Yesterday was the Santa Claus Parade, and today the Christmas tree went up in the plaza where I work. I guess I can no longer deny that ’tis the season. It’s here, whether I’m ready or not. It’s a weird one this year, for so many reasons – and I don’t want to get into it here in blogland, so let me just say – “oranges”. That’s right – “oranges”! Oranges are forever linked with Christmas in my mind because every year since I can remember, Santa has put an orange in the toe of my Christmas stocking. Just the smell of oranges reminds me of Christmas morning. Always. I could be eating oranges in August, and I’ll be smelling Christmas morning! So, to officially kick off the holiday season, I’m having a cup of tea – with oranges!
It’s Jeju Island Organic Whole Leaf Green Tea with Mandarin Orange, and I’m really looking forward to it because not too long ago, I reviewed Jeju Island Second Flush Organic Single Estate Whole Leaf Black Tea with Mandarin Orange, also from Teas Unique, and it was fiiiiiiiine! This time it’s a green tea which sounds super light and fresh – can’t wait!
I open the packet and WHOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH THIS IS HEAVVVVEEENNNNNN!!!!!!!!! I mean, this aroma is heaven heaven heaven!!! Whew! Be still my heart! Ok, ok, ok… the room is flooded with the warmest, toastiest, sweetest orange and toasty aroma you can imagine. It’s absolutely reminding me of those “toasted marshmallow” candies that are really marshmallows covered in toasted coconut, and then somehow drizzled in magical orange fairy-land-juicy-orange-candy-sauce – and if that’s not a thing, it should be! I don’t even want to brew this! I just want to bottle that smell and carry it with me for every time I get into a stinky situation that I can’t escape (think streetcars, greyhound buses, offices where people spray hideous cologne that makes the asthma flare up). I’m telling you right now… you need to buy this tea JUST FOR THE SMELL ALONE! It’s making me high. My brain is floating and my words are coming out all wrong. I had to retype that sentence 6 times!
It almost makes me cry to have to steep the tea – I’m afraid the taste won’t measure up to the smell. How could it possibly? Oh, and did I mention how pretty it is? It’s bright green twisty tea, jam-packed full of gorgeous bright orange peel bits. It’s sooooo pretty and sparkly – like confetti! So, I follow the package directions carefully, steeping 1 tsp of tea in under-boiling water for 2 minutes. The steeped tea leaves and peels are super pretty to look at and the tea comes up a brilliant mandarin yellow-orange.
The aroma now is mild, but clearly of tea and oranges. I take the first sip… and ohhhh… myyyyy…. gooooooodddddd. It’s beautiful. It’s sooooo beautiful. Let me just take a minute.
How to describe this? It’s got a warm toastiness that I can’t figure out. I’ve never noticed that in a green tea before… and floating on top of that is a lovely mild, but deep orange perfume. That doesn’t even make sense. I mean the orange is sort of delicate and not-at-all overpowering, but at the same time, it’s not a frilly, light, tart flavour like the mandarins I get here in Toronto… it’s a darker, more mysterious full-bodied forest flavour. No bitterness, no sourness… And the tea itself – shines through nicely. It tastes like a mild, sweet hay and chestnut flavoured green tea – but then, this orange perfume just sends you spinning. And there’s that toasted… something…
This went down way too fast. I’m gonna try to re-steep and see what happens. Another two minutes, and the tea has unfolded a bit more.
It comes up bright yellow. With the orange still in my mouth from the last cup, it’s hard to say if this second cup is different, or diminished in any way. It’s still lovely and sweet, and toasty, and orange, and beautiful. I can’t get enough!
I’m totally blown away. I think this is the best tea I’ve had this year. This is the one! I would bathe in it if I could afford it. I’ll have to settle for just ordering as much as I can, and rationing it carefully – my precious! I want to drink it forever.
If you want to try this – and trust me, you DO – well, I have good news for you! Teas Unique is offering my readers a WHOPPING 25% discount on this tea for one month! From November 21 – December 21, 2017, follow this link, and the discount will be applied at checkout. Merry Christmas!
SUPER BIG THANK YOU to Teas Unique for providing this best best best tea, AND the beautiful crackled tea mug in which to steep it! (everybody’s jealous, I know!)