39 Tasting Notes
Today I graduated from college. As a gift, my uncle made me a ceramic teacup that he made on a pottery wheel, glazed, and fired himself. It is beautiful and tiny (only holds 4 ounces), which is perfect for sharing a pot with my boyfriend (my uncle made him one too!), and if I really want to get a lot of re-steeps from less leaves. It’s so smooth and squat, and cups nicely in my hands, no handle. The bottom half is a deep, velvet blue, and the top half is a golden caramel color, and there’s a drizzle of sky-blue/turquoise dripping down through both halves from the lip. The inside of the cup is a speckled robin’s egg blue with a big smooth blob of white glaze at the bottom. Simply beautiful, and I am in love with it. My boyfriend’s is gorgeous too.
Tonight I christened it with something simple and elegant to compliment the beauty of this little cup (and that doesn’t have so much caffeine that it will keep me awake). This silver needle is perfect to wind down from all the excitement of the day before I go to sleep. It also holds up to lots and lots and re-steeping. i drank two tiny cups tonight, and I’m sure I’ll have at least two more in the morning (all from an itty bitty half teaspoon of these light-as-air leaves.)
First 4 minute steep was light and comforting. Very delicate. It’s hard to describe the flavor. I want to say ‘sweet hay’, but I mean that in the best way possible. The second steep was 5 minutes, and I think by virtue of the leaves actually being mostly wet (the tea is so light, I still had dry leaves floating on top after the first steep), the flavor was a bit more deep and complex. The very light amber color matched beautifully with the colors and the ‘mood’ of the cup. Elegant, sophisticated, and understated. I find new and intriguing things about this tea every time I brew it.
I am bursting with joy, and I feel so fortunate to be surrounded by so many family, loved ones, and friends.
Uncomplicated, approachable green tea. The papaya and pineapple bits lend a bit too much sweetness for me (and I drink it bare). I am reminded of sugar embalmed pineapple chunks in a trail mix. This tastes promising for an iced selection and for entertaining friends. No off-putting bitterness. It’s just a nice, fruity green, but just not my thing.
Made myself a green tea latte this morning with the steam wand on my espresso machine (oh, I love being done with college!) by steaming milk with two teaspoons of sweet matcha and a half a teaspoon of regular matcha (to cut down the sweetness and increase the green-ness). I poured it out in my new spring green mug, full of velvety rich green foam (I also love being a barista!), and it was bliss.
I upped the rating slightly, but only because the intention of this product is to make tasty treats such as green tea lattes, lemonades, or baked goods, and not so much to whisk in a bowl to drink straight.
Trying to brew through this big ol’ bag. Today I scooped a generous 1.5 teaspoons into my brew basket and dusted with the slightest pinch of matcha powder before dunking it in my mug. Today it brewed up my favorite shade of lime! Nice fullness and warmth and just the right balance of astringency. Dry finish.
I found a recipe for a green tea sugar scrub, and I think I will probably use this tea to make it with because it seems like it has a good ‘toning’ element. That, and that I still have a ton of this stuff.
Mmm, good evening my savory little kukicha. I bought more of you and a pretty little glass spice jar with an airtight seal to keep you in. First loose tea I have ever restocked in my collection, you are the first inductee into my ‘standard stock’ of tea. Looking at those pretty creamy key lime stems as I walk by the kitchen makes me happy. :)
Marathon study session for the boyfriend and I tonight. Our last finals of our college career are on Wednesday, so we’re sprinting to the finish with many cups of tea. He’s not as much into green as I am, but tonight he agreed to share some of this sencha with me. I used 4 generous teaspoons to about 20 ounces of hot water, which turned out not quite as strong as I like it, but mild enough for the boyfriends’ tastes.
It tastes… unremarkable, but in a comforting sort of way. This tea is starting to lose my favor somewhat, but I think it’s just because I would rather be drinking kukicha or jasmine pearls.
It’s fun to make tea in a coffee press. :)
Either me or my boyfriend purchased a little sample baggie of this from Central Market about a year ago. Stumbled upon it unexpectedly and brewed some up for the two of us in a coffee press. I am wary about hibiscus and blends with a lot of citrusy ingredients because it is really easy to overdo the tartness, so I was conservative in the amount of tea and the steep time. I am also wary of hibiscus due to so many negative experiences with Tazo Passion tea at work. The smell of hibiscus alone can turn me off quickly. Not to mention my former love of making raspberry passion tea lemonades to take home with me until I spilled it all over the car on the drive home… twice.
Annnnyway, this stuff brews up a beautiful (and expected) shade of hot pink. It smells fruity and tart. It tastes… like hibiscus. I’m getting a pretty interesting kool-aid taste, but not particularly lychee-y or pineapple-y. It’s definitely a slightly different, and pleasant, flavor. Very juicy and begging to be iced.
This is one of those teas that is just likable because it’s sweet and tangy and fruity. Even people who don’t drink tea will probably enjoy this one. I’m sure it would play nice with different lemonades/limeades or mixed in a fruit juice or a fruit punch too. Maybe a lemon-lime soda? Good for a summer picnic by the lake.
That being said, I can appreciate this tea, but it’s just not my thing.
This is my first loose leaf white tea experience. The boyfriend and I took a trip out to the bigger Central Market in north Austin, and we got a few different baggies of tea. While I was perusing the shelves, I saw the name ‘Silver Needle’. Remembering how highly rated I’ve seen teas with that name on Adagio, I decided to give it a go. The promise of ‘melon’ notes had something to do with it as well. The tea is so light that I scooped quite a large volume of leaves before it would even register on the scale. I got a little baggie full for only 65 cents!
I came home and did a little research on steeping times. The consensus I found was quite a long steep, which surprised me. As the leaves were brewing, they turned from a light silvery color to a sage green. They also crackled and popped a little as they opened up in the water. Very nice. It took three steeps before the leaves were even completely wet since a lot of them just floated on top of the water.
Putting the cup up to my nose, I kept expecting to smell jasmine, but it was just a faint sweet, hot water smell. The tea was not astringent or bitter at all. It was very light. As I took my first sip, my Facebook newsfeed started blowing up with the first reactions to Osama’s death, so I was in quite an excited state as I was drinking this. I drank several cups while streaming President Obama’s announcement and live video of crowds cheering in front of the white house. I wanted to taste melon, and I think I only tasted a little as it started to cool because that’s what I wanted to taste.
I’ll give this another shot when I am not distracted.
Yikes, I spent waaay too much money on these after the clerk ‘accidentally’ poured a little too much and asked if that was okay. Then she did the exact same thing with my boyfriend’s purchase. And THEN she had the nerve to try to sell us some big overpriced tin to go with it. The atmosphere made me uncomfortable.
Getting over that aspect, the pearls are quite nice. They smell sweet and delicate. I love to watch them float and sink and slowly unfurl. The tea itself is nice, but it takes a longer steep than recommended, and closer to two teaspoons to get it strong enough for my liking. I am also trying to warm up to Chinese green teas, and I’m trying to put my finger on what makes them different from Japanese teas and why I don’t like the roasted ones as much as steamed varieties.
This tea also makes me feel sleepy because of the floral-yness. Definitely save this for the evening.
The way I operate most days is I wake up first thing in the morning and scoop a teaspoon of whatever I will drink that day, and make my first cup, and then go off to do what I need to do. Some days, I return home within a few hours and I brew my second and third cups. Other days, I know I’ll be gone all day, so I brew up those second and third cups and pour them in my water bottle with some ice to sip throughout the day.
This sencha has been nice and consistent for me, but nothing special, like your ratty old comfiest jeans. However, this morning, in continuation of my trend of dusting my leaves with matcha powder (Bring on the GREEN!), I scooped an extra half a teaspoon of leaves in my cup (Note to self: maybe I should’ve been doing that all along; it tastes wonderful!), and a little pinch of matcha and shook them up until the leaves were coated. Then I steeped like usual. Mmm!
I try not to judge a green by its color (it’s not easy bein’ green…), but I’m a sucker for teas that brew up bright spring GREEN as opposed to the very common gold hue. This one brewed up the perfect shade of spring, and it tasted, balanced, creamy, and RICH with greenness.