Saturday, 6 August 2011

that wet earth smell

Am on a bit of a blogging tear right now, but it's hard not to be when there's so much going on around here. There was a nice mix of sightseeing and tea drinking today, but I wanted to quickly talk about a tea that Xavier brought along with him.

It's a green tea from China that he got as a sample from Le Palais des Thés, which is a tea seller we both like quite a bit. The tea's called Gu Zhang Mao Jian, and the package says that it has, 'the aroma of wet earth after a storm that is so popular in China.'

We spent an inordinate amount of time trying to detect that wet earth smell. But now that I have a bit more time to think about it, I wonder if the Chinese really have such a fondness for this scent of damp soil. If so, why?

But enough about that. Here's how the leaves looked before they got all earthy wet:

I thought it looked almost like a Darjeeling, but it tasted like anything but.

The first infusion was nice but alas, as you might've expected, no wet earth smell. Maybe it'd materialise upon further brewings (it didn't). There was a freshness to this Gu Zhang Mao Jian that I almost want to call grassy. Nothing like a Japanese Sencha, but very vegetal.

There was something that almost tasted of asparagus in there, and that sent us down the rather confusing yet enjoyable path of finding the French word for asparagus (it's asperge by the way). The asparagus-like taste only became stronger on the second infusion.

The smell of the leaves afterwards was so delicious. Almost wanted to go search for something about cooking with green tea leaves. Almost, but not quite.

Here's how the leaves looked after the thorough workout we gave them:

Unfortunately, you can't smell the asparagus in a photo. Use your imagination, ok?

There'll be plenty more about the weekend that all these tea people came to visit, but I wanted to include this tea review before things got under way in earnest. There will be a bit of earnestness, after all. You don't believe a word I'm saying, do you?


  1. *claps hands* I do believe, I do, I do, I do. You are a grand teameister.

  2. Perhaps the earth in China smells differently to the earth in Munich? Or perhaps it is Engrish :)

    I'm assiduously imagining asparagus. It smells funny with the muesli I have just had for breakfast.