritual https://thoughtsbecomewords.com/2018/03/11/afternoon-tea-and-fancy-food/
♥ Gretchen Bernet-Ward
Queensland’s Nerada Tea blog is packed with wonderful things, from the tea plantation to recipes and tree kangaroos https://www.neradatea.com.au/blog
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