411 Tasting Notes
Red Leaf included a sample of this with my order (thanks!). I’ve only had matcha once before. I really didn’t like it then; I remember finding it bitter. It was prepared the traditional way at the Harney & Sons shop in NY, so the taste can’t be chalked up to user error (at least not on my part).
Anyway, this is light years away from my previous experience. I make this as a latte using ~1 heaping teaspoon in 8 oz of hot rice milk blended with a handheld electric milk frother. So. Good. I can’t stand eggnog but this comes out as a creamy vanilla. The sweetness of the rice milk really complements the flavor nicely. I had this with a bagel and cream cheese for brunch today. It really held its own without overwhelming the food. If it didn’t take a few more minutes to make than regular tea, I’d probably be having this every morning.
I don’t have enough experience with matcha to measure against, so no rating for now.
Thanks to the wonderful MissB for thoughtfully including this in my order.
There are little heart-shaped chocolates in the blend. Poor things never stood a chance of making it into the tea. I gobbled them up about as soon as I saw them. Nom nom nom. They taste like praline chocolates and booze (though I’m not sure if the booze flavor is real or imagined).
I decided to go twee with this one and brew it up in a little teapot covered in hearts, then drink it from a little teacup. Silly, but fun!
This was initially rather bland, until I thought to add some rock sugar to compensate for taking out the sweetness of the chocolate. The sugar really helped. It tastes very much like a liquid praline chocolate truffle. Slightly artificial, but it works. Equally tasty on a second steep. I’m not picking up any strawberry, but that’s fine by me.
I don’t do Valentine’s Day, but I am making a very narrow tea-related exception and only drinking teas I love today. This one comes to me courtesy of BrewTEAlly Sweet. Thanks!
This is both straightforward and delicious. Smooth caramel goodness over a solid base tea. Only one serving left, but I might polish it off tonight just to make some room in my cabinet.
This tastes just like an apple version of one of my favorite kosher wines, Bartenura Moscato. Crisp, not too sweet, and just a touch of bubble. I have no idea how Stacy managed it, but this does produce a (pleasantly) fizzy feeling on the tongue. Pretty awesome.
I actually first tried this tea on New Year’s Eve. I tried to make the cocktail recipe that came with it, but I had to substitute too many ingredients – sparkling apple cider for regular and rum for bourbon, and no cinnamon stick for garnish. It came out terrible. So terrible that I was entirely turned off this tea for over a month. Two nights ago, I finally gave it another shot. Two and a half 16-oz mugs later, the tea is all gone. So this is a tea-sad sipdown. Not a tea that I would keep in my regular rotation but one I definitely enjoyed. It’s more of a fall tea than a New Year’s tea, I think.
The recipe suggested by Amoda:
- 1 heaping tsp of Champagne Cider
- 1 oz bourbon
- 1 oz real apple cider
- cinnamon stick to garnish
Steep a cup of Champagne Cider. Leave a little room in the mug. After 5-7 minutes, remove the leaves and pour in the cider and bourbon. Stir with a cinnamon stick and enjoy!
We need a term for the feeling one gets when running low/out of a favorite tea, or learning that a tea is discontinued or otherwise unavailable for sale. I propose “tea-sad”, but I’m certainly open to suggestions!
Anyway, I’m feeling tea-sad about this one. I’m running super low and I managed to mess it up this morning by both underleafing and oversteeping. Still tasty, but not quite as awesome as I’ve come to expect from this tea. And now I can’t even get a good resteep out of it because I left the leaves in the water so long the first time. See previous tasting notes for more about the tea itself.
I blew the rest of my tea budget for the month on a cab ride this morning, so I can’t restock this tea for a little while. It definitely warrants a place in my regular rotation, though.
Picked this up from BrewTEAlly Sweet’s stash sale.
The name of this one is very confusing. I just don’t see it as a morning drink. Even if it was caffeinated. It’s more of a refreshing afternoon blend. The citrus and mint combination is lovely. The mint flavor lingers nicely. That said, I’m not a huge fan. I really don’t like lemongrass, and it’s certainly discernible here. I should have checked the ingredients list.
I picked this up from BrewTEAlly Sweet’s stash sale and am so very glad that I did. It’s just a lovely, thick, floral brew. Not generically floral, either. The rose, jasmine, and lavender are distinct without clashing or tasting artificial. The peppermint doesn’t really come through except as a refreshing, mildly tingly aftertaste. This holds up well to a second steep, though it has an ever so slightly thinner mouthfeel.
This is labeled as a white tea. Also a green tea. I’m not sure which it actually is. The floral flavors obscure most of the base. It looks like a green tea, though.
first steep: 180F, 3 mins
second steep: 195F, 5 mins