Why isn't it green though

This is what happens when you ask for green tea

After last week’s decadent brownie tour that left 1girl in a food coma, we decided to take it easier this time and study everyone’s favorite classy drink—tea! With all of the varieties of tea floating around Morningside, we had to narrow it down, so we decided to go for straight green tea. No milk, no bubbles, no other exotic flavors. Did we succeed in even that? Let’s find out! (Full disclosure: 1girl has fancy Canadian tea in her dorm, while the other 1girl’s closest experience to tea before this was Snapple.)

Ferris Booth Commons: Bigelow Classic Green Tea (1 meal swipe)
It’s very possible that some students, perhaps driven away by the high costs of New York or for want of an ascetic lifestyle, have decided to limit themselves to only the dining hall foods. If we were they, we would probably swear off tea. The bags provided in Ferris contained severely ground, practically powdery, “tea,” making it difficult to extract any flavor from the so-called leaves. As a result, the tea was neither aromatic nor tasteful. By its color and labelling, you could call it green tea, but the experience of drinking it doesn’t quite add up. “Some weird thing” was the best way our resident connoisseur could bring herself to describe the taste. We recommend bringing your own tea bags and stealing Ferris’s hot water.
2Girls Rating: 1.5 mislabeled cups of water out of 5

Café East ($2.99)
Although 1girl’s experience helped her label this as jasmine, not straight, green tea, it disappointed us regardless. When still hot, this loose leaf tea seemed to be an infinite improvement over Bigelow’s tasteless water (and arguably still is), but the further it cooled, allowing us to better sense the flavor, the soapier it got. Yes, soap–that artificial taste your mom might’ve threatened you with when she caught you cursing. That was the taste. Whether this was because of cultural associations of jasmine scent with hand soap or because of the secret Café East recipe that puts a squirt of Bath and Body Works in each cup is up for debate. Now, 1girl regularly gets Cafe East’s “elite oolong,” but it seems that the floral teas at this quick grab-n-go should be avoided.
2Girls Rating: 2.3 soapy jasmines out of 5

Oren’s Daily Roast: Mighty Leaf Organic Hojicha Green Tea ($2.00)
Previously known to us only as “that coffee shop with the dinosaur drawn on its blackboard,” Oren’s Daily Roast is a small cafe nextdoor to Tom’s that serves the standard array of hot drinks. They also serve some pastries, including tiny shortbread pralines that we picked up (two for $1) to nibble on while drinking. The cup of tea itself was hotter than any other cup we got, and 1girl deeply regrets spilling it on her hand. Its color was a dark green-brown, and the brew may have secretly been an oolong tea in disguise. It was a pleasant drink, with a powerful aroma but not a too-strong taste (perhaps due its organic origin, but we can’t say for sure). The water seemed to have some particulates floating around it, which might point to water that was heated, not boiled. 1girl sipped it for a while after our tests while doing homework and found it just as good lukewarm as hot.
2Girls Rating: 3.5 scalding hot, aromatic cups out of 5

Tea Magic ($3.00)
Is it magic? Nearly. This cup is best compared to Cafe East’s sudsy drink, since it also turned out to be jasmine (despite our having asked for straight green at both locations). Colossal improvement though, crossing from soapy to subtle. Although we couldn’t quite find it on the menu, this loose leaf tea served as a practically perfect representation of the jasmine green, with perhaps a tad longer steeping needed for 1girl. Its color looked, well, slightly orange for some reason, but its delicate floral flavor definitely redeemed the cup. In terms of size, the cup matched Cafe East’s, which towered over the other three contenders. So, for a large, quality cup of jasmine, you might have to walk down a few blocks to 112th street.
2Girls Rating: 4 delicate jasmine flowers out of 5

Starbucks: Tazo China Green Tea ($2.25)
The classic. If you’re a novice like 1girl here, go to Starbucks, ironically, for a taste of genuine straight green tea. Every characteristic–from color, to taste, to smell–matched the straight green definition. Essentially, it tasted just like sencha, the generic tea you’re served at japanese restaurants. Its price sits on the lower end of Starbucks’ menu, probably because of its simplicity. The blend lacks anything that really puts it above and beyond other good green teas, but it’s definitely up with the best around campus. Flavorful (for a straight green) and aromatic, this tea wins out over even its loose leaf counterparts.
2Girls Rating: 4 sencha cups out of 5