Name: Emerald Spring Green Tea
Brand: Octavia Tea
Type: Green tea, organic
Form: Loose leaf
Cost: $13 for 50 grams as of September, 2011
Review: Green tea fans and newbies alike should appreciate this offering from Chicago-based Octavia Tea. Emerald Spring is a blend of wiry olive green leaves and silver tips, which infuses to a medium-bodied, yellow-gold tea. Curiously, the tea doesn't have much fragrance dry or infused, although it is quite vegetal in the cup, tasting remarkably like steamed baby bok choy. Still, the flavor isn't overwhelming, nor is it overly astringent, which is why I think that newcomers to green tea may appreciate Emerald Spring. Green tea lovers, on the other hand, should appreciate its clean flavors and slightly bitter finish.
My one quibble with this tea is its price. I realize that it is organic (USDA organic certification), but while the tea is quite tasty, it is also somewhat basic, making me question whether it is really worth $13 for less than two ounces.
Preparation Tips: Use discretion while preparing Emerald Spring, as it is fairly strong and can get bitter if improperly brewed. Measure the leaf carefully (three grams per 8 ounces should work nicely) and use water that has been cooled to about 175F. Try an initial steep of 1.5 minutes: If the resulting tea is too weak, increase the brewing time for your next cup.