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Spinach

Morning Organic Matcha by Grace & Green

morningmatchaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy: Grace & Green

Tea Description:

A matcha tea with only a slight hint of bitterness. Organically produced, its flavour is smooth and rich. This tea is perfect for everyday consumption, boosting health, energy and concentration.

Produced by Marukyu-Koyamaen (Uji, Kyoto, JAPAN), one of the top tea production companies in Japan. Well respected amongst tea connoisseurs, Marukyu-Koyamaen pride themselves on the excellent quality of their products.

Learn more about this tea here. 

Taster’s Review:

I started this morning in my favourite way – with a matcha latte! Grace & Green kindly sent me a sample of their Morning Organic Matcha to try, and as a matcha fan, I was very keen to give it a try! The matcha comes packaged in a resealable tin, initially with an internal ring-pull style seal. The matcha powder itself is a beautiful kelly green shade, and the scent is delightfully vegetal. You can tell this is quality stuff – the brightness of the powder in itself is a good indicator. I used 1/2 tsp of matcha for my cup, and whisked it up with a little boiling water to make a paste while waiting for my milk to heat. I added the milk once it was near boiling, whisking all the while to ensure the powder was well incorporated. The resulting cup is a startling creamy mint green, almost like mint choc chip ice cream!

To taste, this cup is all the things I love about a matcha latte. The initial flavour is the sweet creaminess of the milk, but the matcha emerges clearly in the mid-sip. It’s very vegetal, as you might expect, almost in the way of freshly cooked asparagus, or wilted spinach. It also has an edge of sweetness, however, that helps it to build an accord with the milk. You’d think they might fight against each other in terms of flavour, but they’re actually very complementary. What I’m most struck by is how smooth this matcha is compared to some others I’ve tried. It’s blended very well with the milk, with only a little clumping evident at the bottom of the cup. That could be my whisking skills, though! There’s also a distinct lack of astringency or bitterness, which is at least partly why it works so well as a latte. It makes for a delightful start to the day.

In the interests of research, I also tried this matcha in a couple of other ways, both of which worked equally well. 1/4 tsp stirred into a small glass of cold water made for a refreshing mid-afternoon pick-me-up. Again, I found it to be smooth, with a minimum of clumping, and no bitterness or astringency at all. The vegetal flavour of the matcha is very apparent taken this way, but as it’s so fresh-tasting and reminiscent of sweet spring vegetables, that’s more of a bonus than anything! My third way of trying this matcha was similar to the above, but stirred into a small glass of apple juice rather than just water. I made a thin paste first with 1/4 tsp of matcha and approximately 1 tbsp of cold water, and then topped off the glass with fridge-cold apple juice. I was actually surprised by how well this worked, but the sweetness and lightly tangy acidity of the fruit juice paired beautifully with the vegetal flavour of the matcha. I’m reminded of fresh garden peas more than asparagus or spinach when tasting the matcha this way, and this would be an ideal preparation for those who aren’t so keen on the intense flavour of matcha when taken alone.

While I enjoy matcha for its versatility, I have to admit to being impressed by this offering from Grace & Green. It lacks the bitterness of some other matchas I’ve tried, which was what used to put me off most. The sweet, fresh taste of this particular matcha is second to none – it’s comparable to the flavour of a spring Bi Luo Chun to my mind, albeit stronger and more concentrated. I also appreciate the ease with which I managed to blend it each time. Although I did experience a little clumping with my latte, it was at a minimum. This would make an excellent matcha for those who like green teas with strongly vegetal notes, or those who are looking for a fresh, high quality, affordable matcha powder. The shipping speed was also excellent, arriving in the UK from Japan in just 6 days. Highly recommended.

Spinach Chive Savory Tea from Numi Organic Tea

spinachchiveTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Numi Organic Tea

Tea Description:

Layers of steamed spinach greens give way to the mouthwatering fullness of this savory brew. The citrus notes of Numi’s Dry Desert Lime tickle the roof of your mouth as coriander teases your taste buds. Dill, chive and decaf green tea are the perfect finish to this wellrounded, yet complex, blend.

Learn more about this blend here.

Taster’s Review:

I received a sample of this Spinach Chive Savory Tea from Numi Organic Tea in my September Goodies Box, and I was very excited to try it because I have been wanting to try these savory teas from Numi ever since I learned about them.

When I tore into the package, I could smell the onion-y chive right away!  The aroma of the other ingredients are milder, but I could smell the vegetative notes of both the green tea and the spinach, as well as well as a hint of citrus.  The brewed tea smells very much like the dry tea, although the liquid has a softer fragrance than the dry leaf.

This is an unusual but tasty tea.  It’s a bit thinner than I would like it to be, I think it would be better if the green tea were not decaffeinated.  I think that the tea would be more satisfyingly “round” if it had not undergone the decaffeination process.

As it is, though, I like that I taste the chive, the spinach, the coriander and the lime.  I don’t taste a lot of green tea here, but then I think that the vegetative notes of the chive and the spinach probably meld with the green tea to produce a more united vegetal taste.  The chive stands out more distinctly than the green tea and the spinach, but even so, the hint of onion-like flavor is very mellow.

Overall, it’s a very mild and tasty beverage … I like this savory experience.  It’s definitely different!

Turkish Green Apple from Red Leaf Tea

Turkish Green Apple from Red Leaf Tea
Turkish Green Apple from Red Leaf Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type: Green

Where to Buy: Red Leaf Tea

Tea Description:

This Turkish version of green tea, though delicate, features cured apple pieces and safflowers into a delicious tea blend. Our growers are able to customize the curing of their harvests and add a wide variety of flavors to their stronger blends. For tea lovers, blends such as Turkish Green Apple Tea is full of great tea taste from the first sip to the very last.

Green tea, apple pieces, and safflowers with apple flavor.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Turkish Green Apple from Red Leaf Tea is a very light flavored tea with apples being only a slight flavor in the overall profile. It tastes more of buttered spinach and has a slight salty taste as well. The apples taste to be semi fermented in a sense, as they taste in a hard apple cider yet in this blend very delicate and only a slight bit tart.

This is a soothing tea that is very delicate in its nature, calming and relaxing. I would not want this in the morning but is a wonderful tea to sip while laying in bed decompressing and reading a favorite novel.

If you want that more robust flavor be sure to wait and allow the tea to cool more before sipping as this tea tends to take on its stronger characteristics as it becomes more room temperature, even the mouthfeel becomes heavier as it cools a bit.

There is a creaminess to the mouthfeel, and even a slight cream flavor. Buttery, creamed, spinach with an apple appeal. Haha, get it?

Sencha de Miyazaki, Oku Yutaka Tea from Thes du Japon

Tea Type:
Green Tea

Where To Buy:
Thes du Japon

Product Description:

A fine normal steamed sencha from Miyazaki. Purity and mellowness are the words that describe this delicious tea with an excellent price-quality ratio.

Tasters Review:

I always LOVE a good Sencha.  But lately I have really enjoyed steamed teas.  Put the two together and you get this little gem!

Upon first sniff this smells like pure spinach.

The product description says this is “pure” and “mellow”…well, I disagree with the MELLOW description…I think it’s very hardy…and I think this is a wonderful thing!  It’s grassy-green, vegetal, and gives a pretty powerful punch.

I, do really like this…I think it’s a good green…as far as the grassier greens are concerned.  I like the steamed aspect, the spinach-like aroma, and the vegetal taste, too!