18 January 2014

Battle of the Green Teas [By @SpectreUK]

I've tried plenty of green teas in the past and even blogged about a few, such as my favourite Jasmin Tea. Green tea is supposed to help with digestion, so I like a good cup of green tea after lunch at work or after dinner especially when I've eaten something spicy. I love Japanese restaurants, such as Mount Fuji, for their fine food and selection of green teas such as Sencha and Houjicha. I also love regular green teas, such as green tea from Twinings. I found these two boxes of green teas languishing on the Foodstufffind's shelf and thought I'd let them fight it out after a trip to the local Chippy for some heavy greasy food to digest.

Mao Feng Green Tea (Westmorland Service Station)

This Mao Feng Green Tea was produced by Teapigs, in London, which are a favourite brand of mine, as they are the only company so far that I have found that can produce chocolate flavoured tea that I like! Just a quick look on Google told me that Mao Feng comes from the Anhui Province, in China. Apparently Teapigs use the whole leaf in their tea temples, which are perfectly spacious for the three minutes suggested infusion using one bag per mug. The shredded tea leaf filled the tea temple as I poured freshly boiled water over it in my tea mug. As it infused there was a definite bitey green tea smell from the light green liquid that tickled the hair in my nostrils. The taste was a smooth almost enchantingly delicate green tea flavour that soothed my stomach after my tasty yet slightly greasy chips and battered sausage, even leaving a soothing aftertaste to wash the grease away. I also felt a calming and relaxing effect from drinking this tea that soothed my mind and senses, not to dozing off point, but at least to ease the incessant buzzing of thoughts that constantly drive my head. I could have drunk one cup after another of this Mao Feng Green Tea all afternoon, which is rare for me as I hardly ever drink tea (he snorts tea out of his nose as he lies terribly!).

Information on the box;
15 Biodegradable tea temples, which weighs 37.5g. Ingredients included; green tea (keeping it simple, I see...)

Green Tea Chai

Looking at the ingredients of this Green Tea Chai produced by Higher Living, in West Sussex, I could see that this was certainly a more complex drink than the Teapigs' Mao Feng Green Tea. The question crossed my mind as to whether this more complex green tea would add to the relaxing effect that green tea should have on the mind and the belly (and my belly is pretty sizable to get the whole thing relaxed), or could its complexity take away some of the experience? I noticed on the box that Higher Living only uses ingredients grown to the highest standards and avoids using synthetic pesticides and fertilisers, which is good to know as these can be harmful to wildlife.

There was a definite mixed spice odour from the tea bag, with cinnamon being the most dominant smell. I undertook the suggested four to five minutes infusion, again using one teabag in my tea mug. The mixed spice smell from the teabag seemed to change on infusion to a predominate cardamom smell, with cloves and cinnamon in the background. The odour transcended to the taste with an initial mixed flavour of cardamom and cloves soon replaced by a fiery bite from the cinnamon. This was a very warming drink that didn't particularly relax me whilst drinking it as the brutish cinnamon thwack at the end of the flavour exploded between my senses, but the cold weather outside begged me to drink more. I would more likely drink this tea to warm myself up before leaving for the Chippy and sitting on a cold park bench to enjoy my greasy salty chips and battered sausage.

Information on the box;
20 tea bags in a 40g box. Ingredients included; green tea (56%), cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves.

Verdict: I enjoyed drinking both of these green teas very much and realised on tasting them that they were both at different ends of the spectrum where flavour and venue were concerned. For an all year mind and after lunch or after dinner belly soother I'd happily drink gallons of the Mao Feng Green Tea, whereas for a winter green tea warmer I'd pick the Green Tea Chai with it's fiery spice to heat me up against the chill outside.
By Spectre

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