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Recent Tasting Notes
I haven’t logged anything in a week! The construction crew has officially left the premises. They made 99% o my vision a reality. Some of the 1% will get fixed before I pay them the balance. The rest doesn’t trouble me enough to make them change it – a choose your battles kind of thing. We still have a lot of work to do on our own but hopefully I am about to have time to drink and review tea again. This morning I made my morning glass of tea + milk. This time I added some ice – for the first time in my life I now have an ice maker in the door of the fridge. What a neat invention. It’s like power windows, until I had them I didn’t know I needed them. Now I don’t want to be without it. I discovered it made crushed ice too so… turns out crushed is not the same as shaved, who knew? Also turns out when you take iced tea milk outside when it is barely 50 F, you realize it is pretty chilly in a hurry. I don’t care about all that piddly stuff. This was awesome just the same. I am blessed.
This morning it was just me, this powder, some vanilla syrup, milk, and rain. Much rain. The tea was tasty.
I think I am about to give up trying to use xantham gum in my morning smoothie. I have tried everything I can think of and don’t like the results. It is to slick feeling and causes the tea powder to clump. Kind of an expensive lesson. Anyone had success with it?
The rain is kind of comforting today although it means construction can’t move ahead. The dog is OK with that as he is tired of barking at them anyway.
I am wondering if Teavivre found a new supplier for this. This is a brighter green and has a lighter flavor than my last batch. I like this better.
Today the hammers and saws are supposed to start on my property. Reroofing our mobile home next door first, then I finally get my porch. May get loud around here for a while so I am enjoying the quiet peaceful morning with green tea powder and milk.
My order arrived yesterday. It’s only been six days since I ran out of this but it seemed like a month. I thought learning to properly whip the green tea powder was tough until I found some xanthan gum (paid too much but only local source I could find). I used a little over a 1/4 tsp. The result is kind of tapioca pudding. My first try. Can anyone offer some tips? I mixed the powder and gum then added a little water to mix before adding the milk.
Oh, that sinking feeling when the spoon hits the bottom of the tin and your replacement order is somewhere in a bin in Chicago. It kind of makes you want to be extra appreciative of today’s tall breakfast glass.
I literally start everyday with this stuff. I can’t handle a real breakfast in the early morning but I have to have at least milk with my arthritis medicine. Milk gets boring. Green tea powder and milk make a nice canvas to get creative on. I’m on my way to the world market to look for xanthan gum to up the experience another notch. I just realized I have cacao nibs that I could be using as well. Endless morning fun.
Today I made smoothies. 1 tsp green tea powder, 8 oz 2% milk, vanilla, frozen banana, frozen fruit medley. I had to add some sweetener – the blueberries in the medley are just too tart. Poured into one of those freezer steins that keeps everything icy. Very good. I would do this often. Wife said she would like it if I left the green tea out of hers :(
So my intention was to give a food grade Japanese matcha a whirl when I ran out of green tea powder for my breakfast milk concoction. But then Teavivre had an anniversary sale and marked this down 40%. 40%! Well that was a no brainer. I have already grown accustomed to its unique taste. Yeah, its bitter on its own but works for what I am doing with it.
The problem is my present supply is starting to show tin at the bottom. Why did I wait so long to order? The 8 oz of restock has shown no sign of moving in days when checking tracking. I know it always takes two – three weeks to get here, but if I just knew it was still moving it would be easier to wait. Why do I keep checking? Aaarrrrrgggghhhh!
I may be forced to return to the world of Hershey’s syrup for a few days while I sit hitting refresh on USPS. :)
Just having some fun. Trust me, I’ll survive.
I tend to start every morning with this mixed with milk, vanilla, and caramel. I bought a 100 g and it has lasted a pretty long time. The taste is darker than what little matcha I have tried. It is slightly bitter but mixing it with the syrup I use makes for a nice morning glass. I get a serving of dairy, a serving of vegetables (it is tea, its green, so I’m counting it), caffeine, and sweetener. Four of the five basic food groups – the other being bacon. ;)
Buffy the chihuahua slayer, our Japanese Chen / Pomeranian mix puppy finally got her cast off yesterday. She was a terror, with the cast on, running through the house. Taking it off has calmed her down a lot – at least temporarily. She is kind of running three legged because of the joint stiffness. Spike our chihuahua is hoping she doesn’t learn to jump into his chair anytime soon. From watching, I would guess in less than a week poor Spike will lose his sanctuary. hehe
I continue to learn this morning. According to Teavivre, green tea powder is steamed not pan fried. I have no idea where the roasted nutty oolong notes are coming from. I prepared a mug with hot water using the amount of powder I have been using with my morning milk – about 1 tsp. The tea does not resemble the cup picture on Teavivre’s site. Their’s is bright algae green. Kermit would feel at home. Mine is murky deep olive brown and looks a little (lot) scary. What creature lurks beneath these waters. My mind wanders to Poke Salad Annie. The gators got your granny. Chomp. Chomp. I digress… So too much powder on my part I presume. The taste without milk, or other additives, is strong and bitter. Even with sweetener this is bitter. Wow. Time to cut back on the amount. I also need to dial way back the water temp. Teavivre calls for 60-80 C on the description. I was way hotter than that (d’oh). I probably won’t have this again today but I will change what I am doing next time and give an update. One of the things Teavivre suggests mixing this with is chocolate, so you know we are going there at some point.
I’ve learned two things already this morning and it’s not even seven. First, peaches and cream oatmeal sounds far better than the wretched stench that I just had in a bowl. Ick. Of course there are more packets of it than anything else in the box. So there’s that.
Second, a little tired of trying to stir green tea powder in to cold milk, I used some hot water first before adding milk. The hot water released a roasted almost dark roasted oolong flavor into my cup. Very unexpected. So this morning’s mug is not the frap alternative I’ve been drinking. I did have caramel and vanilla syrup in the hot mix as well. Later today I have to try this as just a tea.
Woke up at 5:00 with just the beginnings of the massive headache I have been getting lately. Got up and wandered about a bit and went back to bed. Slept til 7 and got up with no headache! It is going to be a good day.
Made my favorite breakfast of milk, assorted syrups, and green tea powder. Cold refreshing and tasty. Hoping to have some wonderful brewed teas next this morning.
Took this one out of cold storage this morning as I finished off a tin of The Persimmon Tree Matcha yesterday. This was a Black Friday purchase. Freezer storage has not hurt it at all. I went a little easy on the powder today using a heaping 1/2 tsp. I had worked my way up to a full heaping spoon of the matcha. I originally started with only a 1/4 tsp.
I try to start my day with a glass of milk so I can take my morning medicine without it hurting my stomach. Milk is boring so I used to liven it up with chocolate. I haven’t touched the Hershey’s in months. I now use about 10 oz of 2% milk, a heavy splash of caramel syrup, and a lighter splash of vanilla syrup (both are sugar free). I used to mix in shaved ice. First thing in the morning that takes too much effort and just isn’t necessary.
Today I am using my new tiny nylon whisk I got at Bed Bath & Beyond to mix it together. (Thanks for checking into it gmathis) The whisk worked great and the nylon means I am not disturbing anyone with clanking of metal on ceramic.
The matcha turns the milk sort of a mint green, whereas this green tea powder turns it more clay/brown. Neither is the dark forest green of Starbuck’s Green Tea Frappuccino. I have learned to accept the difference. I have also discovered I like the taste of my concoction better.
I have never tried either as just a straight tea. With milk only and no syrup the matcha edges ahead slightly. Both, but especially the green tea powder, can cause stomach burn until you build up a tolerance, so start small. The difference in taste between green tea powder and matcha, when mixed as I use it, is pretty minute. Both make a satisfying drink. This is $10.90 for 3.5 oz the matcha is $15.99 for 2.5 oz. I have never used expensive matcha and at this point don’t find it necessary as I don’t drink it straight.
I am perfectly happy with either but this is less expensive – of course both last a really long time.
Rant on. I am right at the limit on my monthly internet (20 Gb) They will probably shut my account down shortly. It will restart tomorrow on the first of the month. Verizon suddenly refused to renegotiate with our provider. Verizon’s greed knows no bounds. They doubled our monthly bill when they took over. $100 for internet and I can’t even watch TV shows or movies – seriously? I live in the middle of nowhere. It is overpriced wifi or nothing. Rant off.
So this morning I mixed some organic green tea powder with 2% milk and added a splash of caramel syrup (zero calories) and a half splash vanilla syrup. I got them in the coffee/tea section at Walmart. Have so say, it is pretty tasty. It is not quite Starbucks but it is as close as I have gotten. Also have to say that as cheap as this green tea powder is, it is close enough. Basically the only calories are in the 2% milk. I try to start my day with a glass of milk. I usually use chocolate syrup. I think I like this better, which is good because I have like 5 ounces of green tea powder. I do miss the vivid green of Starbucks – this is more clay colored – but I’ll get over it.
See you on the first. Stupid Verizon.
I will eventually try this as a hot beverage but not today. I finally got proportions worked out for a nice frothy frappuccino type drink. Once I accepted this is not going to taste like Starbucks (because it is not matcha) I liked it fine. The main problem is learning to use less. A 1/2 tsp in a 16 oz drink is plenty. I made a creamy, sweet, green tinted tan concoction. The taste is more brown than green.
Safety tip – when you use a blender make sure the base is screwed on tightly. Yeah, all over the desk top.
Second attempt at this one. In the blender I used 1 cup of 2% milk. 2 oz of vanilla yogurt (per Lala’s suggestion), 2 packets of Splenda, a small tray of shaved ice (about 1 cup), and 1/2 tsp of tea powder.
The addition of the yogurt really helps as did cutting down the amount of powder. It still tastes a little like I imagine a protein powder drink tastes but much improved. It is very thick and creamy. It is not quite a replacement for my green tea frappe but I will definitely do this again. Next time I may use banana yogurt.
Bought a bag of this powder in the Black Friday sale. This is my first attempt using it. I have a Hamilton Beach Freeze Fountain which is an ice shaver. I used a small tray of ice cubes. After shaving the ice, I put it in my blender and added about 10 oz of milk (Yes my den is better equipped than our first kitchen). Then I opened the tea pouch and watched a green powdery fog come out it. My desk is a mess. Took out a half scoop which is a healthy tsp of leaf. Kicked on the blender which created a clay colored (not green) thick foam. Poured into a tall glass and then remembered I did not add sweetener. Had to stir it in with a spoon. Everything mixed well even if I should have reversed the order a bit.
I learned several things –
1. Obviously, Starbucks is not using China green tea powder (as I had hoped) in their green tea frappachino. :(
2. I need to use a little less tea and a lot more sweetener next time.
3. Tea powder is messy and clean up will take a little effort.
4. The ice shaver/blender combo works great. I want to try this with a strong black tea, maybe an Earl Grey.
As for the taste, it is different. Good different – bad different I haven’t decided. I think I’ll add either a touch of vanilla or a little vanilla yogurt and see what happens. Plain it tastes kind of generic green tea with an earthy quality. I drank it all pretty quickly but still don’t know what I think. I do know I have a lot of it and I am not afraid to experiment.
I seem to have flip-flopped back into a nocturnal sleep schedule again, and I am ok with that because it means I am super creative. Not sure why that goes hand in hand but I seem to be much more keen on spending hours on various craft projects when they are in the wee hours of the morning. Last night I discovered that mixing Perler Beads and embroidery makes for some awesome designs, of course these observations were made with the help of copious amounts of tea.
Today’s tea Organic Superfine Keemun Fragrant Black Tea by Teavivre is a beautiful Red tea (or Black tea to us Westerners) from Huangshan in Anhui, China. Fun fact, Keemun is one of China’s Ten Famous Teas and is one of the prominent ingredients in English Breakfast. The aroma of this tea is a wonderful blend of earthy, floral, and muscatel. It combines the rich, loamy aroma of the forest with freshly harvested grapes and a gentle hint of squash flowers. This tea has a very pleasant and gentle aroma, even though they are all very distinct it feels more like an olfactory caress than a bombardment.
While the leaves are steeping I notice a lovely muscatel aroma filling the room, it is honey sweet and reminds me of scupernongs. The leaves out of the water still retain their muscatel aroma with notes of honey and wildflowers. The earthy notes are less pronounced in the steeped leaves, and there is a mild yeasty note at the end. The liquid’s aroma is warm and sweet reminding me of honey, apple butter, and sun-warmed scupernongs. The aroma very much so reminds me of warm summer days in my Grandparent’s garden.
The first thing I notice about the taste is the strong muscatel note, it is sweet and rich, again reminding me of scupernongs. There are also notes of earthiness and a slight hint of oaky astringency at the mid-taste that adds a wonderful brightness to the flavor. There is a honey sweet aftertaste that becomes more prominent as it cools. I also noticed a very slight note of squash as well which was surprising but enjoyable. As the tea cools the earthy mid-taste fades to loam which compliments the oak notes. This tea is wonderfully complex and enjoyable! I certainly recommend drinking it straight as additives would not blend well with the flavors.
This arrived yesterday and was an impulse buy thanks to the awesome Teavivre Black Friday sale.
The leaves are dark brown with some golden tips and stem amongst them. They are small for the most part but are squiggly and thin. It has a rich cocoa and sweet wooden scent.
Using my new Gongfu teapot which holds 200ml with 7g of tea.
1 minute – Smoky, sweet, musky and wooden. A rich first steep with a wonderful dark and smoky base that carries on through to the after taste.
2 minutes – The smoke has carried through but this steep is sweeter than the previous steep. Also getting some fruit behind the smoke and wood, like mature prunes. The after taste has some cocoa.
3 minutes – It’s still smoky and smooth and the prune is thicker in this steep. So very wooden and mature.
It’s a nice smoky black tea and though it will never replace my beloved Yun Nan Dian Hong Golden Tips this is a nice alternative for when I want some variation. Very happy I got this tea, it’s certainly a welcome addition to my black tea collection.
Haaaa, I guess I should have read everyone else’s reviews before I attempted to brew this! I used all 8 balls that were in my sample pack, brewed at 204 like the package said…luckily I only steeped for a couple of minutes ;)
I will definitely get several resteeps today, heh.
This is very nice! Reminds me of Mandala Special Dark without the puerh taste. Very rich and dark and malty! This is definitely one I will restock some day :D
This tea is kind of hard to describe, but really good. I’m getting nutty, vegetal, seaweed-like flavors (but in a pleasant, unharsh way). Some other people say it reminded them of miso soup, which I guess I can sort of see in that it has a nice thick, broth-like mouthfeel, but the taste doesn’t make me think of that.