551 Tasting Notes
Eek, I only have one serving left of this wonderfully magical tea. So of course I’ve been resteeping the heck out of today’s leaves. I just can’t get over how chocolatey the tea is with that nice pop of cereal/rice flavor from the genmaicha part of the tea. Once I run out of both this and LB, I’m seriously going to have to break my tea buying hiatus to put in another order with Verdant. I’m just hoping that they’ll have the teas I want in stock! Timing is always the toughest part.
My final tea of a surprisingly tea-filled day was this tea. Like I said in my previous tasting note of this tea, I’m not a huge fan of the green tea base in this one. Something about it doesn’t taste very clean to me. Today, there was also a sharp kind of taste that was also a little bit bitter. I’m thinking that it was because the water temperature was closer to 185 F than 175 F. Oops. When I run out of this tea, I’m not going to be restocking, but it is nice to have a genmaicha in my cupboard!
Backlog. I was at a cafe today, and even though I own this tea at home, it was the most decent tea option on the menu. I have no idea how hot the water was because I wasn’t able to control it myself, but I’m thinking they probably used hotter water than I would have for this tea. Despite that, the tea still wasn’t very bitter. And I’m not sure if it relates to the water temperature, but the peach flavor really stood out above the melon today. Anyway, it was a nice afternoon pick me up tea.
Backlog. I have cold brewed this with a lot of success in the past. Today, I tried the other iced tea method: pouring hot tea over ice. I was surprised to actually register some differences between the two methods. The cold brew is sweeter with more prominent honey notes. I think that the cold brew version also had a smoother feel to it while drinking. On the other hand, pouring over ice resulted in a bolder/maltier taste. It was also on the edge of being bitter, but thankfully was not so. My personal conclusion is that I prefer the cold brew version, even if it does take significantly more time (but same amount of effort!) to make.
Backlog. Yesterday morning, I was making this tea hot, but at the last minute, I changed my mind and wanted something cold to drink. So I just poured this over some ice, and voila. Iced tea! It certainly wasn’t the smoothest black iced tea I’ve had. There was some bitterness and astringency still apparent. I think that this tea is just very finicky in general. It was still pretty good, though. Nice and bold.
For some reason, I woke up in a mood of sorts, so I reached for a tea that could get my mind off of things and that I could resteep through the day. I always feel like I build this tea up in my head, and that there is no way that it can actually live up to my expectations, but it always does! The malty flavor with cocoa notes was perfect for today. There was also some nuttiness in there that I hadn’t really noticed as much before. The flavors really got weak suddenly on the third steep, which usually doesn’t happen. I’m not sure what I did differently, but I’m not really complaining.
Part of me is really tempted to buy like a pound of this tea. But then another part of me likes only having a little bit of this tea because it makes it feel special when I drink it. For now, I will savor what little I have left of the tea, and think about how much to restock later.
I used my Starbucks reward to get an ounce of this tea. Usually, I go for biggest bang for my buck (aka reward), but I have just run out of all genmaicha in my stash, which is unacceptable to me. So I went for this tea as a filler until I can order more genmaicha. Anyway, I first wanted to comment on how little tea there is in comparison to the rice. In my ounce, I feel like it’s 90% rice, 10% green tea. Perhaps it is just the way that the girl helping me was scooping it from the tin?
Because of the little tea to rice ratio, I used a heaping tablespoon in my teapot (enough for 3 mugs of tea). It did have quite a tasty rice flavor, but I wasn’t quite happy with the green tea base. Not only was there not enough of it, but the flavor itself was very murky compared to the clean flavors that I have come to expect of Japanese green teas. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a terrible tea, but I think I’ve just had so many other better genmaichas that I felt picky about it.
I’ve been pretty terrible about writing tasting notes lately, but only because I’ve been drinking most of the same teas over and over again. One that I’ve been reaching for many mornings is this tea. A little goes a long way leaf-wise, so I’m happily surprised at how long this sample from the T&C TTB is going to last me. I think I really enjoy it because of its boldness without the usual accompanying bitterness that loud black teas can have. And it’s been fairly hard to mess this one up, which is great because my brain does not function well in the morning.
Backlog from earlier today. The first time that I steeped this tea, I used 185 F water, which turned out to be too hot. While the flavors were delicious, it was also a bit bitter. It didn’t help that the leaves were very fine and settled at the bottom of my mug, continuing to make the tea bitter as I drank it. Second time around, I used 165 F water, and it really did help with the initial bitterness. The problem with the leaves falling through and making it bitter were still there, though. I need to get a finer strainer.
Anyway, I really enjoyed this tea (despite the random bitterness) because it combines umami and vegetal flavors so well. Plus, it tastes clean yet a little thick at the same time. I find that true of most Japanese green teas, actually. Anyway, it is a very nice, sothing tea. I just hope I can find a better way to strain the leaves.
Backlog. I went to a cute cafe to yesterday to meet up with a friend and get some work done. While they are known for coffee, they had a nice selection of Mighty Leaf teas. I’ve been wanting to try some more Mighty Leaf because I love White Orchard, so I bought a cup of this one. Houjichas are one of my favorite types of teas, so I’ve become a bit picky about them. Compared to my favorite houjicha, this one was weaker and slightly more dried anchovy tasting, but for a bagged tea, it was actually really smooth and nice. If I needed a houjicha on the go, I’d be happy with this one.