Choice Organic TeasEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Was shopping at Giant Eagle this morning with the toddler, went down the tea aisle for some crackers (hazelnut nut thins) when I decided to glace at the tea. Twinings did have some tins of loose leaf but nothing excited me, I thought about getting some Irish Breakfast for the husband but passed. Their Prince of Wales and another brand’s Lapsang Souchong tempted me as well but they were both bagged.
Then there was another curved section with organic teas. Stash caught my eye and got me excited (as I’ve seen people log about it on here) but I didn’t like any of the choices. However this and Choice’s bancha made their way into my cart along with another brand’s coconut chai green tea (mainly because it had a nice tin).
So yes this is bagged, but its twigs and organic, so how important can whole leaf be in this case? The fannings are still smaller than I would have thought, but I’d have to order some loose leaf kukicha to compare. I disregarded their brewing instructions, boiling for 4-5 mins no thank you. If it hadn’t said it was twigs and leaves I might have gone for it. I brought the water to 180ish and steeps for about 2 mins (I watched and smelled and when it was brown and sweet I pulled the bag).
But this is actually quite delightful. Its roasty and nutty and sweet and I think the husband is actually going to love it, which is a miracle because although he loves Japanese culture (studied it in college) he doesn’t care for their food or green tea. There is something in both the smell and the taste that does remind me of coffee, but a really light coffee with some hazelnut soy creamer. Will also have to take this into work to share, but really I can see myself buying this again (convenience certainly plays a role in that).
Although this has a little bitterness, it’s just enough to round out the flavor and no more. The jasmine isn’t particularly strong, but so what? To me this is a good green tea with just a touch of jasmine, and I’ll happily drink it when I’m looking for something simple and warm.
The toasted rice flavor makes for a tea that feels warm and filling. It does not overpower the green tea flavors, but is instead a great complement to it. I particularly like genmaicha during winter-time. I cannot compare with other brands of genmaicha, but there is no detectable bitterness, and a great flavor. Cooling the water down before steeping and keep steeping time down may be important to avoid bitterness. It leaves a nice aftertaste from the toasted rice that can last quite a while.
Houston, Tranquility base here. The Eagle has landed. That’s code for envelope from TeaEqualsBliss arrived loaded with much joy! I bought Choice teas before I joined Steepster but not since, so I have never logged any of them. This one, I have never even seen before now. It is a bagged version in a paper envelope. Ingredients listed as Organic Black Tea.
First off, the provided brewing instructions (For best results brew 4-5 minutes) will result in a really harsh cup of tea. I went 3 minutes and even at the shorter steep this is very astringent. Cotton mouth astringent. If I had another bag of this I would try 1-2 minutes.
Now on to the positives. This is pleasantly malty. It also has an interesting taste that to me tastes like leather similar to the Teavivre mini toucha – a first with a black tea for me. I think with a little patience and brewing artistry (getting the most out of a bag is as much an art as it is with loose leaf) this would be a really nice cup.
I thought I had posted at least one other tasting note on this tea, as I know I have had it several times in the past … I even cold-brewed it for iced tea during the summer.
This is a decent tasting bagged tea, pleasantly grassy and sweet. As the tea cools, it becomes slightly sharp but not what I would consider bitter. The grassy notes intensify as it cools too.
For a bagged green tea, I have to say, it is some darn fine genmaicha! I used to take this to work with me, due to it being easier to use there than loose leaf, and I never had a bitter cup, even if I forgot about it and over-steeped it, and that’s saying something! Green tea, if not brewed properly, can get quite bitter. I haven’t found this locally, and I admit that I do prefer loose leaf, but I’d buy this again.
This is more balanced than some other gen mai cha that I have tasted, and not as balanced as others. I like the quite nutty toasted rice flavor. The green tea comes out a bit more than in the Motoyamamoto gen mai cha I tasted recently. This comes in a green tea bitterness that peeps out a little bit from behind the toasted rice and a very nice sweet aftertaste. I needed a calm-down cup of something warm with dinner after work today. This worked well.
1) add generous amounts of this tea to boiling water 2)wait for the colour to settle 3)pour milk until they blend 4)place palm sugar in cup 5)pour milk tea over sugar….. stir。Some people like to boil this tea directly in hot milk, that makes royal milk tea and doesn’t seem to suit this particular blend… I’ve also tried honey but the honey smell gets in the way of other spices…palm sugar is my best choice… personal opinion.
Too bad they don’t sell in sachets, have to go get tea bags… still one of my favorites especially in the cold season… my daughter craves it when she’s got a sore throat or a weak tummy
Wanted to add more here: the flavor certainly is more like a bitter black tea than an oolong. I couldn’t guess it was an oolong if it were a blind taste test. The steep color is an amber red. On my new scale of oolong flavor strength, 1 being the lightest and most floral, 5 being the strongest flavor, this one is a 5!
I’m confused. I haven’t drank much oolong but I thought they were supposed to be fruity and floral. I love the Butikiteas.com Peach Oolong. It couldn’t be any fruitier and flowery. But this one is very smoky and tastes mostly like a black tea. The scent reminded me slightly of unspiced raw pumpkin. The flavor reminds me oddly enough of the other Choice tea I’ve tried – Russian Caravan, a pine smoked black tea, which I don’t think should taste the same. I’m pretty disappointed in this one since I expected fruity and floral, but maybe I’ve already tried the best oolong (The Butiki)?
Let me tell you… this tea tastes WAY better than it smells. I can’t even keep it around my other teas, the smell is so strong. Before I drank it the first time, I was a bit hesitant to drink it because of the smell. I do like the FLAVOR though. I’ve drank this tea before (not sure why I didn’t leave a tasting note) but the local newspaper said to try maple syrup in tea. I didn’t know why I didn’t think of this myself. I thought I’d try a spoonful of the maple in this tea, as sort of a tree theme (you know, maple syrup, pine-smoked tea…) It is GOOD. I have never sweetened any tea with anything before. I usually like to drink tea by itself (and I get enough sugar elsewhere in my diet – I don’t need sugar in the one thing I eat that doesn’t have sugar in it!) The rating for this tea, is for how I might rate it without the maple in it. By itself, the tea is a nice smoky black. But occasionally, why not add a bit of maple to a cuppa tea?