1017 Tasting Notes
I had a brutal Brazilian jiu jitsu practice today. There was a penalty for not getting up correctly (you have to get up a certain way so when you are up you are less likely to get tossed off balance / ready to fight / uses less energy) and if one person messes up, both them and the partner has to sit down and get up properly. Each time, it goes up by 10 reps. So my partner screws up right at the end and we had to do 90 times! WAHHHH! I did it though!
So I’m really busted up and tired out and dying for a good cup of ice tea. I hit the local conveyor belt sushi joint and their cold green tea was oversteeped bitter hell.
I got home and mango was calling to me http://youtu.be/d9wOuSyralQ
I prepared this iced, with a bit of agave. Nice real natural mango flavor and refreshing! Slightly nutty and a quiet background of rooibos. I’m not a rooibos person and found Mango Lassi is a really good iced tea.
I need to try this hot, but Uggg so hot here and I’m too thirsty. I’ll do another official tasting note sometime. Right now I’m going to soak in a heavy salted bathtub sipping this tea, Bai bai!
I snagged this matcha during a sale! This is the fourth matcha I’ve tried from Red Leaf Teas http://www.redleaftea.com/
As a quick rundown, Red Leaf teas matchas are very flexible and you can select the strength of the flavoring, matcha quality or type of matcha. I’m a fan of “Robust” flavoring as you get a big hit of flavor with a good matcha base. What I ordered:
Bavarian Cream Matcha
Quality: Starter (Basic Grade)
Flavor: Robust, because I wanna drink some strong vanilla custard!
I really recommend to get a tin with your order, unless you already have good sealing tins. The matcha comes in a non resealable gold foil bag.
If you don’t have much in matcha preparation gear, the most important thing is to sift the matcha. I use a fine mesh tea strainer. I do this for every matcha I prepare. Other gear you need is a ½ teaspoon and a small whisk. The bamboo whisks work amazing but a small wire one will do in a pinch.
Matcha is very flexible in preparation – I often make iced lattes with a blender bottle intended to mix protein powder drinks, which is fast, easy and achieves lots of froth!
The smell of bavarian cream matcha is strong creamy with a hint of lemon. The lemon was a surprise to me as I was expecting more of a vanilla custard cream puff taste. The colour of the matcha is a rich green.
For a traditional cup of hot matcha, I used just under 1 teaspoon, whisked in a little 180f hot water to bring to a nice froth and a little extra hot water to taste. For this matcha, I found the froth was just not happening for me today. I’m thinking with stronger flavored matchas the froth isn’t as easy to achieve since I can get a great froth with my delicate caramel matcha, but my robust cheesecake matcha preforms similar to this one robust bavarian cream one.
The taste of the traditional matcha is creamy, smooth with an excellent green tea base. A lemon taste lingers in my mouth after my sip. Sweetened with a little white sugar, the citrus turns brighter, like a lemon drop candy. To me, it was more lemony than custard.
For my favorite iced matcha recipe, I added just under a teaspoon of sifted matcha, about 1 or 2 teaspoons of sugar, 4 ice cubes and about 300ml of soy milk to my blender bottle and gave it a good shake. I got 1.5 inches of tasty foam. The taste, AMAZING! Very creamy custard taste! The lemon taste is now subdued, but there in the background to add interest and dimension, like adding lemon zest to a pie. I can’t taste much matcha surprisingly, but I don’t care as drinking about 90 calories of custard is total win!
Overall, of all the flavored matchas I’ve tried so far, this one is now hands down my favorite latte! For traditional prepared matchas, it’s pretty good, but find it not as close to its intended flavor as the lemon comes out more than I like. I can see Bavarian Cream matcha going well with cheesecake or caramel matcha.
Another Butiki tea sample!
This one looks very promising. I’m a sucker for florals and pretty looking teas! Also wanted something that had multiple infusions so I can hammer away at the Shawl of Dooom while having multiple cups of tea! Oh, funny thing is I finished knitting the lace section and thought “hey, this would look better longer” so I decided to extend the lace because I’m freaking crazy.
STEEPED: As I was pouring the tea from my steeper into my cup, an amazing floral and sweet strawberry smells came swirling up. HOT DAMN I’D WEAR THIS TEA AS PERFUME! Also a very pretty tea with the tiny pink flower bits. Tempted to just sit here and smell this tea instead of drink it! oh, is a gold cup of tea.
TASTE: One sip and I was drooling! Smooth, floral and a burst of strawberries that explode and cover the whole mouth. No bitterness, tart or astringency.
Sweetened, Strawberry Oolong tastes less floral, but the strawberry is sweet (duh). I like this tea unsweetened more I think, but both pretty good.
Second Steeping: Smells more sweet strawberry than floral to me, however tastes more floral oolong. Still tasty! Not bitter or astringent.
WHO SHOULD BUY THIS TEA NOW: ME! HAHAHAHAHAA! I haven’t even finished the first cup and I wrote this tea on my list for my next order.
Okay okay, this one is great for a floral tea lover, but a black tea sweetener type would also enjoy this tea as a venture into oolongs. The oolong isn’t strong so a peep into flavored greens or whites would like this too.
COMMENTS: Best strawberry tea I’ve had! The strawberry is not tart or fake. I need more!
I woke up determined to get through most of the Butiki tea samples I have before I make an order. You know, so I don’t miss anything I need. Almond Indulgence is one I’ve been saving. Sounds yummy, I love almond cookies, but sometimes nut teas are hit and miss for me.
STEEPED: Very pretty to steep with the pink flower bits! A nice brown tea that smells of nutty cinnamon!
TASTE: Very smooth! Light flavored earthy and nutty. Slightly cinnamony. No bitterness or astringency.
Sweetened, smells like almond cookies! The almond comes out a bit more – real almond not fake extract stuff. I think I like this tea sweetened since I have a sweet tooth, hehe!
WHO’D LIKE THIS TEA: Peeps who like cinnamon teas that aren’t overpowering. Lightly flavored black tea lovers. Someone wanting a nutty tea that isn’t fake tasting.
COMMENTS: Yum! I was hoping for a more flavor blast, since I do like strongly flavored black teas, but this is expertly done.
Mmmm, blueberry tea! My fav blueberry teas are by DT – White Tiger and Blueberry Jam. But this is a purple tea? Ultra fun! Thanx to Stacy @ Butiki for this sample on my last order!
STEEPED: low saturated brown colour, very interesting! Smells like sweet blueberries. After steeping, the leaves look pretty smushy.
TASTE: Floral, blueberries and light to moderate astringency. Very tasty aftertaste of blueberries. I’ve never had purple tea – with this it is kinda earthy but light. Like a really earthy green.
Sweetened, the blueberries come out in a mellow warm honey like form and less astringency.
EDIT: second steeping, no sweetener needed! The purple tea held up and is not astringent anymore with a good aftertaste of blueberry that is sweet! This purple tea stuff is intriguing.
WHO’D LIKE THIS TEA: someone looking for something a little different. Blueberry tea peeps should try this to change up having the typical white or black blueberry tea.
COMMENTS: Pretty fun tea! I’d love to have more than a sample to play with the steeping times to minimize the astringency.
Drinking so much tea today!
Woot, I won first place in the Butiki unflavored tea giveaway! Drinking my winnings away now starting with Gui Fei Oolong!
I’m sipping tea, listening to the new Devin Townsend Epicloud album and working on the knitted shawl of dooom! 12 rows left (that are 300+ stitches long with beading)! Nice and relaxing!
DRY: Kinda floral, sweet, and fruity.
STEEPED: Oolongy nutty woody and lots of other smells. Pretty complex.
I did the recommended 4 minute steep for my first steeping.
TASTE: I can pick out a great nuttyness, subtly sweet honey and a roasty taste almost. The honey note sits on my tongue, yum! No astringency or bitterness.
Second steep I did for 8 minutes at 175f, and it was much sweeter and fruity! Amazing! A slight slight astringency is starting to peek out, but no bitterness still. I could drink this steeping all day! Next time I’ll do the first steeping at 8 minutes.
COMMENTS: mmmm very tasty! I chose this tea because Kittena did a long steep saying it tasted like ice wine. MMm ice wine! Reading the description of this tea… “green leafhoppers are allowed to bite the tea leaves..” OMG bugs ate this tea?? I wonder how they rigged it so the bugs didn’t eat all the tea? I know if my bunny ate part of anything he’d leave broccoli and fur notes instead of honey notes!
Love sent to BoxerMama for a sample of this tea!
Since my tea pot broke, I started using the other small tea pot I got for my birthday last year. However, I discovered it leaks when I pour, BOOO! I’m probably going to convince the husband to buy me a new tea pot. I can do it myself, but I’ll probably come back with lots of teas! I’m saving up for big DT, Butiki and Verdant orders.
DRY: Very strong chocolately spicy cinnamon. The tea is coated in a dust of cocoa, oooh yeah!
STEEPED: Murky cloudy dark brown tea, still smelling of spicy chocolate cinnamon.
BTW, i went heavy on the leaves, so 2tsp for a cup of tea because I’m crazy!
TASTE: Straight strong cocoa with a hit of cinnamon that warms down my throat. Really cocoa. Holy cow this is chocolately!
Sweetened, this is really good and pretty much hot chocolate with spicy cinnamon. I can hardly taste the earthy mate though.
There lots of remnants on the bottom of my cup, despite using a DT Steeper, which usually does a good job. The closer I get to the bottom of the cup, the more spicy and grainy the tea becomes. Also gets slightly bitter towards the end of the cup.
The cinnamon lingers in my throat after drinking CC!
WHO’D LIKE THIS TEA: Chocolate lovers who like cinnamon in their cup. Spicy cinnamon tea lovers. CC also doesn’t taste very mate like, good someone who wants to try a mate for the stimulant hit or for someone who doesn’t like the grassy mate taste.
COMMENTS: Phew, I feel VERY awake after drinking that! Overall, amazingly chocolately and I love a good spicy hit and the cinnamon was great! I didn’t like the grainyness at the end of the cup.
I could see this being an amazing latte! OOOh yeah, next time!
Love sent to Stacy @ Butiki for this sample on one of my orders!
Uggg. I was walking down the stairs and I tripped but recovered. My tea pot didn’t and went flying and shattered on the carpet. BOOOOO! Luckily I have another small tea pot and there was no tea in the pot that broke! OMG, if I had a sample sized tea in there I would of cried!
DRY: I’m thinking I can’t smell much with teas in plastic baggies.
STEEPED: Lovely floral oolong smell in a light yellow tea. I ate a few freezedried pineapple chunks. They were deliciously sweet and yummy. Then I got mad at myself as that probably killed having a resteeping.
TASTE: Refreshing light oolong thats silky. A great taste of pineapple and sweetness as well. I’m talking fresh pineapple too, not that sugary stuff. No tartness.
Sweetened with some plain rock sugar (I should really get some brown rock sugar) the pineapple comes out more at the end and is amazing.
WHO’D LIKE THIS TEA: pineapple lovers and fruity tea peeps that need to be schooled!
COMMENTS: I’m really digging the silky oolong here, so tasty! The pineapple is so natural tasting and yummy! The more I drink, the more I love it! It’s simple but the silkyness of the tea take it to the next level! Yeah, I used a lot of exclamation marks!
Added to shopping list, dang!
Malt tea? Crazy!
Well, I’ve had malt tea before, unsuccessfully. About 6 or 7 years back I noticed some grain teas at my local Korean Supermarket. I came home with a malted barley and black bean tea. Of course, the entire thing was in korean so I had no idea how to prepare it. I tried a few times and it either tasted like nothing, or if I left it in the fridge it went bad. Reflecting upon this, it probably wasn’t milled or whatever.
So I saw Azzrian on “share your orders” order a $1.50 sampler pack – a deal? I checked out malt tea.com and damn, it is a $1.50 + $1 shipping (promocode is on the sampler page) so I decided to check them out. Even without the sampler pack, you can get a pound for like $5! CRAZY!
Shipping took longer than expected, but came in a nice box tied with thin twine. Inside was lots of tea bags tied with twine and labeled. Very cute!
DRY: Smells of chocolate, malt and sweet. Bringing up childhood memories of a chocolate treat that I can’t remember. Ovaltine? I think Ovaltine!!!
STEEPED: I wanted to check out the bits, so I opened the tea bag and used a steeper. Brews up a dark brown tea (weird!). Smells really strong earthy grainy.
TASTE: Mysteriously sweet and totally malt flavored smooth. Not chocolately but a light coffee taste. Honey like aftertaste and freaky malty burps.
WHO SHOULD TRY THIS TEA: For $2.50 (including shipping) for 10 tea bags of various malt tea, why not? For this particular malt, I think coffee drinkers, sweet black tea types would like this for a caffeine free treat.
COMMENTS: totally ovaltine like to me, but no chocolate taste. I’m impressed how sweet this stuff is!
I wish the tea came with instructions. I had to look on their website for preparation (200f, 3 to 5 minutes) not sure how much water to use, but went with 1.5 cups or so.
Started having a typical morning – I got up, let out the rabbit, Benson, then attempted to leave the area to make tea. Benson was not having a typical morning of running around and he trapped me in the room by jumping on my feet and nosing me. So I sat with him, petting and feeding him snacks for awhile. I’m dying for my morning cup of tea and noticed his fur has been changing colour again. When he was a baby it was black and grey. He then got more and more black. Now he’s shedding and he’s looking kinda chocolately brown black. Mmmm.. chocolate tea? I finally was able to leave once he started playing in the cardboard boxes on the other side of the room.
Chocolate Cake Teaaaa! (from Kittena)
DRY: forgot, lol! Dying for tea!
STEEPED: Dark brown tea that is slight cloudy. Chocolate liquor smell. Quite a lot of debris on the bottom of the cup.
TASTE: Slightly creamy, chocolately and pretty sweet. I found the black tea a little weak, but that could of been me skimping out on the dry leaves or needed a long steep.
I didn’t realized this tea would be so sweet, but I saved a half a cup sweetened with rock sugar. With that, it’s really sweet and still creamy chocolately.
OBSERVATION: this tea left a weird residue in my steeper that I had to scrub out with soapy water. Globby white blobs, I’m guessing from the sprinkles.
COMMENTS: Not bad, I’d love to try this one again. Would love to just go heavy on leaves and have a chocolate overload.
Excuse me, need to feed the bunny some bok choi.