Green Tea Flavor Project- Parsley

by Jason on October 19, 2009

in green, Member Content

So, a handful of members from the Association of Tea Bloggers got our hands on research about flavor analysis of green tea. We thought: “What would happen if you worked backwards from the flavor descriptions, to identifying teas that had those flavors?”

Last week Brett presented us with: Seaweed.

IMG_0010I began my experiment with parsley. The original research placed 25g of fresh chopped parsley in 300ml of water. My measuring cup displays ml, but I don’t have scales around the house. Never fear, because I discovered that 10 pennies weighs about 25 grams. Incidentally, I found that applies to pennies minted after 1982-ish.

Using that notion of weight, I chopped an estimated 25g of parsley and placed in my measuring cup with 300ml of water and soaked for 15 minutes. Then I drained the water into a glass. The resulting liquor did have a light green tinge to it.

IMG_0014Parsley water smells and tastes like… parsley. No epiphanies here- not bitter, a little astringent feeling with a slight metallic aftertaste.

With the flavor stored in my brain, I got out my teas and began to taste.

I found that parsley flavor was often a minor component in some Chinese greens. You have to work hard to pull it out in some cases. It was somewhat more noticeable  in Chinese greens with a natural savory aspect, or that have some age on them and have lost some of their fresh sweetness.

IMG_0018Teaflection’s Gunpowder gives one of the strongest parsley impressions I  encountered. Medium-grade gunpowders deliver ashy, savory flavors. Underneath the charred aroma I discovered something closely akin to parsley. Since gunpowder is produced from older, more mature leaves, it is endowed with much of its flavor during the fixing/firing process.

Grand Tea’s Anji Bai had a medium-light amount of parsley flavor present. Again, this was underneath the sweet green pea element found in fresh anji bai chas.

Third was SpecialTea’s Mountain Peak Mao Feng. Mao Fengs generally provide stronger savory elements compared to some other green teas.

Based on this experience, parsley flavor is not something to be sought out by itself. Its presence is stronger in leaves with greater maturity, and exists as a highly subdued flavor in fresher, savory teas like mao feng.

Try for yourself. What was your experience?

Next time, Katrina looks at: Asparagus.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Marlena November 6, 2009 at 16:48

Hmm, don’t have many greens to experiment with, but I do have 2 gunpowders. I will try them this week and see what they have to say for themselves. At east we will have fresh breath!

Brett October 19, 2009 at 13:16

I imagine one might detect a savory hint of parsley in the infusions of several Chinese green teas such as some maofeng types.

Also, I found a note in a tasting journal of mine from 2005 where I was describing a lightly oxidized Anxi oolong. It said, “a hint of parsley perhaps.”

Jason October 19, 2009 at 16:11

4 years of tea journaling- that’s even more impressive!

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