863 Tasting Notes
So I think this is the right place to review this tea. Taking a bit of a guess.
I was visiting a relative today. This relative is aware I really like tea, but that is the extent of it. So she says to me that a friend brought her some real tea from England. It is English tea and I just have to try it. She says it is English Darjeeling. So at this point I am already not looking forward to this because 1) I dislike Darjeeling but I don’t want to say that because she is so excited for me to try this tea, and 2) There was a lengthy discussion in which she was adamant that this was “Darjeeling made in England” even though I tried my hardest to explain that it was not grown (or made) in England.
Then she proceed to tell me where the tea was and asked me to make us both some because she didn’t know how to make it.
The package read “Fresh Hand Picked Darjeeling”. It recommended 1/2 tsp per 8 oz, in boiling water. There was no other info about the tea on the packaging. It was clearly a green Darjeeling.
So I brewed up 3 cups (a second relative arrived while I was making the first two cups). Let me start by saying all Darjeeling tastes like ashtray to me. It doesn’t matter if it is high or low quality, 1st or 2nd flush, green or dark, or what steeping parameters are
used, it all tastes like ashtray.
The ashtray this time was a bit more floral from being a greener variety. It was ok. It was quite dry and could have used a bit of sweetener.
I falsely told my relative I thought it was good.
Steepster, I seriously HATE you right now. HATE, yes in all capital letters. Since when does backspace mean “go back to the previous browser page”. The answer is: NEVER!!!!!!!!!!!! I wrote a giant 10 minute long post and hit backspace to correct a spelling mistake and VOILA – completely lost review. Hate, that’s right, HATE.
So here goes an even longer story that no one saw the first time. I normally sip a lot of my teas on the weekends. The weekdays are for guzzling tea to get me through the work day. For the last several weekends I have been really busy so I haven’t been able to drink a lot of tea. I have been trying to make sure I make tea to go so I can take it with me on my travels. But I have a major issue (other than hate…), I often forget to bring the travel mug with me. This is not a new problem. I have been doing this for years.
So yesterday after I brewed up a giant travel mug of this tea, I loaded up the car and locked up the house. Then I had to come back into the locked house, twice no doubt, because I kept forgetting things. I was well into my travels before I reached out to grab my tea and only grasped at the empty air in the cupholder. So when I got home 11 hours or so later, I couldn’t bear to throw this delicious tea away. I ended up sticking it in the fridge over night.
This wasn’t brewed with the intention of being a cold brew so it didn’t turn out too great. (Brewed 1 sachet, 10 oz, 195F, for 2 minutes). There is very strong cinnamon flavours. There is also strong apricot with a lot of sweetness. But the liquor is quite thin. There is not much to the rest of the tea. It is like very watered down cinnamon-apricot juice I think I will stick to this one hot.
Still angry steepster, still angry!
Ok so this is more of a cooking with tea review. But it was a-matcha-azing!!!
I made matcha chocolate using this recipe:
http://www.justonecookbook.com/recipes/green-tea-chocolate/ (this site is totally my new favorite recipe site!!)
I tweaked the recipe just a little bit.
My recipe was:
400g of swiss white chocolate wafers, chopped into small pieces as the wafers were quite large
2TB matcha plus 1 tsp to sprinkle
1/2 cup whipping cream.
Heat the cream over medium heat, once hot but not boiling turn down heat to low and slowly add the chocolate stirring constantly. Then add the butter and continue stirring constantly until fully melted together. Remove from heat and immediately add the 2TB matcha slowly (I sifted it in 1/2 TB at a time), and continue stirring until fully mixed and smooth. Pour in a parchment paper lined pan (I used a bread pan because that is all I had that was small enough). Lightly bang pan on the counter to remove any air pockets. Put in fridge to cool. Once cooled, cut into pieces and sprinkle 1 tsp matcha over top (I again sifted it through a mesh strainer).
This was so absolutely delicious. It was quite sweet, there was subtle smooth white chocolate flavour, the matcha was also smooth but provided a moderate matcha/green tea flavour. There was no bitterness at all. Slightly vegetal. The white chocolate made the matcha so creamy and smooth. Next time I think I would use less butter because this came out more soft than I would have liked (it was almost a soft-type fudge consistency). I would like to try to find some good white chocolate that is also a bit less sweet.
The only draw back it is getting late where I am, I am sure I will be up all night now because of the matcha. #sensitive sleeper. But I want to eat so much more :)
I know this is not really tea per se, but it is already in the data base so I thought I would give my review.
I have become addicted to bento. For most of my life I have been addicted to Asian cuisine, very specifically Japanese. And every once in a while I fancy myself an amazing chef and try my hand at making some delicious food. Just a note, Japanese chefs are amazingly skilled, that stuff is hard to pull off and make taste good. But even harder to pull it off and make it look good too. Throughout my bento quest I have been doing a lot of experimenting. So long story, I decided this weekend I was going to go all out and make sushi. I haven’t made sushi in such a long time. I ended up doing maki-sushi, a whole bunch of different onigiri, tamygoyaki, and some lettuce rolls. I wasn’t even hungry by the time I had everything prepared.
So anyway the point of this story is that I had to go shopping for ingredients, and I couldn’t find everything I wanted and I was scouring the shelves and came across this. And of course, I had to buy it.
I was not expecting too much, but if you were sitting in the room with me, this was my review: coughs out loud and then “WOW!”.
Holy spice, Ginger Drink! I actually used more water then recommended too. This comes packaged in individual servings. The granules are actually a fare size, they reminded me of yeasty coloured pellet fish food (gross, I know). The smell was kind of ginger but you could also strongly smell honey. After the tea is dissolved it smells strongly ginger, but it is almost not like real ginger. Is there such a thing as fake ginger? The taste of this is definitely kick you in the face ginger. There is quite a bit of spice too it. There is a very strong honey sweetness. There is more honey then I would have liked but this will work.
Someone in one of the threads was asking about teas for your nose? Well this one would definitely get your nose running and your sinuses clear.
Another wonderful free sample from Angel and Teavivre.
This one is definitely a very dark oolong.
The reviews are interesting as they are so varied in what this tea tastes like.
I am finding this smooth, thick, slightly creamy. There is only very light floral oolong flavour. The roastiness of this tea is definitely present but I would not say it is strong. There is definitely a sweet potatoe/kind of yammy flavour. Slightly nutty. This oolong is definitely closer to a black tea than a green.
Thank you very much to Angel from Teavivre for this free sample!
There are a lot of tea companies that have good customer service, and there are a few that have excellent customer service, and Teavivre falls into the excellent category. I do have to apologize that it has taken me this long to review this free tea.
This tea is large rolled nuggets. It brews up a very dark, brown tea. It smells floral, sweet, vegetal, and roasty.
The tea brews up lovely. The nuggets unfurled so large that they almost could not be contained in the regular sized tea basket I always use. The dry nuggets were greenish in colour but the brewed tea leaves are more brown.
The taste of the tea is much less flavourful than the smell. It definitely has the flavours of a green oolong, vegetal, strongly floral, almost perfumey. But there is a light roast flavour on top of that. There is a strong buttery/creamy quality to the tea liquor.
I quite prefer the heavily roasted or darker oolongs compared to a green oolong.
This was is pretty good, not as roasty as I prefer, but I love the buttery quality to this tea.
I bought this when I bought Hibiki-An’s house matcha to use for cold shaken in the mornings. I wanted to try a few grades to see what would work best. The house matcha ended up being perfect.
The superior matcha is ground so fine it is way beyond dust consistency. There is strong green tea vegetal aroma, but still sweet. It smells delicious. It barely needed to be sifted and does not clump too much. The colour of the matcha is dark, rich, uniform green.
I have tried this one two ways so far.
My usual recipe of 1 heaping tsp (prolly 1.5tsp) in 8 oz water, with a pinch of white sugar. It is actually quite good. However, I think the house matcha is better than the superior grade for cold shaken. The superior grade is much more vegetal but is still smooth and quite creamy. It dissolves very well and doesn’t clump at the bottom of my shaking glass.
1.5 tsp, matcha, 1/2 tsp white sugar, approx. 6 oz frothed warm milk. Dissolves excellent. There is not a lot of sediment. The taste is creamy, light matcha, slightly vegetal. It is perfect for a latte.
I think this superior grade is much better as a hot matcha. The house blend is much better cold (which I find funny because you would think the higher the grade the better it would be for everything). That makes me happy. The house blend is cheaper and I don’t drink a whole lot of hot/traditional prepared matcha. This superior matcha is probably the best tasting matcha [made at home] that I have had.
I still have another box of the houseblend to get through but I am getting excited to make another order with Hibiki.
While hot, the base had quite a burnt taste. Not burnt in a bad way, like burnt caramel but without the sweetness. I think it is from the black/green mix for the base. The tea becomes much more caramalized sugar type burnt as it cools. There are strong vanilla and mallow flavours. It makes the tea liquor feel quite thick. There is a generic red fruits flavour to the tea but I am not able to distinguish which red fruit. There is maybe a bit of red currant in there.
This tea is a bit too strong on the mallow flavour for me, but that could be how I brewed it. It is definitely a great tea, would make a great dessert tea.
Last one of the advent calendar.
This tea is not as good as it was before. For some reason this year it is not really reminding me of Christmas at all.
This one is a mild black base. There are strong pineapple notes, lots of citrus. Very light cherry flavour. It has that generic Dammann bubble gum flavour. Maybe it is the bacon and eggs I had before I had this tea. The flavours are just not screaming Christmas to me. It tastes good tho.
Overall I really enjoyed this advent calendar but not sure if I will order next year. After two years in a row I feel like I have tried most of dammanns Christmas teas. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to try their teas tho.
Merry Christmas everyone!