1337 Tasting Notes
My mother got me a beauty set from Neal’s Yard Remedies as a gift, they are mostly organic face and body creams and such but there was also a tea included. Well a tisane to be more politically correct. An organic blend which boasts the abilities to “Balance the emotions, uplift, sooth, and relax.” All served in a caffeine free and bleach free bags.
I admit, this did make a nice addition to the set but at the same time it boasts too much and I have my suspicions. While it may taste nice (which I shall see very soon) it may not necessarily be calming. I do dislike the hyped up tea/tisane benefits that some companies boast.
Opening the box I can see the bags are sealed into individual sachets which is a nice touch but something I did expect.
When I open the sachet I see the bag has a long steeping tag and the bag itself is white, it’s too thick for me to make out the quality of the contents. However, a sniff of the bag reveals a dry, thick, herbal scent of frankly nothing pleasant. I hope it doesn’t taste it smells.
Instructions – “Use one teabag per cup, cover with boiling water and allow to infuse and release the herbal goodness for 5-10 minutes. Remove teabag and enjoy”.
Once steeped the liquid is golden brown and bares the same herbal scent as it’s raw state (in others words; yuck!).
I tried to come into this with an open mind but so far I am very unimpressed. Unfortunately I usually am when it comes to tisanes, particularly pre-bagged. This is bared in mind as I take my first few sips. It’s as herbal tasting as it smells though there is a slight sweetness which lingers in the after taste. It reminds me of clove as it has a refreshing quality, perhaps it’s the skullcap?
A few more sips reveal a touch of flowers but they are very subtle amidst the thick herbs that they are indeterminate.
Frankly this is going to come into one of two categories for me: Drinkable and Undrinkable. I severely dislike thick herbs in any tea or tisane and unfortunately for me this fits the bill. I could finish this mug though honestly I will not be looking forward to it, but the idea of drinking the other 19 teabags in my possession fills me with dread and as a result I’m pulling a screwed up face at the idea.
The face creams and products are actually amazing but the tea is very disappointing.
I love that this comes in a can rather than a pouch. Plus it’s got a ring pull to open it for a real sense of freshness. Not to mention the plastic re-sealable lid for ease of use.
As I open the ring pull the Matcha is revealed, it’s a glorious shade of grass green and bares an amazing, sweet aroma of lightly toasted grass. Delicate but beautiful!
A quick inspection of the packaging reveals that this comes from Sakae-cho, Odawara, Kanagawa in Japan.
I will be preparing this Matcha Uji Style with water temp 75C.
he resulting Matcha is silky and bright green in colour with a wonderful, thick froth. Scent matches it’s raw state to that of toasted sweetgrass.
Flavour is sweet but with some astringency. Grassy notes mixed with cream and seaweed. Very pleasing and thicker than I thought it would be from the scent. A touch of dryness in the after taste but with a lingering grass tone.
This was extremely pleasant and a joy to drink. It also has to be said this got bonus points for being organic. I’m generally a fan of NaturaliTea and this holds to their quality and style. In terms of it being a ceremonial Matcha I would say this was a very nice example and it compares very well to some top names/brands.
For these reasons I will be rating this an 8.5/10. Almost a 9 but for me there was perhaps too much sweetness.
For pics please view my blog: http://www.kittylovestea.co.uk/2015/11/03/organic-matcha-memories-with-naturalitea/
Flavors: Cream, Grass, Sweet
I found one remaining tea bag of this left over from Christmas, a single bag looks lonely so I decided to use it. It’s lost a bit of flavour and spice through being stored but it still has some pleasantries. The nutmeg is stronger than I remember but essentially this is now a normal bag of tea with a slight twist. Perhaps keeping it for so long was a mistake, oh well. At least it made for an interesting breakfast tea this morning.
Around 2 months ago I reviewed this tea and gave it top marks, essentially it had everything I look for in a black breakfast tea. Though I have continued to drink this I thought I would review it again to make sure the top mark rating is just.
Taking 1.5 teaspoons of blend and steeping with boiling water for around 3 minutes.
The resulting liquid is thick and malty with some sourness and a hint of smoke in the after taste. Despite being full on in terms of flavour this is not astringent and does not require milk nor sugar to drink it. The sourness adds a charm to the blend and works well with the malt notes. There is also a touch of sweetness to it which becomes noticeable after a few mouthfuls.
I still do really like this tea, it’s perfect for me in the morning. I don’t like using milk or sweetener when I can help it and this blend means I don’t have to, but it doesn’t compromise on flavour and I’m not pulling grimaces between sips because it tastes too rough (which sometimes happens with other breakfast teas). Either way I will need to get some more of this when I run out because it would truly be missed.
In short, this blend is still a winner.
Upon opening the packet I am met with a large leaf and floral blend, which was not quite as I imagined it somehow. I was expecting pieces of butterscotch in the blend to create the flavour, instead we have ‘natural flavours’ in their place to create a synthetic version. With that in mind I give it a sniff, and while it’s sweet (and again floral) it just is not butterscotch like. It does smell creamy and well it’s still a pleasant scent but not quite right.
This will be interesting! I put two teaspoons of leaf (as it’s large leaf) into my steeping mug with 90C water for roughly 3-4 minutes.
The resulting tea liquid is golden brown in colour and bares a sweet scent that actually does resemble butterscotch rather well. Less floral than it’s raw blend form but not as creamy or thick as actual butterscotch.
In terms of flavour this is very pleasant, a dark, toffee and treacle mix (without a lot of sweetness) with some creamy, floral undertones that linger in the after taste. It’s not bitter but I think the flavours would be enhanced a bit better with some sugar or honey, just to make it more butterscotch like. Even without anything extra it still does have a butterscotch essence and though it may not be perfect it’s still very well created.
As it cools it becomes creamier and a little thicker in the after taste, particularly the floral tones. At this point I can taste the white tea a little better and it’s also becoming increasingly dry.
For more information please view the SororiTEA Sisters post.
The loose leaf is large and hosts an array of colours, most noticeably the lime leaf. The black tea is also large and thinly rolled into long, squiggly pieces. The blend as a whole has a spicy and rather aromatic scent. Not as strong as I expected nor as Thai food strong.
So 2 teaspoons (since it’s large leaf) of blend into my steeping mug and boiling water added for roughly 3-4 minutes.
The resulting tea liquid is dark brown and in colour and has the most amazing Thai scent I have ever smelled from a tea. It truly does smell like Thai green curry, or another similar dish. It’s spicy with citrus highs and a creamy underlayer, before becoming spicy again. Wondrous indeed!
And here comes the taste test (which I can hardly control my excitement about). ..sip..sip. Holy moly, that has a spicy kick! The chilli burns the throat (well rather tingles than burns) and is quickly neutralised by a touch of cream and citrus (which matches the smell) before becoming spicy again in the after taste. The chilli is definitely the main character. I gave a sip for my husband and he stated “I’ve never had such a spicy cup of tea” and considering I’m on 1291 (including this tea) steeping notes of which I pass onto him to try; it’s saying something about this ‘unique’ blend.
More information on SororiTEA Sisters:
When I didn’t think this tea could get much more perfect I found a way….by dipping ginger biscuits into it! Now it’s ginger toffee matcha :D
A beautiful aid while I watch Sixteen Candles. I adored Anthony Michael Hall when I was a teen. Always had a ‘thing’ for ‘geeks’ which probably explains why I married an IT professional. Well that and it comes in handy to have someone ‘in the know’ when my laptop/blog goes ‘tits up’. Oh and if you don’t know what ‘tits up’ means then check the link. http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/385050.html
Hopefully I will have a tea fuelled weekend with lots of reviews, and I hope you all do too! Hurrah for the wonders of tea.
Back to this tea in hand. I received a sample pack of 10g from NBT a while ago as an exclusive pre-release taster before it was launched on the site. Now it’s up for sale I decided the best thing for me to do was ice it to try and get the most flavour from it. So for two days I have had 10g of this blend steeping in my fridge using 1litre of water. Coldsteeping is much softer and keeps delicate tones, it’s my preferred method of icing tea/tisanes.
I haven’t mentioned much about the look or scent of the blend but honestly there was not much to it. The blend looked floral and multi coloured which bared a subtly sweet yet herbal scent. The fruit was too delicate for me to really say much about it and I decided to let it’s flavour speak instead. So I waited for the outcome with enough time to thicken with flavour.
Today is the morning I try this and the resulting liquid is a light brown/orange colour with a delicious sweet, fruit scent. Particularly like apple and strawberry with honey. A real contrast to it’s unsteeped scent. It’s flavour is just as wonderful! Sweet honeyed fruits with a touch of floral after tones that leave my mouth feeling sweet and refreshed. The fruit tones are mixed but notable berry with a touch of sourness with an exotic fruit affair behind them.
Honestly this tisane gave me a lot more pleasure than I thought it would and I’m happy to say this Honeybush blend is a winner. I don’t think I would have liked this if it was a Rooibos base and the Honeybush really does make this blend stand out.
More information on SororiTEA Sisters.
Out of all the different things I could drink today I found myself wanting this one, primarily for it’s beetroot like flavour. The last couple of days I’ve wanted nothing but vegetables and fruit to eat and while I don’t really like beetroot I can still appreciate some things about it. Perhaps I’m just mad for wanting to drink something that reminds me of another thing I dislike…Anyway I chose it and after this serving I have one more mugs worth left for another time. Probably in the near future I imagine to clear it out of my stash and replace it with something else.
Anyway yes, tea. This one was reminded also when I read notes from Scheherazade after recently trying it from the EU TTB. It is Pu Erh like in some ways but I like that about it. First of all I wasn’t sure what to make of it but now I’ve had this tea a fair few times I find it has grown on me. It offers that complexity of beetroot, earth, damp, musk and sweet but dry wood which is rather unique. I’ve come across aged tea before and I love to try things older than I am (perhaps because I think older tea must have more knowledge and insight) but I don’t remember tasting beetroot in a tea before. Well except one tea that actually contained beetroot…and I cannot remember where that was from now I think about it.
To match this unusual but delightful tea I have some pop punk on. Currently loving Vicious Love by New Found Glory. I had the fortune of seeing them when I was around 13/14 years old at a small local venue. Listening to them now gives me an awe of nostalgia…which may also be why I chose an aged tea. Plus it makes me feel young again and so I can jump up and down and dance whilst doing other things…for example when it came on tv earlier I was preparing some pesto using carrot tops. There I was jumping up and down whilst singing along and adding ingredients to the pesto. Plus fyi – Carrots make good fake microphones when you really need one.