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Recent Tasting Notes
This is the first matcha that I have had so I do not have any basis to compare it with other matchas. The matcha comes off to me as a strong green tea that is surprisingly smooth. I am only able to whip up much of a froth in the bowl but I am not sure if it has to do with the quality or my lack of experience in making matcha.
Picked this up at a local grocery recently. I wasn’t expecting too much of a canned tea, though it did turn out better than expected. It’s a decently smooth and energizing sencha with an umami undertone, and no excessive grassiness or off-ness that comes with overbrewing. There is, however, a noticeable bitterness. It’s convenient as a cold and unadulterated drink of tea when you’re not able to brew your own, but doesn’t otherwise stand out.
This is my favorite bottled tea. Hands down!
Robust, full flavor. Dark, rich green tea, zero bitterness, it is smooth and incredibly delicious! I would buy this by the case.
My only wish is if Ito-En sold the loose leaf for this brew… I can’t figure it out, it is a mystery to me! A delicious, delicious mystery!
I really love his matcha. While I am by no means a matcha connoisseur I have tried my fair share and this one rates pretty highly amongst them all. It is definitely one of the sweetest matchas I have had. Just opening a fresh tin you are greeted with a beautiful, lasting sweet scent which directly translates to the liquor once mixed. The color is an entirely gorgeous vibrant green. Seriously, this stuff is almost electric.
My only complaint is that it does clump a bit more than other matcha I have. Perhaps due to the fact that it takes quite some time to get it through a strainer. I’m not sure why this is, but it’s nothing a good shake after blending can’t help.
My matcha drinking suffered during winter, but now that we are back to having bearable days (temperature wise) I am again drinking my daily matcha latte. Currently I’m near obsessed mixing this one with ~3/4 of a pump of Monin’s cantaloupe syrup. Gorgeous! Pure decadent refreshing summer in a cup. Today I had some with their cucumber syrup and I can see this becoming my new favorite. If you haven’t tried any of Monin’s syrups I can’t recommend them enough. Especially along with this tea :)
Normal and uninspiring, this green tea is the perfect thing as I sit in the airport near a Japanese restaurant waiting for a flight. It doesn’t have any aftertaste, and it tastes like green-tea-flavored-hot-water. It probably wasn’t steeped hot enough, but who cares? I’m just happy to have it. Would I drink it again? Absolutely. Would I buy it? Sure, if I’m traveling. Would I seek it out? Probably not, because I have loose leaf teas that I really like.
Flavors: Grass, Green
A nice, mellow tea, good for a night cap. It has a vegetal/seaweed scent and mouth feel, but not too roasty. It has a light citrus aftertaste, too. Very subtle and sweet finish. I find myself making this tea when I’m all “tea’ed” out.
Flavors: Citrus, Grass, Seaweed
Okay so I totally went to the LA International Tea Festival today and IT WAS FANTASTIC OH MY GOSH.
I went with a couple friends who enjoyed tea, and they knew I liked tea, but I think today was the day they realized that I freakin loved tea.
Anyway, I had a TON of tea today and I want to write about all the teas that I had, but I forgot to write down the names/tasting notes for all of them D: The only one that I remember was this one.
Just a super simple sweetened canned matcha drink. Like an energy drink for matcha lovers :) It definitely can’t replace real matcha, but this is just a super easy way to drink it AND it was only a dollar each so I was okay with that (I bought 5 hehe)
I had tons of fun at the festival and my friends and I even saw a Japanese Tea Ceremony (and I saw my manager at the theater it was held in as well???).
We walked around places, I was talking to a bunch of the vendors about tea and it was so nice talking to their travels. I ALSO MET //THE// ROSA LI FROM ROSALI TEA. And freakin Alex Harney was there and I talked to him as well. SO MANY PEOPLE I NEARLY DIED.
Got 10 of these at $1 each at Stop & Shop this week! I used to pay $2.50 per bottle when I worked in NYC! I find each batch to be different – sometimes it’s more jasmine-y than other times. The batch I got now is more on the green tea side. The jasmine aroma hits you first, then as you drink it, the green tea becomes more prevalent in flavor. I’ve always purchased these teas because of how they smell – they are truly aromatic!
Flavors: Floral, Jasmine
I used 1TBSP and 1TSP of Sobacha and let it steep for 48 hours. I’ve cold brewed this tea before and if you’re in need for a quick fix this is an easy tea to cold brew. Its about ready in 4 hours and the flavor doesn’t change much so there is no urgency in removing the tea. Also, tea is totally edible so no need for a tea bag.
Flavors: Roasted Barley
Session A: 3 grams tea in 5 ounces of 205 degree water for 5 minutes
Session B: 2.5 grams tea in 6 ounces of 176 degree water for 1.5 minutes
Appearance Session A Session B
Dry Leaf: thin strips, dark green with same
few pieces of yellow
Infused Leaf larger pieces with rough edges same
that support CTC process
Liquor: light yellow darker tone yellow
Dry Leaf: fresh grass same
Infused Leaf: steamed spinach same
Liquor: vegetal same
Liquor Flavor/Mouth Feel
Hot: astringent bitter
Cool: earthy bitter more even with just a hint of possible sweetness
Finish & Overall Impression: I can’t imagine purposely making this tea to sip for pleasure. I accept that this is a learning experience and my taste will evolve. The extremes with temperature and steep time are to bring out the characteristics so students can more readily experience the flavor. They were very harsh. I’m hopeful that steeping at lower water temperature and for shorter time will have the tea be more agreeable to me.
Next Time: Decided to try again sooner than expected on June 9, 2015, as my first tea pet arrived. It’s nice to know she will be part of all my cuppings.
Session C: 0.7 grams (0.5 teaspoon) tea in 5 ounces of 150 degree water for 1.5 minutes.
Appearance of Liquor: very pale yellow
Aroma of Infused Leaf and Liquor: outside on sunny spring day with fresh cut grass
Liquor Flavor/Mouth Feel: Very unassuming; like water with a hint of vegetal flavor. Thin.
The Next, Next Time: I think I can handle more flavor so will go for 1 teaspoon tea in 5 ounces of 150 degree water for 1.5 minutes.
I did these cuppings using a pocket thermometer because I believed it to be a classic/traditional approach. I am uncomfortable with the accuracy, especially with Session B. I will use my variable temperature Bonavita with next cupping for comparison.
Happy Thursday! A day of throwbacks and D&D, well the Dungeons and Dragons is all me, but the throwing back is all over the internet. Maybe on these tea themed #TBT I should occasionally toss in older pics of me, from my younger days of a myriad of different hair colors. There is a terrifying noise coming from the basement, thought you all should know, apparently something is FINALLY being done about the foundation leak (took other people’s stuff being ruined and a massive mold colony before anyone would listen to me, not that I am bitter) and the repair man who is checking things out has a creepy machine. I could go down and see what the machine actually is, but I like the idea of some steam-powered monstrosity better.
This tea was procured during the summer before I became a tea blogger, well not true, I became a tea blogger during that summer visit with my mom, it was one of those ‘I have found my true calling’ moments, and it was awesome. Anyway, getting lost in nostalgia, I bought a heaping pile of Ito-En’s Lavender Sencha while visiting Pennsylvania, and the awesome grocery store Wegman’s, my go to place to buy tea back when I lived in that state. This very aromatic tea is a blend of European Lavender and Fine Sencha (according to their map it is from the Kagoshima region) blending regions for one of the more sublime Sencha blends I have run into. The aroma is heavenly, well, if you like lavender, it blends the floral to the point of almost being soapy, and sweet grassiness and fresh vegetation. It smells very much so like a fresh lavender field in bloom.
The aroma of the now soggy and very vibrantly lavender…lavender, is more balanced. There is sweet freshly cut grass and honey along with gentle lavender notes. Not so much a soapy kick in the face. The liquid is gentle and fairly delicate, with notes of hay and grass along with honey and lavender. I am not sure I put much stock in aromatherapy, but the lavender certainly relaxes me…more teas need it.
The taste is surprisingly not overwhelming with lavender, I was expecting a blast in the face, but nah, it is gentle and sweet. The Sencha is delightfully refreshing and green, with notes of hay and grass, with just a touch of kale and kelp. When I first tried this tea and noticed a touch of bitterness I thought it was the green tea oversteeped or at a too high temperature (but I brewed it at 155!) but since then I have discovered that lavender is actually a bit bitter. The mouthfeel is fun, a bit tacky, like flower nectar, and the end of the tea, once you let it get a bit chilled (if you are a sipper like me) the lavender becomes stronger and is very relaxing. I rather like this tea hot and cold brewed over the summer, it is good for relaxing with a nice cup of a very nature themed tea. And now, for my obligatory TBT photo, it is from January of 2009, back when I was sporting red hair.
I will not get sick, I will not get sick, I will not get sick…. I’ve been repeating this mantra, and I am busting out every remedy I own. This was definitely something my body could use. This is my staple for matcha. I do treat myself to something new every now and again, but I use this for a general bowl. I believe this to be a fantastic matcha, for the price. It is relatively inexpensive and, when whisked right, comes out to a delicious bowl full of goodness. I usually brew usucha with this so it’s easy to get down. The taste is very buttery and full of umami. I use 6 chaksaku scoops for my bowl (its a glass one that is slightly larger than most). This has a slight vegetal tone and wet grass flavor. I rarely experience a bitter taste and it is always smooth. I’ve had a few other matcha that have been incredibly worse. My local tea shop sells “matcha” which is a puke yellow and causes headaches. This is much better and half the price. There is a lot of matcha out there that is amazingly better but its also triple the cash. This will do for now :) I hope to cure this sickness before it even strikes, hahah. The remedy hunt goes on!
Flavors: Sweet, warm grass, Umami, Vegetal
I picked up a little can of this while grocery shopping at the local Korean supermarket. The can design is cute, but I poured it out before drinking to get a better look at the color. (I’ve been finding that visuals are an important part of the experience of enjoying tea—using a dark mug or thermos just isn’t the same!)
Well, the color of this one is a very murky yellowish-green that reminds me of vegetable smoothies. It has a seaweed aroma commonly found with Japanese green teas (and as I later discovered, this one actually contains seaweed too). The taste is quite nice—it has that smoothness that I associate with Ito En’s bottled green teas. The matcha adds some body and umami flavor. It’s not something that I would often reach for, but it is a nice chilled drink and probably a decent energy boost.
More Advent Calendar Tea!
From the matcha in with the sencha, the tea is a little cloudy. It’s nice, but not outstanding. It wasn’t bitter at all, though, fairly sweet, but not as strong as I like. (I generally overleaf my sencha, so I made it in my 5oz cup, but I still felt like there wasn’t enough here.)
I enjoyed the texture and look of the finer, grassier Japanese teas. This yielded a somewhat bitter, very spinachy cup. While decent overall, it isn’t really my cup. I prefer my green teas a little less bitter; I have black teas to satisfy that itch!
Flavors: Cut grass, Herbaceous, Spinach
It’s like a cup of lawn clippings, judging the appearance and aroma. Very springy.
I was surprised by the steeping guidelines (they want me to add BOILING water? Really?), but followed them anyhow. It’s yielded a yellowish green drink, and the grassiness has persisted in both the nose and the mouth. I like the astringency on the back end of the sip, and the bitter spinachness up front.
I’m excited to try the next steeping!
Flavors: Bitter, Cut grass, Spinach