2982 Tasting Notes
Personally, I feel like champagne should be reserved for celebrations, but I was honestly craving the sort of nondescript sweetness of this matcha, which can really only be described as “champagne” so I made up some matcha soda,with a little sweetener in it but not as much as I’d use for a normal tea soda.
I don’t really have anything to celebrate at the moment – if anything I have more stuff that I should be freaking out/stressing about than anything else. Initially I was really stressed/panicky about having to replace like $200 worth of food, and then about the cost of either repairing or replacing a broken fridge but I’ve kind of found my zen about it now. Or maybe I’ve just reached a level of stress where it was easier to just choose not to care anymore. Possibly both?
Regardless I’m really happy I chose to make this today without having ‘cause’ to because it was really satisfying. Sweet, bubbly, maybe a little floral? But lovely.
I have to say, I was disappointed by this cold brew – and maybe that’s in part because my fridge is still basically just a giant insulated box and still isn’t keeping stuff cold so I drank this at a super wonky temperature but I know it goes deeper than that too.
The taste was actually alright; I got creamy chocolate and marshmallow notes but so much of it was an intense, drying bitter orange peel flavour and that made it hard to appreciate the sweetness of the other ‘friends’ in the blend. More so than that, the mouthfeel was unpleasant – it made all of my tongue and the roof of my mouth feel like I’d been sucking on something metallic or licked a battery. Not cool, not tasty…
“Available packages include: 23oz…”
NOOOO! WHY WOULD YOU SUBJECT YOURSELF TO THAT!?
Following my recent “I like white peach flavoured stuff” revelation I decided to break my Nestle boycott (if you want to understand why I’m boycotting Nestle you should take a look at where and how they get their bottled water) and try a can of this, and I just have to say that damn I regretted it so much.
Honestly, I should have known better because it’s fucking Nestle/Nestea we’re talking about but anyway…
This was just painfully sweet though; if you’d put a cup of this “tea” and a cup of the cocktail syrup from a can of peach slivers in front of me I guarantee I would not have been able to tell the difference. And that’s a bad thing. I get that Nestle sweetens their tea; I get that. If they want to appeal to the ‘average’ tea consumer they have to but there are limits!
Secondly, I should be able to tell – at least to some extent, that there’s real “tea” in your “iced tea”. I actually had to go to Nestea’s product page and look up the nutrition information to find out what kind of ‘tea’ this is – the Canadian nutrition label just reads ‘tea extract’ instead of listing the kind of tea. At least the American website listed black tea.
I’m just disappointed; less so in the tea than in myself. I should have known better.
Thank you Sheherazade for the sample!
Calling this blend ‘tea marmite’ is, I think, a pretty big stretch and probably not the best selling tactic if Bluebird Tea Co. wants to get North Americans buying their blends. I’ve had marmite and I certainly was not a fan, nor are most North Americans; that’s one food from across the ocean that I can’t see catching on here. However, this tea? It’s got the potential to, if done correctly.
Genmaicha is one of those teas that I consider a cupboard staple; it makes a very soothing, calming cup of toasted brown rice goodness and it also a great blend for sharing a pot with among friends – and for people truly new to tea who haven’t even come across Genmaicha it’s a good conversation piece as well; explaining the origin of adding brown rice to tea to stretch it out among the lower class in ‘old Japan’ in a fascinating thing to here and gives insight to some just how important tea is in some cultures. I, for one, remember that fact/‘origin story’ being one of the most interesting to me when I was first getting really into tea outside of the flavored stuff offered at local chains such as DAVIDsTEA.
Of course, “Genmaicha with a twist” is a fantastic thing too; one a think more companies should run with. Some of my particular flavourites are Nina Paris’ Japon, Verdant’s Minnesota Blend, and Ette Tea’s Mango Sticky Rice. Apple seemed like an obvious, but untapped route – until now.
The initial wave of flavours was a very roasty brown rice and almost barley flavor; this is by far the best part of Genmaicha to me. If the level of roasty/toasty notes isn’t strong enough I’m going to be disappointed and if it’s too concentrated or has a “burnt” taste, like burnt toast, then I’m probably not going to be able to make it through the cup. However, this strikes a really nice balance between the two and has a lovely robust roasty flavour without overwhelming some of the other things going on.
Underneath that first, and most important flavour, was a mild vegetal note – there was some grassiness but mostly it was very marine with a bit of a seaweed flavour. This part of genmaicha is less important to me personally; as long as I can taste the green tea and it isn’t bitter I’m usually a happy consumer and both of those criterion were definitely checked off in this case. Now we get into the most important part of this particular blend: the apple! I’ll admit I didn’t taste it at first; but once the liquor had cooled I started to notice this very bright, slightly tart apple note at the finish of the sip that was lingering into the aftertaste. It’s definitely a greener apple; think Granny Smith or Sundance apples. However, the tartness and slight sweetness provides a really nice contrast between the flavour and whilst fairly simple I think this would be really enjoyable as a flavoured Genmaicha year round, but particularly in the fall.
Definitely worth trying, if you get the chance!
I was really enjoying this cold brew up until the point where I got off the couch to answer the phone and came back to see that in my short 10 minute or so absence two fruit flies had inhabited my mason jar of tea, essentially ruining it or – at least, ruining my desire to drink it. I guess they liked it too.
Overall; I have to admit this is far from the best tea out there. There are many things wrong with it, not the least of which is the overwhelming amount of ingredients and flavors but one thing is certainly true and that’s that the more you drink this one the more it does grow on you.
So while I may have initially regretted buying it, I definitely don’t now.
This is a queued tasting note.
Earlier near the beginning of the month we had the monthly ‘engagement meeting’ at work which of course, as my departments rep, I had to attend. Despite the content discussed at the meetings themselves, they’re actually fairly low-key and I love getting to learn about the different departments and how they’re run, as well as just hanging out with all of the department reps each month. It’s a fun time. Genuinely.
Each month one of us brings food as well – generally something relating to our department. This month Jillian, one of the two dietitians, provided food: a lovely mango/cucumber and red onion salsa and chips made out of beans. “Dietitian approved”. While it’s no cheesecake (which is what I brought last time) it was delicious.
And speaking of food/beverages – each meeting we get free coffee made for us by the coffee bar but I don’t drink coffee! Not a drop – the last time I had an actual cup of coffee was (I’m pretty sure) my 20th birthday when my manager bought me one as a birthday present and I drank it so as to not be rude. So I decided to ‘one up’ the coffee drinkers and bring tea. I brought some of DAVIDsTEA’s Movie Night for anyone else who wanted some – there were a few takers. This is what I brought for myself – and I have to say I had a fun few minutes talking to people and explaining why it didn’t look like any tea they’d ever seen before.
I did enjoy two good infusions of this during the meeting; I could have made more but getting up multiple times to do so probably would have been at least a little frowned upon despite the ‘casual’ feel of these meetings. Even though everyone’s having fun there’s still lots of work to be done!
Sadly, I couldn’t devote my full attention to the tea as I was taking minutes in addition to just contributing – so there were moments I was sipping without noticing anything. At the end of the meeting I had that feeling of drinking really good tea but not recollecting anything about it. Thankfully, my tea obsessed self made time to write a few things in the margins of the meeting’s minutes. So, in order of what I wrote and word for word:
- Apricot notes
- Honey finish
- A nice ‘fog’/malt/cream to it
- Taste & mouthfeel
- Reminds me of a good white tea; White Rhino?
- (A drawing of ‘The Rhino’ from Spiderman)
I think I’m going to have to humbly admit that this tea isn’t worthy of a ‘100’ anymore;
It definitely was when I first tried it and many times afterwards, but my tastes have changed enough that I don’t feel as strongly now. It’s still is pretty damn good though. Just not that good.
I cold brewed this; and the rich vanilla pudding/custard notes were still flippin’ phenomenal with brilliant butter and cream notes too, and a sliver of a graham kind of flavour. I quite enjoyed the decadence of it even if my mind wasn’t blown the same way it’s been in the past…
In other news; my freezer is not doing the one thing it was built, and named, to do. I opened it up this morning/early afternoon to grab some ice cream only to realize that the temperature was oddly warm and, upon further inspection, everything had thawed out. Ice cubes were just slightly chilled water, hashbrowns now mush, ice cream no better than soup, and many other super sad things. I’ve had to toss pretty much all of it; and that’s soul crushing. I’m not a wealthy person; and there was quite a lot of food there that’ll be costly to replace – namely all of my soy/veggie meat products.
The fridge isn’t working either; but there’s nothing too important in it – just milk and some other dairy things like cream cheese, and eggs. The bulk (fruit/veggies) I think will be perfectly fine. I hope, anyway. I still don’t know what’s wrong though; left a message with my landlord and waiting to hear back from him.
It’s been a rough morning though.
I know I said I wasn’t going to do a cold brew for this one after being disappointed by the iced brew, but I changed my mind and did one anyway.
It was actually a lot better than anticipated just based on that iced brew; and not that I disliked the iced one, it just wasn’t what I wanted it to be and the hot version was a lot better. This rivals the hot though! The Suncha base was very lovely with a strong earthy and kind of metallic/rusty taste to it – and then the strawberry and rhubarb almost evenly balanced creating such a bright flavour over top of that base.
But the best, most surprising part of cold brewing this was that the cheesecake flavour, which has all but escaped me with each tasting I’ve done of this, was full force making itself well known. It’s not so much that the cheesecake had that sort of “tang” to it, the fruit had that element of the tea covered, but that it had the richness and creamy taste and mouthfeel of really decadent cheesecake including to some extent the graham crust.
Very lovely, would drink it this way again. However, sadly, that’s not gonna be possible since this used up most of the remaining leaf and what’s left wont be enough for a solid/reasonably sized cold brew.
Today’s word of the day is… Dour!
Dour means: “Sullen, gloomy, severe : stern”.
Thank you Scheherazade for the sample!
I made this one iced in my timolino, and it was pretty tasty! I have to admit, it’s been a fair while since I had an unflavoured matcha and it was initially a little bit of a jarring switch up but after that initial shock was over I quite enjoyed this.
The most prominent thing for me was the lovely floral notes of the matcha; sure it was quite vegetal with very strong grass notes and a touch of more marine seaweed flavour, but the flowery delicate finish is what made this stand out to me. It was a very clean refreshing taste overall as well. One downside for me was that I found it to be quite clumpy, and not easily suspended within the water so I was constantly shaking up my timolino to keep the matcha from sinking to the bottom but while tedious that is a fairly small problem overall.
Sample comes from Liquid Proust!
Tried this for the first time and finished it off by making a pot of it to sip on during my Sommelier class. I didn’t think I’d like it that much, but by keeping to a pretty short steep time I think I managed to produce a brew I was really quite happy with.
The predominant thing about this blend was that it was very buttery and creamy with some really nice, lovely nutty and marine notes and a bit of a mellow, sweet vegetal flavour. It reminded me a little of stewed spinach or green beans to some extent. But also seaweed. And I think the matcha added this tiny little kick of floral flavour too. Overall, it was a very pleasant and rich pot of tea – one of those ones that makes me question why I don’t drink more green tea (other than matcha) than I currently do.