I was honored to receive Herb the traveling turtle from Geoffrey aka The Lazy Literatus this week, along with some Sakura Midori Sencha. You might know that I have started having Sencha first thing every Saturday morning so I thought this would be a perfect time to have this tea and to pour some on Herb.
Herb is a tea pet. You can read about Herb’s origin here. Basically, the point is to pour some tea on him, then pass him along to another tea friend to do the same. There is also a journal where you can write your name and date and what kind of tea you poured on Herb. It’s a really neat idea and I am more than honored to be the second person to have Herb after his creators. You can follow along on Herb’s adventures here.
When I received the Sakura Midori sencha from Geoffrey, I remembered that I still had a little bit of Sakura Midori BLACK tea that I received as a free sample from UNYTea. I’m told they are both from the same farmer as well. So you know what has to happen now: Comparison tasting!
I didn’t do a full blown side by side comparison, as these two teas really are nothing alike, but they are the same cultivar from the same area processed differently. But I did want to have them in the same session and of course pour both of them onto Herb.
For the green tea, I used 4 grams per 100 ml at 160F for 45,40,30, 60 seconds. I know there are a lot of nuanced flavors to be found in sencha, but my palate just isn’t there. I break senchas down into three categories that I think they all have to certain but varying degrees: Brightness, umami, and sweetness. The only tasting notes I have for this sencha are: more sweet, less bright, umami. Hope that helps. I personally prefer the sweeter notes over the bright and umami, but I do like them to have all three. This tea is from Shizukafarm.
Now for the black.
I have posted about this tea before if you want to hear all the details about it, but this post is about Herb so I will keep it short. This tea gives off two distinct but different flavors with each sip. Fruity sweet, and peppery. My 8 year old daughter had some with me and she said it tasted like a peppery apple.
After the tea, we had a little fun with Herb. Then we let him dry and packed him up for someone else.
Both of these teas were gifts so I can’t tell you the price of them.
I think Herb was a great idea. I will definitely be following along on his journey to see where he goes next. Godspeed Herb! Cheers!