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Recent Tasting Notes

drank Genmaicha by Unknown
2604 tasting notes

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96
drank 1st Flush Darjeeling by Unknown
878 tasting notes

Sad, sad sipdown. I have enjoyed this little gem of a tea that I received in a swap from Artp. A friend of his brought it back from India, and Artp was kind enough to offer some for trade. This tea has all of the lovely muscatel flavors and a nice astringency that isn’t overpowering. The second steep of this tea has always been my favorite, and today is no exception. The grape-y flavor with and underlying earthiness is good, good, good. Yep, I’m going to miss this one.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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96
drank 1st Flush Darjeeling by Unknown
878 tasting notes

Put this in my travel mug to drink on the way to church this morning. This is not a travel mug tea. My mug kept the tea too hot, and I couldn’t really taste anything. And I burnt my tongue. So basically I went to church in a very grumpy mood. Oh well, now I know to save this tea for my pretty mugs and to use my travel mug for a nice builder’s tea.

See my previous note for my thoughts on this tea and why I’m so sad I couldn’t taste it with a burnt tongue. :p

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96
drank 1st Flush Darjeeling by Unknown
878 tasting notes

Another tea I received from a swap. This one came from Artp. A friend of his went to India and came home with tea. How great is that?

I don’t have any information on this tea except that it is a first flush darjeeling. What I can tell you is it’s a beautiful tea. It brews into a coppery colored liquid and has mild floral smell. The taste is initially floral before becoming fruity and sweet. The fruity note reminded me of apples or pears – very crisp with a clear sweetness. There is also a caramel flavor as the tea cools. It’s most noticeable at the end of the sip. There is a bit of astringency, but it’s a darjeeling so it’s to be expected. I like the dryness in combination with the fruity flavors in the tea. It’s funny, but even though this is a first flush it reminds me a lot of autumn.

This one is a winner all the way. Thanks again, Artp!

Artp

I wish i had more info on this one, but Chris couldn’t get any. So glad you enjoyed it!

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I just found out that one of the new grad students in my current department is a tea drinker, and even a loose tea drinker. Cool! We were talking about tea, I showed her my astounding amount of tea in my office, and then she came back with a tea that she said I might not have tried. She said it was a green tea from Vietnam and it smelled amazingly like vanilla, which she claims is all natural, not flavoring. So I grabbed a cup’s worth to try. But she just had it in an unmarked ziploc baggie, so I have no idea about what it is! The leaf dark green and somewhat broken up and it had a ton of stems in it. She warned me that it is most vanilla-y early on and gets bitter later, so I steeped conservatively at 1 minute (because it looked like it was done).

And man, do I need to find out what this is. Flavored or not, this is delicious. If it’s actually unflavored, it’s astounding. Almost like a milk oolong, but definitely not a milk oolong. It’s vanilla-y, but also a little creamy. Oh I think maybe toasted coconut? (It’s really interesting to try a tea “blind” when you don’t know what it’s supposed to taste like). Definitely toasted coconut. This has got to be flavored somehow, but it’s really well done nonetheless. It’s actually gotten more creamy and coconutty as its cooled and I haven’t had a problem with bitterness.

What a great tea! I will definitely have to figure out where she got it.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Anna

Aaaah! Do your Dinosara Sherlock thing! Do it now! This sounds so, so awesome.

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drank Mystery Oolong by Unknown
1408 tasting notes

Can’t figure out where I logged this before – so this will do nicely. This mystery oolong came my way ages ago from gmathis. Today I am finishing off the generous sample. I put the bag away but I think she wrote she pays $0.31/oz for this loose. I am jealous that she can buy loose leaf locally, and that she can buy it cheap, and that its pretty good. It kind of reminds me of formosa in that it is close to a black but still retains oolong qualities. Just a hint of background roasted notes. A nice tea.

gmathis

Yep, they still stock it and the price hasn’t changed (fingers crossed that it never ever will). Will try to remember you like it next time I’m concocting a care package.

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Finishing off some mystery gyokuro from a tea meet from Meeka, ty!

Always something weird going on at my house. My husband and I were driving home from the grocery store (OMG 8lbs of watermelon for $1!) and there was a poor turtle crossing the street. We drove around and my husband decided to take him home. Aaacck. Well, okay. Now researching what to do, or take it somewhere.

Thankfully, I had this tea going, cold steep style, in the fridge. Tastes a little grapefruity of an aftertaste, and a little light for gyokuro. Now to wait to see what my husband comes up with.

Preparation
Iced

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drank Matcha Green Tea by Unknown
33 tasting notes

Vividly green, sunny and lovely summer to you all over there!

To celebrate the fact that the peak of the finnish summer has been reached with the festivities of the Midsummer and now all that’s left is to prepare for the winter, yours truly will dedicate this post to a tea which has become more than just a good comrade during the hectic springtime.

Thus, I’ll hype about matcha a bit.

It’s illegally cute when given the first look.

Honestly. Green powder. Endless possibilities for how to use it in art. It’s the same as drinking pure pigment. Only healthier. To some extent. A friend did use it in his prints of his etchings, which were very, very impressive examples on how sophisticated the otherwise almost eerily intense green could modify itself into when given the right push.

It’s always intriguing to make, and one does respect the years of doing physical work after whisking the specimen into shape for the first time (With a fork. Yes. A fork. I don’t have the faintest idea why. We weren’t thinking that day). Not using a bamboo whisk for it, though. Learned to improvise with a regular whisk and a mean wrist move. I have my biceps for a reason.

This little pleasure powder is delightful to drink. I love the grassy, somehow summery and full (maybe even buttery?) scent, I love the faint, subtle sweetness that’s just about to say something but is actually just content to smile coyly. I love how it just is. Pliant and full on the tongue.

When chilled, it makes my days.

Keeps from keeling over occasionally. Sometimes gravity just has its way.

Matcha latte, you have my respects. Astoundingly good despite the suspicions I first had.

Matcha cheesecake. Divine.

Steamed matcha muffins. I’ll leave the most suitable definition for your imaginations to create. Otherwise I might get sued.

It’s sinfully delicious when mixed with vanilla ice cream, since it takes away the sweetness of the treat but turns the whole palate into something that just feels bad to swallow, really, since one wants it to stay and build a cozy nest on the tongue and invite some friends over a cup of tea. Staring at the empty bowl is downright depressing.

Staring at the empty cup is even more so.

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drank Genmaicha by Unknown
627 tasting notes

I’ve decided my husband’s friends from back in high school are awesome!

After a lovely trip to the conservatory of flowers in SF, where we enjoyed tons of butterflies and orchids, we had dinner at my husband’s friend’s family’s restaurant. That was a mouthful! So the restaurant is a Japanese restaurant with sushi and teriyaki, and they give everyone a huge pot of free genmaicha to drink with your meal. I get the whole pot to myself because my husband doesn’t drink hot tea, which is fine with me! Haha! So, my husband’s friend just happened to be there and when I told him I enjoyed the tea, he grabbed me some loose leaf from their bulk supply! Nice!! This is the second friend of my husband who has given me free tea. So like I said, they are awesome!!

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drank Pu-erh Mini Tuo by Unknown
1740 tasting notes

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drank Pu-erh Mini Tuo by Unknown
1740 tasting notes

Too little sleep…need more tea.

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drank Pu-erh Mini Tuo by Unknown
1740 tasting notes

Mixing this with chamomile to an interesting effect.

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drank Pu-erh Mini Tuo by Unknown
1740 tasting notes

Any more early mornings are going to require buying more of this. Three or four cups.

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drank Pu-erh Mini Tuo by Unknown
1740 tasting notes

This seems to have become a temporary morning staple. Three cups in…

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drank Pu-erh Mini Tuo by Unknown
1740 tasting notes

Starting the pu’erh drinking with a really early morning cuppa.

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drank Pu-erh Mini Tuo by Unknown
1740 tasting notes

Drinking another of these at work to start the morning.

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drank Pu-erh Mini Tuo by Unknown
1740 tasting notes

This turned into an all-day tea.

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drank Pu-erh Mini Tuo by Unknown
1740 tasting notes

So many mini tuo cha today at work. The quality is decent, though they have little stamina, so I get about three steeps per each.

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drank Pu-erh Mini Tuo by Unknown
1740 tasting notes

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drank Pu-erh Mini Tuo by Unknown
1740 tasting notes

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drank Matcha Latte by Unknown
1876 tasting notes

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.

Stephanie

I do the cocktail shaker method sometimes, too! I’ve never tried it with honey, though. I’ll have to do that sometime :)

Uniquity

Hmmm. I have a bit of matcha left. Maybe I’ll give the shaken cold method a go with a mason jar…

Stephanie

I find sifting extra important for the cold method. Clumps suck!

ashmanra

Indeed, I did sift, but I pretty much always do now! Just tried again with sugar and it worked great! As the shaker sits and the foam goes down, you get to top off your glass with some more icy cold matcha!

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drank Matcha by Unknown
1613 tasting notes

I made my unknown matcha blend as a latte this morning. I added some hot water to the matcha powder and whisked it rather poorly. Then I added cold almond milk, a little sugar syrup, and ice. Yum. I really like matcha this way, especially the ones of unknown quality I pick up randomly at Asian supermarkets. :)

Oh, and weirdly my “Likes” are disappearing. :( I can’t keep track of the ones I’ve read and haven’t read. So sorry to the people who might be getting multiple notifications that I’ve liked their tealogs!

Preparation
Iced
ashmanra

Mine often disappear, especially if I click the heart and just the spinning thing for a while…

OMGsrsly

I’ve been moving from my phone to my computer and back to my phone. No spinning thing, just hearts disappearing. Oh well.

Fjellrev

Oh ok, so it’s not just me. My likes have been disappearing too. :/

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drank Matcha by Unknown
1613 tasting notes

(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. :)

Preparation
Iced

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drank Matcha by Unknown
1613 tasting notes

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!)

Cavocorax

Ooooh! The coconut sounds great! I ended up grabbing the caramel!

OMGsrsly

My BFF doesn’t like caramel, so I got coconut instead. Not that it was a hard decision, as both flavours are incredible.

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