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Recent Tasting Notes

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
569 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
1714 tasting notes

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drank Pu-erh Mini Tuo by Unknown
1714 tasting notes

Too little sleep…need more tea.

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drank Pu-erh Mini Tuo by Unknown
1714 tasting notes

Mixing this with chamomile to an interesting effect.

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drank Pu-erh Mini Tuo by Unknown
1714 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
1714 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
1714 tasting notes

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

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drank Pu-erh Mini Tuo by Unknown
1714 tasting notes

Drinking another of these at work to start the morning.

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drank Pu-erh Mini Tuo by Unknown
1714 tasting notes

This turned into an all-day tea.

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drank Pu-erh Mini Tuo by Unknown
1714 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
1714 tasting notes

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drank Pu-erh Mini Tuo by Unknown
1714 tasting notes

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drank Matcha Latte by Unknown
1845 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
1495 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
1495 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
1495 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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84

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;)

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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84

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.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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drank Green tea from India by Unknown
1199 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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drank Mystery Oolong by Unknown
318 tasting notes

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.

Iiiiinterestinggg…..

Rachel J

I have a tea like that given to me by a Chinese woman. ;)

ashmanra

Does it taste or smell chocolatey or like cocoa at all? It could be a Da Hong Pao.

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86
drank Peachy Keen White by Unknown
178 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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drank 2011 Menghai Tea Nibs by Unknown
673 tasting notes

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.

Terri HarpLady

Nice. This is on my list to sample : )

Azzrian

mmmm This sounds lovely! I really like your analogy! So we don’t know where to buy this tea? :(

yappychappy

I wish I could get this complexity from pu`erh and keep drinking it until I can. Currently it tastes better and better with each try.

Bonnie

I’ll try to find out from mrmopar where he got it from.

Terri HarpLady

I thought this was a selection from mandala?

Bonnie

Don’t know where he got it from but I shot him a message to find out.

mrmopar

Its a Menghai Dayi brand .Azz sending you a message with a link.

Bonnie

Lao cha menghai 2011 Terri

TheTeaFairy

Liked the people/tea analogy :-)

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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 :)

Charisma

Strange! It was pink? I haven’t heard of that before.

Thomas Edward(Toad)

Yep, it was neat, I wish I had it on Valentines day lol

kOmpir

Sounds fishy, lol.

Thomas Edward(Toad)

Ok So I tried this with another green tea and it also turned pink, so there is nothing special about this particular tea, just somehow some green teas can turn pink when made a certain way with milk added I guess, I still don’t understand why tho :)

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