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Recent Tasting Notes
Not bad for a green tea in a bag. Had this one at a breakfast place in Davis this morning. Could use some more taste, it was a bit on the bland side, but what was there was very good. Nice and light, with hints of straw and grass. I could even sense a slight hint of butter. I little too light for my taste, though.
I’m pretty sure that I rated this tea before, so this must be another case of a multi-profiled tea… Anyway, as I am currently in the midst of a travel-imposed loose tea hiatus, this sachet of Organic Tamayokucha is tasting mighty fine. True, it’s my first Japanese tea in at least two weeks, so my judgment may be skewed by deprivation.
The flavor seems to me half-way between a succulent China green and a Japanese green. Definitely neither a sencha flavor nor a bancha flavor! It’s even reminding me a tad of my limited Indonesian green tea experience. I have a couple more of these sachets, which came in the sampler box from Two Leaves. It’s a somewhat odd concept for a sampler box: three different teas, this Tamayokucha, an Assam, and a bedtime valerian-chamomile blend. I find it odd because Two Leaves has many other varieties of teas to be sampled!
On a tangentially related note: I am no longer a fan of cellophane-wrapped sachets (which is why I am using all of mine up on this trip). The last straw was when the scent of my Mighty Leaf mint tea ended up infusing into all of the other cellophane-wrapped teas with which it was stored!
Had this tea at the spa on the weekend – not that I regularly spend time at the spa, but when there, why not drink tea? I really enjoyed it – a nice, light herbal tea. I’m quite surprised to see the reviews indicating a strong hibiscus flavor; I didn’t even notice hibiscus. Slightly fruity and very relaxing.
The scent of this tea was so scrummy. It was sweet and fruity, and I was excited to get brewing right away. And let me tell you, the taste of Tropical Goji Green was just as delicious as its smell. “Flavoring” can be a little tricky because it can overpower the tea, but in this tea it was a nice balance. The flavoring was fruity and slightly tangy, and this paired nicely with the fresh, grassy, and light sweetness of the green tea. I decided to go back for seconds and steeped the bag for a second time. The aromas mellowed a bit, but it was still good the second time around.
Bottom line, this tea was pretty darn tasty. I need more of this stuff because I’m thinking it would make a delicious iced tea. Think of how great it would be to enjoy this outside on a warm day while reading a good book. Fruity and refreshing, I’m sure!
This tea surprised me. Mostly because I’d never heard of Gen Mai Cha, so I was blown away when I found little, roasted rice nestled amongst green tea leaves. I had to do a little research on Gen Mai Cha because I couldn’t figure out why someone would want to brew roasted rice. According to good ol’ Wikipedia, Gen Mai Cha was drunk by poor Japanese people back in the day. The roasted rice was a filler to cut down on the cost of the tea.
I was skeptical of the tea because the scent reminded me of Honey Smacks cereal (minus most of the sweetness), and I was never too fond of Honey Smacks. This tea grew on me as is cooled down though. When the tea was still hot, all I tasted was the puffed rice, and I couldn’t help but feel like I was drinking watery porridge. This isn’t necessarily bad because I like porridge, but I would have been disappointed if that’s all it was. When the tea cooled down to a luke-warm temperature, the aroma of the green tea finally surfaced, and the flavors seemed to marry. The aroma of the roasted rice mellowed and became nice and nutty, which tasted good with the fresh and light sweetness from the green tea.
Bottom Line, Two Leaves and Bud’s Organic Gen Mai Cha is a win. Even though I’m still trying to wrap my head around puffed rice in tea, the flavors in this tea just worked, and they only got better with each sip I took.
It’s actually the first time I bought this brand of tea, Two Leaves and a Bud (cute name) from Whole Foods. Supposedly it has a new look to it (I don’t know what the packaging looks like before). As I opened the box, I noticed that each tea sachet is individually wrapped and sealed in plastic (not a fan of plastic wrap). When I open the package, I noticed that each tea sachet string with paper handle is sort of glued together and is slightly glued to the sachet itself (didn’t see any glue left on sachet as I peeled it, if there is, shouldn’t be toxic or harmful right?).
From the first taste, I really like it. It tastes so simple and natural. It is not as strong tasting as I would expect but very soft, smooth, and possibly elegant tasting. I myself do not have much tasting experience with tea in general and so this is just based on my opinion. The package did say that it has a “whiff of rich apple scent with soft honey notes and a lemon edge to it”. Unfortunately I myself cannot tell. If anything, give it a try and see if you like it.
Method: 1 tea bag in 8 oz at 205 degrees for 3 min.
Impressions: The color was lovely and the aroma was nice, but the tartness of the hibiscus was overpowering. After adding about a tsp. of rock sugar, this was much better. Even with the sugar to soften things, I didn’t taste anything past the hibiscus.
As far as oolongs go this is a rather tasty one – it’s got all the malty, roasty dark-brown flavours that I enjoy, but there’s also an odd salty note at the beginning of each sip that I’m decidedly less fond of.
Not a favourite, so it goes back in the box.
Speaking of Assam, here we have an Assam-esque tea which really is from Assam! The Two Leaves (formerly known as Two Leaves and a Bud) company offers a 15 sachet sampler set containing three varieties, one of which is organic Assam.
The sachet places the nice-looking leaves of this tea in proper relief, but the flavor of the tea is not all that great, it seems to me. Just another mid-level Assam. It brews up reddish amber and turns caramel colored upon the addition of cream. The tea is organic, and tastes perfectly fine but leaves a slight scratchiness in the back of my throat after swallowing.
(Blazing New Rating #26)
Tea #1 from Travelling Tea Box C Round 2
So I picked out this big pile of teas to try from the TTBC R2 and it’s a bit overwhelming on which to start with, so I pretty much closed my eyes and grabbed one. Lol. This came up first.
I wasn’t sure about the measurements so I kinda winged it. A heaping tsp in 8oz of water, 195* (it went a bit hotter than I intended. I had been aiming for 185*) for 3 min.
Overall I don’t really taste anything special about this tea. It’s kinda just an everyday roasty tasting oolong to me. Maybe a bit bitter (though I think that’s because I used too hot of water), but nothing amazing.
I’ve been wanting to do a steep-off of this Organic Tamayokucha from Two Leaves with the Imperial Tamaryokucha from Les Palais des Thés, but my remaining sachet of the Two Leaves was MIA. Happily, I just found it. However, I just noticed that the names of these two teas are actually different “Tamayokucha” versus “Tamaryokucha”. Could be a type-o, I suppose. Or are these really and different teas? The way to find out for sure will be to do a steep-off chez sherapop!
Both the diaphanous sachet from Tea Leaves and the cotton muslin sachet from Le Palais des Thés brew up golden with a green tint. Le Palais des Thés brews up slightly lighter and slightly more green. I noticed that these cotton muslin sachets contain quite a bit less tea than the see-through sachets of most every other company. The size appears to be determined by the same template as the one used by Kusmi—smaller and more rectangular in shape, rather than a pyramid or tetrahedron.
The tea in this sachet reminds me of Mighty Leaf Organic Green Dragon—more of a robust China blend than a single-origin Japanese tea… It’s good, but I would never have guessed that it came from Japan.
This is my first experience of tamayokucha, which Two Leaves glosses as “Extremely Green Tea”. Well, the liquor is a pale greenish yellow, but let’s not get carried away!
The flavor seems midway between a sencha and a long jing—almost a hybrid between a classic Japanese and a classic Chinese green. It’s pretty good.
second infusion: better than the first! I am using a large Bodum glass (about 10 ounces), so these sachets are essentially equivalent to two filter bags. Now I’m going to have to try this tea in the loose format…
I’m giving this bedtime brew from Two Leaves and a Bud another try. My last glass was not very effective, as I was penning my tasting note near 5 am. Tonight we’re pushing 2:30 am. With any luck, I’ll be asleep before 3:30 am.
What to say about this tisane. Lots of aniseed and lemon grass, not very much chamomile. I almost feel that chamomile was thrown in as an afterthought, or maybe to satisfy everyone’s concept of “bedtime brew”. I don’t even taste it. In fact, I’d recommend this infusion more for settling one’s stomach than as an inducement to sleep.
Despite the undeniable inclusion of stinky valerian, I’m not sure that the dose is high enough for me. Perhaps I’d be better off with two glasses, but then I’d have to descend from my chambers in the middle of the night. Oh well, this was my last bag, I believe.
A final question: why in the world did this company change their name to Two Leaves? It would be like Starbucks changing their name to Bucks. Hmmm… come to think of it, that name rather fits!
Once again I was somewhat underwhelmed by the flavor of this blend. It tastes fine but somewhat nondescript. Perhaps Organic Better Rest Blend is supposed to be a bit boring in order better to induce sleep? The flavor seems something like a fourth infusion of a green tea.
The good news is that the lemon grass is not overwhelming despite the obvious preponderance of the little stalks in the sachet. Also a relief is that the stinky valerian does not smell the same infused as it does dry…