1980 Tasting Notes
It is cloudy and drizzling and COLD! Well, cold for where I live. For it to be 39F at lunchtime is unusual for us, and running to the recycling can bare of foot wearing short sleeves added to my perception of the chill. Sometimes it is nice to get a little cold so your tea is extra cozy! :)
I am finishing this sample from Hesper June today and I am so glad I picked this one to drink. It is a great cold weather choice, and the Grace Rare Tea Company really delivers high quality tea. This is smokey, but definitely not a Lapsang. It is smooth and delicious, even without additions. And now…it is all gone! Sample sip down!
Sadly, I am almost out of this one! I have not yet logged our tea party teas nor last night’s Writers’ Group teas, but this was served at both and everyone loved it. Last night, I think it was really the favorite.
This is really smooth, with no astringency at all. It is fruity but so natural. I find big chunks of dried grape, and I don’t mean raisin. These are large! And the tea is so naturally sweet. I have found it under the name My Lady, but it seems to be sold Bly in Europe. I hope to soon be in touch with a company in Slovenia that said they would ship it to me for a very reasonable price. That is how good it is!
I did find a German company that sells it, but you have to buy a LOT. So yysah, maybe you should consider carrying this in your store!
The closest tea I can compare to it is Grand Amour by Nina’s, with Fruits d’Alsace as a secondary contender, though neither a quite the same. They evoke a similar “tea vibe” for me, though.
The jury is still out on this one. I am over matcha’ed today but of course I decided to go ahead and try this done. I bought it because it was a good price, hoping it would knock my socks off. I believe it was $17.99 for two ounces. It came in a ziplock pouch. I buy my vanilla beans from this company and they are the best I have ever seen and unbelievably cheap, so I had high hopes for this matcha.
While it is not the best I have ever had, it is far from the worst. There is no bitterness but it is grassy and earthy. It made a decent latte, which is what I bought it for. This is less vegetal, less smooth and buttery than Kai Matcha Premium. My Nuvola sample was also more buttered veggie flavored than this one.
I will keep experimenting with this and see what happens. I also used raw cane sugar instead of honey this time and used less of it, so that could be a factor in my opinion as well.
I am finishing the Chinese takeout leftovers tonight and wanted a nice green to go with. I haven’t had this one in ages, it seems.
This is the tea I used to introduce my eldest daughter to green tea when she decided she wanted to start drinking tea for health benefits. No wonder this was the first green she ever liked. The base is so nice, with a tiny spicy taste mixing with the pineapple. This is really yummy. It is smooth, and doesn’t bite my tummy like some teas do.
This is the other Red Leaf matcha that my friend brought over today for sampling and “matcha lessons.” First I made a fruit smoothie with organic blueberries, bananas, and strawberries, raw cane sugar, and Greek yogurt. I put all that in the blender and then sifted this on top of it. I added crushed ice on that, and turned the blender on until everything was smooth and creamy. It was so good!
Next I made a matcha latte with it. It was the usual method….sift matcha into tall glass, add cold water, whoosh, add honey, whoosh, add milk and crushed ice. Wow! The strawberry was strong! It was good, very good, but you seriously could get the distinctive flavor level instead for this one and not be disappointed.
We watched a movie and split an Otis Spunkmeyer muffin and I slurped on the last bit of water from the ice melting from my last latte. It was still sweetly strawberry flavored, which gave me an additional idea. With our muffin, we had “matcha water.” I got a sport water bottle, sifted some matcha into it, added a tiny bit of water, and shook it like mad. Then I added water almost to the top and crushed ice.
We poured it off into two glasses and drank it with our muffins. There is no sugar added but it is still an enjoyable drink. (We were just discussing how I feel so bad when I add a tablespoon of honey to a large latte and think nothing of downing a Coke, which has more than twice that amount of sugar! If you don’t see it going in, I guess you don’t think about it.) I like this for days when I am working in the yard and it is hot outside, or for a workout drink.
Bottom line, strawberry matcha was going on my order, too, until my friend told me that one of matcha they ordered is for my birthday, which is coming up soon! Squeeee!
I was going to sample the set of green bases from Red Leaf today but I got a text this morning from a friend who had ordered during the Red Leaf referral program. “Shall I come over and bring the ones you have never tried?” Why, of course I can make time for that!
This was the first, and my friend only knew how to make the hot lattes from watching me make them a couple of months ago, so we did some quick matcha training. I sifted a teaspoon of matcha into a tall glass and added a bit of water. I whooshed it with my aerolatte, added honey, and whooshed again. Then I added milk almost to the top and finished it off with crushed ice.
I have to say I think this is my favorite matcha for these lower fat/lower sugar iced lattes. Almond still probably holds top spot for the decadent ones I make that a basically a milkshake with matcha added! This does not taste exactly like the French vanilla flavor. I smell a touch of lemon when it is dry, and after mixing it is definitely more complex than the FV one.
We really enjoyed this, so on my next order it goes!
So I am finally drinking the last sample from Nina’s, the one that I opened and Samwise started dancing around me looking for the caramel cake. And I am caught off guard at first by the aroma. This isn’t the Vanilla Comoro-esque tea that I thought it would be. The smell of the base scares me at first. This is going to be too strong for me! And this is with a scant four minute steep at just under the boil.
But the sip is different, it isn’t as candy sweet as the smell made me think it would be. Instead, I find it to be a great first cup of the morning that is strong enough you know are having tea, but has a nice caress from the vanilla. This is a grown up vanilla tea, for people in power suits or ladies who lunch.
I made two steeps since the others have done well, and I drank a bit of steep one plain, then added steep two to what remained in the pot. I asked hubby to join me for tea since he likes vanilla. He always adds milk and sugar to his black tea and this was no exception. Since he said he liked it, I take it that it handles additions well.
I have a fussy tummy that doesn’t take to certain black teas well, especially since I drink almost everything with no additions. This one is not bothering me at all.
This is the serious, tall, dark and handsome guy, not the playful guy I thought it was going to be.
Sometimes that is the guy you want! I really like this, and would compare it more to Vanille des Iles than the Harney vanilla selections. This is going on my gift list for a friend who loves this kind of tea.
Thank you again, Nina’s, for the samples. They were all excellent and tasty teas!
This has a wonderful strawberry aroma! I found this to be a more bracing tea than Grand Amour, perhaps making it a better choice for breakfast for those who use tea as their wake up. (I don’t, tea is my after breakfast treat!) The base is a bit stronger on this one, more in sensation than taste, but the strawberry shines right on through!
I love that these are great resteepers! I am on the second steep now and I must confess I like it even better than the first. The tea is mellowed now, the strawberry softer. If you love Marco Polo, you really should try this.
As I sit here, I can not help but to exhale slowly through my nose while holding my jaw loosely so that warm strawberry taste gently fills my head, even after the sip. I think if I had a lot of this, I would make half as much tea as I really wanted, resteep immediately, and pour the first and second steeps together. That also cuts the price of your tea in half, and would put this at the perfect strength for me.
Thank you, Nina’s Tea, for these samples! They are amazing and I am so impressed with the quality of your flavored tea. The packaging is so beautiful…whenever I want an elegant gift for someone, I know where to shop!