1522 Tasting Notes
This is from the recent Red Leaf Tea side by side blind taste test. If you were included but haven’t completed your survey yet stop reading now.
I have been finishing these matcha samples off as cold sweetened milk drinks – which is how I start every day. This one as a hot matcha cup was pretty unspectacular. It did not mix well. It was kind of bitter and gritty.
Today mixed with milk and a packet of Splenda, my opinion has not changed. This is not too expensive but you can do better than meh.
I finally heard from Raunak of TETE. He lives in Kathmandu. The earthquake did much devastation there. He acknowledged the tea gardens are far removed from the epicenter. His words about the situation were, “…no time to ponder. Time to drink some tea and bounce back.”
So, I am having some of TETE’s black tea in honor of this spirit. It is my favorite of the three, though I found all of them to be very good.
So just how does one put the caret over the ‘T’ with an English keyboard on Steepster and Blogger?
Anyway the third tea from TETE. This is the white. I have written the company to see how the farms were affected by the earthquake but I haven’t heard back – possibly not a good sign.
Opening the bag I catch all the wonderful scents I expect from a premium white tea. It is sweet hay, along with fruit and floral notes. I thought I even detected a hint of malt. It scent is very nice.
I am getting sweet hay notes in the taste. There are hints of melon and grape. I am still catching a touch of malt. It is very light, but it is there. The aftertaste is lightly grassy and sweet like honey.
My son says it tastes like lemon grass. I guess if you take out the lemon it kind of does. He wanted to ice it. The problem was the second cup is more green and earthy than the first so he didn’t get what he was expecting. It tasted OK but nothing like the first – which was pretty awesome.
Interesting. A young sheng that does not grab you by the throat with bitterness. In fact it has very little when short steeps are used. The dry leaf was field and leather scented. The wet was leather, asparagus, seaweed, and mint. The cup was apricot colored. The first thing I caught in the taste was a hint of smoke. I never catch smoke in poo. Everybody else does. Not me. Until today. Woot! The taste goes from light mineral to leather to cooling bite.
The next cup had a spicy cedar/cinnamon mixed with leather. Behind it was a light metallic brightness. The combination was an interesting cooling heat.
The qi hit me hard on the second cup. The medicine I take for my lungs reacts with caffeine apparently. I really want to indulge in more of this but I am putting it away until morning. Probably shouldn’t have taking the meds with poo. Yeah, I’ll be more careful next time. Anyway, for only a few years old, this was an amazing sheng.
Another from Nepal. This one is simply called green tea. What’s inside is not as simple as the name. The dry aroma is highly roasted. It made me nervous as I have to be in the mood for roasted (not my favorite). So I steeped it in 160F water for two minutes. The wet leaf is even more roasted. Cautiously, I took my first sip. Wow. The taste is nothing like the leaf scent. I really like this. It is nutty. Behind this is a green thing going on. It isn’t grassy or viney tasting. I hate using vegetal but I can’t come up with a better word except tasty. Just enough bite to excite the palette. My guess is this would be great iced. I have been impressed with both teas I have tried from TETE so far.
This is a tea from Nepal. I sampled it before I heard of the loss of life and utter devastation from the earthquake. I have not seen the news yet but my heart goes out to the people of Nepal.
TETE has printed in tiny letters across the front of the resealable bag the word “Simplify”. They sell exactly three teas – black, green, and white. This is their Himalayan full leaf premium tea otherwise known as Black. Their website says the teas are sourced from remote farms and are intended to make life simpler for those of us who sometimes don’t pay full attention to time and temperature.
I have to be honest, I wasn’t expecting this to be so good. The aroma of the leaf is malt, and grain, grape and floral. Really it smells awesome. The leaf itself is complete full leaves and buds. The buds are golden and the leaves dark brown. Beautiful. The liquor is bright and clear, ruby red and orange in color. The taste is a bit malt with nice notes of grape and floral. The aftertaste is sweet, floral, and lingering. This is a smooth cup. I don’t catch any bitterness. The dryness is fairly minimal for a black tea, though I notice some cheek tingle. I am catching a light bite that I like.
I am very impressed by this one and can’t wait to try out the green and white tea.
Other than the teas I have been reviewing for the blog, about all I have chugged lately is Diet Lipton Citrus Green Tea. I think it is laced with something. I find it devoid of depth but so addictive (truthfully it is because it is easy and I am lazy). There are no more in the fridge at the moment. sigh. Oh well, I’ll just have to have some Earl Grey hot from my replicator. As I pop the tin, bergamot fills my olfactory. I can’t even imagine why EG is not everyone’s favorite. It is one of the very few teas I still always have with sweetener. It simply intensifies it and mellows it at the same time. All this typing has worn me out. Back to the couch. Make it so Number One… Spock why couldn’t you have been the EG guy? Then I could have just had Scotty beam me to the couch.
I have posted my blind taste testing of 12 matcha samples. This was sponsored by Red Leaf Tea. Not offering any spoilers here for those bloggers who haven’t finished their reviews yet. Click the link only if you want to see how it all works out. http://theeverdayteablog.blogspot.com/2015/04/matcha-madness.html
Looks like dried grass clippings. I have a lot of tiny particles in mine. The other tea in the package was undamaged, so I don’t know if this was roughed up in shipping? Others didn’t comment on this so I am believing it is just my bag. Steeping temp of 158F is hard to do but I stood guard over the kettle and got it.
I think Curious Tea nails the taste profile on their webpage by saying this “has a full vegetal and slightly toasty flavour. It strongly evokes green vegetables, such as spinach or greens with a nori undertone and a distinct dryness in the aftertaste.”
I think the only thing I would add is though the temperature is a bit of a pain to hit, it is worth the effort as the cup was nicely smooth.
I have had Snow Bud before from another company. The teas appear pretty much identical. The difference is in the brewing approach. This one calls for 175F water and a 4 minute steep. The other used 195F and 30 second steeps. The difference is day and night. This one is smooth. The other was intense with a good bitter. Here I am getting lightly sweet field grass, along with hints of nuts and floral. The aftertaste is lingering and has the good bite I expected up front but here it is lighter and not at all scary. Although I taste the fresh spring water and floral notes I associate with good white tea, it is the ending that drifts towards Chinese green tea that sells this to me. I very much enjoyed this using Curious Teas parameters.