52 Tasting Notes
I had this iced in store today with a friend (we both adore mango and spicy dishes), and it was really good! Normally I don’t like getting tea iced from David’s because I find it gets diluted to easily, but this was fantastic. The store wasn’t very busy or crowded so we talked over tea in the back, and the service was fantastic.
Mango Diablo is very lightly sweet and packs a definite punch from the chilli peppers. It’s not spicy like a masala chai is, and would be spicier without agave (and, I think, hot instead of iced), and it’s great for a spicy fan like me. It’s the new tea of the month, so I think I’ll be stocking up on some once I empty my cupboard a bit!
So, small anecdote: I’ve never seen Peewee’s Big Adventure and have no desire to ever see it. So when Kiwi’s Big Adventure was first posted, my mind somehow managed to interpret it as a…. Kiki’s Delivery Service reference.
Disappointingly, I don’t like this tea nearly as much as I like the movie. :/ I had it iced in store today and it was just bland. Bland and bitter. I asked for only a little agave because the smell and description promised it’d be sweet by itself, since usually I like some sweetener in green tea when I have it iced, but it was just awful. Bland, no kiwi flavour, no fruity flavour at ALL, just bitter iced green tea. It may have been how it was brewed, since I got it at the location I haven’t been very happy with recently, but I doubt I’ll be getting a sample of my own to try, honestly.
I’m bumping my rating for this up a bit; I’ve found that I really enjoy it brewed at home more than the sample I had in the shop, and my fondness for this is definitely not decreasing!
I tend to find that the colour of the liquor can be anywhere between a usual yellow-y green sencha colour and a medium red from the goji berries and acai berries, depending on how much of the berries you brew with. The red colouring also tends to sit at the bottom of my mug (when I brew in just a mug, rather then with a teapot) unless I stir it up. Possibly due to essential oils from the berries, or how long it takes the tea leaves to unfurl and release versus the berries? Don’t quote me on it, though; I’m not a chemistry major!
Sometimes I notice a lightly tart aftertaste, so I think if ever I want to try this iced or chilled some sweetener would be useful for mellowing it out; predicting honey or agave nectar, but we’ll see when/if I get there!
These days I’m rather leery of David’s. Haven’t been getting great service at the location near my campus, not impressed with the growing use of artificial flavours… what’s going on! Still, they have some teas that I really love, and North African Mint is one of them.
I can’t remember exactly when I first bought this, but I was browsing around for a new flavoured green blend and one of the staff in recommended this one. It’s scent in the bag is refreshing and minty (so, so much peppermint), with notes from the clove and fennel. In short: it smells delicious. Get in my teacup and get in my mouth.
The liquor is fairly dark (hojicha base, likely the peppermint as well) and smells rather bland, but the taste is much closer to its dry scent. The peppermint is fresh, and I’m not sure how much of the hojicha comes through, but it’s got some nice zings of ginger and fennel. It’s very smooth, and the licorice root isn’t present as a flavour, but rather in sweetness.
One of my favourite mint teas for sure. My bag is running low, so once the cupboard has depleted some (getting crowded in there!) I may just buy a can of this!
Well, my body has decided that it’s time to remind me that I’m fertile (took long enough), and for the past few days there has never been a cup of this far from me.
I think I’m in the very small minority here in that I really like the taste of this. My mother got it for me some years ago because painkillers normally don’t work very well on me and I can get pretty crippling cramps at times. It doesn’t always do anything, and maybe it’s a bit of a placebo affect because I like the taste of the tea, but it can really help with my cramps. No experience on any other related benefits, but this is my number one cramp tea.
I also find that I actually enjoy the taste better when I’m on period? I suppose someone could come up with some kind of “it’s because of hormones” explanation, but really, all I care about is that I really like this tea and it’s great for my cramps.
I finally buckled down and tried some of this today; I wanted something indulgent, and for me tea lattes are some of my favourite things to indulge in.
The package this comes in has its own label that reads “Our Matcha Latte Mix is made using only premium stone dround green tea and grape sugar. Matcha is very high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Use one tablespoon and mix in 12 oz of hot or cold milk. Ingredients: grape sugar and stone ground green tea.” The bag is 200 gr. for $9.95, so depending on your budget that could be a good deal, a great deal, or not a deal at all. It’s sealed shut, unlike when you buy tea in store and only the zip is shut, so you will have to tear or cut the bag to open it. It makes sense, though, since I think the matcha is bagged and then sent to stores, and regular zip seals can never be 100% trusted.
The matcha itself does seem pretty good quality; it’s a bright green and has a pretty regular matcha taste. Not the pinacle of matchas I’ve ever had, but not the worst. The matcha sent is really diluted from the grape sugar (and grape sugar is just another way of saying glucose). Unfortunately, there’s no breakdown of percentage for the matcha or the sugar. I’m wary at the grape sugar being listed first on the ingredients list, since usually that means there’s MORE of that ingredient. I’m sure an employee or The Tea Emporium could argue that it’s alphabetical, though. When I bought my bag there was another woman in the store considering buying one and she said that it would be great if there was a better description of the ingredients and a breakdown of nutritional facts like calories. The woman in working at the time didn’t say all that much in response. Another time I was in the store and talking to a different employee about the mix, he said it was really good, had all the good stuff (I’m assuming he meant the matcha), but also had the bad stuff (the sugar).
So if you’re calorie counting, I’d say you’re just as good using regular matcha of any grade you prefer and mixing in whichever sweetener you prefer. This mix is nice, quick, and easy, and if you’re in a rush or don’t want much trouble it’s pretty tasty, but it’s definitely not the Epitome of Matcha.
TASTE WISE, now, I think it’s delicious. It tastes just like a match green tea latte from Second Cup (and I can’t vouch for other coffee or tea shops/cafés, since Second Cup is all I know), except without the frothed milk. I didn’t really pay attention to the mixing directions on the bag. Following my usual procedure for hot chocolate, I nuked about 3/4 of a cup of 2% milk in the micro (in an mug) on high for 2~ minutes, spooned in about 1.5 tablespoons of the matcha mix used a small whisk to mix it up, and then topped it up with some cold milk so it wasn’t too hot to drink. And? Delicious. Really, really delicious. I have no delusions that it wasn’t due to the sugar, though. It DOES taste like matcha, but a really big matcha fan who wants more of a matcha bang would probably find it too weak.
Obviously having a milk frother or any kind of Tassimo-like machine would make a huge difference, buuuut since I don’t have one, nuked milk in the micro it is. If you don’t mind the lack of frothy-ness, I’d say you don’t need frothed milk to enjoy this.
I finished mine in less than five minutes; I think next time I’ll use less cold milk to cool it down, just to keep it warmer longer, but this could definitely be addictive.
Depending on your budget, if you look at this and think “WOW that’s a great deal for matcha, I don’t care about the sugar content”? Go for it. If you prefer a nicer matcha and controlling your sugar content? Using reglar matcha would work just as well (if not better!). All in all I think The Tea Emporium’s Matcha Latte mix is nice, makes a good treat, but isn’t a staple for any cupboard.
Really rough day today on the emotional stress. In an attempt to calm down and sooth the frayed nerves, I lugged myself up off the computer chair and went to the tea cabinate. And I stared at it. And stared at it. And stared at it.
See, I try to limit the caffeine in my system as much as possible, except lately I’ve been buying more camelia sinensis tea; and in a not-so-great headspace, caffeine isn’t exactly a so-great choice of consumption.
So I dug out my bags and my tins and my boxes, and I reached all the way to the back and pulled out… this. Relax, from Pukka, which I’m not sure I have had or seen in a good couple of months. And on a whim, since it’s what’s there, it’s in my hand, I need something tasty, I figure, “Why not?”
And Steepster, let me tell you, I can’t imagine why I haven’t been drinking this tea every day for the past eight months.
It is deliciously sweet from the licorice, with the marshmellow root being the strongest flavour. In the bag it actually smells predominantely of fennel and ginger, a bit spicey, but once brewed it is wonderfully mellow and sweet. You might get a bit of a nip at the back of your throat, but it’s nowhere near a masala chai. After my first cup I marched right back to the kitchen to make myself two more.
The liquor is yellow, definitely from thet chamomile, fennel, and marshmellow root. Its in cup scent is mostly the sweet herbs and chamomile, though you can get a little bit of the cardomom and ginger.
I really, really recommend this tea. I can’t confirm any of the health benefits Pukka promises, but I do know that I’m feeling a little better after having something really tasty and rediscovering a much-loved tea. I can see Relax quick becoming one of my indulgent teas, since it’s just so sweet and soothing without any sweeteners. And, little tidbit, it goes incredibly well with a nice glass of wine! Pick some up if ever you have the opportunity.
Time to cleanse the palete after that last disappointment! Cleanse isn’t one of my preferred Pukka teas, but since I’m still desiring some detoxification I picked this out of the tea cabinet.
The liquor is a nutty brown, definitely from the fennel, nettle, and dandelion. I can definitely understand why someone wouldn’t like this, since it’s pretty far from traditional savory teas. There is a light sweetness from the licorice, but it comes out more when the tea is cold or iced. It’s not for everyone, not a snack tea or an everyday staple, but good every once and a while.
In terms of the perported skin benefits, I can get pretty bad acne at times and I don’t notice any difference when I drink the tea. Maybe you’d have to drink it more often, or more than one cup a day, but as with a lot of the benefits that Pukka advertises for their herbal tea. A lot of the time I find that it’s very psychosomatic: if you enjoy the tea, enjoy brewing it and the taste of it, then you’ll probably feel better when you drink it. For the more physical benefits like what Cleanse is supposed to do, your mileage may vary.
My mom bought a little bit of this for me as a surprise the other day, and I decided to try some today!
The first thing I noticed smelling it dry in the bag was that it has a very artificial scent to it. David’s website doesn’t say whether the “chocolate mint flavouring” they use is natural or artifical, and I don’t know if it’s the chocolate whiff’s or peppermint whiff’s that are putting me off, but it reminds me of really bad chocolate mint cookies… not off to a very good start.
A little trepidatious, I only used half a teaspoon when brewing and was careful with my brewing time even though I usually let rooibos brew for as long as I want. The liquor, a dark reddish brown, ended up with much the same artificial scent as the dry tea; none of the rooibos or vanilla comes through. Taste-wise, the mint chocolate is seriously overpowering, and not in a good way like the cinnamon in David’s Cinnamon Rooibos Chai. I guess most of it comes down to personal preference and taste, but I was pretty disappointed in this tea. I’m normally a fan of chocolate and mint together, but there’s just such an artificial (or at least, what I can only describe as artificial) taste to this that I can’t enjoy it or finish my cup.