1960 Tasting Notes
I finished my sample of this tea from Wanja Tea of Kenya today and thought it really deserved another note.
A friend stopped by this morning to pick up some tea and it so happened we both had time for a cuppa or two. I knew she was coming so youngest and I had started school extra early this morning so that I would be free.
I asked her if she had ever had a Ceylon Orange Pekoe, and she said she wasn’t sure, unless it was just the Lipton she had drunk as a child. But she was game to try! So we made two pots of tea – this one and Kenilworth Ceylon from Harney and Sons, one of my favorites.
As she lifted her cup, she exclaimed, “This smells so……RICH!” Exactly! It smells rich, and fat, and full, and thick. She was so proud of how far she has come in tea tasting, because she noticed a grain flavor. She searched for words….corn? Wheat? I said, “Malt?” And she said yes, malt was a good description!
She loved the Kenilworth Ceylon also, and it is a very good tea, but less full bodied and a little more lemony. Before she left, she had me email her a link to the website because she wants to order some, so I would have to say that it was a hit!
I received this sample for review from Wanja Tea a few days ago but saved it for tonight. Orange Pekoe is my hubby’s favorite tea, and since today is the 27th anniversary of the day we met I was making him one of his favorite dinners – pasta with home made garlic Alfredo sauce and vegetables, this time squash and zucchini. I melt a sprinkling of grated cheese on top as well.
The dry leaves are medium in size, dark, and twisty. The aroma of the dry leaf is a little sharp, like citrus, but when you steep the tea the aroma develops a beautiful round body that reminds me of golden raisins. As I drank this, I was reminded of my favorite Ceylon Orange Pekoe teas (I am not a fan of the minty or super lemony high grown ones) but with their citrus notes becoming a deeper tone (the golden raisins) and with the malty beauty of a nice Golden Monkey tea. There are other whispers of Fujian black teas in the cup as well.
This is full bodied, but not astringent. It feels…..thick! Very full and round. This was a very satisfying pot of tea and paired very nicely with the meal. The fruity aroma is very heady, and is haunting me even now, hours later. When my current stash of OP runs low, I would be happy to replace it with this!
Thank you, Wanja Tea!
This was the final tea at our tea time today. When I first bought it, I had to have milk and sugar with it and thought I could never ever possibly enjoy this plain. Well, guess what? I drink it plain now! Funny, but I also find myself preferring unflavored teas more and more, which is also where I started, I just like so many more of them now.
Wow, I get to be the first to review this one!
I have been making a lot of fruit smoothies lately and I love the zing that my Black Cherry matcha is adding to them. That tin is getting low, so when I saw this one on sale I thought it would be a great one to try. I have never had a bilberry and didn’t even know what it was, so I looked them up prior to ordering. They look remarkably like blueberries.
For the first time, I upgraded my matcha base just to see if I could tell a big difference. I also got a lower flavoring level than usual, opting for distinctive, while in the past I have always ordered robust.
You can get it here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/bilberry-matcha.html
Opening the pouch, I was greeted with a sweet candy scent. I like to try these flavored matcha several different ways right away so I know how they best shine. As my water heated for the traditional style of preparation, I put a bit in my water bottle and added about two ounces of cold water. I gave it a good shake and then added more cold water. Fantastic! This may be even tastier than the Black Cherry as a cold, fruit infused flavoring for water to take to the gym.
I whisked up a bowl in the traditional fashion with my chasen. It was easy to froth, made more froth, and had a longer lasting froth than the classic grade of matcha. Nice! It tastes good plain, and I tried it also with about 1/16 tsp. of sugar. This was also good.
Next, I made my fruit smoothie for lunch. Since I have been making it from a banana and blueberries lately I wondered if I would even be able to tell the matcha was in there, but it was very distinctive.
The scent of the flavoring is very, VERY much like the new Harney and Sons Blueberry Green. There is only one thing that puzzles me about this tea. I am getting a floral taste, which may have to do with the flavoring, or may be what a real bilberry tastes like since I have never had one. It is not unpleasant. It is a light hint of the taste I get when I eat a Choward’s violet candy, though the blueberry, grape-candy dominates. At first I thought it was a perfume-y taste, but now I am really perceiving it as a floral taste. Now, a while after finishing the smoothie, I am tasting the violet candy more and more. It is making me want some! Fortunately, I still have some Parmaviolets left!
Overall, I am very pleased with this flavor and will probably order it again. I am especially pleased with the upgrade of the base matcha, and especially pleased also to find that the distinctive level of flavor is strong enough for me. I used to order robust because I was afraid of matcha. Now I even like it plain, so this level is fine for me!
This makes my smoothie extra tasty, and that is the real purpose for which I bought it.
Backlog from yesterday morning: I had a whole pot of this during geometry. When I first bought it, I drank it with milk and sugar even though I was drinking others teas plain. Now I can enjoy this one plain, too. It is not the finest Keemun, but it is a very affordable, nicely drinkable one for everyday breakfast. I bought a pound last time, but I think in future I will purchase the more expensive Keemun Mao Feng and resteep judiciously. There is only enough left for one more pot, and then I retire that tin.
I have been craving some iced tea, lightly sweetened. This one is very good, but honestly I think the one from thePuritea is better. That is really splitting hairs, though, because I have no complaints against this one. As always, I like my iced flavored tea best on the second or third day after making it. It really seems to mellow out and get smoother, and the flavors lose any artificial edginess and become more natural. I think this is one that hubby will enjoy well enough.
Slowly but surely, some changes are taking place. I have been absolutely addicted to home made chocolate shakes and it shows. It shows in my weight and my triglyceride levels. I am really good all day and evening comes and that’s all she wrote. Someone suggested making fruit smoothies a while back but it didn’t sound appetizing to me, so I figured I would have half a smoothie and still make my shake!
That has changed! I am not craving the shakes anymore. I am loving the smoothies, and they are evolving. I always put a banana and then I add whatever berries we have on hand, usually strawberries or blueberries. I add a big dollop of Greek yogurt and a splash of skim or almond milk. I don’t even add sweetener anymore! I add either a creamy matcha like French Vanilla or Bavarian Cream or a fruity one like Black Cherry. I have Bilberry on order and I can’t wait to get it because for the first time I upgraded the base and got less flavoring! I can hardly wait!
Well, earlier today MissLena mentioned her French Vanilla matcha so it was on my mind. That is what went in the smoothie tonight. It really does add a creaminess to it, making it even more satisfying. The fruit flavored matcha really ups the fruit taste and makes it sing, so I enjoy both.
Having had cancer twice, I really am glad I finally tried matcha so those antioxidants can get in there and do their job! Now, instead of having a giant milkshake at night, I am getting yogurt for the probiotics, and at least three servings of fruit and vegetable in my smoothie. I satisfies me, and I don’t feel guilty at all. Loving it! Now to make myself exercise more…
I have had this twice today, and I am posting a second tasting note for the sake of the WAY I made it, rather than to speak of the taste again.
I read that you can use a cocktail shaker to make matcha lattes and thought it would be a great way to get the whole drink really cold. I always enjoy my latte more when it is really icy cold and as it is now I tend the raise the straw to the level of the crushed ice at first!
I don’t have a cocktail shaker, have never held one, have never used one, but I looked at some online to research before I get one and thought my JoeMo travel mug would work. It has proven itself to be pretty leakproof.
I put a teaspoon of matcha in and didn’t bother to sift it. I added a couple of ounces of water, put the lid on, and shook it like mad! Then I added the rest of the water (about one cup total) and the honey and again put the lid on and shook like mad to get the honey to mix. Next I added a cup of milk and the ice and shook it one more time to get it nice and cold throughout.
I could have left it in my Joemo but I decanted it into my double walled tumbler to enjoy. I think next time around I will shake it after adding the ice but not the milk because there wasn’t much room for the liquid to move around. I may get a cocktail shaker after all, but I can take my time finding one and use this until I get one.
A good, basic matcha for lattes and such, this is pretty affordable at $18 for 2 ounces. It is bitter at all, but it lacks the buttery vegetable flavor of some of the nicest matcha. It is more than adequate for the way I am using, though, and I plan to share it with daughter when she comes to visit so she can her plain lattes at home instead of having to buy them at SBucks.