I am of course well aware that putting the word “fine” in front of “iced tea” is easily laughable. The difficulty i’ve faced the past few years with having tea as a hobby is, almost no one is really interested in sharing it with me. My past roommates have told me they prefer iced tea… >.> Yeah, suffice it to say I wasn’t thrilled to learn that. The problem with Americans I fear is that we’re just too damned American to appreciate tea, but i digress.
Thus, I’ve prepared this blog for iced tea lovers. It’s actually incredibly difficult to blog about iced tea, since, as you might imagine, there is no quality that is accepted as being “fine”.
However, as it happens i was driving home from Novi today when I realized I had two examples of iced tea at the ready and nothing better to do than record an audio taste test. I’ve attached the relevant audio segment if anyone’s interested, but to summarize the results…
“Anata no Oolongcha” (by Sangaria, a product you generally won’t find outside of Japan)
A blend of 3 oolong teas (Tekkanon, Shikishu, Suisen) – It definitely smells like brewed tea, but it’s not necessarily distinct from any other Oolong tea. The taste is refreshing and crisp, reminiscent of a thin houjicha. The palette reminds me of the kind of tea that’s perfect to go with a meal enjoyed at a fancy restaurant.
Comparatively, I have an iced Rishi Ginger Pu-erh left over from the day before, having sat in my car all night and most of today. It’s pitch black, smells like ginger and a little like pu-erh. Tastes very gritty and bitter. In my book, a medium-fine pu-erh easily trumps any Oolong when brewed, but a Rishi Ginger Pu-erh, even of the stale, iced variety, leaves a really interesting aftertaste that’s much harsher and richer than the oolongcha. The Ginger Pu-erh’s irrepressible texture is reminiscent of being in the forest on a picnic, which is exactly what I’ve always thought a pu-erh should be. It’s kind of sad that this day-old “left-in-the-car” in a compostable cup tea should out preform an exclusive temperature controlled Japanese delicacy ($2.39 for 500ml), but there you have it.