177 Tasting Notes
I got a sample of this tea from the Puerh+ Box going around, and I was sooooo excited to try this tea for the infamous “tea drunk” reasons, since I found $30+ for a small sample a little hard to swallow (no pun intended). So I brewed this last night after a rough week and I awaited for the tea drunk-ness to overtake me.
The first couple steeps were super bitter. And these were short steeps – like 5s. The tea was hard to drink, so I dialed back the water temp to help smooth it out. The tea became enjoyable and smooth to drink but no tea drunk effect. Maybe there was a little calming but nothing crazy. I’ve been tea drunk before on other teas and this one was just “meh..” Maybe I used not enough leaf and too much water. Maybe I should have kept it at boiling instead of lowering the temperature. So many steeping parameters to wonder about it.
I do have another sample of this tea which I intend to try. It’s a very small sample though so I’ll have to be very careful how I brew it. Probably not enough for a full gaiwan, but I’ll make it work dangit! I’m determined to get tea drunk. Or at least see what the hype is about.
I will say that taken the hype away, the tea is pleasant to drink even if I don’t get anything off of it. It’s not good enough to justify the cost buuuut at least it makes it worthwhile to drink.
Been drinking a bunch of teas (yay) but have been too lazy to write tasting notes (boo) – so let’s remedy this. This came in the puerh plus box that I currently have and plan to send out soon once my Lupicia order comes in (hopefully tomorrow).
This is actually a really nice tea. Very smooth like someone else said. A nice standard ripe. Although I’m a little confused because “Sheng” is also in the name. Ay caramba!
I’ve been doing boiling water tonight and this tea is very forgiving and not bitter at all. Typically I use non-boiling water because I’m scared of astringency but this tea is pleasant to drink. I wouldn’t say the flavor is amazing but it’s a nice calming tea for tonight. I’ve been doing about 5 or 10s steepings. 15 and it seems to get a little TOO strong for me, at least in the beginning. Now that I’m on the 10th steeping or so 15 probably won’t be so bad.
This would be a great tea to get more of, but I went to the vendor website on Aliexpress and yikes it’s pricey. It’s a decent amount, but I really don’t need that much tea. Ahh well. And who knows what the fate of Aliexpress is these days anyway.
So not gonna lie, totally got this tea at the recommendation of Oolong Owl when I asked her what teas from Bana would get me tea drunk. And I gotta say.. I’m definitely feelin’ it.
I’m hit or miss on pu-erh and the taste of this is… okay. Malty, definitely a strong mouthfeel. Woodsy, even. I’m supposed to get sweetness but I haven’t gotten any of that and I’m on my 7th infusion.
I followed the brewing instructions on the website and the first few infusions under 20 seconds were fine, but when I knocked it up to 30 sec it started to get really bitter. Like, “I can’t drink this bitter”. So I dialed it back to 20 to cut back on the bitterness and that definitely seems to help. This tea is definitely drinkable but it’s not WOW this amazing.
I’ll tell you what IS amazing though – the service at Bana tea. Oh my gosh. I corresponded with the owner a week before and she customized my tea order so much and was SO prompt at responding to everything and really went out of her way to make sure I got waht I wanted. I will EASILY order from them again.
Eh.. drinking this tonight and not sure how I feel about it. I tried boiling first and that makes it waaaay to astringent. I brought the temperature down to 180-190 and it was still bitter. When I let it cool to green tea temperatures it got a lot better. But man, this tea is a lot of work. Out of 10 total steeps I probably got maybe 2 or 3 good ones. I might try another session and start out with just 170 or 160 water.
I bought this tea mostly for the fact that it was on sale and Lupicia has these really dumb $60 minimums to get free shipping.. and I was THIS close. Also, I was really intrigued. Can a tea really taste like a mimosa? The only caveat was that it’s set to expire soon – two months from today.
Little side story – I’m not a big alcohol drinker for various reasons. So one time at a brunch as the lady is pouring me a mimosa, I ask, “Can you go easy on the champagne and heavy on the orange juice?”. She looks me dead in the eye and says “In my 10 years of bartending I’ve NEVER had anyone ask me that before.” And thus, my friends would often joke about the “Rachel Mimosa” which was almost all orange juice with a splash of champagne.
So how about this tea? I can definitely smell the citrus fruits in this. While I could brew it hot, I decided to take two tea bags (in my handy Lupicia glass cooler), pour on some hot water, and let it cold brew for a while. After 8 hours it wasn’t bad, but I felt like it could have gone a little longer – so I left in for a full 24 hours. The result is actually not that bad. There’s some black tea and citrus notes, but nothing is overpowering and the tea is honestly really refreshing.
Does it taste like a mimosa? Heck no. It kinda tastes like a mild black tea with some modest orange flavoring. But I definitely wouldn’t drink this and think it’s anything like a mimosa. It’s still very pleasant though. And since I can’t even have orange juice as much anymore because it gives me heartburn this is honestly much better anyway.
Will I buy more? Eh probably not. Honestly if it’s on sale it’s probably being discontinued anyway. The tea isn’t bad. I’ve had better from Lupicia but it works well as a cold brew.
So I heard a rumor that aged oolongs can get one “Tea drunk” so I decided to fire this up and see how it goes. This is also my first aged oolong. Tea drunk aside, this oolong is delicious!! I normally am not a huge fan of TGY because they’re too light but this is really really good. I decided to break out the setup and do it gongfu the best I can. I’ve read other tasting notes and it seems that other people are using yixing, but I decided to just use my ol’ reliable “easy gaiwan”.
There’s definitely a lot of roasted notes and nuttiness in this tea. I wouldn’t describe it as light at all. It’s also a little sweet although not overly so. It’s definitely more on the savory side, which I actually appreciate. On the verdant website they describe it as having a “sticky rice” taste and I definitely agree.
I’m following the parameters on verdant’s site of 6 oz of water per 6g of tea (or more like 5g since that’s all my sample was for). Doing 10s infusions + 3sec for each one. I’m on my third infusion and so far each one tastes similar, but I’m curious to see how the tastes evolve. I’ll definitely be seeking out more aged oolongs in the future!
I bought some of this during the Black Friday sale. At first I was gonna pass over it, but I think it was 30% off and I said “eh, why not”. I’m a big fan of matcha powder, as long as it’s not too overpowering. I especially love matcha iced. Great way to get that green tea flavor without having to wait for steeping, especially if you’re in the mood for something cold. You’ll see a fair amount of my reviews were from matchas prepared cold.
You’re supposed to use 1 tsp of powder for a 20 oz. cup but that is really too strong for me. So I used a 1/2 tsp, poured in some water, ice, and gave it a good shake. The result is a really good grassy green tea beverage. It’s definitely no matcha, but it’s honestly not bad. I could drink this on a regular basis as it’s quite affordable.
I confess, tea lovers, that sometimes I cheat on tea with coffee. In fact, coffee has become a part of my daily routine. I really do love it, and as much as I wish I could drink it straight, I do often add things to it to help make it more palatable. I don’t do that with tea. But sadly, coffee seems to be the bad boy that I just can’t quit.
But, I love an opportunity I can to combine my two rivaling beverages – coffee and tea. And this matcha sounded right up my alley. Red Leaf included a sample of it for me in my latest order. Would this be the matcha that finally broke up me and my long term beau coffee for good? I had high hopes.
Since this is a sample, it arrived with the normal matcha base and delicate flavoring. I gave it a little bit of a whiff, but the coffee smell was not as prominent as I’d like. I LOVE the smell of coffee, especially freshly roasted, so I was hoping for a little more prominence, even though this only delicate flavoring. I decided to hold off my opinion until I threw it in a cup with some ice and water, gave it a shake, and see what came out of it.
The result? It’s a very pleasant flavored matcha, but it’s not exactly coffee. It’s very faintly coffee, but it’s not exactly the kind of coffee flavoring I’ve come to expect when I see it in chocolate, sweets, etc. I think it’s more like a mellow chocolate-y flavor than that nicely roasted bean taste. It’s a nice flavor, but it’s not coffee, at least not on the lowest level. Maybe if the flavoring was kicked up a notch it would taste more like coffee?
All in all this matcha is not bad at all, but I think it will be disappointing if really want something coffee flavored. I think next time I might try the Espresso or Mocha flavors, since those might be more up my alley.
You can purchase the matcha here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/coffee-matcha.html (and it’s on sale for today too!)
Red Leaf Tea had a unique promotion for this matcha they called “name your own price”. So, I was able to put it what I thought the tea was worth and try it out. It’s definitely a unique way to try higher quality matchas. And with that, on with the tea!
When I first got the package and inspected the matcha, I was surprised how bright green it was. I know color is a good indicator of quality, and this matcha is even greener than my highest quality matcha I currently own. I was very surprised! The smell was definitely grassy, with definite hints of spinach. But, how would it taste?
While I recognize the proper way to brew this matcha is to heat it up and put it in a bowl, my current preferred (read: lazy) way is to put in a cup with some water and ice and give it a good shake. It’s just been the mood I’ve been in for the last few weeks. I refuse to add any sweetener though- I do want to be able to enjoy the matcha taste on its own. My first taste test I used 1/3 tsp of matcha powder with 16 oz of water, but I believe that was too much. For the second, I dialed it back to 1/2 tsp and that made the matcha a lot more enjoyable (and it can make the powder go farther)!
After the above preparation, the matcha definitely still has a strong grassy taste. There is a little bitterness, but not that much since it’s such a good quality product. It’s not quite as sweet as I would like, but it’s not a bad tasting matcha either. This would definitely appeal to someone who likes a nice strong “green tasting” matcha tea. I would not recommend this for someone who wants to drink high quality matcha, but isn’t such a huge fan of the grassy taste of some green teas.
As a reminder you can get this matcha here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/emperor-matcha-tea.html
Since my last matcha has gone MIA (see earlier entry), I’ve been on the hunt for another matcha I can drink on a regular basis. Red Leaf Tea put the Amaretto matcha on sale, and so I thought I would try it again. The first time I ordered it, I got the regular matcha base with the robust flavoring (which was delightful). This time, because I wanted something more matcha and less flavor, I decided do to the DELICATE flavoring with the IMPERIAL (Superior) base. Also, I accidentally selected the “Organic” option too. It’s pretty much the highest quality matcha you can get with the flavorings, and since I was getting a matcha at such a high quality, I figured I would let the flavors be very faint and not overpower the tea.
This is the first matcha I got from Red Leaf that was not at least Robust. For the lower quality matchas, you definitely want a more prominent flavor. But for higher quality stuff, I figured “delicate” would be worth the shot. I was a little bit worried there would hardly be any flavor in there, but I’m happy to say the matcha tastes lovely and the flavoring is there. It’s not overpowering, but it’s not barely noticeable either. It’s this fruity taste but not overly sweet. In my last entry I described it as “an amaretto sour without the sugar” which this is very similar to.
To prepare this (which is basically my lazy matcha making way of choice), I took 1/2 tsp of matcha, threw in a few ice cubes, filled the rest with water and gave it a good shake. And viola. The imperial base has such a smooth taste and there’s practically no bitterness. It doesn’t need sweetener or any other additives. I’ll probably order all future matchas from Red Leaf with Superior Bases and get the flavor delicate, or at least go a step up from the base matcha. I will note that the Imperial Matcha isn’t quite as bright green as I thought it would be, but the taste is fantastic and doesn’t seem to be affected like the lower quality stuff.
You can get the matcha from here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/amaretto-matcha.html