Naoki Matcha’s Uji Harmony

Uji Harmony by Naoki Matcha
Green Tea (Matcha) / Straight
$50.00USD for 60g

Uji Harmony is part of Naoki Matcha’s Masters Collection Matcha Set, a collection of three different ceremonial grade matcha. Uji Harmony makes up 20g of the 60g set. Naoki Matcha has provided me with Uji Harmony for the purposes of writing an honest review.

First Impressions

Arriving in a sealed, resealable pouch, Uji Harmony is the third matcha in the Masters Collection Matcha Set from Naoki Matcha. Uji is a city located near Kyoto, Japan, and Naoki Matcha describes it as being a well-known matcha producing region. Green tea has been produced in the area for centuries, and is also home to one of the oldest tea shops in Japan (established in 1160!).

Uji Harmony is described as a matcha blend by Naoki Matcha – but it’s still 100% Japanese Matcha. The colour is a bright spring green, with a light grassy aroma to it. Just check out that beautiful powder! It’s such a nice colour. Fun fact about matcha – it takes hours and hours to produce matcha that’s traditionally produced using a stone mill. If the tencha is ground too quickly, it can cause degradation of the tea. But look at that beautiful colour:

Preparation

Now, there is no preparation instructions on the packaging, but there is a referral to go to the Naoki Matcha website. I opted to prepare Uji Harmony in a traditional method with a bamboo whisk and bowl (my method described here).

First Taste

After a whisk of Uji Harmony, it becomes a lovely grassy green with a thin layer of bubbles and froth across the top. The flavour is grassy, vegetal, with a good amount of umami. I found while drinking that there was a bit of a nutty undertone that reminded me of cashews. It has a a nice flavour profile in that there are subtle changes through each stage of a sip.

A Second Cup?

As with all matcha, there are no second steeps with Uji Harmony.

My Overall Impression

I loved Naoki Matcha’s Uji Harmony. The flavour profile of this matcha was a treat to prepare and drink. Uji Harmony sifts and whisks up easily, and it is easy to drink – which is always a nice feature in a matcha. It has an interesting flavour profile, with the nutty undertones, which makes it a delight to drink and experience. While I enjoyed Uji Harmony straight up, I would imagine it would do well also as a latte or iced. This is not one that I would waste on blending into smoothies or other culinary pursuits.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.

Dessert by Deb’s Blueberry Buttermilk Short Stack Pancakes

Blueberry Buttermilk Short Stack Pancakes by Dessert by Deb
Black Tea / Flavoured
$6.50 for 25g

First Impressions

Blueberry Buttermilk Short Stack Pancakes came in one of the bimonthly subscription boxes from Dessert by Deb, this particular tea blend is part of the Deb’s Vintage Dessert Diner collection. The tea comes in a sealed, resealable matte pink pouch with a polka dot label. The idea of blueberry pancakes in tea form is really intriguing, especially for someone who’s fond of breakfast foods.

The blend is gorgeous, with bright pops of yellow throughout. Blueberry Buttermilk Short Stack Pancakes consists of organic: black tea, natural cream flavour, cinnamon, freeze-dried blueberries, elderberries, currants, hibiscus, palm sugar and calendula petals. The aroma is full of berries, with hints of cream and cinnamon in the background.

Preparation

Dessert by Deb recommends steeping Blueberry Buttermilk Short Stack Pancakes in 212°F (100°C) water for 4 to 6 minutes. I opted to do an initial steep of 5 minutes.

First Taste

Blueberry Buttermilk Short Stack Pancakes steeps to a deep orange. There’s an aroma of berries and hints of cream throughout. I don’t really smell the cinnamon. Tasting Blueberry Buttermilk Short Stack Pancakes is an experience. There’s the taste of berries, the flavour and warming qualities of cinnamon, and just a touch of cream or milk in the background. There’s some sweetness (likely from the berries, and palm sugar), and a touch of tartness (from the hibiscus, perhaps?). Blueberry Buttermilk Short Stack Pancakes has an interesting mouthfeel to it with a thickened texture.

A Second Cup?

I attempted to resteep Blueberry Buttermilk Short Stack Pancakes, but found it didn’t hold up to resteeping. I would reserve Blueberry Buttermilk Short Stack Pancakes for just the one steep.

My Overall Impression

I loved Dessert by Deb’s Blueberry Buttermilk Short Stack Pancakes. This black tea blend has a great flavour profile – the berries and cream – and it has some notes to it that do make me think of a chai (it’s that cinnamon! Although the addition of cardamom would be lovely). It has a nice level of sweetness, and just that hint of tart from the hibiscus. I do wish that it had perhaps some vanilla in the blend to make it remind me more of pancakes, but the berries are a bright spot in the flavour of the black tea blend and I enjoy the mouthfeel of it.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.

DavidsTea’s Mango Lemonade

Mango Lemonade by DavidsTea
Black Tea / Flavoured
$8.98 for 50g

First Impressions

We are solidly into autumn with pumpkin spice and apple pies, but when a tea blogger still has some untried iced tea in the box of new-to-her teas, we’re going to discuss some iced teas. This is a black tea blend from DavidsTea called Mango Lemonade and I definitely purchased it online with the plan to make it iced. Of course, I purchased a lot of teas to make iced over the summer, and honestly we just didn’t host as many events or go to as many events as we originally hoped would be possible. Things have been up and down here in British Columbia in terms of opening up, restrictions, and just gauging the comfort level of our friends and family has been important to us in order to keep everyone safe and comfortable. That said, here’s a black tea blend that I got to try, and let’s see what both me and my husband thought of it!

Mango Lemonade comes in sealed, resealable silver pouch. It has a very familiar label from DavidsTea. I’ve commented before in the last about the tiny print and really, that still hasn’t changed. Mango Lemonade consists of: apple, candied mango, black tea, hibiscus blossom, candied pomelo peel, natural flavouring, orange, sweet blackberry leaf, and rose petals. The aroma of this blend reminds me a lot of mango candy and a blend of oranges and lemon (there is that pomelo in there – and if you’re not familiar with the fruit, it is part of the citrus family). It’s a pretty blend to look at, and I would highly recommend giving your bag a shake if it is sitting in your tea stash for a while. When I first opened it up, all I saw were the fruity pieces. I did have to give it a shake to redistribute the black tea leaves throughout.

Preparation

DavidsTea recommends steeping Mango Lemonade in 95°C (200°F) water for 3 to 5 minutes. I followed the steeping instructions and did an initial steep of Mango Lemonade for 5 minutes.

First Taste

Mango Lemonade steeps to a surprisingly orange tea. I say surprisingly because of the presence of hibiscus blossoms in the blend, and that usually lends itself to steeping a bright pink (which I am a fan of). Steeping this reminds me of mango and lemons, it has a great bright burst of citrus flavours and I really enjoy it. It’s not as sweet as I would have liked a lemonade inspired tea to be, even with the presence of candied fruit. There’s a bit of an aftertaste to Mango Lemonade that reminds me a lot of lemongrass.

A Second Cup?

As a primarily fruit infusion, Mango Lemonade didn’t resteep well because a lot of those fruity flavours in the initial steep were just lacking in the second go around with the same leaves. I would recommend Mango Lemonade for just the one steep.

My Overall Impression

I  liked DavidsTea’s Mango Lemonade. While I really enjoyed the mango and citrus flavours in this black tea blend, I found that the black tea didn’t really shine through in this blend in a way that made me enjoy it. The lemongrass aftertaste didn’t really round out the flavour of the blend the best, because I was hoping for a stronger fruit presence. As for what my husband thought, he still prefers the ‘usual’ flavours of iced teas that I often make, so it’s not likely to be a regular feature in our fridge when I go to make iced teas.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.