94 Tasting Notes
I’ve found that it’s really hard to compare this to plain, unflavored matcha—they’re two different animals. Even though Mandarin Matcha isn’t the same as regular matcha, it’s still wonderful in its own way. The powder is olive green, rather than the bright, radioactive green of fresh matcha. I’m guessing the color is due to the pulverized dried orange that is mixed in with the matcha, and not just the quality of the matcha itself. The smell is flowery and sweet.
Today I’m using two scoops and 4 ounces of hot water. The color of the tea is a murky green, and quite a bit different from that characteristic jade green color of regular matcha tea. Mandarin Matcha does not foam, no matter how hard or how long I whisk it. Only a few weak bubbles appear at the surface.
The taste is a bit weaker and sweeter than regular matcha is at this concentration. I’m guessing this is because of the orange that’s mixed in with the matcha dilutes it. The orange taste is light and not artificial tasting. There is a strange sharpness or sourness near the back/middle of my tongue, but it’s bearable. Happily, there is no bitterness.
In exchange for the orange note, you do lose some of the vegetal/grassy flavor of regular matcha. At the same time, there is an interesting blossomy component to it that I didn’t taste in the plain matcha I have on hand. And oh, the smell! The smell of Mandarin Matcha is divine. Juicy orange, tart and sweet, cream, and matcha.
I think it’s a good change of pace from regular matcha. The novelty of the orange flavor certainly makes it worth trying. While I don’t know if I’d consider it the best matcha I’ve ever had, it has earned a place in my cabinet.
Sadness! I’ve tried this twice so far using my Zarafina, and I never got the caramel taste. Instead, I got smokiness—almost like the black tea version of Shanti by The Simple Leaf. The cup I made at the “green” Zarafina setting was not bitter at all and went down easily without sugar or milk—a rarity for me. I didn’t get to taste the tea made at “Oolong” setting until 5-6 hours after it had been brewed, and it was cold and super bitter (there was a lone tea leaf in my mug, so maybe it kept steeping).
Sigh. I need a thermometer, I guess.
This is the first “plain” Irish Breakfast tea I’ve had (that I can remember) and I have say…I am not fan. It brewed up very dark and looked like coffee, which is neat. Surprisingly it wasn’t bitter at all.
But the flavor….gag me. I love English Breakfast and black teas, but this just didn’t work for me. To me, it smells and tastes like salty yams and garbage. Someone else’s tasting note said “sewage”, ha. I had tried Adagio’s Aries blend, and it had the same yucky taste, which I assumed was from the chai…nope. It must have been from the Irish Breakfast mixed in.
If this is was “malty” tastes like…well, I don’t think I like malt, then.
I’ve been on a milk tea kick lately, so I thought I’d open up this tin and churn out a tasting note. What can I say? It tastes a whole lot like caramel, and not much like anything else. The caramel is similar in taste to homemade, slightly-burnt, caramelized sugar. The caramel flavor component is quite strong and can be easily detected by tongue, but it balances well with the black tea flavor. Luckily, the tea doesn’t taste fruity the way Adagio’s black base often tastes. It’s just a nice, solid black tea flavor that supports the caramel. It is a bit astringent (drying) but not particularly bitter. However, I would imagine that oversteeping this one would lead to a very bitter cup.
I know some teas are all smell and no flavor. Adagio’s Caramel is not one of those teas. This tastes just as much like caramel as it smells. With a little milk and sweetener, it’s almost as though someone melted a milk caramel and stirred it into some black tea.
While there’s not a lot going on in this tea, I rather like it. It’s simple, and seems like it would be great for mixing with other teas.
Just made a super-sweet dessert shake using this. I mixed milk, a very ripe banana, some egg custard powder, and a scoop of this in a blender. It came out very sweet so I’ll probably forgo the custard powder next time, or use less. This would probably be better with ice, too. I’m actually going to try and make a banana matcha custard out of this…I wonder if it will work.
Had a bit too much to drink last night at a party I helped throw, and then had to get up super early this morning to make it to my volunteer shift. Factor in menstrual cramps, walking through the freezing morning cold to get to my job, party clean up duty, a ton of catch-up homework I have to do, and an nerve wracking interview this afternoon, today just might be the worst day ever. So, I heated up a cup of chai, hoping it would make things a little better….and, I didn’t even get to drink it because I had to go and clean up after the party. I just got back, and now I have a cold cup of chai sitting on my desk. Sadness. Well, it still tastes okay, but it’s not quite hitting the spot. The spices are coming through surprisingly well, considering I only steeped it for 3 minutes and used a lot of milk. Lots of cinnamon. It doesn’t seem as special as I remember it being. At least it’s a lot better than that Adagio Aries blend monstrosity.
I have to wonder…am I losing my taste for chai?
Oh hai, Adagio tea! Sorry for not visiting recently, I’ve been really busy with school and have been spending most of my time at my friend matcha’s house. Anyway, how’s it going? Oh hey, so, since I have so much of you, I think I’m going to use a little more than a teaspoon this time. Is that okay? Gosh, I hate treating you this way….it’s not like I want to get rid of you or anything…it’s just that we need some time apart, you know? I just feel like you’re suffocating me whenever I look over to the cupboard and see you sitting there, glaring at me. I think having a little room to expand and unfurl and steep will be good for both of us.
Anyway, I’ve thought maybe I’d turn the temperature down a little, since there’s so much of you in the basket. Oh my gosh, no I am not calling you fat! Aww, now you’re being all sweet to me…thanks Valentines. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to call you a tin of ground up cardboard disguised as tea. I’m so glad you’re not all bitter over that either. You’re style seems so different at this temperature…you’re kind of fruity, kind of clean even. Wow, this temperature really suits you! Maybe this won’t be the end of our relationship, after all…
Edit: Wait, duh Shanti, there’s some residual milk in my cup that I forgot about. No wonder this is so much smoother and less bitter than I remember. Sigh. I thought you were different…