1686 Tasting Notes
I know this is not tea but it is blended by a tea company and hey, it’s hot chocolate! This morning started out at 45 F. The beginning of the month it thought it was July. Now it thinks it is October first thing in the morning. Perfect weather for this one.
Frothed this up in a mug of micronuked milk. I am in love. I am used to the grocery store variety of peppermint cocoa powder. They sort of work. This is a way better. The first sip is so rich, creamy, and chocolaty. Mom use to mix hot cocoa on the stove in the winter. This brings those old memories to mind, however this is like an adult version.
It is sweet but not overly so. I probably notice the sweetness of the pure cane sugar more because I never use real sugar. As I am indulging myself in this decadent mug, I suddenly think where is the peppermint. No sooner does that enter my head, my mouth is filled with the wonderful cooling sensation of the mint. To me that shows great restraint.
When I drink flavored tea, I want to taste the tea first then the flavor. That is exactly what 3 Leaf has done with this hot chocolate. First, deep rich chocolate and then a little something extra to add to it, not distract or take away.
Very nice job!
I got this because it sounded fun. Using my frother turned this into a foam filled buttery and creamy sweet delight. I followed the directions on the product page and used only 1/2 tsp for 8 oz of cold milk. That’s it. Normally I use 2 tsp in 12 oz and add a packet of Splenda and a splash of vanilla and caramel syrups. None of that is needed here. To me, the taste bounces between actual cheesecake and Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride. OK, you know I stockpile Sleigh Ride so I have a year round supply, so I am more than good with this taste. In fact, my occasional nighttime Sleigh Ride may now have a morning companion. Cheesecake Matcha makes this dinosaur happy.
So it is upper 70’s today and will top out around 80 F. It has been 90+ all month until today. We could really use rain but it keeps passing us by. But it is beautiful outside, so cause for celebration and some of the first hot tea I have prepared this month! Yes I’ve been living off a combination of cold milk/matcha lattes, Diet Mt Dew (purely for the caffeine rush), and Lipton Diet Citrus Green Tea. Don’t judge.
I’ve had Baozhong before. That’s what I told myself, until I opened this sample. I literally said, “Oh, Wow!” when the aroma hit me. I can’t paint a word picture as beautifully as Amanda, but this smells so wonderful. Lilacs! After reading Amanda’s review, I agree on peonies as well. Really, I could almost use this as potpourri and be happy. I brewed it instead.
The cup looks like liquid gold. It glimmers in the light.
The taste is softer than I expected. Once I tuned in to it this really opened up. The front of the taste is very much like the aroma. The mid sip I get what to me is a spice quality about it that reminds me of very mild custard and nutmeg. At least that is how my brain interprets it. The aftertaste is a classic Taiwan green oolong vegetal.
A wonderful light cup.
I can’t figure out how to upload a full picture of the thing. Sorry.
Whisking matcha is labor intensive. I personally don’t enjoy it, especially first thing in the morning. Saw this and thought it was worth a shot.
When it arrived I thought, man that’s tiny. The housing is silver plastic. I know they were going for a metal look but honestly it looks cheap. I think some cool colors would look much more appealing. The batteries (2 AA) are not included. That is the bad stuff. Now on to the good.
I bought it from Amazon for less than $8. It came with a five dollar off coupon for the next Matcha DNA order (if that interests you). Installing batteries is easy. You can kind of feather the on off button to work the speed. It is not a speed control but I still found I could make it behave like one. Once up to speed, the button locks in place. It’s deceptively powerful. Make sure the wand is fully submerged and the cup is not over full before switching this on.
So how well does it work? Excellent. I could not achieve the level of foam this generates with my little kitchen whisk. Maybe with time and skill a bamboo whisk works as well (can’t imagine much better) but bamboo is more expensive and clean up sounds like work. I have found that by pulling the wand up towards the surface, I can make a cold milk latte half foam – even with cheaper matcha.
I have no idea how long this will last but I am very pleased with it so far.
Tea Pots n Treasures is in Indianapolis Indiana. The owner blends the teas. She has over 900 blends! Of course not all are available at once. This particular tea is about a year old. I put it in in a drawer, got very ill, and forgot it. That said, it is still pretty tasty. I added sweetener to revitalize the old leaf. That mostly worked. The aroma is complex. There is a lot going on but no one flavor really dominates. You do notice the peppermint first because, well, peppermint. Then the orange and rose hips mingle about. The vanilla is the weakest flavor but seems about right to me. The taste shows the age as the green tea really doesn’t jump out. It is there but not. You know? The mint is nicely cooling. The blood orange and rose hips mix into their own flavor thing. Kind of floral sort of. Kind of fruity, sort of. A touch earthy and dark. I finally decided it is like a tangy cranberry, plum, and orange. Finally, the vanilla brings it all together in a neat and creamy way. Despite the age and poor storage this was pleasantly enjoyable.
So, flavored matcha. Besides the green tea Frappe addiction and my own vanilla or caramel syrup creations, I haven’t had any experience. You have to start somewhere, right? Turns out I didn’t need to be apprehensive. This matcha base is from Japan. It is bright spring green. Using my new milk frother (that I am now totally sold on) this mixed super easy and created a super foamy drink. I used Splenda instead of sugar because the monkey misses me. My first impression was this tasted somewhere between the old Stash peach I used to love and actual peach. Then I read Oolong Owl’s excellent review. Of course – peaches and cream, how did I miss that? Smooth and creamy without a hint of bitterness. Definitely a refreshing afternoon sip for me.
Felt in the mood for a green today. Grabbed this one from Teasenz. I have had Xin Yang Mao Jian before and liked it. This one looks different. The dry leaf is very dark green and is tightly rolled like long wiry stems. It is almost like pulling a birds nest out of the bag. Dry it smells intensely of malt along with a sweet and sour aroma like fresh cut dewy grass. Once brewed the scent becomes heavily green and leafy. The first thing I notice when tasting is the bitter. I hate using that word when it is a good thing as it is here. It is crisp and refreshing. This is also sweet. Imagine that. The last time I had a Xin Yang Mao Jian I still had the Splenda monkey on my back. Now I’m clean and monkey free (mostly) and I recognize this as sweet – (sweet!). This feels thick and almost syrupy by mid sip, before trailing off into a hefty green vine like aftertaste that lingers. A Nice tea.
Now be aware the package said to steep this 4-5 minutes with 2-5 g of leaf. I went on the high end of both. After drinking I noticed the website said to steep this ONE minute. I knew better but went with the bag instructions. I fully plan to have a go at this again using the short steep. It was good but potent today. I think the reduced time will make this a wonderful refreshing break from reality – and who doesn’t need that?
It was 53 this morning when I started outside with my cold matcha latte. Opted to stay in until it warmed up a little. Later I brewed a hot cup of lapsang souchong and began to play Kerbal Space Program. Today’s agenda was to launch a satellite to orbit Mun and look for locations on the moon with resources to build a refinery. Except, my early satellites tumbled out of control during ascent. My redesign made Mun orbit then proceeded to blow up for no good reason. Decided I was done destroying things up for the day. Grabbed the cup of LS and tried for the porch again. It was 68. Close enough. The LS was cool by this time. Didn’t care. It smells like BBQ but doesn’t taste that way. It is nicely sweet but not bacon or meat tasting. The smoke is at a stout but pleasant level. No ashes or ashtray here. Just pleasant sweet pine smoke.
3 Leaf Tea offered samples for review. I asked for this one in particular as I have never tried a tangerine pu’erh. The brewing instructions are for a western style brewed cup. 1 tsp of leaf and a cup of boiling water with a 3 minute steep.
The dry leaf is very pleasant to sniff. It is hay and fruit. The steeped leaf is barnyard but I know this seldom translates into the cup. The brew is almost ‘tea’ colored but a little more ruby tinted than your average orange pekoe.
The taste is dusty dry spiciness with a hint of tangerine zest. It is not astringent or bitter. There is a gentle but deep earthiness that confirms this is pu’erh. The second cup was pretty much like the first except maybe a touch more towards sweet. Goes down easily.
Not a deeply complex tea but a nice everyday sipper. Seems like a good base to play with your herbs and spices to see what you can invent.