2048 Tasting Notes
Last night, hubby and I finished off the gallon of Razzleberry sweet tea in the refrigerator. I was making popcorn and he was headed for the outside fridge and asked if I wanted a drink. (We keep the sodas outside as we buy them in bulk for weekends when the whole herd of teenagers descends upon us.)
I told him thank you, but no, as I was trying to drink tea to limit my soda intake. He hit the brakes and turned to the fridge and fixed a glass for each of us.
Now, help me out if I am wrong, but it seems to me this is a much healthier choice even when sweetened. I am adding one cup of sugar per gallon of iced tea. That makes eight 16 ounce servings, so each serving would have 1/8 cup sugar, which should be approximately 4 teaspoons. Is that correct?
As I did my research, I saw that some of the bottled iced teas in stores have as much sugar as soda! Oh my cow! I have to give Harney Tea some accolades here for having delicious, refreshing iced tea in bottles and keeping it very low in sugar.
So I realize that no sugar would probably be best – and personally there are a lot of teas I could drink unsweetened and iced but the family won’t go for that – but this is a lot better than the ten tsps. of sugar in twelve ounces of cola and I get to avoid burping the bubbles and leaching the calcium from my bones. WIN!
I made this iced tea according to package instructions and I resteeped immediately to get a full gallon. There is no lack of flavor. I LOVE THIS TEA!
I put it all in the small Pottery Barn dispenser, which I then put on the top shelf in my fridge. This was the sweet tea served tonight for Writers’ Group. I mention the dispenser to say that I have found it to be very handy when you have a lot of tea. You don’t have to lift a heavy pitcher, just turn the handle on the spigot and fill your glass. The glass helps the tea get extra cold, too, and since the spigot is metal instead of plastic, you are less likely to have a major catastrophe with a failed spigot.
I added one cup of sugar to one gallon of tea because most of this crowd likes their tea SWEET! Some even add extra simple syrup! This was very well liked tonight.
I have a bunch of new SBT to try, and I can hardly wait!
My best friend left her one pound bag of this at my house for me to experiment with, and I decided to make it one of our Writer’s Group teas this week. One of our members does not like beverages with sugar AT ALL, so no soda and no sweet tea, and we are in the hot and sticky South!
I had a cup of this hot a few days ago, and then yesterday set some to cold steep. I kept this one unsweetened just for her! She liked it very much and even with the cold steep method the pomegranate flavor comes through very nicely.
It makes a lovely pitcher of light colored tea for hot, muggy, rainy nights like this. It was served cold from the fridge and without ice.
I have had this tea since March but it warrants another tasting note. I want to show what a chameleon it can be!
Many weeks ago I served this at tea time. I made it the way I usually make flavored black tea – boiling water and steep for four minutes. My guest wasn’t crazy about it, but she drank it and said it was okay. I was surprised – this is Nina’s signature blend.
So today I made it the same way I did for my friend with allergies, cutting the steep to three minutes. My guest sipped it and didn’t recognize it as the tea we had before. That one minute changes this to a rose tea with a hint of apple, instead of a green apple flavored black with a hint of rose. She really liked it this way.
I have such “Grand Amour” for Grand Amour! Oh la la this is good tea! This was one of the first samples I tried from Nina’s a few months ago when they invited us to choose two or three teas to sample. I was really hooked on this one but waited to order because I have an embarrassingly large amount of tea. But at last, my very own tin is here! And the shipping was crazy fast. Laurent sent this Monday and the mailman put it on my porch at noon today.
We talk, HARD, at tea time on Wednesdays. It takes a special tea to make the words hit the brakes. Today we chattered through the cake and remarked on the black tea we drank first, then had this second. In the middle of the chatter, my guest took a sip, stopped everything, and said, “What is THAT?” I told her it was Grand Amour and she said, “It’s delicious!” And it is! Oh mercy me, it is.
This is so fruity, with no perfume-y fake taste. No additions necessary!
My best friend came over to have tea with me today. I wanted her to try this one because she likes green apple flavors and this one was strongly apple flavored to me. The rose was a more subtle aspect.
We served it with toast because I read something last night that I wanted to try. I saw someone recommend mixing unrefined coconut oil with honey as a toast spread, and a number of people commented that this was their favorite spread for toast. We decided to try it today since tea and toast are so very tea time! I have to say, it was delicious, tasted like cinnamon toast, and would probably also be good with a bit of cinnamon added!
When I opened the tea tin, my friend thought it smelled like strong perfume and she is very sensitive to that sort of thing. I decided to still make it, but cut the steep time to three minutes, and the most amazing thing happened. The green apple tea with a hint of rose became rose tea with a hint of green apple! And it is a lightly peppery rose flavor. I do not know if the steep time is what changed the taste so greatly, or if it was the food pairing that did it, but I do know this was my favorite way so far to steep it! My friend enjoyed it and said she would like to drink it again when she comes over.
GMathis, JacquelineM, and K S, keep an eye on your mailbox because I mailed your samples of this tea today!
I had a big surprise with this tea today! It is insufferably hot and muggy here, although honestly it is not as bad as some summers have been…so far. I really don’t want to stop drinking my hot tea, but I really need something cold.
I decided to experiment and see if this one would cold steep very well. I didn’t think it would, because I reasoned to myself that the flavoring probably wouldn’t translate well. For that reason, I took the last of the 175F water from the green tea I had just made (it had cooled a bit) and poured that over the leaves first to “wake” them. There was very little of it and it just covered the leaves in the pitcher plus a little extra. I filled the pitcher the rest of the way with cold water and put it in the fridge. I waited about five hours to try it.
Before drinking, I added a bit of simple syrup because I do like a little sweetener in my iced teas, though I take none in my hot teas. And I have to say, this tastes just like it did hot! The apple flavor is every bit as strong. If you love green apples, you should give this a try! I do not get a ton of rose from this, mostly green apple, but others have said they get a lot of the floral taste. Maybe I need to focus my palate a bit more!
After my quiet cup of tea, which was Magicienne by Nina’s, I went outside to do a tiny bit of work on the new fence we are putting up. I didn’t stay out long because it is hot and humid and buggy out there! I am tired of Mosquitos!
When I came back in, I thought it was the perfect time for a cup of my sample from Nina’s. Summertime is the perfect time for mint teas to me. The mint is so refreshing, even when you serve it hot! But I have not been a huge fan thus far of straight mint tisanes.
Fortunately, this is nice and minty but you can still taste the green tea. I didn’t look at any special directions. I just prepared it as I do most green teas – 175F water for three minutes. This does not taste smoky to me. I know some people mention Moroccan Mint style teas being smoky, but I didn’t pick up on that. The green base is dominant, or at least as strong as the mint. I felt like the mint came out a little more as the tea cooled, but it still didn’t overpower the green base and make you feel like you had a herbal tisane.
I believe I detect spearmint in this, although it could be Egyptian mint, which I have never had separately from spearmint so I don’t think I could identify it on its own. I had that Wrigley’s taste, so I am pretty sure it was spearmint!
This was refreshing and cooling. I didn’t try it iced or sweetened yet, but I bet it would be good both ways!
Thank you, Nina’s, for the sample!
ETA: Nina’s has offered to send samples to reviewers, so if you haven’t tried them yet, please do! They have some excellent teas!