Tea of the Week for June 4, 2018: Birthday Cupcake Genmaicha!
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Birthday Cupcake Genmaicha!
Tea Description: The end of May is birthday time around here - both Amethyst's birthday and mine are at the very end of May. Since the end of the month is when I announce the featured reblend for the month and this is a new tea, I decided to save this tea for the first week of June rather than the end of May. Plus, it gave us a fun, celebratory type of tea to start off our anniversary month (we 'officially' took over 52Teas on June 1, 2015!)
I started with one of my favorite bases: our organic, Matcha infused Genmaicha. It's sweet, it's smooth, it's a cuppa tasty, roasty-toasty goodness! Then I added some marshmallow root, vanilla beans and cupcake essence to give it a delicious cake-like sweetness and of course, I had to add some sprinkles! Rainbow confetti and Amethyst heart-shaped sprinkles!
It's a fun and whimsical tea that sure to please your palate - and of course it's gluten & allergen free - and it's VEGAN!
ingredients: sprinkles (potato starch, coconut fat, maltodextrin, spirulina extract, colors derived from natural sources)
organic ingredients: green teas, popped rice, marshmallow root, vanilla beans & natural flavors
I do love our genmaicha blends! The sweet, toasty flavor of the genmaicha seems to pair so beautifully with so many sweet flavors (like marshmallow) so I was sure that this tea would be amazing! And I'm loving it!
The aroma is very cake-like, reminding me of the scent you might notice if you were to walk into a cupcake bakery as they're pulling the cupcakes out of the oven. (Cupcake bakeries tend to be my favorite kind of bakeries!) If I inhale the fragrance deeply, I can also pick up on the marshmallow and the toasted scent from the popped rice and together, these two scents meld and give off an aroma that is reminiscent of roasted marshmallow.
The flavor starts out with the very distinct green tea and popped rice notes from the genmaicha. These flavors are immediately joined by vanilla cake. It's smooth and definitely cake-like without tasting too sweet even with the sprinkles (which melt into the tea to add just a hint of sweetness to the cup). Having tasted these sprinkles by themselves - I can attest to the fact that they aren't really sweet the way many sprinkles can be. As someone who doesn't have a great appreciation for added sugar products and/or stevia in tea blends - I like to be the one who decides how much sugar or similar additions will (or will not) be added to my cuppa - I really like these sprinkles because they add a bit of color and whimsy to the dry leaf without adding excess sugar.
Having said that, I do think that just a wee bit of sugar brings out the cake-i-ness to this tea. I tried it first without sugar and then I added a bit less than half a teaspoon of sugar to the cup and found that this addition will add a bit of dimension to the cupcake of this tea.
to brew: give the blend a good shake to incorporate the ingredients. This blend has some teensy-tiny bits of real vanilla bean in it, and sometimes those little beans like to settle to the bottom of the pouch. A good shake will help ensure that those vanilla beans will redistribute throughout the blend. It also will enable the sprinkles to disperse throughout the blend.
measure about 3g of tea - I went just a little more than 3g with this one, because the sprinkles add a little more weight to the tea. The actual measurement was about 3.2g of tea to 12 ounces of hot water (175°F) and allow to steep for 2 minutes. Strain and let cool for at least 5 minutes. I took that initial sip before the 5 minutes had lapsed and found the flavors not quite developed yet, and then waited for a little more than 5 minutes after that, so in all, I probably allowed my cuppa to cool nearly 10 minutes. At that point, the flavors were present and absolutely delightful!
That is to say: the wait time is crucial!!!