660 Tasting Notes
Now THIS has a smell – strawberry matcha is bold and in your face once opened. It reminds me of strawberry lollipops and other strawberry candies. Definitely doesn’t smell like a fresh strawberry, but that’s okay since it isn’t one. I am thinking right off the bat that I will like this one better cold as the idea of hot strawberry is a little iffy, but I try everything hot first cuz that’s how I like my tea.
Sifted and whisked up 1/2 teaspoon of this bad boy, the steeped smell puts me in mind of a strawberry bath bomb. Unfortunately that means it smells good in theory but is not at all something you would want to ingest. I feel like I am about to eat playdough or something else equally ill prepared for human consumption.
The taste does not match the aroma (thank God!) but the aroma is there in my nostrils and not going away. I don’t get a taste of chemicals, but neither do I get the sweet strawberry I hoped for. Actually, I don’t get a lot of anything. There is that light bitterness I seem to find in all matchas but not a whole lot else. As I continue to drink, I get more of a buildup of flavour, unfortunately what is building up puts me in mind of chemicals. Ugh.
I’m going to add a drop of honey and see if that makes any drastic changes. With honey, the smell is the same but the taste has improved marginally. Now it tastes like slightly honey flavoured chemical waeter. With the foam I actually feel a bit like I’m drinking the suds in a bubble bath. Okay, this will be one to try cold, or as an addition to a smoothie. After having tried 4 flavoured matchas and 1 unflavoured, I am coming to the conclusion that matcha isn’t for me. Luckily, the beau likes it and will use it all up but I wish I hadn’t invested in it. It upsets my tummy sometimes too, which is annoying. I don’t know why green teas hate me, but it’s disappointing.
Finishing up this sample today (in almost record time!) and wanted to share that I am getting a cuppa peaches and cream corn today. That is the smell and that is the taste – the dry smell actually makes my tummy a little upset (some greens and oolongs don’t agree with me) but the taste isn’t having that effect. It’s interesting how vanilla can lean so many ways in terms of flavouring – thankfully this isn’t coconutty vanilla, but more baked goods style. And apparently corn. : )
Full disclosure: I won this as a prize from Red Leaf Tea for helping to rename their Sugar Destroyer tea so I am not sure what the flavour strength is on this one. Thanks RLT! I would guess it’s not very strong as I didn’t get much aroma from the bag. There was some definite sweetness, but it smelled sort of generic, much like I found the cookie and cream matcha to smell. Actually, they both sort of smelled like the caramel matcha. For a non-green tea drinker, I think I need really high levels of flavouring in my matcha to make it palatable. Otherwise, what’s the point in flavour, eh? : )
The taste is..something else altogether. It is sweet. Not sugar sweet, but naturally sweet, rather than an addition. Sort of like how fruit is sweet but candy is cloying? Anyway, it’s yummy. Smooth with a sense of richness. I wouldn’t call it cheesecake if I hadn’t seen that on the label but it IS nice. Once again, a stronger flavour level would probably help distinguish the taste for me but that’s a personal weakness. I do get a bit of bitterness that lingers on the tongue – I’m not loving that. I think I will add a hint of honey to nix that.
Okay, honey may have turned into grapefruit agave. So sure me, it’s delicious. With the sweetener, the bitterness is muted and barely noticeable, which I prefer. I think this mixed with the caramel matcha would be super delicious – though it’s good on it’s own, it needs a little something to take it up a notch for me. It would be super yummy as an additive to a smoothie or cookies or something like that.
I tend to forget that I like Keemun. I recently finished off a tin of a low grade Keemun from a local tea store, and turned to this one today to try something I hadn’t tasted before. Teavivre graciously sent me this in my first batch of samples months and months ago – and though I thought I tried it, apparently not. Actually, I owe Teavivre half a dozen reviews. I feel miserable about it, but a lot of times I just want to drink a tea and enjoy it, rather than thinking about the review I owe. Anyway, on to the tea.
We did a steep with boiling water for around 3 minutes, the liquor was rich and surprisingly brown in our new glass bubble tea cups. If you want smallish double walled cups, the Bubble ones at Davids Tea are super cute. I love them. Anyway, the tea was rich in flavour, I remember lots of strong notes, reminiscent of chocolate. Why do so many of my favourite black teas remind me of chocolate?! I REALLY enjoyed this one and would consider adding it to the Teavivre order I am trying to make (for some reason their site is refusing our credit card as payment. I’m a little bummed). The flavour was bold but not harsh and it was very smooth with no bitterness. (all good points in my book!) See my note on Persian Apple for how the second steep went, heheh.
This is a keemun win, for sure. Now to get my order to process…
80 degrees, three minutes steep. The beau made this one for us (after accidentally steeping Teavivre’s Keemun Hao Ya for 20 minutes, hah!) so I didn’t get to smell it beforehand. His sense of panic when he oversteeped the keemun was hilarious. I had to point out that there is plenty of other tea in our house if he wants some.
The steeped aroma reminds me of sweetened boiled apples – like homemade applesauce with no cinnamon and too much sugar. Actually, really appealing. I don’t tend to like green tea and I have been on the hunt for the perfect apple tea for two years. Do we have a contender?
First sips are light on flavour – no green tea, but there is something appley. Tastes more like green apple jelly bellies than applesauce though. Though I LOVE Jelly Bellies, that means the flavour is coming aross as artificial to me. Good, but artificial.
As I keep drinking, I get a bit of the bubblegum flavour I tend to get from DT’s newer flavoured blends. It does happen to taste exactly like a green apple jelly belly though! Won’t have any trouble finishing the sample I purchased, but I don’t anticipate a rebuy. I might like to see a bit of sour apple in there somewhere to cut the artificial sweetness. Yummy, but too standard. If I were just starting out in tea, I would probably fall for this, but I’ve been around the tea block too many times. : )
Picked some of this up yesterday out of curiosity – the smell has a hint of matcha, but I didn’t find that to be present in the taste. I used it on supper last night and it really packs a salt punch – but be careful to use just a little unless you want a very salty meal. It’s neat, but more of a gimmick than a necessity for me, I think.
I don’t know what is wrong with me or my taste buds, but I did not get any cookies or cream out of this, either in taste or aroma! I prepared 1/2 teaspoon, sifted and whisked – then got sweetened matcha, but no flavour! I ordered the distinctive flavouring, and am wondering if I should have taken it up a notch. I will be trying it again another time, in case something was off in this experience, but I am a little disappointed. The aroma wasn’t even cookies and cream – it was almost more burnt sugar/creme brulee. I’m not a fan of milk at all, and don’t particularly enjoy it in matcha, but I might try that at some point to see if it brings out the creaminess. Hoping for better matcha luck with the cheesecake and strawberry flavours.
*Will rate another time after I re-try.
Holy Hannah, these are huge. I expected pearls, not marbles – and I am in love. Taste and smell aside, these things are beautiful. I requested a sample of these a few months back and Teavivre graciously obliged…then they somehow ended up in a strange place and never got used. My bad. Teavivre, thanks again for the sample – I’m so in love with the look that as long as they taste halfway decent, I’ll be ordering more (and some Bailin Gongfu!).
I used 4 marbles and steeped them in nearly boiling water for 3 minutes (my standard black tea steep setup). The liquor is amber, but lighter than many black teas. The aroma is bold, reminds me of cigarettes/cigars. Typically that would be unpleasant, but this isn’t. It’s like the sweetness of tobacco mixed with something musty and rich. Old leather? There’s a hint of “ashtray” which I don’t like, but hopefully that’s just a smell.
First sips are rich, very rich. Like very dark chocolate, sans sweetness. There is a smokiness in the taste which probably explains the “ashtray” aroma I was getting earlier. It is mild, but very there. Reminiscent of a campfire with dark chocolate smores. Now, typically I don’t enjoy smoke or dark chocolate, but this is working for me. It’s very smooth, there is no bitterness, nothing with bite. It is very different from other black teas I’ve tried, but I think this is something I want in my cupboard. I don’t think of it as an every day tea, but I could totally get a hankering for this.
I’ll need to try it a few more times (and get the beau’s opinion too) but I think this is definitely something I should order. I’m running low on good plain black tea, so I should stock up. Right?! : )
Wow. Iced, this is different beast all together. I threw the other half of my sample in a pitcher to cold brew for a day or so and I am NOT disappointed. It is crazy in your face strawberry kiwi flavour with no tartness at all (though it is red from the hibby!) It’s like a delicious and sweet strawberry kiwi juice, sans calories! Holy Hannah. Iced, this gets a 95 from me. Possibly 100, as I can’t think of a way to improve it. If/when I do a Della Terra order, I will be getting this one solely for the purposes of icing it. Seriously, y’all: ICE THIS!
Updated rating to reflect versatility: not great hot but amazing iced!
Giving this tea more props today. While it is pricey, it is delicious. It can take a beating and not get bitter, and it is very rich and cocoa with a hint of pepper underneath that. Could be my favourite DT tea ever. MMM!