421 Tasting Notes
I picked this one up on a whim the other day in the market. I like tisanes now and again and I realized I don’t have any. I wasn’t expecting anything stellar from a bagged tea. But I was happily very wrong. All I can taste and smell is blueberry and it is awesome. So flavorful and a perfect late afternoon/evening tea. In fact I had a coworker ask me if I had baked blueberry muffins when I made a cup this morning!
Flavors: Blueberry, Fruity, Pastries, Sweet
Tea of the morning, I didn’t get to make anything before I left the house this morning. Thankfully I had this on hand at work. Not much to say about it. It’s good and it certainly wakes me up. But it was hard to place any distinct flavors in this one.
So this morning I took some with me in my tea tumbler (after brewing it up in the one touch). Brewing it in the one touch wasn’t the bad idea. The bad idea was carrying it in the tea tumbler. When I got to work and poured my first cup it tasted burnt. This was not the way I wanted to start my Thursday.
I naturally did not want to review those two cups of tea. So instead I heated the water to 180 and opted to break in Mr. TEA infuser to steep the leaves and toasted rice. I will say this Adagio does use a lot of toasted rice in their version of genmai cha. I’m not against this (I for one love the taste) but I’d like to see some green tea in there too!
A word on Mr. TEA. He’s a pretty cool guy who hangs on your tea cup while he steeps your tea in his “pants”. Yeah, I thought of this one after I started sipping…but let it go in favor of enjoying my tea. He does a great job at steeping tea, the trouble comes when you need to clear out the tea leaves. It’s a little bit of a pain in the pants…pun intended! Thankfully I found that you CAN flip said pants inside out (do this carefully) and everything cleans up pretty well.
Right, back to the tea! Once again I get that really great taste of the toasted rice mixed with the vegetal taste of the green tea. But unlike the Shirakawa from earlier this week, I don’t get a specific veggie jumping out at me. Which makes me a little sad because spinach is my jam. There is the hint of a grassy flavor on the finish, but only a hint. I’m not saying it isn’t a good cup of tea. Just that the flavors were more pronounced in the genmaicha from Steepster.
Flavors: Grass, Green, Toasted Rice
I was going to try to save it as the last tea I reviewed, but as you can see this did not last long. Genmaicha’s are one of those green teas I love, even if some folks consider it a novel-tea. It is a bit weird for those drinking it for the first time. Besides the green tea there’s a lot going on here….fire-toasted and popped rice…in tea? Yeah actually that’s exactly what you’ll find mixed in with the green tea! Spoiler alert it’s usually amazing.
When I opened the package I was hit instantly with the scent of vegetal goodness and toasted rice. As someone who loves both veggies and rice I was instantly excited to get to steeping this tea. This time I chose to use the one touch’s water mode and customized my settings to match those suggested on the packaging. In this case 180 degrees – once ready I poured the water into the awaiting cast iron pot and set the timer for two minutes steep time. The minute the water hit the tea I got a great sniff of spinach and toasted rice. Honestly this tea smells good enough to eat (and I know people who have eaten their green teas before). I chose NOT to eat the steeped leaves…because the instructions say you get two steeps out of them. Also (personal opinion) it sounds a little gross to me.
The timer I set startled me as it’s set to some very load “Good morning” tune. I dashed into the kitchen to remove the basket in my tea pot and get down to sipping business! The smell is very vegetal with the added bonus of toasted rice. My husband the non-tea drinker thought it smelled “weird”. This is what I live with folks…please send help! (I kid) The taste is really nice and there is a little hint of sweetness to the tea. I am also, as the tasting notes suggest on the package, getting a taste of grass on the finish. But it isn’t bitter, which is what also turns me off green teas rather quickly. Of course the taste of toasted rice also carries through in each sip. All the flavors play so nice with one another! This is one smooth cup of genmaicha tea. I would really suggest picking up some if you have the chance. I know I might if the funds allow it.
Now I have tried many a genmaicha and I can tell you, not all are created equal. In fact I happened to order some from Adagio Teas (that arrived Monday) as I noticed I didn’t have any in the cabinet. So look for that review later this week and we’ll see how it measures up. As this particular genmaicha was really really good.
Flavors: Grass, Green, Spinach, Sweet, Toasted Rice, Vegetables, Vegetal
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My first box arrived yesterday. This months teas were sourced from Japan. To my horror most of the teas were green teas. Green teas and I have what I’d call a love/hate relationship. I want to love them, but usually I just hate them. BUT there was a black tea in the bunch so I chose to try that one first. Yes, yes I am a creature of habit and went with the tea type I know and love first. I can’t help it. And I will be trying the green teas later this week. Now that I have the one touch…it should be very hard to mess up these teas.
I used the one touch’s tea basket to make four cups of tea from the sample provided. Which leaves me with 1 tsp. left to sample. Note to self with the rest of the teas use the one touch as a water boiler only and prep the teas in the cast iron pot! This tea has a short steep time. But you also get two steeps out of it. Which is nice considering how much tea I just used. It also gives some information on the flavors I should get from the tea. I always find it funny when I’m given information on what I should taste in a tea, because I almost never have the same or similar tastes in my teas.
The loose leaf did not smell very floral or fruity to me. Instead it smelled more earthy like a pu-erh tea. This could perhaps be due to the organic fertilizer the farmer used when growing the tea. It isn’t a bad smell at all. In fact I really like it. Two and a half minutes later I was almost ready to take my first sips of tea. Steeped the tea smells more like a malty beer with a hint of olives. Weird right? I don’t get it either. It isn’t bad, just different and I tend to like different! The taste? I do get a little of the fruity taste promised on the package. I also detect a little honey and hops/malt to it too. Plus the taste of olives. I’m not sure why olives, but hand to kettle I’m tasting olives. Lucky for me I love olives. I’ll say it again NOT all tastebuds are the same. So you may taste sweet potatoes were you to try this tea. Big bonus there is a really clean finish. Meaning there isn’t any leftover taste in my mouth like I have found with other black teas.
Too long didn’t read….I liked it. I don’t know that I would buy more of it only because I have so much tea already (another reason I joined Select). But this isn’t a MUST HAVE for my tea cabinet.
Flavors: Fruity, Honey, Malt, Olives
Tea from early this morning. I enjoyed it. There was a great malty flavor to it that I loved. There was also a general all around richness to it. Shame I only bought the sample size!
Flavors: Honey, Malt, Sweet
Tea this evening….welp color me disappointed in this one. Once again I loved the smell of the vanilla and pear when I opened the package. But the steeped leaves smelled of some weird pear smell and the taste was also some almost cardboard fake pear taste. Sad to say but I’m dumping this down the drain….
I mixed up these two teas this morning to go with the gluten free blueberry scones I made. I really like how the cream tea tones down the lavender in the earl grey. Don’t get me wrong I like the EG Lavender just fine, but some days you want to tone it down a little. So good!
Flavors: Bergamot, Cream, Earl Grey, Pastries, Sweet
I broke out my cast iron tea pot for this afternoon tea blend…I mean I have all this GREAT tea ware that I never use. I figured it was time to stop waiting for a special reason to use this stuff! If you know me (or have read my reviews here on green teas) you know greens and I don’t typically get along AT ALL. I can never get them right. Usually I end up with a bitter brew which leaves me unhappy and the tea wasted. So I thought I’d try my hand at mixing two greens together!
I mixed the Pinhead Gunpowder with TWK’s Organic Sencha. I used a teaspoon of each tea and set my kettle for green tea temp. This will sound weird but the smell of the dry leaves just smelled green. When steeped there was more of that vegetal smell of spinach and kale, which I love. The taste? Well, it was awesome! I’m really loving these two teas together. Though I wish I’d added in some peppermint leaf to it. An added bonus is that the cast iron pot kept my tea warm without keeping it too warm and therefore BITTER. This mix is a win/win in my book.
Flavors: Green, Kale, Spinach