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Recent Tasting Notes
So! Attempt #2 at making iced tea for real. The first one was a lemon tea and I did not find it palatable at all. This particular tea came with the iced tea pitcher thing I bought.
Overall…I oversweetened it. It’s not terrible, just very sweet. Well, I’m still getting the hang of iced tea and I’ll know not to put that much sugar in next time. The iced tea pitcher performed admirably. I cold brewed the black tea (one packet’s worth, loose) in the steeper overnight for about…11ish hours.
Attempt #3 coming soon.
My friend came over today and he just got back from a month and a half long trip to Asia! He went to Korea, China and Japan, I’m jealous haha. He brought over a tin of this type of tea to try today, he got it right at the tea farm near West Lake. I’m very pleased that he brought some over for me to try!
I had to look up Longjing tea, and once I found out it was Dragon Well, I was like oh I can figure out how to brew this. So I went on Verdant’s site and looked up the parameters for Mrs. Li’s Dragonwell. We decided to try it Dragonwell style, where you put about 4-5 g of tea in a glass and add the water and just keep topping it up, as that’s how my friend had it in China. First of all, WOW, they know how to pack a tea tin there!! The thing was just bursting with tea, and none of it was broken up, it was all in perfect large flat leaves! The color was a rich, vibrant green, they looked very nice. It definitely smelled like a Dragon well, that nutty green tea scent.
So we made this in the glasses with 175 degree water. The first cup was very nice, but difficult to drink due to the leaves all being at the top of the glass. The next couple of top ups were easier to drink though. Man, the flavor was delicious! Very reminiscent of Mrs. Li’s fall version, the nutty sweetness and a definite sparkling quality. I was super impressed that the leaves never got bitter, even when there wasn’t much water in the cup. I think my favorite steep, in fact, was the last time I topped up the glass. Maybe because I could actually sip without eating the leaves, but it was soo delicious!
I’m not sure what exact farm this tea was from, as I can’t read the Chinese characters, but it was really good. I can’t wait to have it again, he is going to bring it over again to have when my boyfriend is back from working. Yay for tea!
Thoughtful of my doctor’s office to offer me a cuppa while I was waiting. Not-so-thoughtful to whomever (I didn’t look at the brand) packages green tea for a Keurig that gets the water entirely too hot and ruins it. Bitter and plasticky. The manufacturer should know better! (I didn’t know it was going to be green, or I would’ve stuck with water.)
I received this in a TTB that I organized long ago on another site. It was a home blend by one of the participants, made to replace one of their favorite teas when it was discontinued. I picked it for my morning class tea, as I was still craving something sweet. I definitely get the sweet strawberry flavor, its very smooth and creamy. However, I’m getting more of a chocolate flavor than a vanilla flavor. Its still very good, just not quite what I was expecting.
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;)
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!