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The Final Sipdown: Day 16.1
Lots of phone calls happening today. Could be because my throat is dry from a nearly one and a half hour phone conversation, but I am gulping this down right now. Need to slow down to log it, but can’thelpitmustdrink.
Phew, okay. That was a close one. Still got some left.
There’s a lot of bitterness in this cup even though I only steeped it for 30 seconds [ish] but I put a lot of leaf in that little strainer and so that might be the culprit.
That bitter taste is met with a high, sugary, fruity sweetness. It tapers off at the finish and is completely overwhelmed by the sweeter part of this tea. The aftertaste is actually quite lovely.
As for the apple, it’s definitely present in the scent [at one point I got the smell of rubber cement in the scent of the liquid, though, and that wasn’t so nice]. Though it remains in the taste it isn’t nearly as obvious it is in the aroma. The apple comes through most clearly for me in the finish.
Here’s what I find interesting about this tea. The closest thing it’s tasting like in terms of liquid apple concoctions is sparkling apple cider. What it really tastes like, though, is apple. Like real apple juice. As in the juice that squirts out when you bite into an apple; not that sugary bottled stuff. I’m finding it light and refreshing. Springy, almost.
In the wake of the fact that I came home to the lid of my kyusu being BWOH-KEN [mistakes happen, but that sucker was over fifty dollars], I am going to take what enjoyment I can get. While I don’t like the fact that I really can’t taste the green tea in this tea, it’s lightening my mood. Well, that and this episode of Sarah’s House that I’m watching. And the Christmas tree.
I’m just going to sit here, finish this cup, and woo-sah. And bump the rating on this a bit.
Teas Downed: 29
Lena sent me a bit of this tea, and I was in the mood for something fruity tonight so…ta da! Now give me a cookie. [Just kidding. Maybe. Do you have cookies?]
She had written down a 30 second steep time, was counting it in my head and I got a little distracted [not surprising] so it was probably closer to 45. Not that I’m sure that would have made a huge difference. It didn’t come out bitter or anything, thankfully.
The liquid smells distinctly of apple. To me it’s clearly apple of more of the granny-smith, green variety, but also…baked. Something about it makes me think of apple baked into a pie without the additional seasoning.
At first, the taste was very much like every green apple candy I’ve had without about 95% of the sweetness. As it cooled down, however, it began to fill out. I can’t place exactly what it was that happened, but I think that I got a little bit more of that sour taste [in a good way] and the sweetness balanced out really nicely with it. By the time I reached the bottom of my cup I was pretty satisfied.
I hardly got any sencha taste, though it could very well be that it just mingled very well with the apple taste. In looking at the leaves, I hadn’t been expecting a really bold, robust sencha taste [they’re a bit dark and a little twiggy] so I think that this is a case of the quality matching up pretty well with the flavor profile.
I didn’t give this another steep because it was pretty light to begin with, though in the future when I have a little more time I might give it a go just to play around. I definitely enjoyed this, but as we almost always have apples around here I usually just eat one when I’m craving one. So, I don’t think that this is going to be something I’ll order.
This is the third of the three teas that I recently purchased from Den’s tea and this is by far my favorite of the three. Of course that is a slightly unfair comparison because the other two were senchas, and I am a much bigger fan of gyokuro, but I felt that the two senchas really did not have that much flavor.
Regardless, this gyokuro has the sweet/bitter combination that you expect out of a gyokuro, but it also has an interesting note of pine tree after the initial burst of flavor.
Here’s the second of three teas that I recently purchased when Den had a sale of a few of his teas. I brewed this in a 4 oz Kyusu that I purchased from Yuuki-Cha, and I followed Den’s instructions for the first steeping (160 degrees, 30 seconds, 1 teaspoon or 3 grams for me).
As with the sencha that I had yesterday, I really don’t feel like I’m getting the full array of vegetal and seaweed tones that I typically get from my other senchas. This certainly isn’t a bad tea per se, but there is nothing special about it. I did enjoy this one a little bit more than the sencha-ryoku I had yesterday, and this tea also had a beautiful emerald green brew.
Next time I think I am going to try steeping perhaps with 4 g of tea for the 4 oz of water. Den recommends a teaspoon (I’m guessing 2-3 g here), but perhaps i need to try a little more and see if that gives me the taste I’m looking for.
There is just the slightest tinge of bitterness to this tea. I suspect that I over-steeped it by a few seconds. Nonetheless it is still quite nice. It smells buttery and vegetal with just the slightest hint of flowers. My beloved says that it smells like a meadow and I can sense that as well. The taste is warm and calming with the same buttered vegetal promised by the fragrance.
I had to go off on a variety of errands, which seemed like a good excuse to try out my marvelous new JoeMo tea travel mug that I got through one of the Steepster Select offers (via TeaFrog) and this cold-brewed iced tea from Den’s Tea. I’m so glad I did! All I had to do was place the little pyramid silk tea bag in the tea holder of the mug (which works for loose tea as well), pour in cold water and wait. Den’s Tea suggests an hour, but I was impatient and was sipping wonderful mango flavored iced tea in 45 minutes. The mug is a revelation. It is sturdy, cleverly designed, has a lift out tea strainer, and a mechanism that makes drinking out of the mug a great deal more pleasurable than most travel mugs. I highly recommend it. Here is the link: http://teafrog.com/teas/joemo-xl-tea-travel-mug.html
On to the tea! I was surprised. It was tasty, well-flavored, non-bitter and basically delicious. I didn’t think that cold-brewing would work that well, but it did. The tea has a creamy mango sencha flavor that went well with my errands. Also highly recommended.
This was my first real sencha, so I can’t compare it to others but I can say it was quite good. I got four good infusions out of it (60s, 20s, 30s, 60s). All were pretty consistent, although 2 and 3 had a stronger flavor than 1 and 4. This was also my first order with Den’s, and they sent me all kinds of tea catalogs and brochures and information. Very nice.
Made a quick cup as I’m getting ready to leave the office. Apple-licious…and tastes even better considering I’m about to be off work for 4 days in a row. Sweet!
Merry Christmas and happy holidays everyone!
I’ll be back after the break to post and read about all of the teas we will be getting for Christmas. crosses fingers
I agree with Ricky, I think there’s matcha in it… although if there is, it bothers me that it isn’t listed on the package. I’m all about the product name living up to the actual product (especially in taste). Ok… so the predicament is how much water to use. The catalog says that they’re extra big to make a couple cups (12-16oz) but a serving of sencha is 4oz which means it’d make 3-4 cups. Well, I’ll meet them in the middle and make a 12oz cup.
Once it steeps there is a small amount of residue on the water line, not nearly as much is normally present in matcha dusted tea so that makes me think that the leaves are just so small some of them powdered. The liquor is extremely light green with a tint of yellow- a slightly lighter, more translucent version of the 2nd to last smiley from the right.
The taste definitely matches the liqour. While there is a very faint taste of what I think might be matcha (darn congestion) most of it is just green tea. This definitely can make 2 cups, but the volume varies based on the type of tea in the bag. I’d use 8-12oz of water instead of the recommended 12-16.
Sigh… I still have my headache so I need something comforting w/ caffeine and a short steeping time (I have no patience waiting for tea when I’m not feeling well) so I went for this. Sadly I’m running very low on my sample… maybe another teaspoon if I’m lucky. :(
Well, after my lucious drinking chocolate and my unexpected tea purchase I decided to finish my infusions of mecha that I started last nite. Infusion 2. Taking my aunt out for egg nog pancakes at Ihop later. She loves anything egg nog. To quote Michelle Tanner from Full House, I think this is gonna be a “yummy in the tummy” kind of day!
Ok, what to have w/ my mecha? I don’t want anything too heavy incase mom wants to bring supper home. There’s that lettuce in there that should get eaten… A salad w/ carrot, cucumber, dried cranberries, roasted red peppers, pepper jack cheese, and croutons. But where’s the Italian dressing? Called mom- she put it up in the cupboard (it’s home made) when she cleaned so it’s out of my reach. Brilliant. I’m really picky about my salad dressing, but I’ll try the sun dried tomato and feta… and it’s actually good! Yay! And so is my mecha. Not the most lovely liquor- it actually reminds me of my cold, but it’s lovely in my stomach.:)
5th infusion 1tsp/6oz water. UGH. I’ve had a cough way back in my throat since last night so I wanted something w/ a thinner texture before my morning bowla matcha. I’m taking my aunt to SBUX today and I have a feeling that’s gonna bite me in the butt. Oh well, I’m going to our local tea shop after. Crisp and clean. Yum!
Wow! I’m the 1st one to log this! It wasn’t even in the data base. Really didn’t feel like making tea, but I know that drinking tea would make me feel better. Other than Adagio’s flavored senchas, Den’s Tea is all the experience I have w/ Japanese greens so I went thru my sample bag to find something I haven’t opened yet. Although I should really finish the 2 bags I have open so I don’t accidentally spill them and waste them.
Anyway… On to my mecha… (which sounds weird lol). I WAS all set to use one of those open bags until I saw this. I’ve never even heard of mecha before. So I rip open the bag and notice a lot of VERY tiny leaves, but they’re chopped and not rolled like gunpowder. I take a wiff of the raw leaves and INSTANTLY do not regret opening something new. It smells like my best friend matcha! I pour 1tsp of leaves into my 6oz of heated water and notice it looks like a bigger version of matcha! If the matcha wasn’t ground as fine and you poured it into my ingenuiTEA, this is what it would look like. Mecha only calls for a 45sec steep. I’m thinking that the Japanese are even less patient than I am in waiting for their tea.;) The liquor that this short steep produces is a beautiful yellowish one and the aroma is very similar to matcha. When sip this, I’m in love. It tastes more like matcha than it smells. Infact, the only real difference between this and matcha is that it has a slightly thinner texture and I didn’t drink this from my matcha bowl. And I totally would have given it a 100 if I had. If you’re wanting to try matcha, but you can’t afford a matcha set or the matcha itself. Try this! Or better yet, If you do have a matcha (or any bowl for that matter), use that instead of a cup.