Saturday, February 27, 2010

Adagio Gunpowder

Gunpowder green tea is an oxymoron to me. Green tea symbolizing peace, relaxation and health paired with gunpowder; a tool of war and such. Taking a minute to examine the image of the tea above, you might notice the name comes from the appearance of the tea. Adagio didn’t name their product though, it’s the type of tea.

Another corresponding trait to the name with this tea is the smell, it’s smoky along with the veggie green tea characteristic. The first thing that hit me when sipping the tea was the body, very bold and heavy unlike the palate that was only a return of the smoke. This is a very simple tea.

You’ve probably already tried this type of tea before because I recall tea like this being served at Chinese food restaurants in a stainless steel pot with little ceramic cups. I’m giving Adagio’s Gunpowder green tea a C (decent) because it’s enjoyable but a little too ordinary for a higher score.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio '09

When one hears of Italian wine, the forte of costly bottles is usually thought of. The first Italian wine on Luxurious Liquids isn’t an exclusive item though; it’s Ecco Domani’s pinot grigio and can be found at any store with a decent wine selection.

I tried a glass of this wine at two temperatures, refrigerated and only slightly chilled. It was far more enjoyable cooler, but more easily defined warmer. It has a light nose of a sweet floral note at either temperature, and a palate of honeydew melon and citrus. The coldest glass brought the citrus out most, which created a clean ending but was not dry in an uneasy way that would make it harder to drink.

I rarely drink white wines unaccompanied with food, but this one wouldn’t be a problem solo. It’s a solid B (good) due to its citric front and ending that didn’t prove overpowering. I’m sure there are better pinot grigios, but are they worth the price difference? This bottle goes for $9 where I’m at.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Zhena's Gypsy Tea Coconut Chai

Once I opened the tin of Zhena’s Gypsy Tea I knew I was in for a heavily spiced tea. The scent of the tea bag captures you with bold chai spice. Coconut is what intrigued me to get this though; sweetness added to sweet spice. It smells like it works too. Zhena may have proven that her tea is a fine popuri, but I grade the drink.

As it smelled before steeping, the air of the tea is boldly sweet but the coconut is hardly detectable. More shocking than its first impressions is how soft the taste is. All I get is cinnamon and in no proportion to that compares to the scent. A trace of the coconut sweet is left as an aftertaste, but once again weakly.

This isn’t a tea, this is tainted water. I’ve tried steeping it longer, letting it cool, and adding cream but none of that has brought out more of the palate. I’m leaving Zhena’s Gypsy Tea Coconut Chai with a C (decent) and not a C- because of the potent smell. The rest of the tea bags will be popuri.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Shipyard Chamberlain Pale Ale

A little history on this beer before my review; Chamberlain was a Civil War hero who played a key role in the north's victory at Gettysburg. He later became a general then the governor of his home state, Maine. Of course Shipyard from Maine as well so to place his name on this bottle gives it something to live up to.

This poured with a light white head and a color assigned by its name but once smelled you got a hint of how Shipyard could place such a man on it's label. It smells like a faint IPA but with more floral notes and a malt that's just as easily scented. The body is smooth, crisp and also heavy for any light ale. It tasted of malts but when swallowed the floral hops became the last note.

So if you're tired of Bass or want to get away from the cheap lagers of the big brewers but don't want to jump to something heavy, give this one a try. I give it a B (good) due to it's fine layers of taste. This is a fine beer that Chamberlain might've been proud to represent.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Republic of Tea Ginger Lemon Grass

Sounds zesty doesn’t it? On the tin Republic of Tea states it’s also a fine aid to digestion. That’s a fine reason to drink for others, but my blog’s approach is to analyze taste and flavor. I’ll take their word on the claimed health benefits and let those who care for enjoying their cup of tea know my experience.

The steam above my freshly brewed cup leaves a fait aura of the lemongrass, nothing else. After a sip I found the taste to be just as weak though. To try and bring out the elements stated in the title I added a little sweetener and let it cool. This made it stronger but did not reveal any ginger. I did notice some light green tea though, I believe it was sencha. There was no aftertaste.

This was far too dim and uninteresting for me. I’m leaving it with a C (decent) and not an F because I tried it a second time making an iced tea and it was a little more enjoyable/tasteable. If you need digestive help, perhaps you’d like this.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Peace Coffee Snowshoe Brew

It can be restraining to identify coffee sometimes because it’ll keep you from trying a blend with a name you don’t know. “Ethiopian beans are on the crisp side and Sumatran tends to be earthy-dark, but what is a snowshoe brew?” So for those that know coffee jargon and even those that don’t, I’m discovering Peace Coffee’s Snowshoe Brew.

Sniffing above my coffee’s foam rimming the cup, (a benefit of using a french press), I detected a “seasoned smoke”. This was rather unique because it wasn’t deep or earthy like a Sumatran bean. Taking a sip the coffee brought to me a slight spice and sweetness to the light roast. I must note that when I say sweet it’s nothing like the pre-sweetened beans of Dunkin’ Donuts. Snowshoe Brew also had a light body and left a sturdy, lingering aftertaste.

Now I’ve given lighter roasts such as Green Mountain’s Organic lower ratings but I enjoyed this light roast very much, which defines a B (good). It may be towards the end of winter but I’d recommend that many go out and get this coffee while it’s available because it’ll be a great way to start spring days as well

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Zhi Tea Vanilla Rose

With Valentine’s Day around the corner I think a rose flavored tea would be appropriate to have on hand. Think of having such a tea along with a bouquet of flowers waiting for your special one when they get home on the 14th. Zhi Tea has had other products on here that have turned out to be fantastic, so let’s see if their vanilla rose is another good investment.

The scent of the loose tea put the rose up front, but once steeped vanilla becomes the prime aspect. I must note that the vanilla isn’t excessively sweet though and keeps to tasting of the natural root and not the imitation extract. Upon tasting the rose returns as a floral hint, that seems to be a part of the hearty black tea. Adding sweetener brings out the vanilla on the palate, and I think this tea was intended to have cream. You’re left with the wholesome tea as an aftertaste.

This is tea makes me think of a British friend asking me how many sugars and cream I want with my tea while in a garden with ornately detailed iron chairs. It’s very pleasant, and a favorite of my fiancĂ©. She’d grade it higher, but I’m giving it a B (good).

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Zhi Tea Ambrosia

Zhi Tea has had two other reviews showing great products, their Coconut Assam and bestseller Sweet Desert Delight. Ambrosia is a white tea blend of theirs that smells quite fruity from the loose leaves. I’m about to find out if Zhi Tea will have another tin I’ll keep full in my cupboard.

The scent put off by my cup shows coconut notes less strong than their assam so it lets you smell the white tea as well. That element is almost floral. It returns in the palate where the coconut is almost undetectable. Zhi Tea’s website states that Ambrosia has pineapple bits as well, but I can’t taste that. I think they supplement the taste by giving a slight sweetness to it though. Ambroisa’s body is quite full for a tea as well.

This is a relaxing tea and I think it would make a fantastic iced tea. I’m giving it a B (good) due to its symmetry and balance between the white tea and added flavors. This will be a tea I’ll return to while I’m reading a book before bed.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Murphy's Irish Stout

Now when you hear Irish stout you always think of Guinness, but here’s another. Murphy’s claims that their stout “has been brewed to the same unique recipe since 1865.” This sounds all fine and dandy, but were they drinking a better beer back then?

I got this in a four pack of tall cans with a fresh beer system like you can get with Guinness. It poured out a huge head as well that stayed, but it was as thick as shaving cream! This is a HEAVY beer. The body was profound as well and the palate has an almost dairy aspect from the beer being pasteurized. There’s not as much roasted barley as other Irish stouts I’ve had but I doubt that would compliment this beer.

This is quite a distinctive beer, but it won’t be my recurring choice of a stout. It’s a great way to change things up though and I will get it every once in awhile to do that. It’s a well deserved B (good). I’ll warn anyone who doesn’t like a bold beer to stay away.