30 Tasting Notes
I got this from my local coffee shop when I went with a friend and didn’t feel like a rich latte after a big meal. It sounded like it would be refreshing, cleansing maybe, just what I needed.
Not sure of water temp and I just left the bag in the cup. The smell was exactly like that NeoCitran lemon drink you make when you have a cold, which for me is a good thing as I always thought that hot-lemonade taste was great.
With high hopes I take my first sip and initially it’s fine. I get a nice tart lime flavour that gives my taste buds a tingle. And then I swallow and I get…chemical? Like serious, metallic, tastes-and-feels-like-its-got-to-be-poisonous chemical flavour on the back and sides of my tongue. It sort of makes me think of when you’ve touched coins and then put your fingers in your mouth, that sort of tongue-puckering metallic taste. In a hot cup of tea. Yeah…not so good.
Because I didn’t make this myself I can’t say whether something went wrong in the preparation but I certainly hope so. Otherwise this tea is supposed to taste like this.
UGH. UGH. UGH.
I’m going to go brush my teeth now.
Disclaimer: This was my first matcha experience. Because of this and other factors I am not rating this tea because well, it would be entirely unfair to grade this poor tea based on what I did to it.
I got this matcha a little while ago but held off making it because well, I was intimidated. The whole process sounded so complicated, and I don’t own a single proper matcha-making utensil. So I was planning on doing a little research, figuring out the exact specifications of water, tea and temperature, and maybe running down to the Asian grocery in search of one of those little whisk thingies. In essence trying to make it “properly”. Instead I made this at midnight, in a *#$f&! mood after hours of studying, and based on some vague memory of seeing “1 tsp matcha to 8 oz. of water” somewhere. So much for research.I went with a flat 1/2 teaspoon of matcha to 3/4 cup of hot-ish water. As I also don’t own a thermometer I poured the water when it was steaming but before I saw any bubbles in hopes that might be somewhere around the proper temperature. I just dumped in the powder, no sifting, and attacked it with my electric frother. It didn’t froth much, just producing a little pile of loose bubbles that disappeared quite quickly but it did suspend the powder decently.
As for taste…I was disappointed. But then I don’t know what I expected, for it to taste like green tea ice cream? It was a little bit bitter, but I imagine that’s because the water was too hot, and a little weak tasting, either because my unrealistic expectations or because I should make it thicker next time. It tasted like a sort of fuller green tea, or maybe a green tea with creamy notes?
At first I didn’t taste the strawberry at all, though as it cooled I caught hints of strawberry randomly, though when I really tried to pin them down they vanished. I found I enjoyed it more as it cooled (more indication that I started waaay too hot), and I think I’d actually like it better if it was thicker, as towards the bottom of the cup I was picking up more creaminess (I think how I perceive the “matcha taste”), and strawberry notes.
So…good? I think? At least I’m definitely inspired to do it properly next time. Oh, and I apologize to 52teas and matcha lovers everywhere for butchering this ancient and honored elixir.
Singing*: “If you like Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain…!”
Ahem. Excuse the little musical interlude. But seriously, that song runs through my head every time I drink this. It’s a good thing. Sort of.
We’ve had a few deliciously warm days (shockingly early for us Northeners) and this tea is perfect for this kind of weather. It makes me think of summer, which is funny because I don’t think I’ve ever drank an actual Pina Colada (during the summer or otherwise), so I guess it’s just the fruity-creamy flavour with the of coconut-suntan oil scent that make me think summer.
Since I don’t know what actual Pina Coladas taste like I’m not qualified to compare, but this tea tastes like fruity coconut. I assume the fruity notes come from the pineapple, apples, rose hip and maybe hibiscus flowers? The coconut flavour is easier to explain and I like the description of it as “savory”. It’s sweet. It’s rich. It’s creamy. It gives you that decadent almost brothy mouthfeel that makes this feel much thicker then your average tea. It’s OILY. And it’s delicious! Which is funny because I don’t like solid coconut (icky texture!), but mmmm the taste in this tea is wonderful!
I found the rich-sweet-oily taste balanced very well with the more tart fruit flavours (apple is the one that came through most clearly for me, not surprising because there were tons of chunks of dried apple in this tea). I’m very tempted to try Adagio’s coconut-only flavoured tea since it’s the coconut in this one that I found really unique and great, but I do wonder if it would taste as good (or maybe become cloying) without the fruit complement.
I’ve made this by following the tin’s instructions (I think seven minutes and slightly below boiling but I don’t have the tin here to be sure), and also by massively oversteeping it with boiling water (who me? lazy?). Both turned out great. In fact I didn’t really notice any difference at all, which makes me love this tea even more for being so forgiving.
So if you like coconut, or pinapple, or apple or especially if you like all three…try this tea!
Wanders off singing*: “Then I’m the love that you’ve looked for, write to me and escape…!”
*The term “singing” is used very loosely. VERY.
From my flavoured black Adagio sampler comes…vanilla tea! Now I’m a huge vanilla fan, and this is my first “straight vanilla” tea, so this was one that I was most excited to try.
I’ve made this several times now (very behind on logging my tasting notes), and I followed the steeping parameters on the tin each time to very tasty results. Thankfully it seems quite forgiving of over-steeping and only once did it turn out icky-bitter (which was overcome with some milk and sugar).
The dry leaves have a pleasant tea-vanilla scent that is quite natural (more vanilla bean then super-sweet vanilla dessert). The liquor continued with the vanilla scent just milder then the dry leaves. I tried it first straight and found it drinkable with very little bitterness, but also not much vanilla flavour. I find vanilla is one of those full flavours, it should have some heft and substance you know? Straight this tea had a pleasant black tea flavour and a hint of vanilla-bean taste/scent but without the sweet-richness I think vanilla should have.
I added some milk (really want to try it with cream!), and about half a spoon of of sugar and found this really brought out and filled out the vanilla flavour nicely. This would make a nice dessert tea with some cream or flavoured creamer and I definitely want to try it combined with some of my fruit teas! Vanilla-strawberry…drool
I don’t have time for a proper tasting note for this one right now (damn you research critique!) but I just had to say after a cup and a pot of this today: YUM!
Also, this tea is oily.
But wait! This oiliness is a good thing!!
Oh mouthfeel! I’ve read about you, searched for you, longed for you…and found you at last!
This was one of the stranger offerings in my Adagio herbal sampler. Maybe it’s just me, but rooibos and jasmine just don’t seem to go together; I associated rooibos with sweet (chocolate, vanilla) or spicy (chai) but not florals like jasmine. Ah well, it’ll be an adventure right?
Uhm, not really.
I brewed this approximately to the package instruction although I was a little iffy on the water temperature (the tin said 180 degrees which surprised me as I thought tisane = boiling?). I don’t have a thermometer and I was feeling lazy (damn you paper writing!) so I just let the boiled water sit for a minute or so to cool down a little. Steeped 7 minutes with approximately 1 teaspoon of leaves for a cup of water.
Both the dry leaves and the liquor had a strong jasmine smell with maybe a bit of “woodiness” underneath that I assume was the rooibos. The taste? Pretty much zilch.
When I sipped while breathing in I got the strong jasmine floral scent, but it felt like my taste buds didn’t have anything to work with at all, no matter how much I slurped or swished. When I held my breath there was nothing indicating I wasn’t drinking hot water. Even when I exhaled after a sip the “after taste” was more the scent coming at my nose via my mouth then any true flavour.
I know jasmine teas in general are more about the scent then the taste but other examples that I’ve tried at least had some flavour. My taste buds feel left out.
I see this tea elicits very…strong…reactions, which I guess is unsurprising as it is such a strong-tasting tea. I have to agree with other reviewers that calling this a “tea” may be slightly misleading. I’ve almost made it through a whole box of this and I can’t say I’ve ever found it tasted like tea, the sheer strength of the orange flavours vastly overwhelm any tea-notes that may be present.
I personally really like this tea, but then I bludgeon my palate regularly with super-spicy, super-salty, super-everything food and so I often find the subtler notes of many teas are simply not perceptible to my taste buds. I can definitely taste the orange here, it’s a kick-to-the-tongue sort of flavour that almost makes me think more of a commercial ice tea or weak juice then a tea. I find it quite natural tasting, though maybe a bit more of a tart-sour mouth-puckering orange-peel flavour then a sweet orange-flesh one. I just looked at the ingredients and realized there’s a lot more then orange in here, and this is a surprise, because according to my tongue there’s just…a lot of orange. Sorry licorice, I’m just not finding you.
I find this is a good morning tea when I need something bracingly citrus-y and don’t want to worry about the effects of caffeine. I also like that it’s impossible to mess up (assuming you don’t think the actual taste of the tea is a mistake!). I stick a bag in my travel mug, dump boiling water over it, and can leave the bag in the entire time I drink it without worrying about bitterness. A hit of honey tends to smooth and round out the taste nicely.All in all one of the most distinctive teas I’ve tried, and a tasty one. If you’re big into orange, give this tea a try at a Starbucks or sample pack, the orange-demon-tea just might be your thing!
Backlogging from earlier this weekend…
So a road trip isn’t a road trip (at least in Canada) without Timmy’s. But what to do when your tummy is a little unsettled and you don’t feel up for crazy-caffeinated coffee or even their usually decent bagged chai tea? Pepermint tea!
Now I have to say, this was an experiment for me. I’ve had a couple bad experiences with peppermint tea in the past causing tummy-upset but I know that it’s actually supposed to be good for your stomach so I decided to give it another go.
This is the second time recently that I’ve given a “don’t like it” tea another try, and as with Earl Gray I think I’m going to have to take peppermint tea off the banned list. This cup was tasty, soothing, and being trapped in a car for hours I liked that I didn’t have to worry about over-steeping it or caffeine content. I got a little bit of cream added to mine and I think the peppermint flavour (which I found just a little bit weak) may have come out stronger had I gone without. I liked the peppermint notes in this tea more then previous peppermints though as it seemed sweeter and rounder (more like a peppermint candy) rather then a very sharp, “natural” peppermint flavour.