348 Tasting Notes
Thanks to Anlina for the sample, but this is definitely my least favourite of the lot. I’m finding it really bitter and chemical-tasting, and making it into a latte with milk and sugar didn’t really help. Probably 1tsp of “robust”-flavoured matcha was too much for a 12oz latte, but still. Oh well, can’t win ’em all. :)
Sample sipdown – thanks to Anlina for the sample!
This is pretty good. The dry tea has a really intense toffee aroma, which is there but much lighter in the brewed tea. The base tea has a light, vegetal, sightly sweet flavour. I’m getting mostly cucumber notes from it, actually. I like both the base tea and the flavouring, but I’m not totally sold on the combination. I think the toffee flavour might go better with a sweet Chinese black tea, maybe. Having said that, I’ve slurped back the whole cup while typing this review, so I can’t complain. :)
This is an interesting tea. I know I tried it western style before, but I think I was distracted while drinking it so I didn’t write a tasting note. This time I decided to make it in the gaiwan. 4g of leaf in a 100ml gaiwan, and it almost filled it, it’s such a fluffy leaf. The first couple of steeps were 30sec and then 60sec with 80C water. Then I tried 60sec and 30sec with 90C water. I’m still trying to figure this out. :)
The dry leaf smells kind of grassy and musty. Wet leaves smell like, well, wet leaves… like a pile of autumn leaves that has been sitting for a while and starting to decompose. The tea brews up a lovely golden colour.
The mouthfeel is almost syrupy, and there’s a slight nectar sweetness. I spent quite a while sipping and trying to decide what this tastes like, because it’s an odd blend of musty and grassy and slightly floral. Eventually I decided that it reminds me of alfalfa hay that has been sitting in the barn for a while. Like, that aroma when you cut open a new bale of hay and pull off a couple flakes, and you’re slightly jealous of the horse/cow/whatever you’re feeding because it smells so good.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Floral, Grass, Hay, Musty
I got this from the terribly overpriced Cha subscription box. It’s actually an ESP Emporium blend, I think. Anyway, I’m surprised I didn’t write a review back when I tried it the first time but, I remember thinking “Hey, not bad! I bet it’d be great iced.” So, finally got around to cold steeping the rest of the sample and yeah, it’s pretty tasty – fruity and refreshing. Now to find somewhere to buy it that isn’t Herbal Infusions…
Tried this cold-steeped (are you noticing a pattern here? I am, in fact, trying to get rid of tea samples I was less fond of by cold steeping them). This is still just the weirdest flavour combination ever. It smells and tastes quite spicy, lots of ginger and also some cinnamon. But then there’s the tartness of the hibiscus, which is just a really odd thing to mix with those spices. I don’t detect any maple, and the honeybush is also pretty mellow this way. Weird weird weird. Anybody want the rest of this sample?
Tiny 3.1g sample in my 100ml gaiwan, and I tried not to fill it up as much as usual. 90-100C water. First steep 60sec, second 80sec, still going. :) The aroma of this is really cool. The wet leaves after the rinse were had a sweet, floral scent, but after subesquent steepings smell like spinach or seaweed, rich and green. The liquor smells sweet and floral in the first steep, with vegetal notes emerging in subsequent ones. The flavour is very crisp and refreshing, lightly vegetal like cucumber or fresh garden vegetables, with a creamy mouthfeel and a long finish, and floral notes in the aftertaste.
This one is also better cold-brewed. It’s still pretty much all hibiscus tartness… if anything, I’m getting even less of the peach scent than I did with the hot tea. But the tartness seems to work better as a cold drink. And the colour is pretty awesome. Now I want to try cold-brewing everything in my cupboard that has hibiscus in it. :)
I cold steeped this one overnight, and I definitely like it better this way. It’s still mostly peppermint, and I have to really concentrate to taste the ginger and green tea, but it feels a little bit more balanced. And cold steeped, it’s more just pleasantly refreshing as opposed to overwhelmingly minty. I strained it through a small kitchen strainer into my glass, and there’s a bunch of little bits/debris that settled to the bottom, which is a bit annoying but mostly just means I’m not going to drink the last 20-30ml. Note to self: strain through something finer next time. Bumping up my rating a bit because it’s actually pretty pleasant this way, though I’m still not sure it’s substantially different from straight peppermint.
5g sample into 100ml gaiwan, using 90-100C water. A couple 15sec steeps, then a few 30sec, then a few 1min, now I’m at 1.5min and it’s still going strong. Strong roasty notes with a sweet finish, especially in the early steepings – like a dark roasted oolong. Quite a bit of bright, acidity, reminiscent of fruit or citrus. I can definitely see the comparison to a lightly roasted coffee there. Gotta say, I much prefer my coffee dark roasted because I don’t usually like that acidity, so this isn’t my favourite of Verdant’s blacks. Later steepings are less sweet and more malty. Overal it’s not very chocolatey for me, though I can see the comparison to a fruity dark chocolate .
Thanks to Anlina for the sample! :) I tried this a few different ways. A while ago, I mixed it up with 80 degree water (using a milk frother) and tasted it that way. It was ok, tasted like matcha plus a nutty flavour that wasn’t unlike macadamia nuts, but there was definitely some bitterness that I wasn’t a huge fan of. Then I heated/frothed some milk and made it into a latte, which definitely helped, though there was still a bit of a funny aftertaste to it. Today I finished off my sample by dumping the rest (about 1tsp) into the blender with 1/2 banana, 1 tbsp of hemp protein powder, a bit of sweetener, and 2 c. of skim milk. Very tasty! It added a bit of nuttiness and a caffeine boost to my blender drink, but there were enough other flavours in there to prevent any bitterness or weird tastes from emerging. So… recommended as a smoothie add-in but not as a straight matcha drink. :)