2152 Tasting Notes
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!
I actually ordered the peanut butter flavor matcha intending to mix it with chocolate matcha for something like a Reese’s Cup, but Sil’s notes on smoothies made me want to try all kinds of ways to use my matcha and I realized that peanut butter is a great addition to a banana smoothie for protein, and I could use the matcha to add a little extra kick to the flavor as well as to give some extra energy boosting power to the smoothie. Right away, I discovered that I didn’t like actual peanut butter in my smoothies. The texture was a bit sticky for me, but by adding just the matcha powder you can get the peanut butter taste. You can find it here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/peanut-butter-matcha.html
I chose the robust flavor level for this one, because I didn’t realize how quickly I was going to learn to enjoy the taste of matcha! It isn’t too strong for me, though, but if you are drinking it plain you might want to take it down a level, especially if you already love the taste of matcha. I drank it most recently as a matcha latte, and with 1/2 teaspoon of matcha in eleven ounces of milk and water with about a tablespoon of Turbinado sugar, this made a creamy, mildly nutty, afternoon pick me up, emphasis on creamy!
Having ordered Bilberry with the upgrade to the base and just the distinctive flavor level, I think there are a lot of these flavors that I will do that with in the future. My beloved almond, French Vanilla, and Caramel flavors will probably always be ordered in robust though because I love it so much. (My son actually requested an almond matcha latte this weekend!)
The smell and taste of this matcha is really authentic peanut butter. I bet if you held the jar of matcha under someone’s nose, they would swear it was a jar of Jif or something.
If you love peanut butter, this would be a good one to try.
Good heavens, why haven’t I had this one in a while? I had leftovers from our Asian Buffet takeout and decided to myself a small pot of this to have with it. Good choice, me, good choice.
This was so excellent with my food. When I have green tea with food I usually perceive it very differently. Not so much with oolongs, but definitely with greens. This one was so mouthwateringly fresh that I felt like I had springtime in a cup. Delicious.
See that “Add to Cupboard” I clicked there? That’s because this isn’t a sample! No sir, this is part of my birthday gift from my eldest daughter! She emailed Laurent and they went back and forth putting together a gift box of four small tins and one large for me, and Laurent helped her choose my teas. The tins look beautiful together, and red is my accent color in my kitchen and there are little pops of it in my Williamsburg blue living room, so these are a nice decorative element as well. Here is a photo I took yesterday of the small tins. I hadn’t opened the large one as yet.
I decided to drink this because…well, I got it yesterday, and Demain means “tomorrow” so I thought I would drink it…tomorrow which is today! Got that?
I was having a quiet morning as everyone slept in after a late night watching movies and playing games. I got out my lovely Lady Carlyle cup and made a whole pot of this. The liquor is so lovely in the cup. It is a bright, clear, medium yellow color, really I would call it golden without a hint of orange. So pretty! I drank the whole pot before doing yoga with my son.
This is a bright and refreshing green tea flavor, yet not astringent or puckery. It is a good one for waking up!
Thank you, Superanna and Laurent!
I bought this because apparently I am a crazy person and I am trying to acquire every matcha that crosses my path that is under $40 a tin. Help.
On the bright side, this made a really good latte! The color of the dry powder is almost identical to the Olive Nation matcha, not nearly as bright as KaiMatcha Premium. I have a really nice froth lingering on my latte, and it has nice enough flavor.
I noticed that the above says it is $24 for a 40 gram tin. I went on their website to make sure I was looking at the right tea. On their site it says it is $34.50 but is on sale for $19.99. That is a great sale price for 40 grams of organic matcha. Most matcha comes in 30 gram packages.
Edited to add: I just looked at my account and I did indeed pay $24 for my tin. I wonder why their site now shows $34.50 as the price. Maybe the sale is to clear out the last of this batch and the next batch will indeed cost that much?
I wanted a good black tea to pair with….a spoonful of frosting. Yes, that is my shameful mid-morning snack. My youngest daughter just made birthday cake number two – with four kids in the family and my godson plus hubby and me, one birthday cake isn’t enough! She did a beautiful job, and now as the birthday person I get first choice on beaters and pans. I chose the frosting bowl! Heh heh. But I really only scraped out about two teaspoons worth or a tad more.
I am really trying to sip down some teas and I am trying VERY HARD not to order more, but I can’t say I have had much success with that part! I have even given away two big boxes of teas lately! And still we have way more tea than food in this house. And way more tea than money. LOL!
I have enough leaf left now for one more pot, and I won’t be replacing this one. I thought I would back when I first bought it. My daughter liked it and it was not bad, but I have had Keemun Mao Feng from Harney and Sons and Organic Superfine Fragrant Keemun Black Tea from Teavivre, and those are superior.
I don’t regret purchasing this. It has served us well and is pretty good, but I am glad to open up space on the shelf for some other, more treasured teas to come in. It was really good with my cream cheese frosting, though!
I am tasting this tea thanks to the amazing JacquelineM who miraculously produced a sample of this long unavailable tea. When I first joined Steepster, this tea was all the rage. I put it on my wish list, but the company that sold it – sob! – closed before I could buy any. I think losing the opportunity to try this legendary tea bothered me more than any other that “got away.”
And here I am with a generous sample. She could have sold this on the black market to some tea head for lots of money, but instead she sent it to ME! And I saved it for my birthday, which is today! This is my evening cuppa, a treat for myself in the quiet now that the day is winding down.
This is beautiful, beautiful leaf. Dark, long, twisted leaf that is highly aromatic, especially when you scent your cup first. (Thank you, Garret, at Mandala Tea for teaching us to do that. It adds so much to the experience. Pour your hot water in your empty pot, let it warm a moment, then pour out the water and add the leaf. Put the lid on for a moment. Now, lift the lid and take a long, deep sniff of the pot and leaves. Once you have experienced the aromas, add your hot water and steep.)
This is an extremely complicated tea. I am so glad I tried the hojicha first because my thoughts went something like this: Cocoa! Rough cocoa! Roasted cocoa! Roasted….something….coffee, caramel, smoke like hojicha, and…was that a hint of cinnamon? Chicory, yes, it is there also.
No wonder everyone loved it. Thank you so much, JacquelineM, for blessing my birthday with “the one that got away.”
On another note, when I looked up the plantation on google I saw an article that said a tea garden manager of that area was abducted in fall of 2012 and held in the jungle by some group – I forget now exactly who – but had been rescued. Oh my! Glad to read that he was rescued.
This is my first hojicha ever. I must confess that I was scared of it, especially once I cut the sample package open. (This was a free sample included with my matcha order.)
Smoky, but with something that came across as a burnt toast aroma. Oh dear! But I determined to try it anyway. And guess what? It was pretty good! I really thought it must be very similar to coffee, but I am not a coffee drinker so I can’t say for sure. I thought it might get bitter or harsh as it cooled, but instead I liked it more than when it was hot.
The burnt toast aroma has now turned to caramel followed by smoke, and that is something I can definitely handle. This is so bold (though not in the least astringent) that it is hard to believe it is low in caffeine. I would think that people who can’t have caffeine in great amounts or in the evenings would really enjoy a nice bold cuppa like this – lots of strength and flavor but no jitters and no insomnia.
So – what I thought was going to be an ordeal has turned out to be a really pleasant cup of tea.
Thank you, Zen Tea, for expanding my horizons a bit today!
Well, I don’t how orthodox it is to post a tasting note for something that isn’t available, but here it is!
I was really looking forward to today’s latte. I realized that I need to continue sipping down some samples, including these from the Red Leaf “taste off.” I think I have almost perfected my matcha latte recipe now. I love it with honey more than any other sweetener, and realized that I also like lots of milk, not just half milk half water.
I put one tablespoon of honey in a large glass and pour in just enough hot water to “melt” the honey. Then I add a little crushed ice just to cool it a bit so I don’t burn my matcha. Next I sift in one teaspoon of matcha powder and whoosh with my aerolatte, then fill the glass almost to the top with milk, and add a little more crushed ice so it will be nice and cold. This had really nice color, a little greener than the Olive Nation matcha I have been making lately. The flavor was creamy and good.
I am loving the Working Glass I bought from Williams Sonoma just for my lattes. I am surprised others in the family haven’t tried to lay claim to it yet! The top startled me when I tried to shake the hot water and matcha – it POPPED and I got spritzed with tea! So don’t shake if the beverage is hot! LOL!