2774 Tasting Notes
I found this matcha at the Bi-Rite supermarket in San Francisco. Usually I get my matcha in Japantown, but I figured I would give this a whirl. The price was reasonable – approximately $18.99 for 3 oz.
I would say this is much more a food grade matcha than a ceremonial matcha, which is fine because I mostly will use it in smoothies and lattes. I did want to try it plain at least once, however. It isn’t bad plain, it has a strong seaweed and grassy flavor. I should really get some ceremonial grade matcha for drinking plain.
My favorite part of matcha is just the preparation, here’s my matcha bowl which was whipped with the standard type chasen:
Thanks to boychik for this sample. I ended up steeping it for 3 minutes at 205 f and that was definitely overkill because I got really intense tobacco notes that made it difficult for me to drink this without milk. I also noticed spicy pepper-y notes and a bit of the sweet potato type of flavor that seems characteristic of yunnans.
I tried a 2nd steep for 90 seconds and now it seems like it doesn’t have enough flavor… it could be I steeped all the flavor out of it at the 3 minute mark. :) Anyway the 2nd steep isn’t bad but I’m still getting tobacco notes with some caramel. Tobacco isn’t really my favorite flavor in tea.
this doesn’t seem to be my favorite yunnan to date but it isn’t terrible. If I had more tea I feel like I could hit a sweet spot with the brewing parameters. I wish I had more to play around with but probably not worth placing an order.
Decided to break this out today as the after lunch tea. I definitely recommend keeping the steeps short with this one, like 30 seconds or less because it doesn’t really need that much.
Shu is the perfect after lunch tea in my opinion. I wrote a fairly extensive tasting note on this a while back so I won’t repeat the whole thing. Notes of pipe tobacco, earth and a fruity essence. I love this little cake, it’s so cute.
This tea is true to the name, if you want something with minty and chocolate notes it fits the bill. Of course it tastes more like peppermint bark when you add actual sugar, but even without the sugar it’s pretty good. Definitely nice for this time of year as the days are growing shorter and the holidays are growing closer…
Nothing earth shattering but I got a free teabag of this green tulsi tea (I drank an entire tin of the loose leaf version a while back).
I am about to have a panic attack because I have a phone interview coming up soon and I just have too many things to do today! Usually tulsi helps to calm me down. This has a nice, sweet vegetal flavor mixed with the herby/mintiness of the tulsi and is definitely my favorite tea from Organic India.
Gah, I was just in the middle of typing a tasting note for this and I accidentally closed the window I was writing in. Don’t you just hate that??
Anyway this is a really nice yunnan from Teance. First steep was at 205 F for 1 minute in the yixing. Tea liquor smells like brown sugar and I am getting notes of malt, sweet potato, pepper and brown sugar. A very smooth and sweet infusion and delicious. The 2nd steep I decided to go for 2 minutes. It is definitely darker and peppery notes are becoming more prominent, but it also has yummy brown sugary, bready notes like a delicious pastry. I am definitely not disappointed with this but yunnans are probably my favorite black tea at the moment.
Just a short note…
I am glad to have this one back in stock after finding it at the Berkeley Bowl yesterday, they have a few H&S blends in tins. This morning I am drinking it with soymilk creamer and coconut sugar, it is truly delicious this way. A nice smooth assam. I think assams and yunnans are definitely my favorite black teas, sorry ceylons and keemuns, most of you are yucky to me. ;)
I haven’t had this blend for a long time. I think I am “over” flavored pu’erhs, but I still have quite a few of them in my stash to get through. This is actually better than I remember it being. I also had 1/2 of a TCHO chocolate bar before drinking this, so maybe my tastebuds are already chocolate’d up. I steeped for 2 minutes, with a hefty teaspoon of tea in an 8 oz. mug. Nice combination of earthy shu and cocoa. I only hope this doesn’t keep me awake too long tonight. Might need to up the rating after trying this a 3rd time….
I wish I had realized there was bergamot in this when I bought it… I am not a big fan of bergamot, I do drink it occasionally when I’m in the mood but prefer a subtle dose.
There is a lot going on in this blend already with fruitiness, it has lemon peel and lemongrass which I both like. But the bergamot overwhelms this and makes it more bitter and drying in my opinion… and soapy. I tried adding a teaspoon of coconut sugar but that didn’t really improve things. I think this is going in my pile of stuff to give away or compost. Wah… Yuk. This is undrinkable in my opinion.