1735 Tasting Notes
A small baggie of this came to me courtesy of the Great Canadian Travelling Teabox. It was great because I’ve tried a few of Red Leaf Tea’s matchas before but with shipping they’re a bit pricy for my budget so I don’t get the opportunity to try all the flavours I want.
This marks the first time ever making my own matcha latté. I got a milk frother for Christmas this year and I was eager to put it to use. This one was very much trial and error and uber unprofessional – I started with about 2 of those bamboo scoops of matcha sifted and whisked into an oz or so of 75ºC water. Then I added 8 oz of skim milk, heated in the microwave and frothed. The flavour wasn’t quite strong enough so I added another scoop and a half (-ish) of matcha and a drizzle of agave nectar. The end result wasn’t half bad – not coffee-shop quality by a long shot – but certainly drinkable. I found that I mostly got raspberry flavour from the matcha and very little chocolate, but that might be the barista’s fault. ;)
So how do the rest of you make your DYI lattés?
Unfortunately technical issues kept me from picking up more of this tea when Butiki was doing their clearance sale. I’d only bought the half-ounce bag the first time around and was hoping to add to my stock. Such is life I guess. And it’s not like I needed to spend any more money on tea this year what with my big trip to the States planned for mid-Feb.
The smell of the dry tea is quite nice, nutmeg and creamy without being artificially strong. As the tea brewed it took on the scent of the green tea base which was quite savory – almost like a soup broth. There’s just the right amount of flavouring to give the tea that distinct rich, lightly spiced flavour. It starts off sweet but the umami notes of the base sneak in a little bit at the end unfortunately. The base is very smooth but the savory notes are maybe a touch to strong. Still a very nice blend and like many of Butiki’s teas I’ll miss it when I run out.
If I didn’t know better I might have mistaken this for a Chinese black tea as the flavour was more reminiscent of a Yunnan with those distinctive tobacco-like notes and hints of bitter cocoa. But when the tea cools off a bit the slightly sweet, malty side of the tea becomes apparent. It’s not nearly as malty as some Assams that I’ve tried but it isn’t as harsh either and can easily be drank without milk. It’s a nice tea but personally I think I prefer Butiki’s Taiwanese Assam to this one.
I brewed up a cup with the last of my sample, sweetened it with a bit of homemade simple syrup, and stuck it in the fridge overnight. The end result was delicious – somewhat reminiscent of commercial (sweet) iced tea but without all the sugar and with more flavour depth. The lemon flavour really comes to the fore nicely and it’s quite natural-tasting and refreshing without making the tea sour. Iced really is the way to go for this tea.
This sample came out of the Great Canadian Travelling Teabox (thanks Christina!) but I think I might have some tucked away in my cupboard as well.
I’m generally not a big fan of DT’s pu’erh base but in this instance it really works well with the flavours in this blend. The earthy notes compliment the chocolate giving it a bittersweet dark chocolate flavour with just a hint of orange. It would be nice if the orange flavour were a bit stronger and tangier, but I’m such a chocolate lover that I don’t mind too much. Probably my favorite DT pu’erh.
When I saw how red my tea turned my first though was that it contained the dreaded hibiscus. Fortunately the colour was from the beetroot pieces instead. Out of the three tea in the sampler it was the smell of this one that really drew like some delicious freshly-baked almond confectionery. It starts off sweetly nutty with a bit of a spice undertone, but then it trails off into something tangy and slightly sour which I’m not sure I care for. I’m going to see if sweetener improves matters.
I work in receiving at the bookstore, unpacking stock and shelving/displaying it. I could smell these Tealish teas as soon as I opened the box they were so fragrant and I knew right away I would have to buy them. Thankfully some of them at least come in a sample pack and I quickly set one aside because I knew these were going to be snapped up quickly. Tealish is a new brand for our store as we usually just stock Harney & Sons and Tea Forte. Now I like H&S as much as the next person, but it’s good to see some Canadian brands get in on the action too.
I’m not a huge rooibos fan but this is such a tasty tea. It has the fresh tang of lemon but it’s sweet as well like lemon candies – or lemon meringue pie, the sort that’s made properly with lots of fresh-squeezed lemon juice and a dollops of lightly-toasted meringue on top.
While Butiki Teas has some fascinating flavours, many of their plain teas caught my eye as well. It’s rare that you find a company that’s good at doing both flavoured and unflavoured blends (along with a few single-source teas). But then Butiki Teas is a rarity in and of itself. ;)
This turned out to be a lighter blend than I expected, given the keemun and assam, but it definitively has some fruity and citrus notes and while flavourful it’s mild enough to be drunk without any milk. The citrus notes are at the start but what follows on their heels are toasted malty notes that I recognize having tried Butiki’s assam before. The tea finished off with faint bitter cocoa flavours one might get from a keemun.
This is a very well-balanced tea and a great late-morning cuppa.
I was never a big fan of licorice – in fact I downright loathed it as a kid. Time (and good tea) has eased my dislike considerably but it’s still not my favourite flavouring. As it turns out, this tea has it in spades. In the blend’s defense there aren’t any artificial licorice flavours used, instead the licorice was achieved with star anise. Star anise, while very licorice-y, has a unique flavour all of its own and none of the (sometimes overwhelming) sweetness that usually comes along with adding licorice root to teas. It complements the white tea base well and it isn’t horribly strong or anything. I personally wouldn’t buy it, but if you enjoy licorice flavours then this may well be the tea for you.