Between having much less down time to devote to writing (committees are going to be the death of me) and having
25+ vendors, each with about four examples worth of tea to review, it’s actually been sixteen months since I had a regular Eli Tea review post. If I wasn’t so invested in giving other people a chance, I’d probably just end up reviewing Eli’s stuff all year round (I certainly brought home enough tea to do so from this last Excursion). It’s that good.
All that being said, I still have a couple unopened teas from past trips that I ought to describe before they die on me. The label on my Hawaiian Green Reserve tin actually declaims “Best by 9/1/16”. I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve bought a tea with an actual expiration date, and yet I still managed to let this one pass unmarked. I believe I put off reviewing this one for so long simply because I wanted to forget about it how cool it is and be astounded. That might not happen now… Let’s find out!
Hawaiian Green Reserve is organic. That sentence alone would have be bending over backwards to try it. Add to this the fact that it was grown on the northern Hawaii, Hawaii mountainside made up of micro-climates of well drained soils with abundant rains. Put another way, it would be all but completely impossible to have more ideal conditions for growing a tea in the West.
And it is from the Western Hemisphere, but I think calling Hawaii “North American” is a silly misnomer. Ash Brown (over at Experiments in Manga) and I had a lively discussion over how to define Hawaii regionally. South Pacific? Central American? Polynesian? In the end I settled on just calling it Oceania.
Hawaiian Green Reserve’s loose leaf alone is really something special (see below). It’s liquor is similarly incredible: tonally indistinguishable from jade! In aroma a feathery organic Green tip with a hint of lilac. Hawaiian Green Reserve’s flavor is quite similar to a Mao Jian delicate sweetness with a surprisingly astringent aftertaste. In texture a very furry Tip, similar in grit to a Nepalese White. Even the spent tea looks and smells better than expectations.
And remember folks, this tea is organic and has been “expired” for eight months. In a word this tea is groundbreaking.
- Aroma – 96
- Taste – 94
- Texture – 95
- Spunk – 94
- Rarity – 98 (conservatively)
- Availability – 94 (not online but still in store)
- Appearance – 97
- Organic/Fair trade – 93
Mean score – 95
Eli’s 5th Best in Class ranked tea. Would that I could find competition to pit against him, but I just can’t.