Posts Tagged ‘Jasmine’

Product Description:

Our most unusual ginger ale, perfumed with jasmine flowers and earthy with tannins, we infuse this with a fine, whole leaf green jasmine tea from Taiwan.  Unique among soft drinks, this seems to improve with age and has our most passionate followers.

Learn more about Bruce Cost’s Fresh Ginger Ale on the website.

What I Think:

Wowie!  Let me tell you:  you’ve never had ginger ale until you’ve had some of this unfiltered ginger ale made from fresh ginger (unless you happen to make some yourself).  It’s a completely different experience from any ginger ale I have tasted in the past.

While perusing the soft drink section of the local New Seasons market – searching actually for a bottle of the Chai Cola that I fell in love with a couple of months ago – I came across this soft drink.  What caught my attention initially was that it was a “real” ginger ale and not one of those bland soft drinks you can find in any grocery store.

Then I noticed that there are actual bits of ginger (this is an unfiltered ginger ale!) that had settled at the bottom.  A little discomforting at first, but then I read the fine print at the bottom of the label that read:  “separation is natural.  Shake gently.”  Finally, I noticed the words “Jasmine Tea” on the neck label and I was sold.  I HAD to try this.  So I put the Chai Cola away (yes, I love it, but I don’t like to drink a lot of soda, especially when I’ve so much tea at home waiting for me to taste it) and decided to purchase this instead.

Oh. My. Gawd!  This is amazingly good.  It’s zingy, zippy, zesty and all the other vibrant words that you can think of to describe a delightfully spicy, peppery drink.  It isn’t as sweet as other soft drinks including other ginger ales that I’ve consumed.  Perhaps this is because of the strength of the ginger which may offset the sweetness.  Either way, I appreciate that this isn’t overly sweet.

I wish I could taste more of the jasmine green tea in this, and I guess if I were to change anything at all about this soft drink, that would be it.  I was hoping for a bit more of a jasmine tea flavor, but, even so, this is still knocking my socks off.

My Final Thoughts:

Well, as I just said, I would like there to be more jasmine green tea taste to this, I think that the power of the ginger just overwhelms the delicate flavor of jasmine green tea.  Perhaps the next time I get this, I’ll hang on to it for a few weeks before consuming it to see if the jasmine green tea comes to life.  Either way, I really like what I’ve tasted.  If you like ginger ale, you’ve gotta try this stuff!

On a recent trip to Clackamas, Oregon, I wanted some tea (which is nothing unusual for me!) and I wanted to try someplace I haven’t yet tried for that tea.  After a quick google search, we found a place nearby that I’d never heard of, so I decided that this would be the place…

Location: 9895 Sunnyside Road, Suite B; Clackamas OR

Order: Green Apple flavored Jasmine Green Tea

Specifics: I didn’t order this as a bubble tea (with boba), I was actually hoping for (or expecting) a cup of hot jasmine green tea that had been lightly flavored with green apple.

What I Think:

As I eluded to in my introduction, I had never been to Milky Way Tea & Pastry, so I really didn’t know what to expect.  I saw on the signs on the window that they served boba/bubble tea but, I also hoped that they had served hot tea as well.

So, this review is somewhat faulty in that I hadn’t managed to communicate with the server what it was I wanted.  I had thought that I had made it clear that I wanted tea – not bubble tea – and to those of us in the “tea world” (aka tea nerds), that means good, hot tea, preferably prepared using loose leaf tea rather than tea bags.  It was wrong of me to presume that this is what I would have communicated.

That being said, that really does not excuse the fact that the iced tea that I received tasted like soap.  This murky green colored “iced tea” (I’m using the term loosely, because as a tea snob, I really couldn’t call this iced tea) The first couple sips were quite acceptable, I could taste a bit of green apple and although the flavoring was a bit cloying, it was nonetheless an acceptable taste.

In those first couple of sips, I found the green tea flavor to be acceptable as well.  It wasn’t a great green tea, but it wasn’t horrible.  Not yet, at least.  Based on the first sip or two, I thought that while it wasn’t my favorite tea experience, it was not bad.  It was consumable.  However, as I continued to sip, the jasmine flavors developed and not in a good way.  If you follow my tea reviews, you know that I am quite fond of jasmine.  So, I certainly didn’t expect to dislike this jasmine green tea this much.

It tasted like soap.  Not even like a delicate perfume.  But SOAP.  Like I was drinking jasmine green tea fragrance liquid soap.  And not even a naturally extracted jasmine fragrance, but an artificial one.  Not a desirable beverage, to be sure.  The above picture is the actual photo of my cup of tea, and that is as much of it as I could bear to drink.  About 1/3 of it – and then I had to toss it.

My Final Thoughts:

Based upon this visit to Milky Way, I probably won’t be visiting again.  I have tried bubble tea before (my favorite location is Fusion Tea in Vancouver) but I had never had a bubble tea base that tasted this bad.  Sorry, but I can’t recommend this, unless perhaps you are dying of thirst and you have no other option.  Even then, you might do better drinking gutter water.

Milky Way Tea & Pastry on Urbanspoon

Where to Buy:  Zhi Tea on Foodzie

Editor’s Note: I debated with myself about whether or not I should review these teas here, or if I should review them on the SororiTea Sisters blog, but since these teas were part of my Foodzie Tasting Box I decided to review them here.

Jasmine Green Tea

Product Description:

Our organic jasmine green loose leaf tea was chosen for its high quality and well-balanced flavors. This balance creates a round yet assertive cup full of jasmine’s intoxicating scent grounded in the full leaf green. Mild, easy to drink, and full flavored, jasmine blossoms are folded into the drying leaves several times to impart a delicate, subtle scent throughout. USDA Organic and Fair Trade Certified.

What I think:

When I first opened the package for these teas, I was immediately disappointed.  The teas were bagged (I do prefer loose leaf), and the silky tea sachets were not individually wrapped to prevent cross-flavoring due to exposure to the other tea.  Tea is a very absorbent leaf and will readily absorb flavors of products with which it is stored, especially strong flavors such as spice and mint – which shared the package with this jasmine green tea.

That’s not to say that the tea is not good – it is.  I just feel like I am not getting a fair representation of the tea, because I can also taste notes of cinnamon, ginger, and peppermint mingling with the delicate green tea and jasmine flavors.

The green tea is light in flavor and possesses a moderate amount of vegetative taste.  It is a pleasant, mellow green tea, a good pairing with the sweet, exotic flavor of jasmine.

The jasmine is floral (of course!) but it isn’t overwhelming nor does it come off as soapy or perfume-y to the palate.  The flavor of the jasmine and the flavor of the green tea are very nicely balanced.

As I mentioned before, I can also taste distinct herbal and spice notes in this cup.  The cinnamon and peppermint seem to be the most prominent, but if I focus on the sip, I can also taste notes of ginger and even distant notes of clove and vanilla.

Actually, the combination of the jasmine, green tea, peppermint and spices makes for a rather intriguing cup and if I were still in the blending business (I flavored and blended my own teas for many years), I might actually attempt to create a jasmine peppermint green chai!

This is good hot or iced.

Turkish Spice Mint Tisane

Product Description:

We wanted a more complex and enticing peppermint based tisane, so we created our Zhi Signature Blend Turkish Spice Mint. We explored how to create something truly unique and flavorful, and after several attempts, we have nailed it. Organic peppermint, licorice, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger root, stevia leaf, clove, vanilla essence…Minty, a bit spicy, a tad sweet, with hints of exotic unfoldings…This blend really draws you in. Subtle flavor combinations are revealed as you engage this herbal extravagance. Enjoy the lingering sensations of ginger and cardamom as you sip this stimulating and caffeine-free drink.

What I think:

I could taste the spices and mint in the jasmine green, but I am not noting much jasmine taste in this blend – that is, of course, because this is a tisane and not a tea.  The difference being that a tea is comprised of leaves from the Camellia Sinensis plant; and while a loose interpretation of the definition of tisane could possibly include teas, to most tea enthusiasts tisane has come to mean an herbal, fruit, or spice melangé that does not include tea leaves.  Without the tea leaves in this spice melangé, it simply doesn’t possess the flavor absorbency that a tea would have.

This is a delightful blend of spices and peppermint.  Peppermint can be a somewhat selfish herb and overpower the blend, however, Zhi Tea chose to blend it with some rather aggressive spices for balance.  In each sip, I enjoy the flavors of cinnamon, peppermint, ginger, and licorice, with background notes of clove and cardamom and a whisper of creamy vanilla.

If I were to change anything about this particular blend, it would be to eliminate the stevia.  Then again, I am not too fond of stevia, I find that it tends to impart a somewhat funky aftertaste.  I know that stevia is used occasionally by tea blenders to add a little sweetness to the blend; personally, I’d rather have the option to add sweetener with a drizzle of honey or a sprinkling of sugar than to have the choice made for me with the addition of stevia.

Despite the stevia, this tisane is tasty.  I prefer it hot – mostly because I prefer most spiced teas hot.  The warmth of the spices just seems to translate better with a hot tea.

My Final Thoughts:

These two teas were quite good, and certainly a very welcome surprise in my Foodzie Tasting Box (Foodzie, if you’re reading this, more tea please!)  Not my favorite from Zhi Tea (my favorite from Zhi is Gong Fu Black), but as a passionate tea enthusiast, I was certainly happy to try them!

Yay!

The anticipation has been mounting for this month’s box since I received last month’s box!  These boxes are a lot of fun!

My package contains:  a ‘Bert Candy Bar from Bees & Beans (a Portland company!), Kale & Pumpkin Seed Crackers from Twin Cakes Bakery, Cocomels from JJ’s Sweets, Blue Cheese Fig Savory Shortbreads from O Pair Wine Bites, Hot Chocolate on a Stick from The Ticket Kitchen, and (drum roll, please!) Jasmine Green & Turkish Mint Tea (yes, TEA!) from Zhi Tea.  Also tucked inside was the map card that shows on one side where the products are from, and on the other a detailed list of the items in the box including a brief description of each item.  Here’s a scan of both sides of the card…

On the homepage of Foodzie, it indicates that Salt Blends from Didi Davis Artisan Food would be in the box, but, my box did not include them.  A little disappointing as I was looking forward to trying some of the gourmet salt blends (I must say that the Sumac Pepper Salt and the Vanilla Salt are the most intriguing to me).  But, oh well.  I am, nonetheless excited to have received my box and I look forward to digging in!

My Final Thoughts:

A box of fun that is well worth the price!