12 Tasting Notes
This is my first interaction with any Yerba Mate. Upon opening the pouch, I was greeted with a grassy smell, a bit on the “straw” side of grassy. I put the kettle on a low setting, just below what I use for green teas (which once measured 180ºF, but I’m not sure how accurate the old kettle is) and set the timer for 3 minutes. Smelling the resulting brew in the cup, I get a very mild scent. The smell is similar to my White Monkey brews.
I fear I brewed this on the weak side. The flavor is meek at best. As the smell reminded me of White Monkey, so does the taste, but without the sweet notes of the White Monkey. It’s weak enough for me to not get much more than that from it. Hopefully my next brew will have more strength to it and give me more flavors.
In the interest of “something different,” I tried tossing in a bit of vanilla extract this time around. I wanted a flavored tea, but we have none around. I was concerned about adding too much and getting some of the unpleasantness of vanilla extract, so only put in a few drops. It was not enough – barely noticeable. Still, it means I have a good tea to drink, if not as flavored as I’d like.
ETA: I added a bit more vanilla extract, and I can taste it now, but it really needs proper vanilla, I think.
It’s unclear to me if this is a different green chai from the Bengal Green Chai that used to be in Adagio’s chai sampler, but the variety I have is the Bengal Green Chai.
Before trying this I assumed it wouldn’t work. “Chai” is spicy and strong, while greens are delicate. I followed the “3 minutes at 180ºF” instructions, and the spice is toned down as a result. I mixed this with sweetened condensed milk, as I do with my chaos, and the green tea flavor is completely gone. It’s ok, and an interesting change from my normal black chai, but I doubt I’ll ever order it again.
In the past, I’d always been unsatisfied with my chais. Either the texture wasn’t sufficiently creamy or the flavor was weak. Even with cream as the milky ingredient, it wasn’t quite right. Adam suggested I try using sweetened condensed milk as both the milky ingredient and the sweetener, and I gave it a try this morning.
It did the trick.
I admit, I often like my teas both sweeter and milkier than others. As a result, I put four teaspoons (table-wear, not measuring spoons) of sweetened condensed milk in my tea, however, this is an oversize mug of tea (at least 2 cups’ worth). I’d say two teaspoons per cup is enough to create a pleasantly creamy, quite sweet, spicy chai. The unfortunate side effect of this much added flavor in my tea is the apple flavoring has disappeared. Still, I’m enjoying my mug of tea.
I like my flavored blacks from Adagio with a touch of sugar and a touch of milk, and this steeping has the same. I’m not getting much mango flavor (perhaps I’ve overwhelmed it), and with this use, the Ceylon is a perfectly fine black tea, but “nothing special”. I’d rather have Irish Breakfast or Golden Monkey.
I had set the timer for 4 minutes this time, and the tea probably got around 4 minutes and 30 seconds. I added more sugar than I had before, and just a slight touch of milk. The sugar seems to really bring out and brighten the strawberry flavor (I use a “raw” sugar with my tea). A nice finish after a home cooked meal by my significant other.
I’m from close enough to the South to have a great appreciation for Sweet Tea. I’ve had Golden Monkey hot and liked it, and the flavors led me to believe it would make a nice Sweet Tea. Rather than test this theory, I just jumped right in, brewing about 1qt of concentrated tea, adding sugar, and diluting to 2qt. Now I’m sitting down with my first glass.
It is exactly as fantastic as I had hoped. It’s very sweet, like Sweat Tea should be, but more importantly, it was fantastic layers of flavor. It is refreshing and fantastic.