470 Tasting Notes

96

Having a tall iced glass of this. YUM! The strawberry is especially prominent this go around, scrumptious.

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88

I thought it’d be a good time to review this matcha since it’s currently on sale! It’s actually the last one from my previous order to try, for some reason I didn’t really feel compelled to try it out until a few days ago. When I ordered it I was super excited, but once it arrived I was like “meh, peanut butter.” So it took a while to get enthused about it! I got:

Size: 30 grams (small)
Base: Classic Matcha
Flavor Level: Distinctive

So, I don’t like peanuts very much. They’re my least favorite nut! But I LOVE peanut butter, and peanut butter themed things (like reeses!). In the bag this smells like, well, peanuts… not a great start. And at first sip, it’s just kind of peanutt-y. Red Leaf actually has a straight Peanut matcha, and I was really really hoping this one would be different.

Thankfully, about halfway through the mug I got a really strong peanut butter taste! Toasty, nutty, buttery, smooth and creamy. Mmm, peanut butter! This is an exceptionally thick matcha, and I think it’s best as a latte which really brings out the creamy qualities. This definitely turned out better than expected, and if you like peanut butter it’ll be right up your alley. I think it would also be really good for baking—peanut butter matcha cupcakes perhaps? You can get some here:

http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/peanut-butter-matcha.html

Helena

I voted for it and it won so I promptly ordered some :D Now I just have to wait….

Alphakitty

I’m actually tempted to get some more because it’s on sale—it’s a really good everyday flavor.

Babble

This sounds like the difference between Caramel and Caramel Popcorn. Caramel wasn’t bad, but Caramel Popcorn was just so much more complex I thought it blew Caramel out of the water.

Alphakitty

Caramel Popcorn is just SO GOOD. You’re right, it is similar! As much as I like the straight caramel, the extra complexity of the caramel popcorn (which I was going to abbreviate until I realized how awful it would look lol!) just makes it SO delicious! I haven’t tried the straight peanut but after this one I think it’d be much the same.

Lynxiebrat

It would be interesting to try the Peanut butter Matcha with Strawberry, or maybe just with a shot of strawberry syrup. Huh have to keep that in mind when I finally get around to ordering Matcha from Red leaf.

Alphakitty

I actually don’t have Strawberry matcha! It’s one of those flavors that I just kind of forgot about haha. I am going to try peanut butter tiramisu though!

Babble

I was going to get strawberry matcha, but then as Azzrian sent me a sample and it was just too candy sweet for me. And I do love strawberries, and I love berry flavored things, but it was just mehhh. I’d only recommend it to someone who really really like candy flavored stuff.

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70

This one is… an oddity. I’m not getting chocolate really, maybe some malty notes, and there’s no floral aspect at all. Maybe this could have benefited from a longer steep, though the strawberry is really prominent. It kind of reads like a regular strawberry black. I really love rose teas but this one just isn’t strong enough.

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81

Finally getting to my samples from Makers Tea! As Azzrian suggested, you really should use the entire sample for a cup. They’re kind of small, and I’ll admit that I was a bit disappointed. I mean, you have to pay $5 upfront, I was hoping they’d be a bit bigger so I could play around with them more. But you really only have one shot: this makes me nervous with flavored teas, because they don’t resteep well usually so you have one chance to get a good cup out of it. And the suggested steeping time is… 7 minutes?! That seems way too long for a black.

This is a nice caramel tea with a smooth, tasty flavor but I’m just not getting much salt. The caramel is really really good, but I was hoping for more of a salty bite and I can’t taste it at all! And the base is just okay, nothing really outstanding. So a good tea, but nothing really spectacular.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Helena

They said they would be giving bigger sample sizes in the future :D

Alphakitty

Oh, that’s good! I would have liked to experiment a bit more with this one.

LiberTEAS

I have very little respect for this company, I don’t like the way they’ve conducted themselves up to this point.

Alphakitty

I don’t like that we had to put money down—I like to think of free samples as a test drive, and if the tea is good I will definitely place an order with the company. This feels kind of like they are forcing a sale almost.

Helena

They are definitely no Butikit Teas, Verdant Tea, Red Leaf Tea or 52teas (the ones I compare companies to) I wasn’t impressed with the quality of the tea, the lack of ingredients label (or even on the website) Although I do like the idea of putting tea in a que.

Alphakitty

They definitely need to tweak the blends a bit. I think it’s a good idea, just perhaps not executed as well as it could be.

LiberTEAS

Unfortunately, the queue seems to be the only worthwhile thing about the company… so I guess I’ll just keep teas in queue! LOL I don’t intend on paying $5 for samples that were supposed to be free, especially if they are just enough for one cup of tea! The only time I pay more than a dollar for a cup of tea is when someone else is making it for me. And to say that the money is “refunded” with the first full-price package you buy, so … I’m what then? Investing in the company? What if I don’t like my first batch of samples and want to try another batch of three… I have to pay another $5 for that. If they’re going to charge for samples, at least make it a worth the money I’ve paid for it. I understand paying for postage, but in all the years that I was selling teas, it never cost me $5. to send out three samples to anyone.

And their lack of communication is truly distressing to me as a consumer. I like to deal with companies that do not hide behind their generic responses … and that’s exactly what I feel like I’m getting whenever I hear from this company. It sounds like a previously composed form letter, very generic and impersonal.

Just my impressions of this company … so far the only thing that has impressed me is their queue.

Pureleaf

Interesting about the $5 upfront investment. Is this new? They sent my samples without this charge. It did take awhile for them to be sent though. I’ll have to check as well on the size of sample. For some reason, I remember there being enough for a couple settings. Interesting.

Alphakitty

For the first batch of people there was no fee, for the second it was $5 down. It sucks, because I wasn’t in the 1st round despite being in the first 10 people to respond—they kind of went in a random order.

LiberTEAS

@Alphakitty: Yes, that’s exactly how I feel about it too. I was in the first 10 to respond to the thread, and yet I didn’t get in the first round either. I just don’t like the way they handled the whole thing.

And in the PM that I finally DID get from them (well after the first round of folks had ordered and began receiving their samples), in that post they mentioned NOTHING about the $5 charge, they still claimed that the samples would be “free” – they don’t even update their previously composed form letters.

It all shows a lack of concern toward their customer. I cannot trust this company after the way they treated me. I would rather row a boat to china and pick my own tea leaves than buy from this company.

Babble

I agree with everything LiberTEAS said. Their communication has been horrible. I also don’t think they understand the concept that when you area new tea company, you have to invest money in your customers before they invest money in you. That’s why you see so many other tea companies sending out samples without requiring any money. Word of mouth is a powerful advertising tool, especially in this era of social media.

Also, $5 for barely any samples is a joke. Other companies, like Den’s Tea, send you way more tea for $3.

Alphakitty

It actually still says that samples are free on their site, which is a bit misleading. I agree that new companies sending out samples generally consider it an investment of sorts—and if it’s good tea that speaks for itself, of course they are going to get customers! I feel like I might ask for my $5 back, since so far I haven’t tried any of their teas I’d want to add to my stash (though I still have 1 sample left).

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97

Having an iced latte of this, I really can’t emphasize enough how damn tasty it is! Caramel, butter, matcha, milk… ugh, this is sinfully good. I seriously think this is my second favorite of the Red Leaf matchas, Pumpkin Pie is still my #1 though! I wonder what would happen if I put them together…

Nik

“I wonder what would happen if I put them together…” My taste buds are salsa dancing at the thought.

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95

The original 52teas Cotton Candy is one of those blends I hoard and store up for special occasions. I mean, it’s not every day that you get to drink a glass of pure cotton candy goodness! I’ve been keeping an eye out for similarly flavored teas, but the Red Leaf matcha is the only one that comes close. So of course I had to snag their new cotton candy tea! I mean, I love cotton candy, blueberries, Halloween-themed things AND 52teas so nothing could really go wrong.

I cold brewed this (because who wants to drink hot cotton candy?!) and holy WOW. At first sip I thought the blueberry was too strong and kind of dominated. And in a way it does—while you are drinking, it’s pure juicy and very authentic blueberry (not surprising since there are so many dried berries in the mix), followed by a mellow green tea taste. A little vegetal, a little sweet, but nothing to write home about. Then, BAM, at the end of the sip my mouth was filled with delicious cotton candy taste!

This is the perfect blend of cotton candy and blueberries—both are dominant flavors, and indeed both get a chance to “overwhelm” the cup, but you get them both in equal and delicious amount. Definitely a tea to be savored, I think you’d miss a lot of you chugged this one down. Another winner from 52teas! They’ve really been on a roll recently, between them and Red Leaf I feel like all my recent tealogs have had scores in the 90’s haha

Babble

I purchased this and I’m anxiously awaiting it. Glad to know its good!

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94

I’ve had the 52teas Caramel Cheesecake for over a month now and still haven’t logged it. I don’t know why, it’s good, it’s just… exactly what I expected, and nothing more. So I was really on the fence about this one, since it’s essentially the same blend with pumpkin flavor. I ended up getting it (okay, the bf ordered it since he’s in love with Caramel Cheesecake) when it was briefly reblended. Best tea-related decision I’ve made in a while!

This has all the flavor elements you’d expect: spicy pumpkin pie flavor, rich caramel, and an undertone of tangy cheesecake. A lot of people complain about not tasting the cheesecake on the 52 cheesecake blends, but that’s never been an issue for me (except in the Apricot one, where it seemed to be blatant for everyone else haha). Here I think it’s especially prominent: really creamy, and with a nice tang. The pumpkin flavor kind of dominates, adding a decadence to the cup. Combined with the caramel this is an over the top comfort tea. I tried it hot and iced (I know, pumpkin tea iced, I have strange tastes!) and both ways I actually felt full after a cup with no added sugar or milk. This is a rich tea! But delightfully so: often the problem with dessert teas is that you still, you know, want pie after drinking them. But not here! It’s desserty perfection, but not for the faint of heart. It took me 2 hours to finished the iced cup…. yeah, it’s that rich.

Kittenna

Hahaha, I had to laugh at how you said you could taste the cheesecake in most of the 52teas blends except apricot – before even reading the next few words, I was all “but that’s the only one I can taste it in”! :P

CHAroma

“Often the problem with dessert teas is that you still, you know, want pie after drinking them.” Hahahaha!! So true!

Alphakitty

@Kittenna: I think sometimes my tastebuds are wonky since I always get the cheesecake except in that one darn blend. Now that it’s had time to sit I really need to give it another shot!

@CHAroma: It really is! It’s all nice and well to have a cup of tea that tastes like pie, but when I want something REALLY dessert-y I just go for hot chocolate. Or now, this tea, since it’s just as rich (but way less calories).

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93
drank KaiMatcha Premium by KaiMatcha
470 tasting notes

I’m pretty sure my post office is trying to drive me insane. I was lucky enough to win a whole tin of this in KaiMatcha’s contest, and I noticed about a week later everyone was posting tasting notes, but mine hadn’t arrived. I assumed it would come soon… but nothing, for one whole week! I checked the tracking info on October 10th and lo and behold it got to my local post office on the 1st. Which means it was just sitting there for 9 days! What the heck! I went there to pick it up and they told me it wasn’t there and they couldn’t fully check without the tracking info (which I didn’t have on hand). Furious, I filed a complaint and the next day a slip to pick it up arrived in my box (though no delivery attempt…). Seriously, I am so fed up with them! They mark boxes by what day they arrive and you could clearly see it originally said 1st but they crossed it out to say it got there the 10th. Aargh.

Anyway, of course right after I got it NYCC started up and I was too busy to do a tasting note, and then I got consars and my tastebuds went all wonky. Judging from the other reviews I knew this was going to be good, so I didn’t want to waste it on my flu-y tasting abilities. But the time had finally come to dive right in! Well, I planned on savoring it and taking time to taste it, but mysteriously my first mug vanished rather quickly…

As others have said, this is what matcha is all about. It’s true ceremonial grade, better than any other pure matcha I’ve had! I was actually quite surprised when I took my first sip. It’s not that grassy at all, with a full, buttery almost umami-like mouthfeel. It’s mellow and vegetal, with just a hint of delicious sweetness.

The foam is amazing too! So frothy and delicious, and it sifts like a dream. No clumps, no lumps, just smooth amazing matcha-ness. I’ve had this 3 times since I first opened it (straight, iced latte, hot latte) and it’s just amazing no matter what you do to it. Matcha at its purest!

ashmanra

Sorry you had such a hassle! I am glad to hear you won, though! I didn’t. sob But I did order a tin and it is supposed to cme tomorrow! It will be my first unflavored matcha ever and I am pretty excited!

Terri HarpLady

I’m trying to finish of the Matcha I have to justify using the KaiMatcha coupon to order from them. It sounds wonderful! I love me some good Matcha!

Alphakitty

It is SO worth buying, I know I’ll be back for more once I’ve finished off my tin (which at the rate I am plowing through it won’t take long haha)

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97

When I saw that this was being reblended, I practically jumped out of my chair with joy. It’s on my (long) list of 52tea desires: the ones I’d love to try, but were made so long ago or were so popular that I have no hope of ever getting a sample. And here, right in front of me, the opportunity to buy an entire pouch?! Thinking back on it, I should have gotten 2, but money’s been tight this month so I went with just one.

Opening the pouch for this is a transcendent experience. It’s marshmallow treats all right, with SUCH a strong marshmallow smell but some nice toastiness too. I’ve had this hot and cold brewed since I got mine, and both ways are beyond divine. The marshmallow flavor is thick and delicious and creamy-sweet, but it’s balanced so well by the genmaicha base. I think marshmallow can easily be an overwhelming flavor, bordering on sickly-sweet, but 52teas balances it so well with things like nutty genmaicha, lemon, and mint. So you get just enough marshmallow without feeling nauseous.

The genmaicha base is what really makes this tea perfect. It mimics the crunchy, crusty flavor and texture of a marshmallow bar so perfectly. Just like in the Cherry Cheesecake Genmaicha, when it was the perfect “crust.” I think most people wouldn’t imagine it as the perfect base for a dessert tea, but I wish there were more genmaicha blends! And more marshmallow blends as well, since this is… heaven. I can’t get enough of it! One of my favorites from them for sure. If you have this, give it a try cold brewed: you won’t regret it.

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97

The tasting notes on this one have been SO good, I kind of had super high expectations going into it. I mean, Azzrian’s favorite matcha?! As the current matcha queen of steepster, I really trust her opinion so yes, I had high hopes for this one! I snagged one as soon as it went on sale. As a side note, I hate my post office! The tracking info on stuff coming to me is totally messed up, and it keeps saying stuff is in transit after it’s arrived or that it’s been sitting in my post office for a week and hasn’t been delivered, it’s so annoying! I think they held this one “hostage” for a while, since it took way longer than usual and I only got it after I went there and bugged them. But anyway, back to tea! I got:

Size: Small (30 grams)
Base: Classic Matcha
Flavor: Delicate

I’m not sure why I went with delicate over distinctive (my usual), I just had a feeling that it’d be best with a light flavor. The smell in the bag is amazing, caramel and popcorn and BUTTER! It reminds me of the microwave caramel popcorn they used to make… they still make some kinds now, but this one came with a huge chunk of caramel to put in the bag after you warmed up the popcorn so instead of some caramel glaze it was ACTUAL gooey, delicious caramel on your popcorn. That stuff was soooo good, but I guess it’s just cheaper to skimp out and glaze them. Sigh.

I whipped this up last night as a hot latte, and holy moly it is just… perfect. Amazing! You can taste ALL of the levels of flavor, even with the delicate option. There’s rich, fresh-made caramel flavor, reminiscent of (unsurprisingly) caramel, one of the classic and most-loved Red Leaf flavors. Then there’s the popcorn, without the crunch but with that almost fluffy, airy taste. Then, BUTTER. I can’t believe there’s actual slightly salty butter flavor in here! It makes this sooo rich and delicious and just perfect. No mistaking what flavor this is! It so reminds me of the old caramel popcorn, it’s like having it back finally!

Of course because I went with delicate, the matcha flavor isn’t overpowered but makes for a nice base of sorts, keeping the caramel flavor from getting too heavy. And as much as I totally love this one, I REALLY want to try it with a black base with the distinctive level of flavoring… just thinking about adding those chocolate cookie notes to this makes my brain explode! If you love dessert matchas like me, get this. Heck, if you love matcha, get this. If you love tea at all get this! Really, it is just perfect.

http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/caramel-popcorn-matcha.html

Azzrian

Yup this, butterscotch, and Macadamia Nut are in fact my favorite of the dessert flavors! :)
SOOOO GOOD!

LiberTEAS

I so remember that caramel corn… it was so amazing.

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Bio

Tea has always been a passion of mine, though I got away from it during college. A lack of cupboard space and a constant influx of people into my suite made me pretty much abandon my teas at home. But now that I’m done with school, it’s definitely come back with a vengeance—to the point where I’ve purchased about 65 different kinds in the past 3 months!

I like most kinds of teas—yes, even peach, which I used to think I disliked!. Oolongs are definitely my favorite, and I’m an avid fan of earl grey, floral teas, and chai blends along with anything melon. The only kind of teas on my “no” list are rooibos blends (which gives me headaches) and banana flavored ones since bananas are public enemy #1 in my mind.

The best thing about tea for me is how you can be passionate about it and still have it integrate into all of your other hobbies. I like a lot of things: writing, video games, books, sewing, figure collecting, astronomy… it’s a long list. But whatever I’m doing, I can have a cup of tea in hand!

Location

New York

Website

http://www.plastikitty.com/

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