865 Tasting Notes
UGH!!! After our 1st cantata performance yesterday I needed some green ginger tea to sooth my throat before the next one and luckily the the Starbucks location I frequent is on the way to the 2nd performance and the only one in the area that carries it. Well… til now. After my order was repeated back to me, I was informed it’s been discontinued. Instead of just driving off, I ordered this instead and was really disappointed. Quite bitter. I’m tempted to call and complain about both issues.
After 2 glasses of wine I decided I needed something nurishing so I made this chai style. 1TB leaf steeped in 8oz water for 6min then added 8oz water. Yummm! Very chocolatey and sinful. Suprisingly less bite than Mayan Chocolate Chai although it is still there. Definitely something to try if you like MCC or even if you’re looking for something w/ less of a bite.
Ummm… wow… holy crap! If anyone wants to talk at 2am, just gimme call- I’ll be awake!
I love matcha! I also strive to prepare my teas using athentic steeping parameters and teaware. I haven’t really done that w/ matcha though. And, I admit- it’s a money thing. Most of the time I only use one chashaku of matcha and use less or more water (3 or 8oz) depending on if I want it “thick” or “thin”… Well, I’m determined to at least try to transition to more authentic Usucha and Koicha.
I decided to start w/ Usucha (thin tea) prepared with approximately 1.75 grams (amounting to 1.5 heaping chashaku scoop, or about half a teaspoon i.e. level teaspoon) of matcha and approximately 75 ml (2.5 oz). This must be really light matcha cuz it ended up being a crap load of matcha… like 4 or 5 scoops. I can’t quite remember.
The result was a thick, slightly foamy, very dark liquid that is more bitter than most times I enjoy matcha but was the bitterness was balanced perfectly by the sweetness, vegetal notes, and astringency. Now, the question is- will I sleep tonite?
YAY! MY FIRST SAMOVAR ORDER IS HERE!!! It took forever to get here though! The tracking said it was out for delivery at 7:48am, but didn’t get here til 1:30pm. My UPS guy is normally here ~11.
After forcefully pulling myself away from my (first) yixing pot, I made this. Someone (takgoti?) said that steeping instructions come on the packaging, but I was deeply disappointed that it did not. Also, it’s in a silver bag that is not resealable… bummer… 2 disappointments already and I haven’t even opened it. I went online to contact them, but the only contact info they give there is email and I wanted to drink this now so I looked them up in the yellow pages and called. Meg, the woman I spoke to, said I should steep it using the steeping parameters: 1tsp/160 degrees/1-3min… argh… generalized steeping parameters. Another disappointment. Oh well, this is not “3 strikes and you’re out” so I use the other suggestion I got, from Networld and steeped it like a premium Gyokuro (2g/140 degrees/2.5 min.
Mmmm… The yellowish green may look like a lot of ordinary green teas, but it definitely smells like matcha as the raw leaf does. The aroma is very grassy and vegetal w/ just a bit of bitterness. My brain just doesn’t know what to think of tencha yet. On one hand, it tastes a lot like matcha, but the mouth feel is so much thinner… Definitely a tea for those that love matcha as well as those that don’t like the texture of matcha. I can’t wait to nail the steeping parameters for this!
My 1st Ti Kuan Yin! I’ve seen lots of amazing tasting notes about Samovar’s version(Monkey Picked Iron Goddess of Mercy), but I wasn’t sure how big the sample size is and I have a butt load of frequent cup points accumulated, so I figured I’d try this 1st. It is the 3rd most expensive sample they offer (outright cost, I’m not sure how it compares when comparing cost/gram), but this is the featured tea for March for their Roots Campaign so I thought now would be the perfect time to try it.
It’s definitely a green oolong and is beautifully rolled and twisted. 2.25g/6oz just below boiling water.
I could watch this unfurl forever… who says only blooming teas are pretty? The liquor is a very light yellow- lighter than I was expecting for the 5 min it steeped. The aroma is light, slightly vegetal, and… there’s a hint of something else… maybe lemony notes?
The flavor is very much like the aroma- light, slightly vegetal, subtle lemony notes, and just the slightest hint of astringency. Inspite of this astringency the mouth feel is still very much clean and smooth- it’s also thicker, almost broth like. I can see why people devote yixings to this one! Due to the subtle lemon notes I think this would be excellent yixing steeped then chilled for iced tea.
If you’re hesitant to drop $6 for a sample, I encourage you to try this WONDERFUL tea and support tea farmers!