Korean Jeju Island Second Flush Matcha and White Chocolate {Review}

Simple no need for flashy.

Corrected the last post to indicate that was the third tea from Teas Unique. This is the fourth with an added bonus of white chocolate infused with Matcha. First thing was first I needed a proper matcha bowl and whisk! I had given my set away at least a year ago thinking matcha wasn’t for me. But I find I do in fact like it. So it was time to get some supplies again.

So for Mother’s day my hubs took me to a favorite tea place who usually have reasonably priced tea wares. I was not disappointed. They did not disappoint (though the sales clerk did…another story for another time). I picked up the bowl and whisk for under $20 for both – score. I couldn’t wait to get home and give them a try!

Yum!

Though trying them out would have to wait for nap time. Which came not long after we arrived home. I can’t say there’s a smell to accompany the match because well sniffing it can result in matcha up the nose. So the sniffing would have to take place after the water was added/whisked. I have to say I liked this one. It was a little bitter and probably should have added some frothed almond milk for a latte but next time.

Though I paired it with the white chocolate matcha that was sent with the tea samples. Which really brought out the flavor of the matcha. Which is saying something as white chocolate is so not my jam. But wow SO good. I’m tempted to try baking it in some muffins later as I think it would be pretty rocking. But of the four samples sent I think the matcha was my favorite. I want to say thank you to Teas Unique for the samples. It was the perfect way to get me back into blogging!

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Korean Boseong Sejak {Review}

Look at that set up!

Tea time take two. Little dude is down for his nap. So I took some time to dig out my competition tasting cup for this tea. Fancy right? Sometimes you just need to get a little fancy for tea time. I haven’t used this set in years. Well, at least two years. Mostly because I forget I have them. Fact is I have five of them. I really need to get it together.

Anyway I set the kettle for the suggested time (180 degrees) and then warmed up the two vessels. While I waited I took a sniff of the tea. This one smelled super vegetal to me. Almost like spinach or kale. I had hopes, because typically I am not a green tea person at all. Why? Because I usually do it wrong.

So I added the leaves to the cup and set about following their directions. Which were to let the leaves steep for 2 minutes. Which was probably 1 minute and 30 seconds too long. The steeping leaves smelled super vegetal and cooked when the timer rang. The tea itself tasted a bit like Tieguanyin, which is an Oolong. However, it quickly went bitter. I tried again with shorter steeps…

The leaves are gorgeous.

This time I started with 15 seconds. It tastes WAY better and really buttery. So if you try this one don’t follow the steeping directions. I tried three steeps and each was better than the one before it. However, it did get bitter on the third steep and I am not a fan of the bitter AT ALL. My advice is to not steep in more than 10-15 second intervals. While I did like it the second time around it’s just not one I would keep. I prefer black teas and Oolongs when it comes to straight teas. But if you’re interested it’s available on their website and Amazon.

Don’t let the color turn you off.

Summer Breeze (Organic) {@NelsonsTea review}

At first when I grabbed this tea I thought for sure it was an oolong, based on the suggested water temp (195 degrees), as that’s what my one touch says is the temp for oolongs. It was only after I looked it up online that I noted that this was a green tea. Which is probably why I didn’t like it. I am not a green tea fan and it was my fault for not telling Nelson’s this prior to sending me the tea. As this one was an “extra” for me to try.

My favorite bee mug for tea time!

My favorite bee mug for tea time!

So I scrapped the first cup and reset the one touch to brew green tea (160-170). The dry leaves did smell pretty awesome: ginger, orange, and peach…oh my! The flavor did come through when I tasted the tea, but the green tea taste was also there and I don’t know what we don’t get along, but we don’t. Which is why I don’t even try anyone. It’s sad because I KNOW I’m missing out on tasty teas because of it. But there we are.

I will say that the orange and ginger totally helped with the stuffiness I was starting to feel in my nose (the little is sick as well as the hubs). But that’s sadly all I got out of it. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a shot especially if you happen to like green tea.

Kirishima Sencha #SteepsterSelect #DrinkMilitia

Mmm Sencha!

Mmm Sencha!

I didn’t forget I had this one to sample. I’m still trying to get over the allergy/cold that won’t quit. I opened the packet and found that I could smell the vegetal goodness of the dry leaf and figured now was as good a time as any to try it out! The green leaves smell very much like fresh veggies to me. Thought I can’t place which veggies. Not a problem, as I think I’m going to like this one!

I will admit the first sip was like buttah! If you get the reference I’m very proud of you! In fact it reminded me more of a Gyokuro and less like a Sencha. Yup that’s how smooth this tea is. Yes, the steeped leaves smell good enough to eat. Though I’m not quite brave enough for that one! The flavors profile on this tea are SPOT ON. It certainly does taste very savory with a lovely buttery finish. I paired it with eggs and sausage this morning because, well why not. I must say this was not a bad choice at all. The flavors play so well together.

The short of it is this is a VERY good Sencha. As you know I’ve very picky about by green teas. But I would buy this one again…once I sip down at least twenty teas in my cabinet. I’m almost out of room and I have NO idea how that happened. Ok I totally know how that happened.

Do you like green teas? If so what’s your favorite? Let me know!

Genmai Cha Green Tea from @Adagio {Tea Review}

Earlier this week I tried a genmaicha green tea from Steepster Select and it was good. You can read all about it here. I had no idea it was coming or perhaps I wouldn’t have ordered genmai cha from Adagio teas. Before you ask, yes it’s the same name, just broken up a little differently. I wish I could tell you more, but I honestly can’t.

Actually the only thing I can tell you is that genmaicha/genmai cha was/is known as the “people’s tea” because the recipe was born out of those living in poverty. Japanese peasants couldn’t afford much tea so they would mix it with the roasted/toasted rice (super cheap). This gave them more tea for their cup. Plus they could reuse the leaves for more steeps.

Mr. TEA's just hanging out in my mug...like you do.

Mr. TEA’s just hanging out in my mug…like you do.

So this morning I took some with me in my tea tumbler (after brewing it up in the one touch). Brewing it in the one touch wasn’t the bad idea. The bad idea was carrying it in the tea tumbler. When I got to work and poured my first cup it tasted burnt. This was not the way I wanted to start my Thursday.

I naturally did not want to review those two cups of tea. So instead I heated the water to 180 and opted to break in Mr. TEA to steep the leaves and toasted rice. You can see him doing his thing above. I will say this Adagio does use a lot of toasted rice in their version of genmai cha. I’m not against this (I for one love the taste) but I’d like to see some green tea in there too!

A word on Mr. TEA. He’s a pretty cool guy who hangs on your tea cup while he steeps your tea in his “pants”. Yeah, I thought of this one after I started sipping…but let it go in favor of enjoying my tea. He does a great job at steeping tea, the trouble comes when you need to clear out the tea leaves. It’s a little bit of a pain in the pants…pun intended! Thankfully I found that you CAN flip said pants inside out (do this carefully) and everything cleans up pretty well.

Right, back to the tea! Once again I get that really great taste of the toasted rice mixed with the vegetal taste of the green tea. But unlike the Shirakawa from earlier this week, I don’t get a specific veggie jumping out at me. Which makes me a little sad because spinach is my jam. There is the hint of a grassy flavor on the finish, but only a hint. I’m not saying it isn’t a good cup of tea. Just that the flavors were more pronounced in the genmaicha from Steepster.

I would probably buy this again when I run out because I know I can get it again from Adagio. Who knows if I could get the other one again? Plus like I said it isn’t bad, far from it. Now if you’ll excuse me I need to go enjoy the rest of this cuppa before bed.

Have you ever had genmaicha? What did you think of it? Where did you get it from? Let me know in the comments.

Shirakawa Genmaicha #Steepster Select {Tea Review}

Remember how I said I didn’t care for green teas? Well, I lied. There are TWO (ok three) green teas I enjoy when prepared properly: Genmaicha, Sencha, and Gyokuro. When I say prepared properly I mean, not prepared by me. That us until the one touch came into my life. It’s made getting the right temp a BREEZE! This also means less chance of me to mess up too bad when making a cup of anything but black and pu-erh teas or tisanes.

I really tried to hold out on this one.

I really tried to hold out on this one.

As I mentioned my Steepster Select packaged arrived on Saturday and there were a lot of green teas. Frankly a scary amount. I did see two I knew I’d like IF I could manage not to muck them up too badly. One was the Shirakawa Genmaicha from Uji Japan. I was going to try to save it as the last tea I reviewed, but as you can see this did not last long.

Genmaicha’s are one of those green teas I love, even if some folks consider it a novel-tea. It is a bit weird for those drinking it for the first time.

Can you see the rice in there?

Can you see the rice in there?

Besides the green tea there’s a lot going on here….fire-toasted and popped rice…in tea? Yeah actually that’s exactly what you’ll find mixed in with the green tea! Spoiler alert it’s usually amazing.

When I opened the package I was hit instantly with the scent of vegetal goodness and toasted rice. As someone who loves both veggies and rice I was instantly excited to get to steeping this tea.

This time I chose to use the one touch’s water mode and customized my settings to match those suggested on the packaging. In this case 180 degrees – once ready I poured the water into the awaiting cast iron pot and set the timer for two minutes steep time. The minute the water hit the tea I got a great sniff of spinach and toasted rice. Honestly this tea smells good enough to eat (and I know people who have eaten their green teas before). I chose NOT to eat the steeped leaves…because the instructions say you get two steeps out of them. Also (personal opinion) it sounds a little gross to me.

Look at that green color!

Look at that green color!

The timer I set startled me as it’s set to some very load “Good morning” tune. I dashed into the kitchen to remove the basket in my tea pot and get down to sipping business! The smell is very vegetal with the added bonus of toasted rice. My husband the non-tea drinker thought it smelled “weird”. This is what I live with folks…please send help! (I kid)

The taste is really nice and there is a little hint of sweetness to the tea. I am also, as the tasting notes suggest on the package, getting a taste of grass on the finish. But it isn’t bitter, which is what also turns me off green teas rather quickly. Of course the taste of toasted rice also carries through in each sip. All the flavors play so nice with one another! This is one smooth cup of genmaicha tea. I would really suggest picking up some if you have the chance. I know I might if the funds allow it.

Now I have tried many a genmaicha and I can tell you, not all are created equal. In fact I happened to order some from Adagio Teas (that arrived Monday) as I noticed I didn’t have any in the cabinet. So look for that review later this week and we’ll see how it measures up. As this particular genmaicha was really really good.