Monday, March 9, 2009

Jasmine Tea KitKat

I spent a few years as a bit of a tea aficionado. In order to learn more about various types of tea, I subscribed to and read newsgroups and forked over copious amounts of cash for small quantities of tea. I recall the tea snobs raving about lapsong souchong and being very interested to try it. It was really rather gross and tasted to me like a cross between licorice and roofing tar.

In the end, I realized that no matter how many types of tea I tried, there were varieties that I'd always love and other types that I'd merely tolerate. Jasmine is one of the types that is incredibly easy to enjoy. It smells great and isn't too strong. I guess it can be a bit flowery for some people, but I've rarely heard anyone complain about it.

The main problem for me with jasmine tea is that it's not an "everyday" sort of thing. It doesn't go well with food and is distracting in its exotic flavor. Unlike a nice cup of English tea (or "black tea", as it's sometimes called), it doesn't naturally seem the thing to sip while you're working or relaxing.

My husband picked up this jasmine KitKat for me at New Days convenience store and I was curious how the flavor of jasmine would go with chocolate. A lot of tea flavors, particularly Earl Grey, go very well with chocolate. Like all Japanese KitKat bars, this came in a box of two fingers wrapped individually. Two fingers contain 109 calories and the side of the box shouts "your calorie control support" in red letters. I guess they figure portion control and easy to access nutrition information is "support".

The chocolate on the bars is slightly soft and melted a bit in my hands when I was handling it for picture taking. It smells mostly like chocolate and has just a hint of jasmine. My guess is that most of the jasmine flavor is between the wafers rather than mixed in with the milk chocolate coating. The first bite was a rather strong mixture of jasmine with chocolate which isn't entirely pleasant. Subsequent bites revealed a nice mixing of the sweeter chocolate flavors with the bitter "bottom" of the tea flavor. The second and third bites are definitely more enjoyable than the initial one as the intensity of the flavor dies off a bit. After the second finger, I experienced a somewhat unpleasant jasmine tea/bitter chocolate aftertaste.

This is pretty good if you eat only two fingers, but I'm not sure a whole bar or repeat tastings would be desirable. The mix of flavors is nice and unique, but it's a bit challenging to the palate and the flavor tends to build up with continued eating. I'd recommend giving this a try, but I wouldn't stock up.


Kelly said...

Ooh, i've got this in my pile of Japanese kit kat's to try!!

I'm not really a jasmine tea fan but i thought i would give it a shot as i really liked houjicha kit kat. :)

Helen said...

I'll have to try this sometime.

I brought my hubby some Soy Sauce KitKat from Haneda Airport when I was there a couple of weeks ago and we loved them. They were more caramel than soy sauce I thought.

And just for the record, I love Lapsang Souchong tea! It is an acquired taste though.

'badmoodguy' is mike said...

I, too, would not imagine jasmine flavor going well in a KitKat. Though an Earl Gray flavor would be one I would love to try.

I used to drink Earl Gray all the time but quit after my tastes changed. I am trying to get back into the game, though.

heartkorean said...

I bet I can find this in some Japanese markets in NYC... very curious

himiko said...

nyiaaa I love kit kat world XD

boo said...

Huh, I'm a huge lapsong souchong fan but not so much a jasmine lover. Then again, I tend towards the stronger black teas and can only really identify about 4 by taste (Lapsang being one, Earl Grey being another and those two are so distinct they probably don't count). The Jasmine flavored Kit Kat sounds...interesting. I'll have to scramble up a box and try it.