2076 Tasting Notes
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!
I was preparing a big Valentine’s dinner for my hubby when my eye fell on the basket of leaves from making this earlier. I don’t often resteep a flavored tea because they usually don’t retain enough of their original flavor to keep me interested. But I liked this one so well, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try.
It was a success! Yes, it is lighter in flavor than the first steep, but still had as much flavor as some teas give you on their first steep. It was wonderful! Lazey commented it was too strong, but maybe icing the first steep and drinking the second would work for you?
I have loved Fruits d’Alsace for iced tea in the past, but I think this one is going to be even better for a fruit flavored iced tea.
Oh joy! Joy! Holy cow! This is not at all what I expected. Instead it is 18273658382 times better. (Tip of hat to JacquelineM there.)
Thank you, Nina’s Tea, for these lovely samples!
It was hard to choose my flavors for sampling from Nina’s Tea. There are so many and they look so good. A few French teas I have purchased have been unbelievably yummy, but a few required tweaking as the base could get bitter to me, like Dammann Freres Charlotte au Chocolat.
Honestly I made this tea because the Je T’aime smelled too good to drink yet. I wanted to save it for a really special time, not the middle of the homeschool day waiting for a student. It smelled so good the dog was dancing around my feet with his eyes wide because he thought I had a dessert hidden somewhere.
Now on to this one – the fruit aroma was absolutely arresting. It was so real, so fresh. So Garden of Eden pure. The fruit rides above, but is grounded and rounded by, the vanilla and caramel notes. I braced myself to sip, in case the base was one of the rough ones, but no! It is as smooth as silk, and you can taste the tea! Delightful, and delicious!
Just as exciting to me – this is a very close flavor profile to the tea my daughter bought in Budapest that we adored but have been unable to get again. Excellent, delicious, wonderful flavored tea, fit for a tea time with nobility. Even better, get it for yourself and sit down with a good book, some soft music, and a cup of this. You will feel like a benevolent Lady of the Manor.
Grand Amour, I love you. I would share you with the one I love, but I drank you all up.
Speaking of the one I love, a little old retiree lady called today to tell my hubby that she saw Safe Haven yesterday and that Josh Duhamel reminded her so much of him that she just had to call and talk to him!!!! I feel just a little bit jealous! LOL! (I confess, I think my hubby is gorgeous!)
I am so pleased! My hubby is a picky eater and it is hard to get him to try new things. He has started drinking green and oolong teas and that is a huge step forward, and he takes them plain which is so much better for him. I am hoping he will take a shine to the smoothies I have been making lately, so I gave this a try tonight.
One organic banana, four large strawberries, a big scoop of Greek yogurt, some honey, crushed ice, and a splash of milk. To this I added one teaspoon of Black Cherry Matcha. I did not sift it this time since it was in the blender, but I have found that when using the aerolatte it is best to sift. The good news is that he liked it and drank his whole smoothie. The last time I had him try one he said it wasn’t really his thing, he wasn’t a smoothie person, but that one didn’t have cherry matcha in it!
I served this at tea party today and it got an unusual reception. My guest sniffed it – we always sniff and swirl and observe and such as part of the fun – but she was really excited by the fragrance. “Is that caramel? And something else!” Yes, caramel toffee popcorn. Well, she curled her fingers around her cup and held it like someone would hold a hot chocolate when they just came in from a snowball fight!
I am definitely going to have to serve this one again and again for tea party day! It is a lovely flavored tea that needs no additions and is a great treat, and very satisfying.