1999 Tasting Notes
I haven’t had this in ages. My friend liked it and I gave it to her for her birthday last year. She hasn’t touched it, though, because she got distracted drinking other teas and her first cup of this was a little disappointing, to as coconut-y as she remembered her sample being.
I wanted to try it because my daughters fiancé is coming soon and I had bought him the Bon Bon tea from Tin Roof Teas and he absolutely loved it. He wants something in sachets though, so I planned a side by side comparison of these today, only to discover that I put my whole bag of Bon Bon in the traveling tea box! Well, I can still drink this one and see what I think!
What I think is that he will like this, but he will prefer the taste of Bon Bon. It has big pieces of coconut in it, and that was the flavor he was really after.
As for my opinion, this is very good. It is very pretty to look at, my house still smells like chocolate, and my friend said it tasted better than she remembered, so maybe the bag just needed to age a little or get mixed a bit better.
Because my bestie is the best bestie ever in the whole world, she gave me her free sample of Lupicia tea that came in her newsletter, even though she had already given me my birthday gifts of matcha and Lupicia Chocolate and Strawberry Puerh early!
I sniffed this one and knew it was reminding me of something very specific, not just generic apples. Youngest loves apples and eats them whole….seeds, stem, and core. LOL! At first I thought this was reminding me of Honeycrisp apples, and indeed it is close. It also reminds me of the smell of super sweet apple turnovers, the kind with the crispy outer pastry dusted with sugar and cinnamon. My son says it smells like hot apple juice, and finally I settled on some kind of green apple gum that I have a very vague memory of from my childhood.
The tea really tastes excellent to me. It tastes like fresh green apple without the puckers. My son thought this would be great iced and I agree. I may have to order just for that purpose.
The green base is very smooth, not sour or astringent. It also is not hidden under the apple flavor. Noticing that the newsletter said you could use hotter water to enjoy the astringency and boldness of green tea or use cooler water for a more smooth experience, I assumed that their steeping recommendation was on the hot side. I set my Krups to 194F but then let the water sit and cool for a few minutes before steeping. I don’t ever recall seeing a teabag, especially a nice sized one like this, say to use a five ounce cup, but that is what I did. It did not make the tea too strong.
Excellent and calming.
Edited to add: second steep is lighter on the apple but really delicious. The green base gets to show off a little more now and it is really good. Probably ordering this one.
I had this at tea time Wednesday with my guest, who remarked over and over how much it smelled like super fresh, sweet strawberries. So last night when I made a strawberry cream tea that I had received as a free sample, it was a bit unfair. I remembered all too well what a great job Lupicia had done on this one.
When our little group had finished off the first tea, I made this and told them to prepare for a real treat. Everyone remarked on how much this smelled like real, mouthwatering strawberries. They had liked the first one we tried well enough, but this one wins hands down for fresh, natural flavor and for having a good tea base that doesn’t disappear under the flavoring.
Last night was Writers’ Group at my house and nowadays that means TEA! And lots of it! We had homemade bread with jam and some flavored tea first, and I saved the big tetsubin of this for after we were through snacking.
This is so good. It makes me crave more every time I drink it. I used to wonder what all the fuss was about TKY teas. Now I know.
Driving home today I was suddenly haunted by the memory of how this tasted last night and the ghost of its flavor filled my mouth. I had to have some when I got home. It was such a spiritual experience that I was struck by the many hands that worked so hard to bring me this tea, and the great distance it had come. I feel very thankful, and humbled.
I really want to try the Top Ti Kuan Yin from Harney and Sons now. It is much, much more expensive, and I really want to experience it.
Friday means Asian Buffet take out! I called home and had my daughter make two 22 ounce steeps and put it in my tetsubin for when we got home. My husband thought it was dragon pearl, and with food it definitely can be mistaken for it. This is a great, economical way to have fabulous tea with your food. When I want a jasmine tea by itself though, the pearls win my heart!
I read on a website – I think Zen Tea Life – that they sell warmers just like the Scentsy and Yankee Candle tart warmers but they are intended for tea leaves. I tried it with three pearls last week, and it was a delightful…and SAFE…aroma. Then I remember I had this more economical open, so I am going to try them in a warmer this weekend!
On a sad note, a vase of flowers somehow fell over today and broke my favorite warmer! Boo!
Tonight was Writers’ Group at my house, and for a number of months now that means TEA! I have been rather surprised at how much everyone likes everything we have served, and they all drink their tea plain, yet none of them were really tea drinkers before.
We also served fresh, hot bread tonight and for the first time I made the bread using the whey from my homemade yogurt. The first teas served were all hot teas, but after we finished our bread and got down to the business of reading our submissions, I made a small pitcher of matcha latte using this: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/french-vanilla-matcha.html
I bought the large size, basic grade, and robust flavor.
I wondered how it would go over since one of the writers says she really doesn’t use sugar, and I had put honey in this. I am using very little water now – just enough hot water to make the honey dissolve. Then I add ice and milk.
The latte came out a really pretty shade of green. We finished it so quickly because it was soooo good and refreshing. The vanilla flavor was just right. The sweetness of the honey didn’t bother my guest at all and indeed she said that it was almost like drinking coconut milk. I have never had coconut milk but I must say I noticed a review for coconut matcha this week and I am thinking that is something that needs to happen! I think it would be especially delicious in the hot and sticky summer we have here. I guess that is my excuse for yet another Red Leaf order!
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To better educate myself about this type of tea, the newest type in my tea experience, I am trying every single one I can get! I didn’t want to invest in a whole tin today at Tin Roof Teas, but I did ask if they would make a cold latte for me. Yes! I asked if I could see and sniff the matcha first. She handed me the bowl and I gave it a good sniff. I would say it was a little more buttery than Olive Nation, which is more earthy, but not as fine and buttery vegetal as Kai Matcha, still the best I have tried to date.
I requested two teaspoons of local wildflower honey in it, and it was very nice! I would have no problem buying the 30 gram tin of this for $21 if I needed some matcha. I am hoping, though, that my tin that is on the way from Nuvola will prove as tasty as the sample was. If it is, it is the most economical of the best tasting ones I have tried thus far.
I would love to try the Breakaway Matcha sometime, but $85 for 30 grams won’t fit in my tea budget.
I have delayed reviewing this tea because I am puzzled. Hubby and I had it last night and drank 44 ounces of it. Today I drank another 22 ounces with lunch.
The rings are so pretty and even when they unfurl they are very attractive, so it is worth it to make it in a glass container if you have one. The steeped tea is almost as clear as water.
The reason I am confused is that I can not detect any jasmine. This tastes exactly like regular Daughter Rings. I wonder if it could have been mislabeled? Nevertheless, it is a delicious tea, very fresh and light with a mineral flavor that borders on a really lovely metallic (yes, it is a good thing!) that went really well with all the rich Asian buffet takeout we were having.
I asked hubby if he tasted jasmine and he said, “Not at all. But I am not disappointed because I don’t like highly floral teas and sometime jasmine teas are too much for me.” That is the longest review I have gotten out of him so far! LOL!
So, bottom line, I like this, but I don’t taste jasmine, so either it is very, very light or I have the wrong tea. I triple checked my package and I am definitely scooping my leaves out of the jasmine pouch.
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!