19 Tasting Notes
You know, I really wanted to like Casablanca Twist, I really did. It’s like that kid in high school that you pity and want to be friends with, but you just can’t. He would never mesh with your other friends, and then it leads to awkwardness. That’s what this is, an awkward tea. I’m not exactly sure WHAT CbT is supposed to be (I’m clever with acronyms, right?), but unless Adagio wanted to make an over-the-top mint tea, they’ve done their job, ten times over.
Like I said, I really wanted to like this tea, but I just cannot find myself getting into it. I expected to taste green tea, but all I got was HEY HERE’S SOME MINT, TRY IT. And it wasn’t even like “oh it’s minty, but it’s pretty good,” more like this came from my grandpa’s candy dish from the Post-WWII era. In essence, this tastes like a STRONG mint leaf with a mix of random other small flavors, like it’s been sitting in the dish w/ other minty stuff (remember those little white chalky mints?) and red hot fireballs. Bad combo.
Just doesn’t CUT IT for me.
DISCLAIMER: I added a half a teaspoon of ITO EN Matcha with this Genmaicha tea, to see what it tasted like. The results may frighten you. Okay not really, but maybe.
To start off, I just wanted to say that this was not my idea alone. My good buddy @paintedleaves put this on her blog and I decided to try it. After a bit of WikiResearch (note: I coined that phrase), I found that this is sometimes sold as a package (Genmaicha and Matcha) and it is known as Matcha-iri genmaicha. Lackluster title. I prefer to call it Genmaimatcha or Genmaitcha. But what do I know about Japanese? Anyway.
Genmaicha for those of you unaware, is a blend of popped rice, green tea leaves and occasionally popped corn (in this case, Adagio’s HAS popped corn in it, need to try some without it).
The color of normal Genmaicha is a surprisingly light green from my experience. It’s very clear and it tastes like grass that has been slathered with butter and roasted (even sauted) over a skillet. It’s almost overwhelming when you first try it, and the variety of green tea associated with is almost FIERCE.
Now, mix this combination with ITO EN’s premium Matcha and you get a hell of a combo! Flavor pops out the wazoo, not to mention it looks like something you would find in a swamp or sewer. So basically you’ve got your tea that looks like something out of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and “Gak.” But smells absolutely enticing.
Now onto FLAVOR
This is a strange combination. Though I tasted the typical genmaicha flavor, it was overridden (overrided? whatever.) by a blast of the pure strength of the Matcha powder. It was like I put more powder in than genmaicha. It had this really smooth and silky texture to it, almost like chocolate with a mix of tannin. It also tasted like if you had sand in your mouth, or if you were ever a kid and tasted a rock by accident (hey, what the hell, kids are weird, I know I was)! It was bland, yet it had that KICK to it, given mostly by the genmaicha’s popped rice and unique flavor. It also tasted like vegetals that you would find around the beach. The smell of that driftwood and seaweed, THAT’S what it tasted like. It’s so seaweedy, like you accidentally got a gulp of Lake Erie’s water. All in all, INCREDIBLY potent.
Also, I did a video review, so if you want a little more emotion, check out http://teacast.net
So, this tea was a strange one. The leaves and the actual tea itself smelled and tasted COMPLETELY different. Now my palate might be “off” but this tea really smelled like lime and green pepper, but tasted like a rubber hose (literally) as well as STRONG flavors of mozzarella cheese! It reminded me of string cheese, the kind that we used to get at my house on certain occasions. SO Strange. I don’t know if I would drink it again for taste, rather I would drink it to find more flavors in it! Crazy for a Darjeeling Green!
Check out the full video review at http://teacast.net
At first I didn’t really notice much in this tea…. until I let it cool down. Then I REALLY tasted this flavor to its fullest. Using the newly learned slurp technique (keep your mouth open and slurp the tea to get more O2 in), I noticed your typical lighter tea vegetal flavors, but with a sharp taste of movie popcorn butter without the popcorn. So basically it tasted incredibly sweet with movie butter popcorn in it. The good thing is that it wasn’t all syrupy like that movie butter crap is, and it’s much healthier ;). I’d go as far to say as this was a bit oily, but NOT in a bad way. Very strange for Pouchong, but hey whatever tastes good right?
Very, very interesting tea taste. I mixed the water and powder (which I thought was matcha, but turned out to be brown Hojicha…gotta read the label).
So after mixing and whisking this Hojicha, I let it cool for a second and sipped it. Of course I believe that in the first sip or so is where you notice the most flavor. Here’s what I tasted:
- Coffee. Since Hojicha is roasted in a ceramic pot over charcoal, it was no surprise that the powder was NOT bright green, but a light brown (almost looked like sawdust).
- Chocolatey Sweetness. Now notice I didn’t say chocolate outright. I thought about it, but the fact that it didn’t taste like the cocoa bean, but rather the sweet taste of it in GENERAL was what I noticed.
- Flavorful note aftertaste. I’m not sure how to explain this, but the aftertaste of this stuck on my tongue, probably due to its powderyness. Anyway, there was an almost sticky-sweet aftertaste, like a donut taste or something. I don’t know, a bit tough to explain really. Verry pleasing though.
see more of this review at http://teacast.net
Steep Method: Tea Pot
Steep Time: 5:00 Minutes
Whenever I drink this tea I think of two things: Oatmeal and wheat. It almost smells some kind of organic building material (maybe bamboo?). For a pu-erh it’s not incredibly “dark” tasting, rather it is relatively light. It almost tastes like the old smell of my grandparents’ house (I kid you not!).
It gives me a bit of a surprise on my tongue, as it is kind of dull for a second, and then springs to (somewhat) of a life. Overall a pretty mild tea. I think I could have steeped it longer. Maybe I’ll try another infusion for 7-8 minutes. Thoughts?
Matcha. Wow. This is probably the most bizarre type of tea I have had in a long time. It’s SO different from anything I have ever had and is incredibly strong. I’m not surprised at this fact though, considering it is the pure leaf ground up and mixed with hot water.
My first thoughts when I tasted this were BAM! and STRONG!
How I made it:
Two bamboo scoops of Matcha powder (in Matcha bowl)
3 Oz of spring water at 185 Degrees Fahrenheit
*STRONG Grassy/vegetal tones, almost overpowering
*It’s “darker,” in the sense that it’s a lot heavier than your typical green tea, much more punch to it
*THICK! Boy I wasn’t ready for this at ALL. I can still feel some of the stuff on my tongue even after I am done drinking it! This is incredibly potent, due to the ratio of powder to water.
- Finally, it has a sweetness to it in the back of the throat/aftertaste. Absolutely delicious even after I was done drinking it. It lingers for awhile, which can be blasted away with some hot water swishing, but I love the way it tastes!
I’m going to be honest, at first I hated it. Then I added a bit more water to the mixture and LOVED it! I think my first taste was bad only because I didn’t stir it enough and got some powder in my teeth ;). I’m so glad I bought this Matcha kit, it is so tasty! I can’t wait to try the other samples I got!
I went into this thinking that this MIGHT be something more; that the nice packaging would overcome the disgusting fannings that were put into these god forsaken bags. There are about 10 teas in the package that I got, all of which I wish to review for the benefit of tea drinkers’ kind (if that makes any sense).
So onto this tea review. Let me just say, that the majority of teas that contain “spice” in them I hate. This includes almost any kind of chai as well…. And I’ll tell you why. There’s ALWAYS a grainy taste on the back of my throat which brings me to the edge of coughing. This tea is no different. In fact, there’s BARELY any other flavor I can taste other than stale caramel. Just wretched. The box art is quite nice however, which makes up for it…. I guess.
Ehh it was alright, subtle flavor, but see I steeped it terribly (see my video at teacast.net on how I did it). I’ve had it before, and think that the name of it is really cool, but the flavor could be a lot better. I’m not really sure what “Birds of Paradise” is, other than a Charlie Parker tune, but it’s a tea that I would skip. Definitely go for Tropical Tea Co’s Pomegranate Hibiscus Green Tea if you want some great flavors from them!