1826 Tasting Notes
This was the iced tea I served this evening. It was light and refreshing, but I felt like Mr. Hibiscus was showing himself a little more than usual. This was made hot, the leaves were resteeped and added to the pitcher and 1/4 cup German rock sugar was added to it and stirred in well while it was hot. It chilled in the refrigerator and like most flavored iced teas, tastes better after the second day to me. Nice.
Tonight was writers’ group night at my house, but we had a smaller crowd than usual. Do you know what that means? More freedom and time to make more tea and drink oneself into a sloshy stupor.
This was the first thing I made since I knew hubby would be wanting his when he got home from the gym. This time there was at least as much froth as there was liquid! One person who drank it said it tasted like pistachio pudding or ice cream. She couldn’t believe how sweet it tasted when she had seen me sprinkle in such a small amount of sugar.
Hubby downed his mug quickly, as usual, and came in the living room sadly pointing into his empty mug. He really loves this!
This is a free sample that I won in a Facebook giveaway by Teaves Tea Company. I have held off trying it until my tastebuds were more cooperative because I wanted to give it a fair and thorough tasting.
The aroma of the dry leaves is not simple peach. The very generously sized package says this is oolong tea, osmanthus flowers, jasmine flowers, and natural flavors. I pulled a white chunk out of the dry mix and popped it in my mouth. Mmmmm, pretty sure that was a dried peach bit and it was delicious. But there is something else here, something extra that I can’t put my finger on because I am not as brilliant with flavors as so many of you are. At first I thought it was a hint of vanilla, then I thought chocolate, then BRANDY! I don’t know if I have ever had brandy – I don’t drink because I tried it when I was young and it REALLY wasn’t a good idea for me, LOL! But this is what I imagine a rich brandy would smell like, and I can imagine pulling someone from dangerous frigid waters and pouring this very thing down their throat for immediate comfort and warmth.
Because the sample is so large, I want to try it hot even though they say it is typically enjoyed iced. The first steep is dark for a oolong. I am drinking it from my double walled tiny glass cups and the color is just beautiful. It is a peachy orange amber, so clear and shining. The peach flavor is the dominant one, of course, and I would say this tastes like a hot, bubbling peach cobbler, freshly baked, rather than like a peach just picked off the tree. The jasmine is light and comes across as a sweetness, but it isn’t strong enough to be off-putting to people who don’t like jasmine.
The second steep is fabulous! The color is a little lighter, I would call it a golden peach amber now. And the taste is a little lighter on peach now and the osmanthus is stepping forward and making this taste lemony – a fresh lemon taste, not a tart, puckery lemon taste. It reminds me of the hard candies that come in a little round tin at our local German grocery. A hint of dryness makes me think this would be fantastic for pairing with food.
This was really great! Thank you, Teaves, for the opportunity to try your tea! I plan to try it iced as well, because there is more than enough here to try lots of different ways!
This was the final tea served at tea party today, and I think it was a big surprise for my guest. She used to be a coffee person, then started liking black tea, and seems to enjoy adventuring into other teas now as well.
As soon as she lifted the cup she said, “This smells like butter! Buttered popcorn!” And that hits the nail on the head.
It is still hotly debated whether this is really a green tea as the company has it classified, or whether it is a green oolong, which is what it looks like, tastes like, and acts like. When I called the company, the person who answered the phone said it wasn’t a oolong because they taste roasted. When I told her there are both green and roasted or dark oolongs she said she didn’t know that and would have to look into it.
Whatever it is, it sure is amazing. My guest loved it, as have most of the people who have tried it.
ETA: It looks like Jason Walker reviewed this on his tea blog and called it a wulong.
I just took this out of my online cupboard because we just finished off the tin at tea party time! Today, this was paired with one of the most quintessential tea treats – cucumber sandwiches, with crusts off. Of course, we still had our cookie plate as well. We have to have the cookie plate.
This was a nice, solid black tea that isn’t astringent but is very smooth and has enough presence to pair well with food. I shall miss it! I need the check their website and see if they still sell this one.
Yes, I just made this for a second time today! I think I have found a real favorite! I did it the same way, heating a Pyrex cup of milk in the microwave with a little sugar in it, then took it out and added 1/2 teaspoon of matcha powder. I mixed it really well with my immersion blender until there was a lot of froth on top and poured it into a mug.
He LOVED it! He is super picky and usually it is hard to sweeten things enough for him though he is getting better about it. First he sniffed it – something he does to every new food or drink he tries. Sigh. But this time he was happy with his first sniff! He downed that mug so fast, then came in the kitchen and told me that his matcha broke, and wanted me to warranty it and fix him a new one! LOL! I don’t know if he really should have that much matcha so late since he also had a Black Cherry Matcha water bottle at the gym earlier!
Anyway, it makes me happy because I was really looking for drinks that my daughter and hubby would like, that would give them the caffeine they want, and be better for them. And here it is! Daughter texted me this morning asking me to order a pumpkin pie matcha for her since she has nearly finished the mocha matcha I gave her. And I really think my son is going to be asking for his own black cherry matcha to take to the gym once he tastes it.
Ugh. I still have a cold. I had to get up at 5:45 am because I puppy-sit on Tuesdays. And then at about 8 am I somehow re-injured the muscle in my back that I had hurt a couple of weeks ago and it is mostly my own darned fault for hunching over an iPad all the time.
After lunch, I wanted something a little bit pampering. I heated eight ounces of milk in the microwave, then added 1/2 tsp. of matcha powder and 1 tsp. sugar. I mixed all this in the Pyrex cup with my Bamix immersion blender and poured it into a pretty mug that a friend gave me from Williamsburg. The froth on this is unbelievable. You would think that a huge handful of marshmallows had been melted on top of this drink.
It was also delicious and enabled me to get through geometry class today! I plan to make another one for hubby when he gets home from work!
My tasting notes are all over the place on this one, mostly because I started drinking it back in the milk and sugar days. Now that I take my tea plain, this is just meh. I think I may even add milk and sugar this morning just so I will enjoy this tea more, but I definitely won’t be repurchasing it when it is gone. There are too many really great teas to bother with meh tea.
When I started looking at the Red Leaf Tea website, I drooled over all the dessert flavored matcha. I didn’t give the fruit flavored ones a second glance and really didn’t think I would ever purchase any of them, mostly because I thought I would only be using the matcha for lattes and I just didn’t picture milk and fruity flavor together. I know they go, but I guess my taste buds were being juvenile wanting all the caramel and mocha and pumpkin pie flavors.
Then a couple of people said they swirled the matcha in a water bottle and made a cold drink. What? What! So I tried it with caramel and found that it really does work. On the first sips I thought it was going to taste weak, but the flavor builds and builds. However, caramel is a dessert flavor and I really love it with milk, hot or iced. A lightbulb popped on over my head as I realized that fruit flavored matcha would be most excellent this way!
I was really happy when I saw the Black Cherry flavor go on sale. I got a large tin of it because this is one I think I can entice my son into trying! I ordered the robust flavor level, but I really want to try some of the more delicate flavor levels soon because several people have said they are still plenty strong enough.
You can order it here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/black-cherry-matcha.html
I got the tin because I love the twist off lid. A pop off lid could be a disaster with fine matcha powder, so be careful what you store it in! I have a regular, short tin of green tea from another company with a lid that gets stuck and every time I open it the tea goes EVERYWHERE! You don’t want that to happen with your fine matcha powder!
The Mocha matcha is almost gone, and soon I will have enough tins that I don’t have to order one every time! Then I can afford even more matcha.
As soon as the Black Cherry matcha arrived, I opened the package. The kids sniffed and their eyes grew wide. Cherry candy! The Black Cherry candle from Yankee Candle that my kids refuses to light because they don’t ever want it to go away. What a powerful, sweet, amazing aroma! Not rooibos-y cough syrup, but cherry candy, as sweet as it was when you were seven years old!
I grabbed a teaspoon, scooped it about half full and put it in my bottle. I added less than an ounce of water and swirled and shook it. Then I added cold water to the top and shook it a little again. So 1/2 teaspoon gave me about 15 ounces of drink at least.
Perfection! AMAZING! Fruit flavored matcha, look out! I want all of you! I know my son is going to go wild for this. This is going to be a perfect work-out drink for him, and so easy it is crazy. WOW!