2182 Tasting Notes

87
drank Caramel Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
2182 tasting notes

Om nom, matcha is quickly becoming an every-day tea for me, unlike any other tea in my arsenal! Who would have guessed? I can’t wait to get my next package from Red Leaf, which should be here on Monday.

Also I just had to share the kitchen towels I just bought with you guys: http://amzn.com/B007X5PHNA

The Eastern Towhee (or Rufous-sided as labeled here) has a song that sounds like “Drink your teaaaaa!” I’ve always wanted something with tea and towhees, and finally I have found one! I love the design. Wish it came on more things than just towels! Now I just need a Carolina Wren (their song is often depicted as “tea kettle tea kettle tea kettle tea!”)

DaisyChubb

yaaay I love the tea towels!

ashmanra

Pretty towels! My yard is full of both birds. The little Towhees are so funny – they throw our pine bark all over the walkway as they hop and scrape for bugs. The wrens are easy to identify – if you hear a bird that is singing so loudly it sounds as if it may explode, you are hearing a Carolina wren. They are ADORABLE and nest under our back carport every year. They cling to our back door and peer into the kitchen at us.

Dinosara

Yay! They are so adorable. I think a wren would make a great shape for a teapot since they are such round, ball-like birds to start with.

charab

Very cute! Dunno if you’ve heard about the design brand called Pip studio who design overly cute porcelain and other stuff, but still manage to stay sane with the colors and patterns. The things with birds are the best ones. Too pinkish for me but my friend is head over heels in love with them.

http://www.pipstudio.com/en/floral-porcelain/coffee-tea?page=1&pageSize=12&sort=0

Dinosara

Wow, charab, those are so cute!! I love the bird designs (and yeah, I’d probably go for the blue or khaki backgrounds instead of the pink!)

ashmanra

Those are too cute for words!

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99
drank Passionfruit Oolong by Naivetea
2182 tasting notes

My university is totally killing me lately. They have not been able to get my pay disbursement right, and even their attempts at fixing it have been royally f***ed up. Plus now my university email address is bouncing all mail sent to it. Joy! >:(

I needed some nice, relaxing tea. I haven’t had any of my Naivetea teas in a long time, even though there are some that I am head over heels with. This is one of those teas.

Oh my god why have I not drank this recently. This tea is so absolutely delicious its mind blowing. So incredibly naturally sweet, it’s as if I’m actually drinking passion fruit juice, but better because there is amazing green oolong flavor behind it. Gotta drink this more often, and get a whole tin of it from Naivetea at some point.

Well this is certainly making me feel a bit better. Can always rely on tea.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Azzrian

I have to look this place up! I don’t believe I have ever had their teas and you make this one sound AMAZING!
Sorry about the college stuff – sounds screwy to say the least!
Why can’t people do their jobs right???

Dinosara

They have some of the best flavored oolongs out there. I highly recommend checking them out! And they have neat build-your-own sampler packs.

Also, your last question is something I ask myself frequently! :P

Azzrian

LOL – I will check them out – I love build your own sampler packs like Della Terra has! Checking them out now – but being mindful I need to pay bills haha!

BlueKittyMeow

Nothing in my life, including getting the runaround when starting a business in NYC has ever been as complicated as dealing with university bureaucracy. :( And I didn’t have nice tea then either! That might have helped a little… I hope it all gets cleared up quickly!

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87
drank Caramel Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
2182 tasting notes

I actually drank this match yesterday and today, but neglected to log it yesterday. I am really loving this one and have hit my stride preparing it, stumbling out of bed in the morning to put water on the stove. I do use about a tsp of sugar to really bring out the caramel, but not because it’s bitter or anything (because it’s not). I am eager to try all the rest of my flavors that I just ordered!

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85

I received this one as a free sample in my latest Verdant order. It’s a tea I’ve been meaning to try but have never got around to ordering or requesting a sample, so I’m glad David read my mind and included it. The website says that the current harvest (2012) is acutally sold out, so I guess I got some of the last bits of it!

The dry tea smells surprisingly floral and not grassy-green teaish at all. Steeped western style it has that lovely, bakery-ish buttery aroma I have come to associate with fine green teas. I never knew about that before, so the first time I encountered it, it was a shock! A pleasant shock. This one doesn’t fall into the cookie-ish category on the flavor, though. No, this is bright and fruity and a tiny bit floral. It also has this almost tingly feel to the sip. There’s also a bit of a snap pea flavor lurking about the edges. This tea is oh so summery to me, which makes it kind of an odd choice for a fall day, but it is delicious nonetheless. I feel like I could have probably used a bit more leaf, not shocking since it is so curly and thus difficult to dish out with a teaspoon, but it still has a good amount of flavor and plenty of aroma.

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

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94
drank Golden Fleece by Verdant Tea
2182 tasting notes

Oh Golden Fleece, you are so freaking amazing. So naturally sweet, so spicy and smooth at the same time. It is such a great fall tea, what with it’s spiced sweet-potato flavors. And honey. Major yum. I don’t have a lot of time to write about this tea today, but you can bet I am savoring it.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

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83

I wanted to try this tea again since it has been a long time since I last had it. The last time I was pleasantly surprised but I wished it was an all black tea instead of a black/green blend, and I think that holds here. Despite that, it is a nicely almondy tea, and definitely one of the more almondy ones I’ve encountered over the years. It does have a marzipanny feel and a bit of an apricot hint, which really brightens up the sip, but I just wish it was on a yummier base. Still, it’s tasty and one of the few teas I’ve found that’s really almondy enough for me!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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70

Hmm, I could have sworn I would have done a review for this tea already, but perhaps not. I am in any case almost finished with the large sample from MBSC, though I think I gave some of it away. I am drinking it this morning for the benefits of the raspberry leaf in it, which has helped me out in the past. I thought that another raspberry black tea that I had was the same as this one (i.e., sourced from MBSC), but it appears that it is lacking the raspberry leaf, so I may be looking for a source for that in a bit.

Anyway, this tea is tasty enough, with a nice sweet-tart raspberry flavor, and enough raspberry leaf to do the trick. It’s not quite enough of a draw to make me want to repurchase, mostly because the black tea is kind of meh and I want some straight raspberry leaf for future months.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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87
drank Caramel Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
2182 tasting notes

This morning I had to get up at, no joke, 3:30am so I could drive two hours to the airport for my flight to Ohio to visit my boyfriend. If there was ever a time to need to the matcha energy boost, it was this morning!

I did a dual preparation, first off a bowl of hot matcha. This time I used probably 3/4tsp of matcha, and I actually measured out 8oz of water. Pour, whisk, pour. This time after I added all of the water I took a sip and was amazed. Here was the natural sweetness that people talk about with matcha. Even the addition of a little sugar (to try to bring out the caramel a biiiit more, but really it was pretty prevalent) didn’t really do much to it. I finally think I figured out a decent matcha prep method! When I first sip I don’t necessarily taste tons of caramel, but it quickly builds up to be nice and strong.

For my second preparation I tried the “cold brew” matcha so I could take it with me on the road. A half teaspoon of matcha in an old Simply Orange juice bottle (~13oz), a little cold water, a lot of shaking until it looked dissolved enough, and then I filled the rest of the bottle up with cold water. At first sip I thought I hadn’t added enough matcha. It seemed weak. But a couple more sips reassured me that it actually had good flavor, and the caramel came through well. This prep was so easy and so delicious… all of the matcha-y natural sweetness, all of the lovely caramel flavor.

Even that much matcha can’t really help keep me alert now that I’m at the airport waiting for the plane, but it certainly made the drive go well.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C
gmathis

3:30…that’s love :)

Nik

I’m really enjoying the journal of your matcha experience. Thanks for documenting each experiment! :D

charab

Really interesting chain of experiments, fantastic to read. I’m also still a little bit novice with matcha so thank you for sharing your experiences with it, helps a lot! By the way if you haven’t tried already I recommend to taste matcha ice cream, which is basically just ordinary vanilla ice cream with some matcha mixed with it. You just take the amount of ice cream you want to eat, then decide how strong matcha flavour you want (I usually go with two teaspoons but it really depends on the amounts and the taste you’re after) and then just mix it patiently with a spoon so it really ends up all smooth and green. Easy to make, delicious to eat, and highly addicting.

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73

Last time I held off rating this one because I didn’t steep it long enough and it was weak. This time I steeped it four minutes, so hopefully that should be good enough!

Yes, now that this has been brewed stronger it is quite delicious. The base is lovely and caramelly and honeyed, sweet almost, with the bright bergamot on top. The bergamot is particulaly bright in this one, but that’s just about all I get from it… brightness. I wish the bergamot was a bit stronger, or at least a bit more well-rounded. Still, this is quite a delicious cup of Earl Grey and I wouldn’t hesitated to buy it again in a pinch.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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87
drank Caramel Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
2182 tasting notes

Matcha, take three. I was going to make a matcha latte this morning but discovered that my milk had gone sour. So I decided to try again, this time with just sugar.

Today I pre-warmed my bowl with some boiling water before letting the rest cool off in my saucepan (oh yeah, because in my new apartment I don’t have any kind of kettle lol). This of course left the inside of my bowl wet, so then I was concerned about the match I then sifted in “oversteeping” I dunno, does matcha oversteep? Anyway, I put in a sprinkle of sugar as well, and then after the water was cool enough I poured just enough in to loosen up all the matcha on the bottom. Then a few more ounces to whisk in. After that I tasted it and, yup, bitter. I poured in a bit more water and a bit more sugar, whisked harder (satisfyingly got lots of foam!), then tasted. It wasn’t bitter, but it was very earthy and not exactly what I was looking for. I want caramel! Maybe I just had to have it in a latte? I think I realized that it seems like most people use more water (or milk) in their final product; I heard one person say that 1tsp of matcha should make an 8oz bowl. This never sounded like it would make that much difference to me (what would it do, just make it weaker?), but at this point I figured why not, and I dumped probably enough water to make about 8oz into the bowl, and color me surprised! It wasn’t so earthy at all, just light and pleasant, and a third sprinkle of sugar (so, probably a tsp total?) really brought out the caramel. It was so satisfying to make a delicious bowl of matcha without milk. Well, by the time I finish this tin of matcha maybe I will have truly figured it out.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C
Sare

I have Not ventured into Matcha yet With the price of it and then having to buy all the supplies i think ill wait till My sister in Law Keen Figures it out hahah this may take a while and give me time to save for a nice Set

KeenTeaThyme

I need to take a matcha class or something. I follow the instructions to a “tea” (harhar) and it just never comes out “right.” Maybe I don’t like the taste. It’s a work-in-progress!

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Bio

I am tea obsessed, with the stash to match. I tend to really enjoy green oolongs, Chinese blacks, and flavored teas with high quality bases, especially florals, bergamot-based teas, and chocolate teas.

In my free time I am a birder, baker, and music/movie/tv addict.

Here are my rating categories, FYI:
100-90: Mind-blowingly good, just right for my palate, and teas that just take me to a happy place.
89-86: I really really like these teas and will keep most of them in the permanent collection, but they’re not quite as spectacular as the top category
85-80: Pretty tasty teas that I enjoy well enough, but definitely won’t rebuy when I run out.
79-70: Teas that I would probably drink again, but only if there were no preferrable options.
69-50: Teas that I don’t really enjoy all that much and wouldn’t drink another cup of.
49 and below: Mega yuck. This tea is just disgusting to me.
Unrated: Usually I feel unqualified to rate these teas because they are types of teas that I tend to not like in general. Sometimes user error or tea brewed under poor conditions.

Location

Ohio, US

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