290 Tasting Notes
This is my first prepared at home matcha. I picked it up with my Frequent Steeper points, since why not get something too expensive for me to normally try?
I started out making this as directed – 1/2 tsp in a cup of 74C water. I don’t have any of the right tools for making matcha, so I just whisked it in my mug, with a fork. It worked okayish, but I couldn’t really get much in the way of bubbles on top. The first sip didn’t have as much full mouth taste as I was hoping so I attempted to add another half teaspoon, and that’s when things got messy.
For starters, I forgot my spoon was wet and stuck it back in the bag. Crap. I managed to scrape out the wet matcha, but that was an unfortunate mistake. And then the added spoon was thick and clumpy, in a way that I just couldn’t smooth out with a fork.
Well fuck it. I put the whole lot into the blender with some milk and sugar, and now it’s smooth and frothy and delicious. It’s an intense deep green, very fresh and grassy tasting, and works beautifully with the sweet and cream.
I’m drinking this down way too fast and I’m probably going to go in for seconds when this cup is gone.
Edit: Yup, second cup made and done. I love how relaxing this is – I feel awake and alert but not at all jittery or over stimulated, which is amazing.
Far too early a morning today, though I got off to a strong start and made pancakes. My impressions of this tea are minty, tart, rosehip, hibiscus, stevia and eulethero or eucalyptus, maybe lemongrass. The hibiscus is there but it’s not overpowering or offensive. This is really, really sweet, without the addition of anything. There’s a cooling tingle on the back of the tongue and throat.
Good but probably the least interesting of the Teatoxy teas, which I have been quite impressed by. The whole concept of detoxing doesn’t make sense to me, but these are tasty teas.
Flavors: Eucalyptus, Hibiscus, Lemongrass, Mint, Rosehips, Sweet, Tart
Oh my this was amazing tonight. 2tsp in probably 12oz of water for 2.5 min. Super creamy, with lots of toasty coconut and rich chocolate notes. This tasted like it had cream in it. Amazing dessert tea, and no sugar needed. Bumping my rating up.
Flavors: Coconut, Creamy, Dark Chocolate, Toasty
What-cha is having a 20% off sale, and so far I’ve quite enjoyed everything from my last order, so it’s time to try out the last couple of things and see what needs restocking.
The dry leave is dark green and quite twisted and needle-like. The fragrance is quite mild.
Steeped 1tsp in 76C water for 1.5 minutes. The steeped leaf and liquor smell amazing. Butter, roasted nuts and seaweed. On the palate, there’s a bit of a tang, some seaweed and a hint of the roasted nut flavour at the back of the mouth. There’s a light grassiness that builds through the finish, and a faint floral note.
Nice cold as well. I had to run out in the middle of this cup for lunch plans that I completely forgot about.
The second steep, again for 1.5 min, is pretty much the same as the first.
I’m not sure I would stock up on this, but it’s about a bajillion times better than the sencha I had from DAVIDs recently.
Flavors: Butter, Floral, Grass, Roast nuts, Seaweed, Tangy
I haven’t had this one forever, and I had a vague recollection of what it tasted like, but when I opened the bag, it smelled completely different from how I remembered it. All honeyed figs. So we shall see how it tastes.
I started off steeping about a teaspoon and a half of this in boiling water for 5 minutes and meh, nothing much there. So I threw in the rest of my bag (probably at about 3tsp total now), and I’m just going to steep it until it tastes like something.
Meh. I dunno. Now it tastes a lot stronger, but I’m not really feeling it. Lots of hibiscus tart, with some pineapple, fig, nuttiness which I think is also fig (seems to be a flavour that is in fig teas, but that I don’t ever experience when eating figs), and maybe a hint of floral? I added some sugar to take the edge off the hibiscus, but it’s mostly just made the whole thing sweet and sour.
Not into it, wouldn’t buy again. I’m glad this package is done.
Flavors: Fig, Floral, Hibiscus, Nutty, Pineapple, Tart
I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this, because hibiscus, but this is just lovely.
The dry leaf is very fluffy, with large pieces of hops and hibiscus, whole corn flowers and lemon wedges. Very pretty, and 2-3 teaspoons for a cup really doesn’t even make a dent in the bag.
The dry lea smells primarily like mint. Steeped the citrus and hibiscus fragrance comes out a bit more. The cup is a lovely deep red.
The directions recommend steeping for 3 to 10 minutes. I started with 3, which was plenty potent, but then put the leaves back for a longer steep just to see how the hops would develop. I forgot that I was resteeping, so I probably got between 5 and 7 minutes total instead of the 4 I was aiming for. There was a bit more hoppiness, though still very pleasant and not overly bitter, and well balanced mint and citrus. The hibiscus works very well in this, and combines nicely with the lemon to give it a nice tartness. The slight bitterness and the citrus are very reminiscent of lemon rind and grapefruit, even with that slight tongue tingle.
I’m really pleased with this. I thought it might end up being too sour or in need of sugar, but I think it was pretty perfect as is.
Flavors: Bitter, Citrus, Grapefruit, Hibiscus, Hops, Lemon Zest, Mint, Tart
Ermagherd, this tea is blue! Really, really blue! I’m drinking it from my TARDIS mug and it’s damned close in colour.
The dry leaf is really pretty and extremely fluffy. The directions say 2 heaping teaspoons per cup, which sounds like a lot of leaf, but really isn’t that much. There are whole blue and yellow flowers, pink rose petals, big strips of pale green pandan leaves and curls of lemongrass shavings. There’s supposed to be lavender in here too, but I don’t see or smell it.
An 8 minute steep yields a deep blue cup that quite mild tasting. The dominant notes are lemongrass, pandan and rose. It’s pretty herbal tasting, but not in that generic herbal health teas kind of way. The rose remains distinct and builds through the finish and the pandan kind of takes on a pastry-like note.
I don’t really know which ingredients in this are supposed to be energizing, and I don’t buy into the whole idea of detoxing, but this is tasty and pretty and that’s good enough for me.
Flavors: Herbaceous, Lemongrass, Pastries, Rose
Mmm, this is a nice chai.
The dry leave is small and twisted, with lots of cloves, chunks of ginger and cinnamon, with the occasional bit of green cardamom pod visible. The dominant notes on the nose are ginger, clove and vanilla.
I steeped 1.5tsp in 8oz of boiling water for 4 minutes. This yielded a really strong, bitter brew with a tart note of orange peel. Not something I would drink straight, but that’s okay, because milk and sugar were my plan anyway.
A teaspoon of sugar and a good amount of milk mellowed the bitterness very nicely, transforming this into a warm and gentle tasting chai. There’s no real kick to this – no heat or throat burn from the cinnamon or ginger, though the cinnamon flavour is definitely present. The clove and vanilla take a front seat, giving this a nice round taste and creaminess that’s separate from the added milk.
Not my favourite chai – I tend to like them bolder and spicier, with some cooling spices like fennel and coriander – but this is different from the other chais I have and it’s good.
Flavors: Bitter, Cinnamon, Clove, Creamy, Ginger, Orange Zest, Vanilla
Hmm, this isn’t bad, but it doesn’t seem that different from your standard Moroccan mint tea either, aside from the addition of fennel, which I approve of. I was still getting a lot of char flavour as is typical for a gunpowder base and none of the buttery notes that should be there with the laoshan green. I’m not a huge fan of the gunpowder flavour profile, so I would have been quite pleased if this were a bit different.
Flavors: Char, Fennel, Mint, Roasted