1858 Tasting Notes
My first unflavored matcha ever arrived today! I bought this because of the rave reviews I have seen here, and it did not let me down.
The tin has a screw on lid, and when it arrives it also has a metal pull tab lid inside. They care about preserving the freshness, and respect their product! That is a good start.
I opened it and sniffed the matcha powder. Buttery, fresh sweet vegetables! I heated some water and got out my whisk. Now I can’t wait to get a real bamboo one. I still got a good froth with my metal kitchen whisk, but what amazed me was the color of this tea. It was the brightest emerald green I have ever seen.
My daughter and I both drank it, and this was so smooth, creamy, and buttery. You feel so healthy drinking it because it is plain how high quality it is, and how pure. My daughter sighed and told me that she is going to go broke with this new found matcha habit. I have a feeling she will be placing her own order before long. This was a fantastic introduction to unflavored matcha! There was nothing that could be considered bitter or astringent about this.
My daughter loves this matcha so much that even though we had a steak dinner and birthday cake, she wanted me to make a latte for her and for her boyfriend. I told her that this matcha was even in her birthday cake! Here it is:
She loved the cake and the lattes. I did make a substitution in the cake recipe. It called for Cool Whip in the cream cheese frosting but I thought marshmallow cream would be better in its place. It turns out it was a good call. The pecans really do a lot for this cake, too, which makes me wonder about how this matcha would taste mixed with a nut flavored matcha or even a marshmallow one, if there is one!
My daughter’s boyfriend is visiting from Ireland, and he brought presents of TEA! There are so many kinds of Twinings tea that we don’t have here in our town and possibly not even in the US. This one is new to me.
Opening the outer pouch I give it a good sniff and I am met with the scent of tea, followed by a nice peppery rose aroma. That is a good start, as I have had rose tea that knocked me over and took my lunch money, and destroyed the taste of the tea in the process.
The tea brews up as a medium dark brew, not as dark as Orange Bliss was the other day. The sip is smooth and gentle. There is no need to tame this with milk unless you just enjoy adding it. Ad it is sweet enough for me without sugar, but I bet it is very good with sugar, too, as the rose flavor is naturally sweet and would probably grow more so.
The rose flavor is very well balanced here, strong enough to taste without hunting for it, but not overpowering or perfume-y. Twinings is a very consistent tea company that really doesn’t disappoint.
I can’t believe I haven’t updated that I ordered this and have it in my cupboard! We have been drinking it a lot, but I guess I just didn’t get around to logging it.
This was the final tea of tea party yesterday. I think my guest was a little out off by the smokey aroma since she isn’t used to Lapsang. As soon as she sipped, she seemed very surprised and pleased. Though this tea has a strong, smokey aroma, the taste is sweet and smooth and the smoke really makes you think of being cozy by a crackling fire while cold rain pours outside of your window. My youngest daughter is going to finish this tin pretty quickly.
The first thing I served at tea party was a warm latte made with this matcha. Warm skim milk+1/2 teaspoon matcha+one teaspoon sugar. Froth with immersion blender. Topped with a little swirl of whipped cream, since tea party is a special occasion.
I liked it very much, just as before. My guest wasn’t wild about it because she doesn’t add sugar to ANYTHING and so far she has only liked coffee lattes. She said she liked it but didn’t love it.
I put almost a teaspoon of this matcha into my daughter’s birthday cake. I am eager to see if we can tell it made a difference. I will post a link to the cake and a note about how the flavoring went when we cut the cake!
Backlogging tea party day: Yesterday was tea party day and this was our first regular tea. It was also the very last of this tea. I had received this in a swap with Paul M. Tracy a long while back and had hoarded it because it was so amazing. The company went out of business so I hoarded even harder. The lesson here is….don’t. Don’t save it, just drink it. This has lost some of its beauty to that robber called time.
It was a good tea yesterday, but when it was fresh and young it was an amazing one.
I have no memory of where I got this teabag. There are only two places I can think of – the most likely being that one of my students brought this to me from her trip to Disney long ago. The other possibility is that daughter’s BF sent it from Ireland, but I don’t think so. This has been hiding somewhere but turned up yesterday in all the turmoil.
You see, dear hubby who can do ANYTHING! ANYTHING I TELL YOU! is moving our washer and dryer for greater convenience for me. But as happens, it was discovered that the wall where the washer used to be was wet from seepage and the sheetrock had to be replaced. This resulted in two extra trips to the hardware store and lots of extra time for poor hubby and the water had to stay shut off periodically so he could run new water lunes and I couldn’t have tea and since we were pulling things out we found tons of things, including this tea. Phew!
(Oddly, I also found a three page “handy hints” email that my late mom printed up for me over a decade ago, and I saw the identical list on Pinterest today. Weird.)
Now this teabag is probably no spring chicken, but I am horrified at how much tea I have now that I had to move it all around so I am drinking up such things as I can. I steeped it for three minutes in just less than boiling water. Wow, this is dark!
But you know what? The tea really tastes like hearty tea blend and the orange flavor is really authentic, including the juicy orange aroma plus that slight bitter smell you get from the white membrane. This really tastes like I just squeezed an orange over my cup. Since the base is a little stronger than I usually drink, I added a wee bit of sugar and had a nice cuppa. I also got rid of one teabag without guilt. Now I only have about twenty teas to go…
Well, once again I am perplexed. But this is fun! The man at the Chinese buffet gave me tea, so last week I took him some Mengku Palace Puerh from Teavivre. I photocopied the label which has Chinese and English on it. He looked at it for a moment and then said, “Oh, puerh! This is the tea to drink when you want to lose weight!” I told him it is also very tasty.
Well, he insisted on sharing his tea with me again. I could not understand what he was calling this tea but there is a remote chance he was saying Dong Ding. I will try to find out soon! Here is a pic of the wrapper and leaves. If anyone can read the Chinese, please let me know what it says!
The tea came in a little foil pouch like Teavivre’s Tie Kuan Yin. Inside the pouch the tea was also enclosed in a little poly baggie. The leaves were a mix of dark green and black. They were tightly rolled. I guessed it must be an oolong and prepared it accordingly. The little pouch made a few leaves that didn’t even cover the bottom of my tiny gong fu pot.
I did a fifteen second rinse and then steeped for three minutes. I am no further along in knowing just what I am drinking. It is a dark oolong for sure. There is a “rock” or mineral taste, but also wisps of fruit flickering through my senses. At first, there was a somewhat sour taste, such as you find in the “palate clearing” teas. I steeped this tea five times, and by the third steep my tea pot was full to bustin’ with leaves. Seriously, I don’t know when I have seen leaves swell so incredibly. That is probably a clue as to what kind of tea this is.
I am trying to pick what tea I will take next time I go. Perhaps a Huang Shan Mao Feng.
I am going to share my experience with this one today for the benefit of all who are experimenting with matcha and lattes. I really let my immersion blender go for it with that first matcha latte today. As I said, there was one cup of milk and two cups of froth. But the froth never went down! I waited, and waited. I finally ate it with a spoon! LOL!
I wanted MOHR!!!! This time I used a cup of skim milk like before, a bit of sugar (okay, more sugar than before because I was really having cravings today, first salty, then sweet) and the same amount of matcha, about 1/4 to 1/3 teaspoon. But this time, I just hit it with low speed briefly. Much better! I only got one cup of froth! There was plenty of yummy liquid left for me to slurp down.
I am going to be needing lots of matcha energy this week as we are tearing our kitchen apart to move the location of the washer and dryer, and everything has to be birthday party ready by Thursday!
Tonight I made a recipe from Pinterest called Creamy Garlic Pasta. It is creamy and also very easy. As usual, I did lighten up the calories a bit though I am sure it still had plenty!
After I ate it, I really wanted a milkshake. I have been craving something rich and chocolate-y all day but have abstained, so I guess that just rolled over to milkshake this evening. I decided instead to have a matcha latte.
I poured one cup of milk into a Pyrex four cup measure. I added a heaping teaspoon sugar and about 1/3 teaspoon matcha. I mixed it with my Bamix immersion blender and the top of the liquid level rose to three cups! That’s right, this made two whole cups of froth on high speed! I am letting it sit a bit, though I have sipped it, because I want the froth to go down a little! The froth on top is so thick it reminds me of when we made butter once, or when we made home made whipped cream and beat it a little too hard and too long!
What a great dessert! Eight ounces skim milk, about 20 calories worth of sugar, and I assume the matcha adds zero calories, yet I have a twenty ounce glass full of rich vanilla flavor. I can’t wait to try their chocolate flavor!