2836 Tasting Notes
I keep wanting to call this matcha…
Honestly; I was a tiny bit scared to try this one. Hibiscus is one of three ingredients in this one, but frankly the entire thing looks like ground up, powdered hibiscus and unless you’re really into hibiscus in the first place that sounds pretty horrible.
That said, after the hot water hit the powder in the bottom of the mug and I had this all whisked up all of that fear melted away. The aroma is very floral and feminine but maintains a wonderful delicateness. How often do you get to call a blend with hibiscus delicate!? Not often – that’s for sure. More so than anything else I thought the rose was the most flavourful component of this tea but it’s not even close to the intensity necisarry for this blend to come off tasting chemical, artificial, or even perfumey. As a whole, it’s actually delightfully mellow.
Maybe it’s because hibiscus is so often paired with berries, but in addition to the sweet and supple floral notes I feel like there’s a hint of watered down berry flavour. The jasmine is the hardest part of this for me to taste; it’s blending in with the rose very well. I really enjoy this blend a lot. My only word of caution would be for people who dislike overly floral teas; but even they might like this because it’s been tastefully done. Even people who are generally turned off by hibiscus would likely like this. Bonus points for being quite affordable; $10.00 for 100g, and it really doesn’t take much at all to make a mug – approximately 1/2 tsp.
Also, many thanks to Will at Chi Whole Leaf tea for sending me the full range of teas currently offered on their site for reviewing! He was very quick to ship things, and in addition to the tea itself he included a very informative pamphlet that broke down the ingredients of each tea. I look forward to trying the next rest of the set!
So happy I took this one up with me for the trip; it let me finish it off finally. I hate that sometimes this comes out so brilliantly tasting like Saskatoon Berries because that makes me want to love it so badly because Saskatoons are SO GOOD, but then sometimes it’s muddled berry or hibiscus overload such as was the case with this brew…
It took me all morning to finish the cold brew, and because of that I didn’t have enough time to do a proper cold brew of Butiki’s Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake like I had planned (because I made this in the only brewing vessel large enough for a decent cold brew at my Dad’s house), so I had to settle for doing it iced instead.
Maybe I’ll revisit this one just ‘cause it’s really nice to be able to share Saskatoon Berry tea in swaps ‘cause it’s like giving people a little taste of home – but hopefully I can find a better Saskatoon Berry tea in the future.
So this review is for the Twisted Tea “Hard” Iced Tea alcoholic drink…
I did search the database to see if it was there, but I couldn’t find it and I decided I didn’t really want to create an entry for an alcoholic drink though I still wanted to review it.
My Dad, I guess, bought one of the six packs of bottle when he found out I was coming up for a few days – and since getting up he’s been asking me at just about every meal if I wanted to try one; each time I’ve denied and opted to drink the tea I’ve brought with for the trip. But today is my last day here so I’ve caved and am now having one with lunch.
It’s… Not really my thing.
You can’t taste the alcohol at all; and I don’t know whether that’s necessarily a pro or a con but the “tea” taste is weird. It’s very sharp with a sour note to it, and incredibly sweet. Like Southern Sweet Tea with lemon I guess. Except, there’s barley and ‘added malt flavour’ in the ingredients list and I can taste both of those things as well and I feel like the really shouldn’t be here.
Oh well; I guess it’s cool that my rather conservative father was alright with his “little girl” sharing a drink with him. I know I had my first drink around him when we went to see Cirque de Soleil and that was kind of weird ‘cause I’m the one who ‘broke that seal’ (or whatever you want to call it) by ordering it. This is almost weirder though ‘cause it’s him offering it?
I’ll stick to my personal favourites in the future though; Gin and Schnapps.
I was excited about this one; one of my favourite mate blends is a citrus based one so out of the three flavours I thought that this was the one that would be my favourite. Obviously I should have read the ingredients though; had I I’m sure I would have had much different preconceptions. Instead I got to taste the ingredients first – and it was definitely a shock.
Apparently this uses roasted mate and, of all things, ginger. Now, ginger and lemon is a pretty common pairing so I know I’m in the minority for disliking it – ultimately that boils down to my own personal distaste for anything with a strong ginger flavour. And man was it strong; arguably stronger than the lemon for which the drink was named after! As well, I don’t like the pairing of roasted mate with lemon; for me a green pairing with a brighter grassier earth tone is more preferable. The lemon also tasted kind of like furniture cleaner to me – I was very turned off.
That said, I shared the portion of the can which I could not finish with a friend who, while never having tried yerba mate before, absolutely loves lemon and ginger and she really enjoyed the whole thing; which again goes to point out that it’s not that this is a bad tea it’s just that it’s composed of ingredients that I personally do not really like at all.
As a whole (out of the three flavors I purchased), I think that Revel Berry was my favourite and the one that would most widely appeal to people. I’m happy I took the time to explore these tisanes though, and I hope that if these become more widely available that will lead to a more mainstream knowledge of yerba mate. Because let’s face it, as a ‘hardcore’ tea nerd there’s never enough people to talk tea with.
Not rating because of my own personal bias.
Brought my last mini cake of this with me for my ‘mini vacation’ – I really liked it the first time I tried it Western Style, but ever since I’ve started brewing in a Gaiwan/Gong Fu I’ve wanted to try it that way but haven’t found the time to commit to steeping it that way. This was the perfect occasion!
I did the first session last night; about half of the cake (roughly 5g) with like a finger tip sized amount of peel added in. I didn’t add any peel the first time I made this because I didn’t realize that was something you should do, and this time I was cautious how much is an acceptable amount. I remember Kittenna saying she used roughly the same amount though, so I mimicked her.
After my 30 second wash, I did three infusions – each of which I shared with my Step Mom. She was fascinated with the process; and white tea is her favourite type of tea so that piqued her interest even more. Plus, she’d never had Pu’erh before either.
The taste was amazing; there was a lovely but very light earthiness and malty note from the tea itself and then a very mellow and sweet orange/mandarin flavor that made for such fresh top notes. There were also some lovely floral notes and a bit of a hay taste too, both characteristic of white tea. I really like that I get to experience the best of both tea types with this. As the infusions went on the orange notes wained a little bit, but for the most part this tea didn’t lose flavor at all. Which definitely impresses me.
I’m currently doing a Gong Fu session with the second half of the cake; same amount of leaf but slightly more peel added in. I’m finding that the flavour didn’t change much; if anything the orange tastes a little more flat and less lively – more of an “orange zest” or “mandarin zest”/peel vibe to it.
Currently I’m on the fourth infusion of this second brew – it’s a little more earthy/brothy; the floral and orange notes have both significantly faded. Still very lovely though. I absolutely want to pick up more of these cakes from McQuarrie’s – I just know if last time is any indicator it’ll take me forever to get to them so it’s not a high priority.
Made a mug of this last night while watching Antiques Roadshow with my Dad. I can’t believe my Dad has progressed to the age where he loves that show; I remember going to my Grandma’s as a little kid and he and my mom teasing her for having such cliched “old people TV tastes” when she watched the marathons of it. Now he’s no better. And what does it say of me that I watched with him? In my defense, what got me watching was this really cool old tea caddy with pearls embedded into it. And then I just stayed after that…
Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with liking Antiques Roadshow.
This was good; surprisingly mellow? I definitely tasted the strawberry first and foremost – Butiki’s strawberry flavoring is so distinct. I feel like I’d instantly know it. However, I thought that the rhubarb and cheesecake flavours were both stronger than the last time I made this one; the notes didn’t rise to the surface the same way that the strawberry did but they were present on the back of the sip and in the aftertaste. Though the cheesecake presented more as a subtle cream flavour.
The Pu’erh was a grounded wet earth flavour with an almost rusty tinge to the flavour. Very pleasant; though I think more watery this time around than last. It really compliments the strawberry and rhubarb though, and provides really noticeable contrast as well. Yummy! I’m headed home in a few hours; but I really want to see if I can do a SUPER quick cold brew of this one for the ride home…
The final flavour from Red Leaf Tea’s sampler! Like the penultimate flavour (Cotton Candy), this is one I’ve tried before – however it’s been over a year since I first had it. Just like Cotton Candy matcha, I also prepared this one in cold milk but for the purposes of this tasting I’ll be doing it in cold cashew milk to stay consistent with the rest of the teas in the sampler.
Here are some snippets from my review to see if my old observations are in line with the observations from this tasting:
“…really strong … very rich and marzipan like”, “I found that there was a faint chemical edge to the aftertaste”, and “almost too much almond concentrated into … one cup”.
Remarkably, I made almost the same observations this time as well. Even before opening up the sample packet and measuring out the matcha I was sure I could faintly smell the almond aroma – and once that packet was cracked I couldn’t smell anything but. This matcha is very strongly flavoured; I didn’t taste any vegetal or grassy notes from the matcha itself and for, I think, the first time since starting this sampler the flavour of the matcha completely eclipsed the taste of the cashew milk.
The one part where my observation from last time differs is that I didn’t think it tasted chemical or artificial at all; just really, really strong. Of course, like often comes with concentrated almond flavour, I did think this was quite sweet with definite marzipan notes – but apart from that I think this is just a very true, accurate and BOLD flavour. Fans of almond will love it, and people who dislike almond to start will cringe because of the intensity.
Personally, if I didn’t already own a large quantity of Pistachio matcha I’d probably add this to my list of flavors to buy in my next order – but you really only need to own so many nutty matchas at a time.
Final rankings of the five flavors of matcha from the sampler:
5. Cotton Candy
Finally cracking into the larger sizes of matcha I got in my last order instead of the sampler; I thought this “mini vacation” would be a good excuse to bring a little with me and finally give one a try.
This is one of a couple that I’ve never tried before that I got in a larger size; I really like pistachio and I had enough faith that I’ve tried enough of RLT’s matcha to know what flavour works best for me and order appropriately. So that said this is the basic grade matcha (because it’s more than likely going to get used up in milk so I’m not springing for something higher quality) but the distinctive level of flavouring.
Of course, I don’t have a chawan or chawask at my Dad’s house and you can only take so much teaware with you on a three day trip so I made this one the same way I used way back when; in a cup with a fork. I’d forgotten just how poorly that whisks everything up; but it did the trick well enough.
It tasted so good! Very distinctly pistachio, and really creamy! Growing up, I absolutely adored pistachio pudding; I remember when they sold it in those premixed pudding cups. My little chubby heart shattered when they stopped selling it that way. I guess it wasn’t a popular enough flavour? You can still buy the boxes to mix up yourself but it’s not the same – I can never make it the right consistency. Point is, that’s what the flavour reminds me of. Not much nuance or depth to it, but it’s very enjoyable.
Also; I think this matcha will have a better “share-ability” factor because pistachio is supposed to be green. Every time I try to share matcha with a coworker they get freaked out because of the colour. “It’s strawberry? Uhh, but Strawberry shouldn’t look green…”
It’s been a while since I did a swap and I’d love to try more straight teas or teas from companies I order from less frequently/have never ordered from so if we follow each other on Steepster and you’re interested in doing a swap please send me a message!
Just finished the blind cupping portion of my three part class exam!
I had to enlist the help of my Dad and Step Mom since I wasn’t allowed to visually see the dry leaf, steeping instructions, infused leaf, or tea liquor. Basically; I got blind folded and had to identify five teas based on smell and taste. A Pu’erh, Black, Oolong, Green and White.
The only one/s I wasn’t 100% sure about were the green/oolong. The oolong we did for this class is a very green one; the only real “tip off” being that it’s rather floral. So when I tried the green I thought that maybe there was a chance it was the oolong – but then after trying the oolong I knew 100% which was which because I could taste the contrast.
Now I just have to do a multiple choice portion, and a Skype Presentation. I’m confidant I’ll kick ass though! As soon as I have officially “passed” I can register for the next class as well. Right now I’m tied between these two: “From Bush to Cup” and “Sensory Development”. Any thoughts on which I should do next?
This last cold brew was more toffee than anything else, with a strong woody flavour from the rooibos. I can’t help but wonder why it was no where near as nutty as the last cold brew, which was only a few days apart from this one. Anyway; not saying I wont EVER repurchase this one but for the time being I’m pretty sick of it.
I need to explore some new Tea Desire blends; the ones I have currently have been drank so many times I’m growing really sick of having them around.
Currently doing my blind tasting exam; my Dad’s making all of the tea since I can’t see any of the process (the dry leaf, steeping instructions, infused leaf or even the steeped liquor) and in between each cup I’m just writing tasting notes…
I thought I was breezing through it though, then I hit the third cup and now I can’t decide whether it’s a green tea or an oolong. It definitely has very buttery/spinachy notes to it that make me think it’s green tea, but also very creamy. I feel like once I taste the last two cups I’ll know for sure – the first two were DEFINITELY black and pu’erh.