1613 Tasting Notes
Chai and I are just casual friends. I don’t dislike it. I just never crave it. I have finally come to the conclusion it is because I can’t taste the black tea base. If they left it out, I’m not sure I could tell.
That said, I emptied the cup pretty quickly. The biggest flaw is it contains stevia. It isn’t overly sweet, especially for chai, but enough so as too make adding my preferred sweetener problematic. On the positive side the flavors are all well balanced. The aroma is cinnamon, clove, and cardamon. The taste begins more cardamon, then drifts towards but doesn’t reach banana. Banana? Neat twist. Then things straighten back to a cinnamon, pepper, and ginger end. I do catch faint banana in the aftertaste. I did not catch caramel as promised. Maybe had I added milk. If you let the cup get cool, there are notes of star anise. I did not notice it while hot, but then I like the flavor. If I were a hater it might jump out more.
For chai, not shabby.
I have not left the planet. The last few weeks have simply not been very conducive to tea drinking beyond grabbing RTD bottles from the fridge. Last night on the way to bed I grabbed a cup and a bag of sugar cookie sleigh ride. I love this one anyway, but when you have been tea time deprived this becomes heaven in a cup.
Teabook is a monthly subscription service. What I think is cool and different about it is the tea is in individual serving envelops. The November box that I sampled has 9 dragonwell labelled green, 9 wild black tea / Dian Hong labelled red, and 1 honey sweet green labelled special collection. Also in the first box is a double walled 10 oz glass tumbler. The idea here is to use an individual packet with the tumbler for grandpa style sipping throughout the day.
That’s a cool idea. How does it work in reality? Pretty well once you get the hang of it.
Having never used a double walled tumbler I heated the water appropriately for the dragonwell. Emptied a packet into the tumbler. Poured in the water, replaced the lid and waited for the steep. Opened the lid and burned my lips. Ouch. Safety tip: Leave lid off so it can cool to safe drinking temp. I’m a weenie when it comes to really hot drinks. I like them cool. The tumbler holds the heat well once the lid is in place.
The dragonwell aroma from the tumbler was very inviting. I was afraid the vessel would hide the scent. It actually seemed to concentrate it. Leaving the leaf in the tumbler made for a strong taste but it was not bitter. There is a metal screen in the top to keep the leaf in the tumbler.
Today I am having the red tea (Dian Hong). The dry aroma out of the envelop is just what one wants from Dian Hong. Wonderfully fresh. Having learned my lesson, I left the lid off while it steeped. The brew color is a nice caramel. The leaf sank to the bottom so not sure the screen is so much necessary with this one. The scent is honey malty caramel. The taste is sweet potato and honey with a touch of malt. There is no bitterness. My wife just walked in the room and asked what I was cooking. She said the tea smelled like I was baking something. Yep, delicious tea.
I haven’t made it to the special collection tea yet.
Based on this one month’s box, I would recommend Teabook if you are into subscription services. I do not know if the subscription cost includes shipping.
I get Good Earth is trying to give this the illusion of a tart cherry mixed with pomegranate, and maybe tea bag only people will accept it. For me the addition of hibiscus and its tartness is totally unnecessary. The presence of an overdose of stevia is likewise just too much. Way too sweet and way too bitter. The core flavor of pomegranate and cherry is pleasant enough. I just wish, with this one, someone at Good Earth would learn to edit.
I have been so busy lately. Besides my morning cold matcha/milk latte this is as close to tea as I have had time to grab. So easy to twist off the cap and chug.
The real reason I stopped to post – I spent a few minutes playing Kerbal Space Program and had all my kerbalnauts assigned, so I had to hire a new recruit. The game auto creates the names of available applicants. One possibility was a pilot named Harney. Yep, he is now my new favorite character. Sorry Jebediah.
I just noticed that 5 out of my last 7 notes are matcha. Well, let’s make it 6 out of 8. This morning I grabbed a really savory and delicious one. I have no idea what it was but it blended completely and created a tumbler of creamy foam with only milk and 1 packet of Splenda added. I sat at my laptop checking my mail when I noticed I had some root beer left in the bottle. Hmmm, why not? Off came the tumbler lid. Well… hats off to the creative ones who come up with all the awesome flavored blends. I am not one of them. This was drinkable but I wouldn’t recommend the combination.
Well that’s just weird. I often add a splash of caramel and vanilla syrup to my morning green tea matcha latte. It is pretty good. Today I decided to use 1/2 tsp each of Red Leaf Tea’s Caramel matcha and French Vanilla matcha. I love both of them, just not mixed together apparently. It is kind of bitter and the flavors clash. Not sure why I keep thinking I am going to improve on something I already think is perfect. Oh well, its gone already and I don’t have to repeat, but I probably will and that’s just weird.
I am not a caramel enjoying person. At least not caramel ice cream topping or caramel candy. It is too sweet, even for the monkey, and just doesn’t move me… and yet, I’ve read so many positive reviews of this one over the years that I had to try some. I used 1 tsp in a mug with cold milk, cause that’s how I roll. Tasted. Kid of wondered what all the fuss was about. It was light and kind of reminded me of the French vanilla I had earlier. Then the monkey grabbed the liquid Splenda and added the equivalent of 1 tsp of sugar. Delicious! I could drink this everyday. It is sweet (obviously) but not gross sweet. It is buttery, and the flavor is really good and never gets overpowering. A perfect balance of sweet. texture, and flavor. I will have this one again – and it’s caramel.
This morning found me undecided on my cold milk/tea latte. I kind of wanted French Vanilla matcha, but I had that yesterday. Can’t I be more creative? I stared blankly at the packets until my eyes fell upon the Strawberry matcha also from Red Leaf Tea. It was one of those moments when the hands start moving while the brain catches up on sleep. I used a 1/2 tsp of each. Frothing more than doubled the volume in the cup. Slowly added more milk until the tumbler was full. I was thinking strawberries and cream, but this is really is its own thing. One sip is strawberry the next French vanilla, and the next is a unique mix of both. At 7:00 am this is about as complex as I can handle. Very good. My brain just woke from its nap and it agrees.