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Recent Tasting Notes
Enjoying my last of this sample from Rie
It’s definitely one of the better green oolongs that I have had. Too bad I can’t order this one :(
Finished off the last of this! I’m up bright and early to start my EMT course. I’m really excited and nervous, so I wanted a cup to calm me, but I also wanted caffeine to keep me going since it is a 6.5 hour class! I haven’t had much straight black teas yet, so it’s still difficult for me to comment on this. I really need to try more so I can understand the differences between bases and really know what people mean when they talk about Assam, Ceylon, etc.
As for this tea, I added in some interesting almond and cashew cream that I found at the store and thought would be fun to try. This is smooth and not bitter or astringent at all.
This review is actually a review of a method of making matcha lattes rather than the matcha itself. Maybe I should move it to a heading of “cocktail shaker” under tea equipment and paraphernalia!
When Red Leaf matcha lattes became all the rage on here, I bought a TON of matcha. I experimented with all sorts of ways to make it and finally settled on using an Aerolatte to whisk it all together. It struggles a little with thick honey but if you add just a touch of warm water or milk to “melt” the honey, it is easy. The problem is that I like my matcha lattes to be cold cold COLD!
I had read about people making lattes in a cocktail shaker, so I tried a Williams Sonoma Working Glass with rubber lid. Yes, I ended up with matcha latte all over me. In my hair, even.
Today I saw a cocktail shaker at an estate sale for five bucks and it appeared to have never been used! It even had a bottle opener and matching cheese knife inside, still wrapped in plastic. I decided I could give it a go as a latte maker and wouldn’t mind too much if it failed at that price. Besides, I needed a new bottle opener for the outside fridge where we keep our glass bottled sodas!
I sifted my matcha into the shaker. For those who participated in the blind study, it was sample five from Red Leaf from waaaaay back when we tested green, white, and black matcha. I added a tablespoon of honey, some milk, and some ice cubes. I put the lid on and shook it over the sink…..just in case.
No leaks! Yay! I poured it into my glass and a lovely froth topped my latte. I peered in the shaker and I could see tons more froth that I could have scooped into my glass, keeping or discarding the ice, but my glass was full so I didn’t. The honey seems to have blended fairly well, but I think it would have even more so if I had warmed it. Shaking it with the ice would have chilled it again and I would have gotten the icy cold temp I like.
I am going to try this next with raw cane sugar instead of honey. I have already had two lattes though, so I may wait a while!
Overall, I am really pleased with this method and tickled that I found a cocktail shaker so cheap, since I had been loathe to pay full retail for one.
This was a bonus sample in my swap from Rie. Thanks!
I really am starting to appreciate green oolongs more than I used to. They aren’t my favorite teas, but I think I can be in the mood for them sometimes and might even keep a few in my regular stock.
I brewed this one western style as I didn’t have a lot of time, but it came out pretty good. It has a very delicate floral aroma and a creamy texture. I think when it comes to flowers, as long as they aren’t jasmine and they aren’t slapping me in the face, I can appreciate them in my tea.
Rie tells me that her family brings this tea back from Taiwan. I suppose I’ll have to find my own source for a good Gaoshan oolong if I want any more.
Digging through my basket of samples/swaps. I think I must have received this in a swap. No idea from who, or what it is.
It steeps up a super dark red colour, there are some apples & a huge blackberry in it.
It’s sweet & tart & maple like. It’s quite good, & would probably be fantastic iced. Just wish I knew what it was.
As it cooled it was super tart, it could have used a larger mug with more water.
but overall a nice surprise.
I’m pretty sure there was maple in here, because this morning the infuser was stuck to my counter.
(PS. The one I have isn’t the one pictured. But it’s still unknown! I can’t read Japanese!)
Decided to try this again today, as I am doing an online CV thing, and it is horrible and I hate it. Obviously it wasn’t designed by the people who need to use it. If only there was an Excel form that I could fill out and upload into the database as a CSV. Gah.
I mixed 1 tsp matcha with 2 tbsp almost hot water, and whisked it. Then I added 1/2 tsp sugar, soy milk, and ice. Shook it in my cocktail shaker, and only spilled a little while pouring it into my
canning jar glass.
Yes, it’s a touch bitter. It was cheap, so that’s to be expected. But it is also sweet and grassy and green tea flavoured, and it goes so well with the vanilla sugar and plain soy milk. It’s more matcha-y than a sbux green tea latte, but a similar flavour to the unsweetened ones. Not as green, but this is totally cheaper.
I have hardly any lumps today, so this probably needs to be dissolved in hot water before mixing in other stuff. Not a problem, really. My kettle is almost always warm. :)
I picked up some matcha powder (for $7!) at the H-Mart out in Langley today on my shopping expedition.
This is actually the best random unknown matcha I’ve had. It smells sweet and grassy in the bag. I made a latte with about 12 oz soy milk, 1 tsp matcha, 1/2 tsp sugar, and ice. I shook it fairly well, and sieved the matcha but it still clumped. I’m drinking with a straw to avoid the floaties.
All in all, this is fairly decent. I will probably use it in morning smoothies and iced lattes, but maybe I’ll whisk it with a little milk or water before shaking, just to avoid the clumps!
(I also accidentally purchased some of the matchaccino mix from Red Leaf. They have custom flavours! I got coconut! So excited!)
Like the other I just added and reviewed,(And I think these were bought from the same company…they kind of taste similar.) It’s an ok tea, I think it would be smashing iced. And is light on the fruit taste. Truthfully I would like it with just alittle bit more. Not overtaking the tea, though. Yes I know-I’m picky. So shoot me already;)
This is an interesting tea. Might be fun as a iced tea, which I was tempted to make earlier, but I generally prefer to make teas that I havn’t tried out hot 1st.
Ideal if you don’t like a heavy fruit taste. Almost too artificially sweet.
Coworker’s hubby returned with tea from a trip to China and she shared. Big, curly green leaves—trying to place the smell, my husband said he was whiffing “peppery” and “nutmeggy.” Steeped up into a gently spicy green broth. When I get the chance, I’ll try to pinpoint city an region, but what a nice treat at the end of a long day!
Mrmopar sent me a few small Tuo cha’s around Christmas (nice of him) so this morning I rinsed one piece for 20 seconds in boiling water, poking it gently with my Puer knife. I used a small pot for brewing tea instead of a Gaiwan.
The steep time was 1 minute because I prefer a strong brew.
Surprisingly, the flavor wasn’t strong but bland. Uninteresting, bland Puer is something I rarely encounter.
Recently, I put together a bin of herbs, spices and berries for adding to tea when I feel like experimenting with flavor.
The list contains:
Elderberry, tulsi and various kinds of mint, goji berries, lavendar, cinnamon bark chips, dry ginger, burdock root, jasmine flowers,
chrysanthemum blossoms, cranberries, orange peel, cassia seeds and cocoa hulls. (Most items cost about $2 an ounce)
I had this blah tasting Puer and I knew that I could do something to improve the flavor with an ingredient from my bin of goodies.
I chose the packet of cocoa hulls and steeped a very small amount in the brew basket with the bland Puer tuo cha.
The addition worked! I created a tasty pot of very Cocoa PU! I added cream and sweetened the cocoa pu to make it even more delicious.
Can’t wait to see what else can be created from this bin of flavor boosters!
My daughter called…
“Mom, guess what? We just got a ‘Star Award’ for best Foster Parents and I don’t know what to say? How can I accept the award when I get mad and frustrated at my children and lose it sometimes?”
It didn’t surprise me that she and my son-in-law recieved the award, or that she would say that she didn’t deserve it. People who deserve awards usually don’t realize that what they do is special, or heroic. It’s in their character to go beyond normal.
That same day, she got another call and was informed that they had received ‘Foster Parents of the Year’ for our County.
Now she was complaining again! “How could this be?!”
Blubber, blubber, blubber!
Calmly I explained that life has to have balance. The many nights sitting up with the bi-polar 8 year old who can’t sleep and is bouncing off the walls. The baby on oxygen who was crying. Then I remembered the baby who was thrown out the window and had broken bones, and the many newborns they had nursed off drugs.
The rest is on www.teaandincense.com with a picture…
Final three! Oh god I am so tired of Final Four stuff around Atlanta. I’m not even going downtown Monday because I am going to hate everyone.
I also cannot register for classes, “the 3,000 students able to register today” crashed it. Funny, this has never been a problem ANY OTHER TIME. The last time I have to register? Down for hours. Ridiculous. If I miss out on this Politics and Film class I’m gonna lose it.
So I swear there was an entry for this somewhere but I can’t find it so whatever. This is a really savory green. Seems like there’s a hint of smoke in there, and it’s still a bit sweet and grassy.
It’s okay, but it’s going to continue on in one of the boxes because…well too much tea already.
This was given to me by a friend. The package is all in Chinese characters. She gave me about six of these little foil packets, each containing ~3 tsp of leaves. They smell oolongy, but not sweet or floral at all. Very woodsy. There’s something reminiscent almost of a Yunnan black in the scent.
Taste is similar to the smell. It’s a darker oolong, but it doesn’t taste roasted. Just… dark. I may have oversteeped as it was a little bitter, but I still finished a large mug.
Got this from my favorite tea store:)
This has become my newest favorite white tea. I have done 2 steeps, (the 2nd is ok, not very impressive, though still some taste.) The peach flavor is subtle but recognizable, (Less so in 2nd steep.) The vanilla bits in the tea make it seem like marshmallow. I most likely would be getting this tea again.
Thank you mrmopar for this pu-erh sample!
Yikes! What a hardened packet of pu-erh nibs! I had to SOAK the little devils for a bit to soften them enough to break apart, all the while letting no color from the nibs leech into the water.
As I said, “Hard!”
Once they were pliable, color began to swirl rapidly in my glass pot and timing began.
A minute later, I pulled my basket and took a sip of the dark coffee brown liquor.
The flavor was savory mushrooms, sweet and salty. When I moved my head back from the cup, I smelled vanilla tobacco as the scent of the mushrooms mixed with vanilla wafer.
Late in the tasting, the feel of spice tingled my tongue the way cinnamon feels.
I wasn’t expecting this much complexity out of the work I put in breaking up the nibs. They were pretty ugly and the liquor was uninteresting to look at.
People can be like tea. Not much to look at and uninteresting on the surface. Some are very hard and take time to get to know! If time is taken, and if we can look past that initial hardness they can be the most interesting, unique and memorable people of our lives.
Like always, tea is an awesome teacher.
I’m not sure if the “Company Name” would be Three Rivers or what I got this one at an Indian store across town, Its not a chai or anything like that it’s just green tea, i tasted it made straight in the gaiwan and it taste similar to maybe a gunpowder green tea to me,slightly smokey with a pleasant bitter, but when I make it a certain way with a little milk turns Pink somehow.
I had to look online for an better way to make it rather than follow the jar instructions because instructions on the jar was obviously for making a really large amount at once AND the english was so bad I really didn’t know the amounts of water to use.
So I found way to make a smaller amount and I had to show lance and ask him “what color is this tea?” and he confirmed to me that it was Pink tho it looked more reddish to me.
Interesting, i’m really not sure how the Pink colour come about but it does, I also wonder if it is something they did to the tea or can ANY green tea do this when made this way or maybe a white tea?
I’ve googled pink tea and how to make pink tea and I see similar type methods of making it and some of them use Baking Soda to make it turn pink and that confuses me, I didn’t use baking soda.
I poured 300ml filtered water into saucepan with 1/2 teaspoon of the Kashmiri Tea and brought to a boil and let it simmer for 10 minutes, I then added 100ml of cold filtered water to it and brought it back to a boil once again, then I added milk 1 tablespoon at a time until it turned pink.
When it turned pink i added some sweetener and sipped it like a breakfast tea, It didn’t taste bad or super good to me tho i did like it, it just tasted like a strong green tea with milk in it which was something I haven’t had before so it was different.
I’ll drink it sometimes for breakfast if I want something different, I’ll likely not add anything to it to make it a chai tho because I think I like it just plain pink with only milk :)
I’m sure I’ll regret this caffeine later, but for now, oh well! I was craving a tea with milk, so I decided to try this. Unfortunately, I let it go for about six minutes! It was bitter, so I had to sugar it up to make it drinkable
This tea smells more interesting then it tastes. I never have had a Mojito, so could not tell you if the tea tastes like one. There are subtle hints of lime and mint, (Though the mint impression might be due to my last cup from last night, I may not of washed out the cup and strainer as well as I should of.)
So, I might be inclined to get this one again…we’ll see. (LOL. Got this from my favorite tea store, which while it is a ways from my house, it’s practically down the street from where I am staying this week. I find it amusing that if this tea were from DT, or another tea store that I couldn’t get to without alot of hassle, the lack of interest in it so far would of provoke an automatic ‘no’ in whether or not I would get it again.)
Got this yesterday while hanging out with My Mom for our dual b-days (Mine was the 2nd, her’s is the 3rd.) and took her to my favorite tea store nearby where I am staying this week. I had wanted to get this tea the last time I was there, but it didn’t make the cut list.
The directions say to use 175 F on it, yet the taste is a bit off, like not as flavorful. Kind of like when tea had been boiled when it shouldn’t be. It smells wonderful though. I am kind of picky when it comes to cherry flavored things, whether it’s real cherries or not. But the smell isn’t really cherry-ish to me, it actually smells like caramel. I just wish I knew why the taste is off though. Maybe once it cools off more the flavor will come thru. I could always try to get my Dad to taste it…he loves cherries. Good thing we live in a state known for it’s cherries (Michigan.) smiles
This was a little sample that came to me in a set of itsallabouttheleaf.com review teas, and for the life of me, I can’t remember what company provided it. Do any of you recognize a company whose samples are vacuum-packed in pretty little pink pouches?
Well, whoever provided this gets a salute from me. It’s a medium honey-succulent tea that doesn’t have the mouth-drying astringency of some fancy-schmancy oolongs. Quite pleasant. Looking forward to sleuthing out its origin.