104 Tasting Notes
I saw this tea get advertised and I immediately had to try it. Jasmine, mint, yerba mate. Sounds like a caffeine dream on a hot morning. Brewed hot, this blend has a strong focus on the nutty green rooibos and dry grass yerba mate flavors, all wrapped up in almost-medicinal mint. Cold brewing this blend brings out the jasmine more, and the more honeyed tones of the green rooibos. This blend has such a smooth feel and flavor in all its forms, sugar optional. I prefer this as a cold brew for the gentler mate and mint tones, and I would have loved to have an even stronger jasmine blossom presence in the blend. This is a delicious nutty, grassy alternative to a high caffeine black tea or coffee on those mornings when you really need a kick.
Flavors: Grass, Hay, Honey, Jasmine, Mint, Nutty
I ordered a sample of this from Amoda tea right before they sold out. The vanilla bean is the star of this blend. It is super fragrant in the dry leaf, and truly vanilla bean in flavor (not vanilla flavoring, not cream or frosting flavored). The black tea is rich and smooth without being too overpowering. The orange notes are just present enough to confirm this is an earl grey, but the citrus definitely takes a backseat to the herbal vanilla. I don’t drink my tea with milk or sugar, so I am getting the most robust take on this blend. I bet this would be decadent and comforting with a dose of milk. I will be eager to see when this ends up back in stock, it’s the suavest earl grey I’ve had the pleasure to drink.
Flavors: Cream, Earl Grey, Earth, Orange Zest, Vanilla
I tried this and Tealuxe’s Unity blend back to back. The Unity blend had a focus on lemon and mint, but this is all ginger! I love ginger, so this is an obvious blend for me to brew. The licorice root is just a hint of sweetness at the back of each sip. While there is spearmint and rose hips listed as ingredients, they get lost under the hot ginger. Tealuxe recommends trying this iced as well, so I will have to experiment.
Flavors: Citrus, Ginger, Licorice
I bought this in store at Tealuxe, first time I’ve been to their shop; it was packed! Anyway, I got to try this tea at home later. This has a lot of my favorite herbal ingredients: lemongrass, mint, ginger, it even includes licorice root and black pepper in the ingredients list. The savory spiciness of the blend is more pronounced in the dry leaf and it mellows out into more of a medicinal lemon brew with hints of ginger and cooling mint. I’m a total sucker for overly strong herbals so I will probably steep this a while longer next time. This is definitely a great decaf brew for colder months or when my body needs some soothing.
Flavors: Ginger, Lemon, Mint, Pepper
I tried this tea back to back with Red Leaf’s Emperor Matcha. Both are some of their highest quality matches you can order. This is a warm green powder, velvety smooth and richly fragrant. It mixes up into a dark green liquid, and frothed well with my bamboo wisk. I really loved Red Leaf’s Emperor Matcha for it smooth creaminess. This one, the Manju Matcha, is the savory brother to that tea. This is much more vegetal, with mellow tones of kale and seaweed. It was a bit too strong at my usual mixing proportions, and found it to be preferable with a bit more water to matcha. I want to emphasize, this tea is FAR from sour or bitter, but definitely savory on the scale of matchas. If you prefer your matcha to be leafier, this will be a divine tea for you. I personally, prefer the Emperor Matcha, but both of these are high quality and well worth a try.
Flavors: Broth, Grass, Green, Kale, Seaweed, Vegetal
I got this as a sample in my last David’s Tea order and I haven’t had a chance to try it out yet. This herbal blend smells like lifesaver candies, markedly different from the usual strawberry-type candy flavors or the coconut-pineapple tropical flavor combination. If you’re into sweet fruity teas, this might be worth it just to try the unique taste; it’s not quite lime, not quite pineapple, not quite sour apple. I am drinking this hot, which is probably a mistake, as it is one of their go-to iced tea suggestions, but I didn’t have flexibility in brewing style today. In fragrance, the kiwi, cranberry, and sour cherry notes are much more present. When taking a sip, there is a stronger flavor of smooth, vanilla coconut chips, though not too buttery as to be overpowering. As the tea cools, the sour cherry notes become the strongest flavor. This tea is definitely sweet, and though the dry leaf is a stunning rainbow blend of orange peels, and cranberries and such, the main flavor feels artificial. Probably great as a tea pop or a sweet iced dessert, but not quite a tea for my usual rotation. Very glad I got a chance to try it, thanks for sending the samples David’s Tea!
Flavors: Candy, Cherry, Coconut, Cranberry, Fruity, Lime, Sweet
I did not participate in the matcha madness taste test, but I read lots of results, so don’t read on if you’re still trying not to be spoiled.
Between their name your price opportunity, and their blind matcha taste test, Red Leaf has been successful in making me their customer. After everyone’s thorough taste test reviews, I had to give their Deluxe Matcha a try. It has been on sale for a while now, at $20 a pound! I’d love to take advantage of that deal but, I worry that I just won’t drink that much matcha before it starts to go stale. (Or maybe I would, but who knows, I like to have variety in my my matcha). So far, the package sizing is my one complaint; I wish there was a medium size (say 40g or 3oz) The sample size can’t be resealed and the full pound bag is too much for me at the moment.
Other than that, this is a fantastic matcha, especially for the price. I have been drinking it iced, without milk. It is smooth, vibrant, fragrant. I haven’t had any problems mixing it together or frothing it up. This is the first matcha I’ve had in recent memory that tastes so specifically different from other matchas, rather than varying tones of green grass flavors (though Red Leaf’s Emperor Matcha is out of this world and distinct in a different, more delicate way).
This matcha is stunningly floral, almost as if it were a jasmine-flavored matcha. It is sweet in a natural-tasting way and gently vegetal, with no bitterness or savory/seaweed flavors. The mouthfeel is full and present, even made with water it does not feel thin or plain. If you have ever been skeptical of matcha or want to like it but have always ended up with something too sour or bitter, I highly encourage you to try this one. The smell and taste is like a spring day, not too girly or perfumey, but amazingly fresh and delicious. A powerful iced tea for this summer season and an amazing all-around matcha.
Flavors: Floral, Flowers, Grass, Green, Honey, Jasmine, Vegetal
Thank you Red Leaf for giving me a chance to name my own price and try an amazing matcha. Due to my matcha novice nature and the price of high quality matchas, I have only tried some of the more “smoothie grade” level of matchas. This was a stunning departure from those teas. First, right out of the pouch, I noticed the Emperor’s Matcha was much finer, smoother, velvety in texture than other matchas I had tried. It was also a much richer color. I used my usual proportions of tea and water, knowing it might be too strong, but though I would try it anyway. I drank this hot after being whisked in a bowl. It frothed up nicely and despite my lack of sifter, it blended in generally smoothly. The flavor of this tea is the usual distinctly vegetal matcha green flavors; this was not too overpowering nor was it sour or bitter. The matchas I had been trying lately were too sweet with flavoring, or just sort of generally green in flavor, sort of forward and vegetable-sour. Emperor’s Matcha was exceedingly smooth in look, feel, and taste. This isn’t “creamy” in a dessert way, but it is gently, naturally sweet and mellow, sort of like vanilla grass in the best way possible. No need for milk or sweetener, this is my new favorite pure matcha. Certainly an inspiration. Thanks again Red Leaf Tea!
Flavors: Creamy, Grass, Green, Smooth, Vanilla, Vegetal
I got this tea as a free sample from a Davids Tea order, which is great, because I would never order it on my own. The dry leaf and hot tea smell strongly of sweet lime, very much like lime yogurt or key lime pie. Drinking it without sugar or milk gives more focus to the tart lime flavors, rather than the creaminess, though it it very sweet on its own. I don’t taste much of the sencha or the vegetal grassiness would I expect. Sweet lime and a touch of cream. I bet it’s great iced or as an iced popsicle. Not my style of tea, but fun to get a taste.
Flavors: Citrus, Cream, Frosting, Lime, Sweet, Yogurt
This matcha is a sellout on the Davids Tea store, the only way you can get it right now is through a sampler pack; so lots of people must be liking it! I tried this both cold with water and cold as an almond milk late. Mixing this cold with just water, was okay; it was sweet green matcha with a hint of vanilla, which did help mellow the grassier parts of the flavor. But made with water, this tea is lacking something, some kind of body or flavor or something. I don’t know that almond milk is the key, though. I also made this as a cold late with vanilla almond milk. In that method, it was hardly green and very mild in taste, the vanilla milk taking most of the flavor. Overall this tea is good, it’s sweet, it’s vanilla, it’s smooth. But it’s sort of just barely matcha. I’ve tried all the teas in the matcha mix pack at Davids and liked the mint the best, as it made the most sense as a partner for the green tea flavor. The mocha matcha was odd and my least favorite of the bunch. So this vanilla matcha is okay, all things considered. If you’re looking for an economical dessert matcha, this is probably a great deal. I think I am going to do some more exploring on non-flavored matchas and see how that goes.
Flavors: Cream, Sugar, Sweet, Vanilla