166 Tasting Notes
I should have done a full review before I ran out. This is a blend which includes Verdant’s beloved Laoshan black, along with Willow Grove pu’er,Big Red Robe, and some others. My notes the last time I had it said that it was outstanding. I brewed it Western, rather than gongfu. Even without sweetener (which for me is unusual), I enjoyed this a lot. Brewed 3 gms/8 oz water, 1 minute for the 1st steep and got 5 steepings. This was limited edition, but if David has a similar blend next summer, it’s definitely worth trying.
This is just a short note to say I decided to experiment and put 8 gms from sample packets in 16 oz cold water for cold-steeping. 5 hrs later, I tasted it. Whoa! This packs a punch when steeped this way-very bold vegetal taste. I don’t know if it’s spinach or green beans. I do prefer this hot though. Cold, I had to dilute it a little and sweeten it, I guess being so vegetal didn’t go over for me as well in an iced tea as it did in a hot tea.
Thanks to Angel at Teavivre for a bunch of samples that came yesterday. Lunch with a friend fell through, so being the tea addict that I am, I thought it was a perfect day for some tea tasting. I was in the mood for an oolong and now I have the time to do several steepings. This is the first time I had tried the flavored version of their milk oolong. Previously, I had enjoyed a sample of the unflavored version. I wish I had the two side by side to compare. I did not brew exactly as instructed. I used 5 gms of tea in my Perfectea Maker, which is similar to using a Gaiwan due to the large brewing basket. I did a quick rinse, then brewed in 6 ounces water at 195. I was afraid of going to boiling since this is a light oolong. I steeped for 1 1/2 minutes to start with and added 30 seconds for each subsequent brewing. I add stevia to all of my tea, and I think it really brought out the flavor in this one. I would describe the overall taste as pleasantly floral and creamy, very nice. As I write this review, I have had 4 good steepings, and will see if I get any more.Thanks Teavivre for a great selection!
I requested this as a sample, thinking it might make a nice iced tea. The base is a full-bodied Assam which holds up nicely to the fruit. I brewed it double strength, added ice and stevia, and found it to be very tasty. I’ll have to try it hot at another time, but I’m am guessing that for my taste, iced is better.
I am going to jump on the band wagon and review my first flavored matcha. Lured by the Red Leaf sale on their Caramel Matcha, and all the positive reviews of it, I ordered the small size, Starter (Basic Grade), with Distinctive Flavoring (found here:http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/caramel-matcha.html). Since I had not yet gotten a matcha whisk (chasen), I was concerned if I made it the traditional way it would not be up to par. On the other hand, I was too curious to wait on the chasen which I had ordered separately. Therefore, I decided to forge ahead. First, I sifted ½ teaspoon of the matcha to get any lumps out and then mixed in about 3 ounces of hot water. I shook it up in a shaker and added about 3 ounces of unsweetened almond milk, a splash of cream, some stevia and a few ice cubes. It was really delicious chilled, just like eating dessert. I can see why it has had such good reviews. I can only imagine what it will be like when I get my whisk and can create some foam! If this is any indication of the quality of other matcha selections from Red Leaf Tea, I will be ordering many more.