Monday, March 19, 2012

Norbu Tea Awabancha

Country of Origin: Japan
Leaf Appearance: large, leathery and greenish brown
Ingredients: green tea
Steep time: 3 minutes
Water Temperature: 200 degrees
Preparation Method: glass teapot
Liquor: pale greenish yellow

Awabancha is a fermented green tea that is made by pickling and drying the tea leaves. I have to admit that I was kind of terrified to try this. I have never and probably will never liked pickled foods. But I figured, this is tea so it can't be that bad, right? I started off with doing a quick pre-wash to soften the leaves as Norbu suggested on their site. I immediately noticed an odd vinegary aroma. After steeping for 3 minutes, I was glad to find that I was not sipping a cup of pickle juice. It was surprisingly mellow with a mild citrus tang at the end of each sip. There was a slight vegetal aspect, but it taste more like seaweed than the typical nutty, roasty flavor you would expect from a green tea. The aftertaste was salty but not so much so as to make it unpleasant. This is probably not a tea I would drink all of the time but it was definitely an experience. If you're feeling adventuresome, give it a try.

P.S. This is my 400th post! Can you believe it? Time flies when you are having fun :)