23 Tasting Notes
Alright I’m the first one again! I’ve tried this before with delicate flavor and green matcha. I didn’t really dig it. I figured I’d pick robust flavor and that it would go well with black matcha. It was a great idea! The complexity of Bavarian cream is much more noticeable this way. Now I can taste some creamy texture along with the citrus that would be inside the pastry. It’s just plain good. I’ve tried it a few ways, with soymilk, almond milk, and with frothed dairy milk. They all couple greatly and this is I think the best way to get this tea.
I got this as a free sample (but not with free shipping) which I think is a cool new practice from Red Leaf. I have a lot of fond memories of being younger and having French vanilla ice cream or gelato. When I opened up the package the smell manifested that taste very well. Needless to say the taste was slightly harder to find on the “delicate” setting, but it was nevertheless still there. It definitely tasted high quality, not like it was from vanilla extract but from the actual bean. Lucky for me, I had two cartons of Blue Diamond vanilla almond milk! It coupled perfectly with the matcha. Plus it’s very thick so I didn’t need to make it into a smoothie or froth milk or any of those shenanigans. Altogether this matcha has great flavor and maybe the next flavor step would make it perfect.
I got this matcha as a free sample with another order in a small gold packet with some Chinese characters on it (wish I would have written them down because I love learning characters!). I saw that it had the delicate flavor which I have had before. Generally with the amount of matcha I use, about 2 chashaku full, delicate flavored matcha is hardly detectable. One day, after I had already had a cup of this matcha using the chashaku, I decided much later to try it out using a full teaspoon. Finally the eggnog flavor started to come out, plus I added almond milk which seemed to extract some of the flavor. I have only the faintest memory of eggnog, but this brought it back. Two cups of matcha in the same day was not such a good idea hahaha. I immediately became jittery and started sweating. I started to think at 3 times my normal speed, but I expected all of this so it wasn’t so bad. Hey, I’m ready to suffer for the cause of matcha reviewing any day!
I actually started out with this tea getting several samples from World Market with the “Pu-erh to the People” campaign. I’ve had some really high end loose pu-erh’s before so I figured why not try this one. I have to admit, for tea bags this is some high quality stuff! The chocolate blends perfectly with the pu-erh and they don’t vie with each other. It is worth noting that the other spices are almost all chai spices, but they don’t make this taste like a chai at all! In fact they sort of add to the chocolate and tea so you hardly notice them. Overall this tea was great as far as bagged pu-erh goes.
Because I live in SoCal, a summery day can appear out of nowhere even in the middle of the winter. This and other white teas have always been my go-to for those kinds of days. This one is perfect because it is delicate, cooling, and very sweet. I don’t know about you guys but when I brew this it actually comes out white/ivory when other white teas I brew usually just come out brown. It really is a nice aesthetic. Verdant wasn’t lying when they said this has rock candy notes! Rock candy, the German rock sugar from Teavana, it all comes back to me when I drink this. I also detect some fruity notes in the mix? Not quite a tropical fruit and not quite something like an apple. Something that would probably be pink but I don’t know what haha. With all this taken into account, this tea is the perfect companion to a sunny day.
I knew I had to get a tea with warming spices to cope with the dead of winter…southern California winter that is. Of course this tea is the perfect counterpart to winter or even fall. The smell upon opening the packet reminded me a lot of pecan or pumpkin pie. And the taste is actually very similar. It is sweet and spicy and…warm. A little difficult to describe. Elderberry is really a great flavor, I’m surprised it doesn’t get as much publicity as all the other berries because it’s really something. Elderberry has a really delicate and earthy sweetness that makes blueberry look almost like an aggressive sweetness. All in all, buy this tea and you won’t be disappointed!
I’ve actually never ordered this tea on its own; it has always been as a sample going with another one. The first time I got it, it was in this interesting little red packet with Chinese characters on it. Anyways it really is as chocolaty as everyone says! At first I had the cup to my mouth and I was like “naw it’s in all these people’s minds and…WHOAH” It was like taking a bite into milk chocolate. I’ve actually had 100% cacao before, so I could tell what was cacao about this tea and what was milky/creamy. I couldn’t help but keep steeping it and it started to take on some more nutty tastes. When I could steep no more I decided to eat the leaves. It was still kind of chocolaty only with kind of an asparagus/vegetable taste. Goes great with peanut-butter!
I’ve had many senchas in my lifetime; in Japan and in the United States and I have scarcely found one I didn’t like. I love going to World Market, I even tried to get a job there several times. Almost all the World Markets I’ve been to have great service and great products. This tea didn’t disappoint at all. Most Japanese tea comes in packaging that can be cryptic to understand for those who are just starting to get in tea, but this looks perfectly accessible. It is a great introduction to Japanese tea for anyone that is just starting out. This tea has all the trademark grassy and sweet flavors a sencha should have. Goes great with fruit or something else sweet!