500 Tasting Notes

98
I looooove amaretto! It’s the only alcohol I actually enjoy. Well, that and muscato and the occasional sweet Riesling. But amaretto! It’s the only hard liquor I enjoy! Um…and Bailey’s and Amarula… Okay, but amaretto is my favorite! There! Now I’m right. :) My husband also loves anything almond. Loves. I bought this for him but I plan to enjoy it too. :)

So after dinner, I had to rummage through my collection of jars to find something to put this matcha into. I know I’m not making any preserves in a while because those jars are all filled with matcha. It’s for a good cause. :D So I find a jar that’s way too big but it will have to do. I rip open the bag and the most intoxicating aroma just comes spilling out. Mmmmm heaven! Husband is watching the big debate so he’s totally engrossed. I wave the open under his nose and he literally does a double take. Hilarious! At this point, he’s only disappointed that we have to share just half a cup because we are totally out of milk. I kept having to tell him to wait while I whisked it up. So impatient. heh

Finally, I presented the cup to him and he practically drank the whole thing. I had to wrestle the mug from him to get a taste for myself. This matcha is amazing. There’s a slight grassy vegetal flavor from the matcha, but it’s really mostly amaretto without the alcohol burn and without all the sugar. Absolutely fabulous. If you like amaretto, you’ve got to try this:
http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/amaretto-matcha.html

For those of you who have tried amaretto and almond, how would you compare the two? I’m wondering if it’s worth investing in both flavors.

ashmanra

Aw, man! I want this one, too! I just ordered two flavors and had a hard time picking, so I guess this one will be next!

Mercuryhime

It’s so hard to narrow it down! Every time I go in there I have a mile long list of flavors I want. Then I spend the half 15 minutes deciding which ones to axe. :( Last time I got some flavors based on what I think others would like most so it was a bit easier. Still tough though!

Mercuryhime

I meant “next 15 minutes.” errr

Babble

There are so many flavors I had to use a spreadsheet to determine what flavors I want! I assigned them a priority to figure out what to put in my next order. I also usually factor in the Steepster review. Yeah, I’m a nerd.

ashmanra

No, Rachel, that is genius. Must. Try.

Babble

I like to try and solve all of my life’s problems with spreadsheets ;)

Rachel Sincere

Rachel, can you come to Wisconsin and fix my life? LOL

Nik

I was just about to ask how the amaretto and the almond compare. Curious to see if anyone has tried both.

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93

Tasty! The moment I opened up the bag, I smelled hazelnut praline, like the stuff inside fancy chocolates. I gotta admit, I’m pretty jealous of coffee drinkers only because hazelnut is such a common flavor in coffee and so sparse in tea. Why aren’t there more hazelnut teas? Such a delicious roasty indulgent flavor. Mmmm… This hazelnut smell in this matcha reminds me of the hazelnut flavor of coffee only without any coffee flavor. Sweet!

And I’m really digging this black matcha! It’s smooth and just strong enough to complement the hazelnut (I got distinctive level flavoring). I see so few reviews for black matcha. You guys have got to try this! If I had some chocolate syrup, it would already be in this cup! I’m already dreaming of how I can add this to brownies and chocolate cookies. I’m going to be a a star come Christmas with all these matcha flavors to play with. :D

This is seriously such a delicious dessert and it barely has any calories. I guess we’ll see how the caffeine in black matcha hits me. :) I wanted to work out today anyway. It’s been really difficult to work up the motivation to exercise lately. Depressing.

This lattes up like a dream. I hope my dad likes this as much as I do because I hope to share it with him. Is it terrible that I hope he won’t care for it so I can keep it? haha

Get some deliciousness right here:
http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/hazelnut-matcha.html

CHAroma

What does black matcha taste like compared to green matcha?

Mercuryhime

Like a smooth black tea. :) nothing fancy. I’m not a real expert on black tea but this is a smooth tasty matcha. I made mine cold so not sure how it reacts to hot water.

CHAroma

Hmm, so it just tastes like black tea? No vegetal grassy matcha-ness?

Mercuryhime

Nope! Not that I could detect anyway. The vegetal grassiness is just a green matcha thing. :)

CHAroma

Cool, thanks!

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69

Hmm, not really a fan of Chinese sencha. The flavoring is quite nice though. Blueberry and a bit of lemon. Feels a bit bubbly somehow. :) Hot tea on a cloudy chilly autumn morning. Could anything be more comforting?

Thanks for the sample TeaEqualsBliss!

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91

Breakfast smoothie! 2 frozen bananas, almond coconut milk, two large spoonfuls of Trader Joe’s honey Greek yogurt, 2 teaspoons of this matcha. Blend.

SO delicious! It was literally like drinking a milkshake. The bavarian cream flavor really came out in the smoothie. SO sweet and a bit yolky and super creamy. Just like custard! And frozen custard is ice cream so that explains why my smoothie tasted like a milk shake. Mmm, yummy! I think the white matcha is growing on me. :)

Yogini Undefined

wow, that sounds so good!

SmooMcGoo

ha, I love that we make basically the same breakfast smoothie!!I add protein powder, no yogurt for mine. :)

Mercuryhime

I like how yogurt makes it more creamy. Try a bit next time! :) I only have time for breakfast smoothies on weekends so they are a real treat for me. :)

CHAroma

Man, what does white matcha taste like? I’m really uneducated in my matchas.

Mercuryhime

White matcha is not pretty to look at but the taste is good. It’s a bit floral and perfumey but not overwhelming. It’s more delicate and not grassy like green matcha.

Mercuryhime

And don’t worry about not knowing about matchas. I stool haven’t worked up the nerve to try oolong and puerh matcha. :)

Nik

Mmm…this sounds amaaaazing…

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drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
500 tasting notes

Chocolate and rose? How is this possible? This tea exceeds expectations. I think I’ve got allergies or I’m getting a bit of a cold, so I hope I’m getting all the nuances here because this tea deserves it.

This tea somehow really reminds me of rose flavored truffles. Mmm… and vanilla! So smooth! I don’t even like black tea! I’ve clearly been drinking the wrong kinds! Wow. This is so desserty and malty! A dessert tea without dessert flavorings! Mmmm… I definitely smell honey in the liquor. Most black teas I’ve had just beg for a bit a cream but this tea…it would be sacrilege to add cream to this. Gotta savor it just the way it is! Not a hint of astringency! love this!

Bonnie

Welcome to the dark side!

Terri HarpLady

I love this tea too! It’s everything a black tea wishes it could be!

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85
drank Genmai Cha by Hime
500 tasting notes

Added some buttered popcorn crumbs to this. That made it a bit salty and rich with buttery savory flavors. Nice! It’s like soup. :) the butter from the popcorn made my strainer greasy though. Hehe there was also oily stuff floating on the top, but one would expect that from buttered popcorn. Next time I’ll brew the tea and drop the popcorn in separately so I can eat them with my tea!

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91

Soo…I probably shouldn’t have made this with vanilla soy milk from the get go. To be fair to the tea, I should have tried it first straight up. But from my past matcha experiences, the ones made with unmilk have always been my favorite. And husband somehow didn’t realize he was buying vanilla soy instead of plain. Oh well.

I’m trying a white matcha base here for the first time! The normal green matcha will always be my favorite but this white one is not bad! To start with, it whisked up like a dream. If you can call it whisking when you’re using a teaspoon… It tastes a bit floral, like a tasty white tea all on it’s own. I’m guessing that’s not the bavarian cream flavor. What is the bavarian cream flavor at work here? Well, it’s the fantastic desserty creamy flavor. Tasty. Especially with a bit of brown rock sugar.

I wasn’t sure what to expect on the caffeine front with this tea. The green matcha makes my head hurt with the potent caffeine punch. Normal non-powdered white tea has been known to give me that same caffeine headache. Whatever bai mu dan Frank uses usually has this quality. Teavivre’s bai mu dan did the same thing. So what about this matchafied white tea I’m drinking? Well I’m happy to report that I’m feeling buzzed and alert but no headache! Either I’m getting better at this caffeine thing or this tea is just not that caffeinated to begin with. Either way, awesome! Let’s see what husband thinks…

Husband: (sniffs the cup) Did you put coconut rum in here?
Me: Nooooo. Figure out what it is.
Husband: (sips it) Coconut.
Me: It’s bavarian cream! Do you like this better or green matcha better?
Husband: The question is: where is my cup?

Success!

Please find this yummy matcha here:
http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/bavarian-cream-matcha.html

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95

Steep 4:
This makes a nice after linner tea. That refreshing mysterious cooling sensation is really awesome and refreshing. Lovely smooth earthy flavor. Tastes more bit more cocoa-y now. It’s helping with my dessert craving. :) This is a puerh I would definitely order again.

Unrelated, but here’s my new favorite thing:
http://dog-shaming.com

DaisyChubb

Hilarious!

Bonnie

Love it!

Helena

I shared the website on google+ because it was very funny :D

Mercuryhime

Great site to browse after a stressful day. :) pups are hilarious. Hehe

Ninavampi

Wow… You just provided me with a new obsession!!! :)

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

okay.. that website is great.. like srsly great..

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95

I know I’m supposed to steep and toss the first infusion, but this is tasty! I’m keeping it! I can only imagine it will get better and better. :D I love this smell and the smoothness. It really is corny! I love corn! I can’t speak to the nuances of the smell cause I"m making homemade tomato sauce and that smell always permeates the whole apartment. But the taste is rich and somehow leaves a cooling sensation in the back of my throat. And the toucha hasn’t even completely unfurled yet. Weee! And that lingering flavor of toasty fritos. yum!

Steep two!
Alright kids! The toucha has mostly fallen apart now. The liquor is dark and looks like coffee. This infusion is much richer. What a lovely smooth mouthfeel! Brothy and delicious. The frito flavor is less apparent here but still pleasantly a part of the experience. I love this unique cooling sensation! How is this happening? There’s the teeniest hint of bitter cocoa without being bitter. Underneath everything is an earthy untouched forest. This is really great for fall. I have a real love for this season. I chose to get married outdoors in fall. :D Luckily, it was one of those rare sunny days that are neither hot nor cold. Today is not like that day. It’s humid and cloudy and my make up would have been a mess. But it’s ok. This is not my wedding day. It’s just a lazy tea day! And this tea is lovely enough to make up for the weather. (how I do prattle on…) I wonder how corn loving husband will feel about this tea?

Steep 3!
Corn flavor has made a comeback! Yay! Yummy! Deep earthy flavor here. Still smooth, still cooling. How is it doing that?! I don’t think I’ve ever had a puerh I’ve enjoyed so much as this one. Did I mention that I was feeling really blah and tired today? I somehow went to bed around 11 last night and woke up at 8 am today. Then I ate breakfast and managed to fall asleep again from 11am to 1:30pm. I should have had tea earlier! This tea is now making me all perky but without the headache some teas give me! Awesome! I can conquer the world! Maybe dad would like this. He likes strong flavors. :D

Gonna stop drinking tea to have linner (lunch/dinner). More later!

EDIT: I found a piece about Verdant Tea on Serious Eats!
http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2012/09/verdant-tea-organic-chinese-interview-profile.html

Bonnie

Nice review. I keep wanting a nap today too.

TeaBrat

naps are awesome!

Mercuryhime

I didn’t even mean to nap! It just happened! I was reading and then woke up a few hours later feeling all confused. I love lazy weekends!

TeaBrat

me too. :)

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drank Alishan by Allison Tsui
500 tasting notes

I had this yesterday, but I think I used way too little leaf. I’ll have to do better next time before I rate this. I can’t really detect much of interest from these leaves, actually, but I’m hoping to be proved wrong next time I try this. The pouches were no doubt meant to be used all at once. I did discover one useful thing though. I have a bamboo lid that also acts as a stand for my strainer in between steeps. Last week, I had a really spicy chai and the spicy flavor soaked right into the porous bamboo. My second steep of this tea was quite cinnamon-y. At first I was impressed that this oolong could have such a natural cinnamon flavor. But I was suspicious because I did not taste spice of any sort in the first brewing. Then I made the connection. The wet steeper basket had spent a good hour or more soaking up the chai flavor from my bamboo lid. argh! How do I get the spicy flavor out! I need a stainless steel lid. :( On the plus side, cinnamon oolong is tasty!

Thanks for your generous sample Allison!

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Profile

Bio

I came from a tea drinking family, but I never appreciated the different qualities and varieties of tea until older. All that time wasted! But I guess I needed to be mature enough to appreciate the tea experience. :)

My favorite teas are green oolongs and white tea. I also love greens, especially gyokuro. I have a huge appreciation for rooibos and honeybush as they are often that only thing I can drink in the evening. I am a relatively new convert to black teas. This is unfortunate for my wallet but extremely wonderful for my palate. :)

In any case, I have a love for both flavored and unflavored teas. They are different experiences for sure, but both enjoyable. I find that it often depends on my mood.

I am on a quest to find a tea that will win my husband over. I think I’m making some headway…

My profile pic features my two lovable puppies, Mr. Snuggles and Sr. Caliente.

Location

NYC / Westchester

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