2201 Tasting Notes
My university is totally killing me lately. They have not been able to get my pay disbursement right, and even their attempts at fixing it have been royally f***ed up. Plus now my university email address is bouncing all mail sent to it. Joy! >:(
I needed some nice, relaxing tea. I haven’t had any of my Naivetea teas in a long time, even though there are some that I am head over heels with. This is one of those teas.
Oh my god why have I not drank this recently. This tea is so absolutely delicious its mind blowing. So incredibly naturally sweet, it’s as if I’m actually drinking passion fruit juice, but better because there is amazing green oolong flavor behind it. Gotta drink this more often, and get a whole tin of it from Naivetea at some point.
Well this is certainly making me feel a bit better. Can always rely on tea.
I actually drank this match yesterday and today, but neglected to log it yesterday. I am really loving this one and have hit my stride preparing it, stumbling out of bed in the morning to put water on the stove. I do use about a tsp of sugar to really bring out the caramel, but not because it’s bitter or anything (because it’s not). I am eager to try all the rest of my flavors that I just ordered!
I received this one as a free sample in my latest Verdant order. It’s a tea I’ve been meaning to try but have never got around to ordering or requesting a sample, so I’m glad David read my mind and included it. The website says that the current harvest (2012) is acutally sold out, so I guess I got some of the last bits of it!
The dry tea smells surprisingly floral and not grassy-green teaish at all. Steeped western style it has that lovely, bakery-ish buttery aroma I have come to associate with fine green teas. I never knew about that before, so the first time I encountered it, it was a shock! A pleasant shock. This one doesn’t fall into the cookie-ish category on the flavor, though. No, this is bright and fruity and a tiny bit floral. It also has this almost tingly feel to the sip. There’s also a bit of a snap pea flavor lurking about the edges. This tea is oh so summery to me, which makes it kind of an odd choice for a fall day, but it is delicious nonetheless. I feel like I could have probably used a bit more leaf, not shocking since it is so curly and thus difficult to dish out with a teaspoon, but it still has a good amount of flavor and plenty of aroma.
Oh Golden Fleece, you are so freaking amazing. So naturally sweet, so spicy and smooth at the same time. It is such a great fall tea, what with it’s spiced sweet-potato flavors. And honey. Major yum. I don’t have a lot of time to write about this tea today, but you can bet I am savoring it.
I wanted to try this tea again since it has been a long time since I last had it. The last time I was pleasantly surprised but I wished it was an all black tea instead of a black/green blend, and I think that holds here. Despite that, it is a nicely almondy tea, and definitely one of the more almondy ones I’ve encountered over the years. It does have a marzipanny feel and a bit of an apricot hint, which really brightens up the sip, but I just wish it was on a yummier base. Still, it’s tasty and one of the few teas I’ve found that’s really almondy enough for me!
Hmm, I could have sworn I would have done a review for this tea already, but perhaps not. I am in any case almost finished with the large sample from MBSC, though I think I gave some of it away. I am drinking it this morning for the benefits of the raspberry leaf in it, which has helped me out in the past. I thought that another raspberry black tea that I had was the same as this one (i.e., sourced from MBSC), but it appears that it is lacking the raspberry leaf, so I may be looking for a source for that in a bit.
Anyway, this tea is tasty enough, with a nice sweet-tart raspberry flavor, and enough raspberry leaf to do the trick. It’s not quite enough of a draw to make me want to repurchase, mostly because the black tea is kind of meh and I want some straight raspberry leaf for future months.
This morning I had to get up at, no joke, 3:30am so I could drive two hours to the airport for my flight to Ohio to visit my boyfriend. If there was ever a time to need to the matcha energy boost, it was this morning!
I did a dual preparation, first off a bowl of hot matcha. This time I used probably 3/4tsp of matcha, and I actually measured out 8oz of water. Pour, whisk, pour. This time after I added all of the water I took a sip and was amazed. Here was the natural sweetness that people talk about with matcha. Even the addition of a little sugar (to try to bring out the caramel a biiiit more, but really it was pretty prevalent) didn’t really do much to it. I finally think I figured out a decent matcha prep method! When I first sip I don’t necessarily taste tons of caramel, but it quickly builds up to be nice and strong.
For my second preparation I tried the “cold brew” matcha so I could take it with me on the road. A half teaspoon of matcha in an old Simply Orange juice bottle (~13oz), a little cold water, a lot of shaking until it looked dissolved enough, and then I filled the rest of the bottle up with cold water. At first sip I thought I hadn’t added enough matcha. It seemed weak. But a couple more sips reassured me that it actually had good flavor, and the caramel came through well. This prep was so easy and so delicious… all of the matcha-y natural sweetness, all of the lovely caramel flavor.
Even that much matcha can’t really help keep me alert now that I’m at the airport waiting for the plane, but it certainly made the drive go well.
Last time I held off rating this one because I didn’t steep it long enough and it was weak. This time I steeped it four minutes, so hopefully that should be good enough!
Yes, now that this has been brewed stronger it is quite delicious. The base is lovely and caramelly and honeyed, sweet almost, with the bright bergamot on top. The bergamot is particulaly bright in this one, but that’s just about all I get from it… brightness. I wish the bergamot was a bit stronger, or at least a bit more well-rounded. Still, this is quite a delicious cup of Earl Grey and I wouldn’t hesitated to buy it again in a pinch.
Matcha, take three. I was going to make a matcha latte this morning but discovered that my milk had gone sour. So I decided to try again, this time with just sugar.
Today I pre-warmed my bowl with some boiling water before letting the rest cool off in my saucepan (oh yeah, because in my new apartment I don’t have any kind of kettle lol). This of course left the inside of my bowl wet, so then I was concerned about the match I then sifted in “oversteeping” I dunno, does matcha oversteep? Anyway, I put in a sprinkle of sugar as well, and then after the water was cool enough I poured just enough in to loosen up all the matcha on the bottom. Then a few more ounces to whisk in. After that I tasted it and, yup, bitter. I poured in a bit more water and a bit more sugar, whisked harder (satisfyingly got lots of foam!), then tasted. It wasn’t bitter, but it was very earthy and not exactly what I was looking for. I want caramel! Maybe I just had to have it in a latte? I think I realized that it seems like most people use more water (or milk) in their final product; I heard one person say that 1tsp of matcha should make an 8oz bowl. This never sounded like it would make that much difference to me (what would it do, just make it weaker?), but at this point I figured why not, and I dumped probably enough water to make about 8oz into the bowl, and color me surprised! It wasn’t so earthy at all, just light and pleasant, and a third sprinkle of sugar (so, probably a tsp total?) really brought out the caramel. It was so satisfying to make a delicious bowl of matcha without milk. Well, by the time I finish this tin of matcha maybe I will have truly figured it out.
I realized today that I haven’t had an oolong in a while. It’s been almost all black tea, black tea, black tea since I got back in the country. But something triggered in my mind and all of the sudden I really craved a tieguanyin. Also I went through my tea stash recently to update my swaps list, and I saw this one lying neglected in the back of the cupboard. For shame, and one of my favorite teas! It will be a very sad day when I run out of this one.