622 Tasting Notes
Sipdown! Many thanks to MissB for sending me some of this unique tea. I can tell you that I quite like it, but I am having trouble articulating why. The problem is that I’ve never had saffron before so my palate can’t ID it and distinguish it from the other flavors. The honey flavor is very tastily strong here. There’s also a sage-like note that I think might be the saffron, and a slight tartness that lingers on the tongue. Although I don’t feel the need to instantly hunt it down and buy 10 boxes, this is certainly a blend I wouldn’t mind having in stock (especially at the office on days when I need a soothing moment).
I was in midtown today for a training, so I decided to take advantage of the opportunity and treat myself. I have been wanting to check out the matcha at Ippodo for a while (http://www.ippodo-tea.co.jp/en/shop/ny.html). The shop is absolutely lovely. Lots of wood creates a serene vibe. I ordered iced usucha. Honestly, it was worth the $4.25. The matcha was prepared in the traditional way and poured over ice. Just watching them prep it was really cool. The matcha itself was just right (at least to my taste buds). It was grassy and vegetal and refreshing. The first few sips left an astringent aftertaste, but that went away and didn’t come back as I kept drinking. I did learn that I can’t drink this on an empty stomach – the energy boost came with a serious bout of nausea.
Thankfully, I then walked a few blocks south and enjoyed a nice meal at Franchia (http://www.franchia.com/). I ordered the dandelion tea. It had a roasted, savory flavor that complemented my meal and soothed my stomach.
To round out the evening, I stopped by the Morgan Library and checked out their Alice in Wonderland exhibit. Highly recommended. Especially on Fridays from 7pm-9pm when they have live chamber music and free admission. :-)
Thanks to Chi Whole Leaf for sending me this sample!
I used 1 tsp of powder stirred into 8 oz of boiling water. Like most powdered teas, the powder settled at the bottom no matter how much I stirred. This tea smells like cozy chamomile and mint. The flavor reminds me of Bonomelli’s chamomile – strong sweet apple notes. This came out a little thin once the powder settled, so I pulled out my trusty milk frother for a better blend. I still ended up with some clumping of the ground flowers. The company warns that this is likely to happen, but it still isn’t exactly appealing in either appearance or added texture in the sip. I like the taste of this but ultimately I can’t get over the weird texture (nor do I have the patience to strain my tea). Sipdown!
Flavors: Apple, Mint
Sipdown! A sample of this came in the most recent magazine. It’s nice. The ginger and lemon are equally balanced. Hardcore ginger fans would find this unsatisfying, but I like the medium ginger flavor and the way it’s softened by the lemon myrtle. Plus, I got two solid steeps out of the leaf. This would be a nice alternative to the straight ginger tea in my cabinet.
Flavors: Ginger, Lemon
Thanks to Chi Whole Leaf for the free sample! I’m still not sure how I feel about this one. The scent is faintly rose and heavily hibiscus. The brew is a lovely pink and the powder suspends well in hot water. The flavor is… mostly hibiscus. Tart and sweet. If I did not know that there were other flowers in here, I would not be able to guess. So if you like hibiscus, this is great. If you don’t, this is definitely not for you. If you’re neutral on hibiscus like I am, this is a nice choice on occasion but not a must-have. Sipdown!
I picked up a sample of this at the Coffee & Tea Festival. Enjoying it tonight with a bit of Manuka honey. It tastes refreshingly of peppermint and a tart touch of lemon. There’s a nice tingly afterfeel. This feels like brushing my teeth, but not in a gross way. Brushing my teeth with some hippy natural herbal paste? Anyway, this is a solid blend that blows away several of the meh peppermint herbal blends in my cabinet right now. Unfortunately, it’s a sipdown!
Flavors: Lemon, Peppermint
Thanks to Chi Whole Leaf for the free sample! Blended into hot water with my trusty milk frother, this was a pretty boring mint tea. Not bad, but not exceptional either. I frothed the last of the powder into a glass of cold rice milk. The result was a better suspension than I got with the hot water. The flavor was better too. The mintiness of the tea interplayed nicely with the creamy sweetness of the rice milk. I never picked up on the eucalyptus flavor, unfortunately. Overall, I think this kind of powder is most useful for making quick iced tea or lattes. Sipdown!
Lavender, vanilla, and peppermint is an awesome combination. It is executed quite well in this blend, which has held up nicely over time. Alas, it’s a sipdown. I wouldn’t mind keeping this in my regular rotation (you know, in the magical universe where my stash isn’t totally out of control). I should probably stop watching The Newsroom now and go to sleep…
Flavors: Creamy, Lavender, Peppermint, Vanilla
Thanks to KiwiDelight for sending me a sample of this! I like the chocolate flavor of this blend (and that it’s caffeine-free), but mostly it makes me want to eat real chocolate. Seriously, that’s what I did. I drank half a cup of this and then reached for a chocolate bar. Rice milk does add a nice creaminess that makes for a more enjoyable cup. Overall, it’s ok but not exceptional. Sipdown!