Saturday, February 5, 2011

Khaki Chocolate

Sunday, February 6.

Is that or is that not the quintessential Italian tree?

Along with lots of teas to try, Gingko from Life in Teacup sent me some green tea chocolates. They are Keiko, a Japanese company, although they are labeled as a product of Germany. From what I can gather, they were probably made in Germany for a Japanese company, using Japanese green tea. I cannot make up my mind about them. First of all, there is the color - khaki, when I was expecting chocolate brown. They taste more of green tea than chocolate. They have bits of tea stem when I was expecting smoothness. They are sweeter than I expected, too, but that is typical of European chocolate. They leave a pleasant green tea after taste in my mouth, with a bit of sweet. I like them, but I am not overwhelmed by them. However, this is the first green tea chocolate I have ever had, so I have nothing to compare them with. I think they would go nicely as an after dinner sweet, with an Asian meal. I guess I need another one to decide.

Speaking of green teas, I have one from my Golden Moon Tea samples for today, Sencha. Sencha is one of the most common and least expensive of the Japanese teas. I have to say I am already prejudiced against it, as my experience of these teas has not been stellar. However, I persevere. The leaves are long and thin, with an aroma of seaweed. Hoping for the best, I brewed it up at about 175 degrees, for about 2 minutes. It is a very pretty spring green color. It is surprisingly delicate, smooth, vegetal and grassy, but very pleasantly so. Huh, I may have to change my mind about Japanese teas.

Tomorrow is only a week away from Valentine's day - have you got all your goodies ready? Picked out the teas to serve to your Sweetie? There are some very nice ones available, like Mariage Freres Wedding Imperial, Harney's Valentine Blend, the many blooming teas available from a number of sources, any of the chocolate teas, too many to name, and if you're really pressed, check out the supermarket tea aisle. You can always float those little candy hearts in the tea or serve the heart shaped Dove chocolates. Make sandwiches and cut out hearts from them. I will probably make a heart-shaped cake, as I still have my mothers heart pans; maraschino nut, my sweetie's favorite. I even found some heart shaped plates at TJ Maxx.

1 comment:

Alex Zorach said...

I think sencha gets a bad rap because it's the tea that tends to be the "standard" tea in America. Thus, if an American tea company is going to stock a single kind of Japanese green tea, without knowing anything about these teas, they tend to sell sencha. Thus, there are a ton of really low-quality sencha's floating around out there. At least, that's my theory.

I've found it can be really fantastic, but bad sencha can also be pretty terrible. I tend to avoid buying sencha from a tea company unless their offerings and literature and commercial descriptions communicate to me that the company really knows Japanese tea.