Tea: Lotus Ancien

A Flavored Green Tea from The Tao of Tea

Picture of Lotus Ancien
Brand:The Tao of Tea
Style:Flavored Green Tea
# Ratings:1 View All

Review of Lotus Ancien

4 of 102 of 52 of 537 of 100

I'm so bummed about this one. The dry leaves have a sharp chemical smell, and the brewed tea just tastes off to me.

When brewed for 30 seconds, the aroma smells like bandaids. Then a little floral, like jasmine. Then minty bandaids. When I taste it after 30 seconds: bandaids

30 more: floral bandaids
3 min: bandaids and pine

I SO wanted to love this. The lotus is the most beautiful flower and I spend my summers at the nearby park whose lake grows American Lotus flowers for as far as the eye can see. They are a creamy yellow and contrast beautifully with the purple loosestrife growing in the lake.

But this tea... a bandaid-like flavor is well-known to home beer brewers, because it indicates that your brew is "off". Some wild yeast or bacteria has infected it. I don't know what it indicates in tea, except that there's something wrong with the tea, or with my taste buds!

I tried this again with one long steep, and this is how every sip goes: chemically start, unidentified floral in the middle, with a bandaid finish.

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Alex Zorach wrote:
on May 14th, 2014

Haha...this was hilarious to read.

I often have experiences like this, where a tea bears some uncanny resemblance to some non-food item in my environment, and it just prevents me from enjoying it. One Yunnan green tea I tried smelled so strongly like camphor (think the unscented type of chapstick) that I couldn't enjoy it. Another Ceylon green tea had an aroma strongly suggestive of ground ivy / creeping charlie (Glechoma hederacea), a plant that I think has a pleasant earthy smell, but a smell I don't want in my tea.

I had never heard about the band-aid smell in beer until reading what you wrote here, but I looked it up and it looks fascinating. There are pages and pages I'm finding on that aroma and what it means! Wikipedia has an article on Brettanomyces, a yeast apparently responsible for that aroma, and apparently it's an issue in beer and wine production, it naturally occurs on fruit, and some degree of its activity is often seen as beneficial in some wines, but apparently it's also able to completely ruin a wine or beer.

I wonder if this somehow got into the tea, or there is some other explanation, like perhaps some of the same polyphenols being present in the tea or the lotus through some other pathway.

SarsyPie wrote:
on May 14th, 2014

I have encountered the dreaded bandaid yeast twice in my life of homebrewing. Once was in a mead that an ex-boyfriend made years ago. We were both new to mead and the aroma was very subtle. He decided to bottle it anyway and see if the smell would dissipate. I still have a few bottles of that mead, which I am scared to open. :)

More recently, hours were spent picking wild blueberries and huckleberries over several weekends last summer... 6 lbs. worth. Five gallons of pale ale were brewed and the berries were added. After weeks of aging, the bandaid aroma was present. I wanted to cry. So much love and time went into that batch. I still haven't dumped it yet. I keep checking online at the homebrew forums from time to time to see if anyone has come up with a way to salvage bandaid beer. I'm tempted to bottle it and give it time, but I just don't think it's going to improve. Lots of beer faults can be fixed or improved, but the general consensus is that this isn't one of them.

I have seen this tea rated well on other sites. Either I got a bad batch or maybe I am just extra sensitive to this particular aroma/flavor. I have no idea what to do with the rest. LOL. I don't even feel right giving it away to someone!

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