Sunday, June 29, 2014

Nina's Paris: Nina's Japon, A Tea Review

Dabbling in watercolors is a messy, messy activity. Currently I am covered in various shades of green paint and a few splotches of black, yes, I am watercoloring a Creeper. The first one I did had the most lovely wash and excellent Creeper face, but when I added a bit of calligraphy I realized the character for Creeper (as in creeping vine) looked like a face and I cannot un-see! I am trying again without the calligraphy.

Today's tea is from Nina's Paris, (specifically their USA branch) Nina's Japon, a blend of Black Tea, Sencha, Genmai Cha, Caramel, and Vanilla. I have a trilogy of teas from Nina's Paris to review, thanks to a nice promotion on Steepster, and I will say French accent is terrible! It is this reason (ok, there are others as well) that I do a blog and not so much the vlog. The aroma of this tea is nothing short of mouthwatering, but it did hit my 'OMG I love these' scale pretty hard, with strong notes of vanilla, caramel, and nutty rice. There are also notes of hay, malt, and a tiny touch of grass at the finish. I took a minute sniffing the tea thinking to myself, 'this tea reminds me of something, something sweet and tasty that I have not had in a while,' and it hit me, this tea smells like Creme Brulee!

After I finally manage to pull my nose out of the tea leaves and steep the tea (it was really hard) it was time to sniff the wet leaves. The aroma is still very sweet with strong notes of vanilla, toasted rice, caramel, and a tiny touch of molasses. It has gone from reminding me of Creme Brulee to Rice Crispy Treats, you know, maybe I am really hungry for sweets. The aroma of the liquid without the steeped leaves is also very sweet, with strong notes of caramel and rice, again the image of Rice Crispy Treats float into my head, but with a much richer tone.

Sipping time, I am excited, if this tea tastes as good as it smells, I have found a new favorite. I admit when I saw the ingredients I had a very strong suspicion that I would love it, but picking a sample that didn't look like something I would like seems a little odd. Unless it is a blend that is really weird and I am doing it for an adventure, that is a whole different story...but I am getting distracted, and that is unfair to the tea. Ok, this tea is delicious, all my cravings for sweet things have been satisfied (for now) with this perfect dessert tea. The taste is a sweet blend of caramel and toasted rice with a strong vanilla taste. The vanilla taste is pretty neat because it tastes like vanilla extract smells, it is sweet and very vanilla heavy, but with just a hint of alcohol as well. After the initial sweetness there is a slight malt taste and a tiny bit of smoke at the finish that lingers into the aftertaste. I am so glad that this tea was exactly as good as it smells, I burned through my sample at lightning speed and really need to get more.
Painting is totally not my usual art. 

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