2140 Tasting Notes
I am putting today’s tea drinking under this tea, but there will be three teas mentioned here. The other two do not have a designation of their own.
My bestie, Melissa1, came over today for lunch since she is on spring break. We did a side by side test of three instant matcha latte mixes; this one, my home made blend of Olive Nation matcha and sugar, and Red Leaf Tea’s sample of Caramel Matchacinno No. 4, which is a test sample and not the final product that will be sold.
I made three glasses of milk and put a scoop of mix on top. As the matcha begin to bleed its color out into the milk, the differences were immediate and obvious. Rishi’s matcha was a bright spring grass green. Olive Nation was more of an olive green color, as was Red Leaf, though the flavoring does slightly change the color of theirs. Note: the mixes call for eight ounces of milk per tablespoon of mix. I have found that it is plenty sweet and flavorful enough to put one tablespoon mix to fourteen to sixteen ounces for me.
I used an Aerolatte to blend the mix and froth the top.
The Rishi had the strongest matcha flavor and tasted the sweetest of the unflavored. Olive Nation home made mix was good, but their matcha is more earthy and muted. I do like it, though.
The Caramel Matchaccino was still too strong for us at 12 ounces milk so I went with fourteen. This is a good thing, as it means I can make my mondo glass of latte and not go broke putting two tablespoons in it! Also, the flavoring level was either delicate or more likely, distinctive. I thought that was plenty strong enough and I would not order it in robust personally. I think I will put my money in upgrading the base now and go with lighter flavor, because the flavoring is generous enough as it is and the base makes the most difference to me now that I have developed a taste for matcha. The caramel is creamy and sweet.
As we poured up the last of it, she laughed and gasped, “How did we drink so much already?” I thought that was pretty funny since it is something you would expect to hear over a bottle a wine, not a table full of matcha! :)
Hubby used to drink only black tea, and even then it was loaded with sugar and milk. And sugar.
He got adventurous and started drinking puerh, greens, and oolongs – PLAIN! The past two weekends he has asked me after breakfast if I am making tea. When I ask what he wants, he says, “I don’t know. Nothing weird. Maybe something green.”
Today’s nothing weird something green was Premium Silky Green from Bird Pick, which we are pretty sure is a green oolong. It is so buttery and good.
On a side note, and only the forty and over crowd will probably know the answer: there was a comedian/magician who was on TV in maybe the 70’s. He sort of hummed this little song as he did a trick where he hit his hands together and he was holding up several fingers on one hand and they would magically “transfer” to the other hand. I think it was on Johnny Carson. I have googled and youTubed exhaustively and can’t find the guy. Does anyone remember who it was? I did find someone doing the same thing, but it was a much newer video.
Glory be, it’s a SIPDOWN! Why am I excited? I wasn’t letting myself buy any more Keemun until I finished the ones I already have. I am pretty sure this is the last of my last one. The little pile of empty tins is growing. The list of what I can order now is, too!
This was the first tea served because I wanted something fairly neutral to go with our first treat at tea party time. It was Orange Creamsicle Ice Cream, home made. Oo, it is yummy. I just made the basic vanilla ice cream in the Cuisinart book and added a tablespoon of Penzey’s orange extract.
Now I want to search for the perfect crunchy bits to add to it, like chopped almonds or toffee bits. I think it will be good as a float this summer, too. Maybe I will put it in ginger ale or cream soda.
Tea is funny! I had this yesterday and thought it was mainly peach. I had it today and got apricot first, peach second, and apple almost not at all. LOL! Anyway, it was excellent!
The tea base is very light and the flavors taste very natural without that irritating alcohol up your nose fumes that some flavored teas give. I think it is a nice level of flavoring, not overbearing.
This is a delicate and foofy tea for tea party time! Very enjoyable.
I am really surprised at myself. I have avoided genmaicha thinking I would not like it very much. I had Chocolate Delight by the Teaguys, and it has toasted rice in it I am fairly sure, but there are so many other ingredients in that blend that I wasn’t sure what made it tasty! Then I tried a bagged genmaicha and must have made it badly because it was TERRIBLE! But I think I just didn’t know how to handle it.
This one is easy, forgiving, and really tasty. My tea party guest did a double take today, almost setting her cup down after her first sip but taking it right back under her nose to sniff. “This is good!”
Indeed it is, and I recognize some of the flavor from Chocolate Delight, so I must have tasted the toasted rice after all. The caramel lends a really smooth, warm taste. The base comes off more as black tea than green to me.
This is one of my favorites from my birthday box! Thank you, SuperAnna for the tea, and Laurent for choosing!
I used water just barely at the boil and gave it a three minute steep. Nice color to the liquor makes me think this was a sufficient steep time.
It was hard to wait for it to cool to drinking temperature, but worth it. I took one of the little dried fruit pieces and it was so sweet and nice. The peach flavor in this is very good. I have one or two peach teas that I drink but I always have the feeling that I am getting some kind of burning fumes up my nose from the artificial “high note” that must be a byproduct of the flavoring. This tea does not have that to me. The fruit flavors are light, sweet, and natural tasting. The peach does not “turn” my tongue and make me pucker, and I am pretty sensitive to peach flavors. Done right, I like them. Done wrong, like in peach yogurt from the grocery, they gag me.
I thought at first that peach was the dominant flavor, and I will have to say it is the dominant aroma for me, but as it cools and as I sip, I do find the apple coming out and I think it keeps the peach from misbehaving. Apricot is dicey for me to recognize, since I have eaten very little apricot, and the taste is much like peach to me, only mellowed and warmer.
This was a nice choice for this dreary grey day while spring is being held out of my grasp!
I spent about half the day yesterday getting our taxes ready. I have been putting it off, dreading it, when I should have gotten it over with. I just felt like I could not face that chore! Finally, I knew we were getting down to the wire and I had no choice. And when I was done, it felt like a great weight had been lifted. I should have done it sooner!
I wanted to celebrate, and since we don’t drink alcohol plus I was wanting to give hubby a treat for working on my chicken tractor, I suggested Five Guys Fries. OY! I think a pint of liquor would have been better for me. I waited to eat until almost noon, but still I was a bit reflux-y. I am just not used to eating fried foods anymore! (On a happy note, I have lost all the weight I gained over the holidays and a little more to boot!)
I needed puerh, so I have been drinking this all day and my stomach is quite happy now. Puerh really works for me when I eat too much fatty or greasy food. I made this western style with a nice long steep so it was quite dark in the cup. It was sweet and smooth.
On a side note – the names for the chickens have been tentatively chosen…Nom Nom Nom de Plume (she will be Samwise’s hen, probably a Buff Orpington to match his spot), Darles Chickens (ruminate on that a while, you’ll get it), and Dame Digby Chicken Caesar.
Since I am trying to learn a lot about matcha, I had my daughter pick up something at Whole Foods called Sweet Matcha by Rishi. We don’t have it around here. It was really good made as a cold latte, but expensive (to me) all though it is cheaper than buying at SBucks. The bag was $10 and it makes 9 or 10 lattes, but only eight ounce ones. I usually make at least sixteen ounces!
I decided to try my hand at an instant latte mix using my Olive Nation matcha. I compared the calories per serving of the mix with calorie count on different types of sugar and came up with what I thought would be a good proportion. I decided on one part matcha powder to five parts sugar to replicate their calorie count and sweetness level. Of course, if you want it less sweet you can add less sugar and then use less than a tablespoon in your drink.
I am rather pleased, though there is one thing I would change. Rishi says they use milled cane sugar. I wasn’t sure what that meant but I went with confectioners sugar thinking it needed to be very fine to dissolve quickly. I think next time I will use my raw cane sugar from Whole Foods, and I may pulse it in my grinder before mixing it in.
It was a fun experiment, pretty successful since I have been enjoying these easy peasy lattes almost every day, and I think I came out way cheaper than buying another Rishi Sweet Matcha!
Today was tea party day. My first student of the day stays for an hour and a half after her lesson to have a tea party with us before my late afternoon students come. As we were finishing her lesson and were about to go to the table I smelled a wonderful scent, like on Bugs Bunny when some enticing aroma wafts to him and turns into fingers to draw him near. What is that? Ah, it must be the coconut!
Indeed it was, and this turned out to be the favorite tea of the day. (We always have three and rank them.) Don’t be misled by the description. I think it says with a hint of tartness or something like that, but don’t mistake that for sour or astringent in the base. To me, the pineapple is very light and overall this is a smooth and creamy cup of tea. Granted, I had made homemade ice cream flavored with vanilla, almond extract, and chocolate chips as well as a chocolate cake with the boiled frosting that hardens, so perhaps if it were not paired with food the pineapple is stronger, but we loved it just the way it was!