2188 Tasting Notes
Wow, it has been forEVER since I have had matcha! Between all the traveling and the moving, I just didn’t have the time or the equipment for it. But I actually got a bamboo matcha whisk for Christmas this year, and I was excited to try it out finally! I have been making my matcha with a regular metal kitchen whisk for months so I was interested to see how it would make a difference.
I made a matcha latte, although with real milk instead of almond milk as I had been. Turns out I prefer the almond milk! I think because the milk we had was 1%, so it was considerably waterier than the almond milk. Honestly the matcha whisk seemed odd to me but that is mostly likely because I am so used to whisking the dickens out of it with a metal whisk. It didn’t do much for the foam on the pre-milk matcha, but I did get a nice foam after adding the warm milk. So glad to get my matcha routine started again!
Like many people, it seems, I got a free sample of this in my recent order from Teavana. Given that the first ingredient listed was German rock sugar, I spent some time pulling out pieces before steeping this so it wouldn’t be crazy sweet. They were pretty easy to take out since they are very large, and I purposely left in some of the smaller chunks because I was planning on brewing this with milk.
I guess I didn’t think about the fact that oolong an mate would not make a dark brew, but it still was surprising to see a very light colored chai when I poured it out. I may have used a bit too much milk to brew it with because it seems like a lot of the flavors are muted. Mostly I just get a ton of cinnamon, and maybe a hint of clove. I’ve never tried the green version of Harney’s Hot Cinnamon Spice, but this seems like what it would taste like (with milk in it). In any case I will likely brew this one without milk first next time, then add a splash of milk after I try it to see if I can coax any other flavors out of it.
This is one of my favorite blends, made all the more amazing because I am not typically impressed with Teavana’s blends. So when I happened to see that it was on sale during the sale recently, I went ahead and bought 4oz, which for me is enough tea to last a looooong time.
This morning I had some and managed somehow to not boil enough water to fill my teapot, so I steeped it for a bit shorter than normal to make up for the higher tea:water ratio. It worked out perfectly, with not a trace of bitterness. Just lots of almond and rose, two of my favorite flavors ever (I have particularly been on a rose kick lately). Yum.
I discovered 3 extra sachets of this tea recently… I had thought I was all out. I had one sachet a few days ago and I am having a second now. And I am definitely remembering why I love this tea so much. This was really the tea that got me into tea and I still love it so much. Eventually I will pick up some more for sure, though it may be a while before I can bring myself to make another tea order. I will miss it once I actually am officially out!
I picked up a big tin of this tea at the Kusmi shop in NYC before I left. Yes, I have officially moved away from New York, and all of its lovely tea shops. It’s definitely a bit sad but I am moving on.
I bought a whole large tin of this tea because it was not included in their Russian sampler collection but I very much wanted to try it, since it included almonds and rose as two main flavors. I do not have optimal brewing conditions here at my parents’ house, but I can tell I will definitely enjoy this tea a lot when brewed properly. I definitely get light almond and rose, with a bit of orange. A very pleasant blend.
I am using up the last of my sample for this cup, and I am somewhat sad to see it go. I wouldn’t have expected to enjoy a blend of these ingredients (peppermint? chamomile? chocolate?), but I really do. I didn’t really have quite enough actual tea left in my sample for a cup, so I threw in an extra pinch of Laoshan Black.
Today I really need the calming yet awakening properties of this tea. Dissertation committee meeting this afternoon, and I already know it’s going to go poorly (I mean, it’s a committee meeting, they never go well). I steeped this up and I am just sitting here next to it, waiting for it to cool enough for me to drink it, and I started smelling wafts of what smelled a lot like amaretto. Wuh? No, just the notes of this tea combining in an intriguing way.
Very tasty, and I am consistantly getting those amaretto notes in the aroma this time around, but not in the flavor. The flavor is all lovely Laoshan black with additions. Man I love Verdant’s blends.
Sample #2 of the day. This one comes to me thanks to Faith!
Not being very familiar with the Canadian prairie, I have never had Saskatoon berries. But I am always up for a new and interesting fruit!
The the tea smells very berry-ish, definitely the tart, sweet kind. I also smell the warm, roasted oolong base underneath that seems like it goes pretty well. I am getting quite a lot of tart berry from the flavor, cranberry for sure and perhaps Saskatoon berry, though I don’t know that I would be able to identify it. The oolong base is a touch roasty but not very strongly so. As opposed to several other reviewers, I get basically no maple syrup, and I would hvae liked some maple syrup. Still, this is a pretty tasty tea and I enjoyed it.
I am trying to do some sample stashbusting for the rest of this week! Lets see how many samples I can get through before I move.
I had a sample of this before, but another sample pouch of this came to me via Infusin_Susan, I believe. I really liked this one before and am interested to see how it comes off now, since my tastes have changed quite a bit from the last time I tried this.
I have to say that whereas once was quite a fan of this, now it’s decent but not great. I don’t know what to point out except that I don’t think I am really that much of a lavender fan. That said the lavender in this is light and not soapy, which helps its cause a lot. I think it is partly the base that I no longer care for so much; it has a particular flavor that I am just not digging. But it is still a drinkable cup and I am enjoying it.
I drank this one earlier today while doing some work. I wanted to try this one (and once again, Alphakitty was willing to oblige… thanks so much!) because I love nutty flavored things and nutty flavored teas. I wasn’t totally sure about chestnut because I didn’t grow up eating roasted chestnuts or anything so I am not super familiar with the taste of them. I do love chestnut-filled mochi that I buy at the asian grocer, so I figured that there would be a good chance I would like this.
To me, this is like you took some of the buttery, nutty, and what I call cookie-ish notes that are naturally present in some awesome straight green teas and turned them up to 11. I was never able to properly identify those notes in those teas, but now I know they are chestnut notes. I would assume that the base teas contain some of these notes to start, but they have just added to them in such a way that it makes it seem like it is totally natural. Really, quite a delicious tea and one that I could definitely see getting more of.
Backlog from yesterday.
I also got this tea from Alphakitty, thanks!
This was pretty pleasant. The base of the tea was similar to the pumpkin cream: uninspiring, but inoffensive. The apple was juicy, the caramel was definitely caramel “flavored” but not very authentically. It’s like some caramel candies, or caramel flavored things that don’t have caramel in them inherantly. Again, not necessarily bad, but just with that hint of fakeness to it. Still, again, I drank up my cup of this tea with pleasure.