379 Tasting Notes
While waiting for my Mandala Matcha package (a staple for me), I bought some Encha from Amazon.
I finally found the darn package. I thought because it’s local, i.e. USA, I wouldn’t have a problem with shipping. Wrong. Mandala has excellent shipping speed (and tea) but as I wrote before, something is going on at my local PO. They never try to deliver it, said they gave a final notice and kept it at the post office without alerting me… Sigh. I call, they don’t answer, so I was delighted it was there when I stopped by today and wow, my B&B package was there too. The replacement for the one that the USPS lost last time, months ago.
Bah, a tangent haha. Thanks for letting me complain. :)
So I bought this because I ran out of matcha. I always get my Amazon shipments, that’s always a plus. It’s a decent first-harvest organic matcha powder. It doesn’t smell like turpentine like most of the Amazon matcha purchases I’ve bought in the past.
It’s weird, but it’s pretty neutral. No bitterness, nor sweetness, no real taste either. I still recommend it if you can’t get excellent matcha from another source or if you’re in between buying. Since it is culinary or latte grade, it went with milk just fine, without a turnoff taste (health benefits still there), and it mixed well, no clumps. I used oatmilk, yum. I will not drink this ceremonial style because latte grade means usually more astringent or bitter if you drink it straight, so I’ll just use this as it is directed… Lattes or cooking.
Ah, so nice to have Steepster back.
Thanks for the sample, Amandastory! :) Sorry it took so long for me to come around to it. I am not a huge Kale fan but I must say I am pleasantly surprised as this was pretty tasty. I’d much rather take in kale this way, than eat it. hehe
The mixture of matcha with kale powder turned out to be a grassy, umami, creamy cuppa. Extremely energizing (probably up there in health benefits too no doubt). Love that there is no sweetener at all in this. Surprisingly, it is not bitter but has a unique, and different kale-spinachy-grassy-matcha notes. Thanks again. :)
Flavors: Creamy, Earth, Grass, Kale, Umami
I’m loving this matcha. Thank you so much, Derk. I’ve had it both as a latte and the traditional way. 2-3 chashaku scoops, through a sieve. ~2 oz water to make a paste, then whisked another 2 oz. (175°F). A bright green powder, finely ground, full-bodied grassy aroma… And when prepared in a syrup form (koicha) no bitterness, pure umami, very smooth, foamy, silky, light lingering sweetness.
Note: My local USPS isn’t delivering packages anymore even though we have a locker. In fact, they are just sending packages back… So much for buying any tea online for now especially international. I hope all of you are safe and happy.
Flavors: Sweet, Umami
Added notes: Sip down. Wow, it took me two full years to finish this? >.< I did buy the biggest can and it was huuuuuge. I guess I was once serious about detoxing. haha. Overall, it’s still my favorite detox for whatever reason lol. I’ve tasted others that taste better per se but sometimes I just like a pleasant boring, errr mild tea :P, for whatever reason and I reach for this the most if I need a quick detox. I love lemongrass so that’s probably another reason.
I can not stand their blue detox and can barely tolerate the one in the yellow can but this one tastes pleasant to me. No mint for one and the other two have a lot of mint. I put a few shakes of True Lemon powder in it or put a TeaVivre Lemon slice in it. I’ll probably order more.
Thinking of all my tea friends here and hoping that you and your loved ones remain safe during this trying time. I’m okay here <3.
Flavors: Lemon, Lemongrass
I really like this one. It reminds me of Decadence but with a nutty taste. I didn’t get sunflower seeds like others. It’s probably a different blend than before since my batch is recent. I got a nice almond note from it instead. The marshmallows give it a very light sweet taste with added creaminess. It didn’t seem as dark chocolatey as Decedance but more between milk chocolate and dark chocolate which I liked. The blend of Laoshan, Assamica & Golden Yunnan really works well and it was delicious and had a nice malty note.
Flavors: Almond, Chocolate, Creamy, Dark Chocolate, Malt, Marshmallow, Roasted Nuts
Broke into this cake today. I was able to easily break off small pieces off with my fingers, 7g worth. A quick rinse, starting at 185F and later going up to 205F. A bunch of 5s infusions, maybe up to 15? I just keep going and going hehe.
The cake has a grassy, hay, slightly flowery aroma. I’m not really good at aromas TBH. The liquor is medium to deep golden color. The taste at first, started off somewhat bitter and slightly astringent. The first two steepings, aside from a little bitterness and astringency, had a remarkable sweet taste, that of honey or more like sugar cane. The next few steeps, more flavors came out, layers of them. It’s not a boring tea. It has a super thick mouth feel yet a nice finish with lots of peach notes. Super creamy feeling in my mouth and throat. With each successive infusion, it kept bringing out fruity notes, more on the side of stone fruits, such as apricots and peaches, but also citrus notes, and later add in a little metallic and mineral notes here and there. Complex tea.
In the beginning, I did find it to be slightly bitter but that went away and the pleasant dryness throughout adds to it, doesn’t ruin it. Towards the middle-end, the fruity notes, such as apricots and peach notes subsided and the last layer came in, almost an umami, savory, vegetal taste along with spices, a little heat and minerals.
Throughout the infusions, it was always pleasantly sweet and gave a thick, creamy mouthfeel that won’t quit. The stone fruit notes remained even at the end. I would say that if you’re into sweet sheng and like the mouthfeel experience, I would highly recommend this one to you.
Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Bitter, Floral, Grass, Honey, Peach, Stonefruit, Sugarcane, Sweet, Umami, Vegetal
I have had this for a while but hadn’t written about it. It is their 2019 Da Hong Pao. I really like Whispering Pines teas overall.
I prepared it Gongfu 200 F, quick rinse, then 5s, 10s, 15s, 20s, 25s. 30s, 1m. Nice aromatics of dried fruit, minerals. A delicious roasty cuppa with pleasant light spice notes, like anise, pepper, and perhaps cardamom. Lots of nice dried fruit, mainly plums, and raisins, some citrus notes. Also, lots of mineral notes.
Solid Da Hong Pao.
Flavors: Anise, Cream, Plum, Raisins, Roasted, Spices
It’s too sweet but as I do with the other ones, I do a flash rinse to get the sweet taste out, and then I can enjoy it. It does taste like cereal albeit a very sweet cereal hehe. I think I got this when my nephew stayed with me. He enjoyed it.
Some marshmallow notes along with apple, oats. coconut, cornflakes, vanilla, and cream. It’s a really chunky type of tea, you can see big pieces of all kinds of things, even raisins, goji berries, vanilla pieces, and quinoa too. I may get it again for my nephew but it’s far too sweet (stevia) for me. If you don’t mind sweet tea, you may like this one. It would probably taste good as a latte.
Flavors: Apple, Cream, Goji, Oats, Sweet, Vanilla
After my sample, last year, I had picked up 10 more little disks of this shortly after. I hadn’t got around to drinking more until yesterday. I am still working on sipdowns of the tea that I got too much of. >.<
This time instead of gongfu, I went for 10 ounces for 30 secs, 1m, 2m It has still had a thick taste, very fruity with berries, stone fruits, citrus, very malty flavor. Not so floral this time, and crisp citrus aftertaste. Notes of honey, a heavier molasses, and light spice notes. It was a pleasant afternoon tea. It is heavy on the energy (caffeine) but I love that. I got so much more work accomplished lol. So beware. I had energy all the way until 4 am. I don’t get jittery or anything with it, it just good energy to me.
I now know 10 people with COVID19. The latest is a beautiful family, Aaron’s cousin, who got is from her husband who had to work, they didn’t practice safe distancing at the work place, and now they have it and all their four little kids. Tragic times. So stay safe out there.
Flavors: Berries, Citrusy, Fruity, Honey, Malt, Molasses, Spices, Stonefruit
I’ve had this for forever but like many others, I haven’t written anything, just rated it. It’s very sweet like some of the other David’s Tea that I bought. I have only bought four so keep that in mind hehe. I have to do a fast rinse before drinking it for my taste buds. After a flash rinse. I brew it as recommended.
The banana is very creamy, that’s what I taste in the beginning. If I don’t rinse, I don’t taste it much but more sweetness. Then at the end of the sip, I get a quick grapefruit note. Neither is really that strong. It’s well-balanced. It sounds like a weird mixture but it doesn’t taste weird and the notes are well separated… meaning I didn’t get a weird muted mix but two distinct flavor notes. I love banana and I love grapefruit so this has always been a nice cup of tea. When I make it cold brew (I still have to do a flash rinse before), I don’t really get any of the citruses but more banana.
P.S. I wish I could change my profile. It’s really old and things have changed >.<. After I made it, I never was able to edit it (maybe once?) other than my picture. Tangent, I know. :P
Flavors: Creamy, Grapefruit, Sweet