2026 Tasting Notes
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!
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.