So, I made a hot latte of this for my mom today. I had to come up to my house to pick up a few things, and she requested to try this one last time I was here as I rattled off all the matchas I had just gotten haha. So, I whipped one up (with a real sifter too and not my tea strainer!) and she is in LOVE. It’s on her birthday wishlist, aka if we don’t get it for her we will suffer some sort of horrible wrath. Another Red Leaf convert in the making! (she wants creme brulee next)
468 Tasting Notes
I am so behind on my tasting notes it’s almost embarrassing. I have like 10+ to log that I’ve totally neglected! I’ve had a lot of work-related stuff to do the past few weeks, including dealing with NYCC’s ridiculously elaborate press registration. Why do I need to fill out a 5 page form and FAX it? Is it 1990 and no one told me?! Seriously, who faxes anything anymore. But I got my badge, so now that’s all taken care of I need to catch up on tea!
This tea is magical. I think Stacy is some sort of tea fairy who just sprinkles stuff with magic dust and voila, it’s perfect! You see, this is a VERY watermelon-y tea. In the bag it smells like candy. Not Jolly Rancher watermelon, but pure tasty watermelon. When it’s brewed (cold steeped in this case) it’s an almost crystal-clear liquid that smells SO strongly of watermelon it’s amazing! And the taste, wow. It’s SO natural watermelon! And really strong! But, at the same time it’s not overly strong at all. In fact, while it’s very watermelon-y there’s just as much if not more of the delicious white base going on. It’s like… watermelon juice and white tea together in harmony.
I don’t think I am properly describing it, but it’s like… the most natural, perfect flavoring in the world. You’d never know it was actually flavored at all it tastes so natural! Like the tea leaves just grew and tasted like watermelon. My dad, who is wary of fruity-flavored teas, even loved this one! He mentioned it the other day, so I think I might get him some of this for Christmas. It’s just… perfection!
This is one of those matchas I probably wouldn’t have given a second look if not for a review by Azzrian. And I do love nutty things… ut my boyfriend is allergic to most of them so I try not to keep nutty treats in the house. They won’t affect him if I eat them, but I just feel rude chowing down on something delicious he can’t have! (Nutella is my one exception haha) Tea flavorings are usually fine, but I’m so used to overlooking things because of nuts that I had barely glanced at this one before scrolling past it. Now I am SO glad I gave it a shot! I got:
Size: Small (30 grams) though now I wish I’d gotten a large…
This matcha smells AMAZING in the bag. Sometimes the flavors seem overpowering, but not this one, oh no. I wanted to stick my face in there! But that didn’t really seem like a good idea so I made an iced latte instead. As I was making it, I thought back to my first time with Red Leaf’s matcha and how careful I was about measuring everything out. Now, I’m rather gung-ho about it, not measuring the water or the matcha. I make some sort of matcha drink almost every day, it’s practically second nature at this point!
So, the flavor of this matcha is out of this world. It’s just… heaven. Pure, delicious macadamia nuts. This is going to sound odd, and I am not entirely sure how to describe it, but the nutty flavor just permeates the entire cup. Like, you know with other matchas you can taste the flavor and the matcha? It’ll taste like caramel and matcha. Well this, it tastes like macadamia was ground up and somehow bound to the matcha. It’s perfect harmony, different than any one I’ve ever tried! It is just SO GOOD. Here’s the link for where to try it, and you really really should:
I think I need to try more of their nutty teas if they are anywhere near as scrumptious as this one!
One of two matchas left to try from this order! I really didn’t need to order any more, but the sale sucked me in on this one. I’ve found that I really love blackcurrant teas, and I have a strange desire to recreate Harney & Sons Paris in matcha form. Which, obviously, you need blackcurrant for! Now I just need Earl Grey to complete it (caramel & cream are already in my cupboard). Plus I can always use more fruity matchas. I find that the dessert ones I really prefer as lattes, but I don’t want to drink milk all day long (I’m mildly lactose intolerant) so fruity matchas = nice cold iced drinks! I got:
Size: Small (30 grams)
In the bag this smells like… candy! As Dinosara mentioned, it really does smell like blackcurrant candies. I don’t think they are that common, but a store in my town sells these pretty tins of hard candies and blackcurrant is one of the flavors. Also, tasty Japanese gummies are flavored with it! I made a tall iced glass, and the bf sniffed it and declared “this smells like Fruit Rollups.” Yup, the smell is sugary-sweet! Very candy-like.
The taste too is very much like candy. I’m not getting that ripe berry taste, but more blackcurrant candy and matcha. With the strong matcha taste (since I only got the delicate flavor, the blackcurrant doesn’t overpower it at all) this reminds me of a Japanese candy so much. Like drinking melted gummies! I only added a bit of sugar, but I think this matcha is pretty sweet on its own somehow. It’s quite nice, though not at all what I originally expected it to be. It’ll be a great snack for curbing sugar cravings though! You can get some here:
Man, I should not drink 3 cups of matcha in one day! However, I had this at midnight and I am still pretty sleepy so no harm no foul. I would love to drink 3 cups of matcha every day… but I’d probably go through my stash way too fast.
Like English Toffee, this one has been on my wishlist forever. I mean a LOT of flavors have been, but I can’t get them all haha. And I’ve always loved mocha. Mocha lattes, mocha… uh, what else is even mocha flavored? Well, matcha I guess! I got:
Size: Small (30 grams)
Base: Black Matcha
Flavor Level: Distinctive
For chocolate flavors, black + distinctive is the way to go. I love love love the black matcha, it’s just so tasty! Dare I say I like it even more than green. It’s got nutty, chocolatey, rich notes that make dessert teas feel even more indulgent. On the negative side, I find I can’t have them every day. A black matcha latte feels a LOT denser/heavier than a green matcha latte, even though I am pretty sure the calorie count is the same. So, if you want a richer experience go for the black base! And for mocha, I mean, you want the rich experience!
I made a hot latte with this, and holy wow. It’s like a rich, creamy, indulgent Starbucks drink only I made it in my kitchen in 3 minutes, it costs next to nothing, and it has really low calories. You’ve got coffee, chocolate, the great black matcha base, creamy milk, a pinch of sugar, and bam. Perfect, perfect latte. It is just perfection! You can get some here:
Second matcha latte of the day, because when I drank it a few hours ago I REALLY needed to wake up. I have some sort of flu/bug and I am just bone-tired for no reason! I woke up at my usual time, was up for an hour, and promptly took a 4 hour nap. But you know I can’t sleep all day! Actually… I probably COULD but I don’t want to haha. So matcha to the rescue!
I loooove english toffee. I make it quite often, since there are 3 ingredients (if you don’t do the chocolate/nut topping) and I always have them on hand. I tend to just use whatever kind of chocolate I have on hand to top it, so I end up with wacky things like white chocolate coconut toffee. It is also AMAZING for making with tea—just steep the butter, and bam! Tea toffee! So of course, I have to try toffee tea. In fact, this has been really high up on my list for a long time but honestly I try not to get too many dessert teas per order. I don’t even know why, it’s not like they have more calories… but I try to balance it with fruity stuff. But finally, toffee matcha’s time has come! I got:
Size: 30 grams (small)
Flavor Level: Distinctive
I was super tempted to get this with the black base, since I love chocolate flavors + black matcha but I wanted to try something chocolatey with a regular old green base. Also, one of these days I’ll get a large… but I have to find “the one” first. Caramel and pumpkin pie are currently in the lead! But I think tonight they found a challenger.
This matcha is phenomenal! You taste the sweet, buttery toffee and the rich chocolate, even a hint of nutty goodness. And it really is good with the green base! These flavors are like magic, how did they stuff so many aspects of a tasty treat into matcha? I mean, this isn’t simply caramel + nuts + chocolate. It really does have that buttery smoothness and a toastiness that I associate with toffee. It’s magic I tell you, magic. Delicious, perfect magic. You can get some here… and if you like dessert matcha, you definitely should!
This is one matcha I definitely didn’t think I would ever get. There are just SO many tasty flavors, and butterscotch has never really been one of my favorite things. Well, the candies: I do love fresh butterscotch syrup on some vanilla ice cream. Yum! But this has a little candy image, so I assumed it’d be like those. However, I ended up changing my mind because of two things: my bf loves butterscotch and expressed an interest in this flavor, and Azzrian made it sound absolutely irresistible! To be honest, I got the macadamia nut that I’ll be trying tomorrow because of her too. You’re an enabler! My matcha collection is getting so big! Anyway, my matcha was as follows:
Size: Small (30 grams)
Flavor Level: Delicate
I usually go for distinctive for dessert-type flavors, but I wasn’t so sure about how butterscotch-y I wanted my matcha to be haha. Plus, I had spent way too much by the time I added this one to my cart! I find that there’s not really a TON of difference in flavor levels: at least, the matcha is always going to taste like the correct flavor. Yeah, robust gives it a little more oomph, but it also masks the matcha a tiny bit so distinctive and delicate are the way I usually go.
I made an iced latte of this for the bf (and English Toffee for myself!) and WOW. I took a little sip (hey, I have to be able to review it!) and promptly gave the mug to him. I expected I’d have to finish it off: he likes matcha, but never actually finishes a whole mug haha. Tiny mugs even! But this one, oh man, he downed 2/3rds in one chug. The rest vanished minutes later! Successful? Oh yeah! This is his favorite of mine, and I think he’s tried almost all of them.
The flavor is so smooth and perfectly butterscotch-y. And not cheap candy. No, this is rich decadent creamy sweet gooey butterscotch. Ah, it’s so tasty! I really really want to make some frosting with this one, I bet it would be beyond delicious. You can get some here:
When my mom was a kid, all medicine was grape flavored. To this day she can’t have any grape candies/sodas/etc, because no matter how well done it is, it reminds her of medicine. I am very much the same way with cherry: anything with real cherries (jam, ice cream, etc) is fine but candy… bleurgh. It could be the best cherry flavor in the world and I by association wouldn’t like it. However, I LOVE black cherries, so I took a risk and got this matcha anyway when it went on sale. As a side note, kids today are lucky: medicines are grape, orange, cherry, even mint! So they can pick the flavor they’ll grow up loathing for the rest of their lives.
My matcha was a small (30g) with the classic matcha base and the delicate level of flavoring. I wasn’t too sure how much I’d like this, so of course I went with the smallest flavor level! Also, it was a stand-alone order that I didn’t have a certificate for, so I kept everything basic. I do have 5 fancier matchas on my kitchen table right now waiting to be tried! But first, me versus my dislike of cherry. Start battle!
Okay, in the pouch this smells really nice and fresh, but I am still getting some weird medicinal vibes. Don’t get me wrong: the flavoring isn’t artificial or medicinal in the least. It’s just my stupid brain! I decided to make this iced in a tall glass of cold water (though I did the hot water + whisking base first along with sugar—what, I like my matcha a little sweet!). I thought this would be the best way to deal with my medicine associations.
Well… it is really good. It tastes like fresh, ripe black cherries. But. Ah, I hate that there’s a but! I am having a REALLY hard time getting over my cherry = medicine thing here. I think iced was the wrong choice, so I am going to go with a latte next time and for now I am holding off on a rating. Because I know this matcha will be fabulous if I just make it the right way! And if you don’t have a secret hatred of cherries you will adore this matcha, I think it’s by far one of the best of their fruit-flavored ones (that I’ve tried, of course!). You can get it here:
I could have sworn that I wrote something about this tea already! Upon further inspection it appears I haven’t, even though I drank it about a week ago. Curious indeed. I don’t know why I would have put it off: this was really a great tea! I also got the Coconut Oolong from them, basically for the sake of comparing and contrasting two coconut teas. I love coconut and would really like to find one that 1) I love and 2) is affordable enough to make big pitchers of. Now, their Coconut Oolong was fantastic but first off too expensive for everyday use (not a fault, of course, oolongs just tend to be pricey!) and was also similar to a tea I already have (GMT’s Coconut Pouchong.)
Right at the start, this tea has a lot of the things I am looking for in a nice iced tropical blend. Reasonable price, actual coconut bits, and it smells great! Of course, the time for iced tea here has come and gone, in fact I’m sipping an iced green right now and shivering… yet I continue to drink, because I just love iced tea so much! I swear, it’ll be the dead of winter during one of those NY blackouts and I’ll be drinking iced tea while freezing my butt off under a pile of blankets.
Anyway, onto the tea! It’s definitely quite coconutty—not the same super strong upfront coconut as the oolong, a more delicate and somehow relaxed tea. It isn’t super fancy or frilly, it’s just a great everyday tea. Most of my absolute favorites are in the same category: as nice as it is to have fancy, special occasion teas I am very loyal to the ones I can have all the time and find myself reaching for over and over again. And this… yes, it definitely delivers on that front. It’s light, sweet, fresh coconut, with a strong but not overly dominant green base. Which is exactly what I was looking for! Sadly, I have to wait until it’s October to order any more tea since I have to use my debit card 10 times a month (or face the wrath of banking fees). But this and the Orange Grapefruit will definitely come home with me!
I got some of this from Amanda and decided to try it “blind” aka I had no idea what the ingredients where when I drank it. Honestly, I started the cold brew late last night and was too lazy to look it up, but let’s pretend I had some fancy reason.
This tea is… weird. I am getting apple/pear, mint, something citrus-y, maybe a little tart hibiscus? And then at the end, coconut and caramel, I swear to god. It’s creamy and rich, totally different from the beginning of the sip. It tastes like someone mixed a minty tea with a fruity tea and threw in something sweet to go along with it. My mouth is confused!
Upon looking at the ingredients, there’s no coconut OR caramel. Is there vanilla? That might be it, but doesn’t explain the coconut vibe. Mysterious! I honestly don’t know how to rate this tea (it’s good, but SO weird) so I will just hold off on that one. Suffice to say, this was an intriguing drinking experience.
On a related note, it is COLD today in New York. Like, mid-fall cold, yet it’s only the end of September. Brrr, why am I drinking iced tea!
As you may know, I am on the quest for the perfect grapefruit tea. There are a lot that I love, but many of them have other flavors added that while they do go well with grapefruit (like Zen’s Orange Grapefruit) prevents them from being the one. You know, the one tea I’ll give my heart to and we’ll run away and live happily ever after in a castle by the sea in France. Uhh I really like grapefruit. And I also love Butiki, so I have been eagerly awaiting this tea for months, as soon as Stacy announced she was working on it! Of course tragedy struck and I shipped my order to the wrong place so I was supposed to get it LAST Tuesday but had to wait until yesterday when I could take a trip up to my parent’s house. Stupid paypal, why do you default to my billing address! Depriving me of tea!
In any case, I was ridiculously excited to open this one up and made everyone around me smell it including… one of my cats. My little girl (well, she’s my mom’s cat, but we handraised a group of kittens from 10 days old so I consider the three of them “mine” haha) LOVES tea leaves and was very fond of this blend. She’s always trying to eat them but I think the citrus prevented her this time, though she did take a big whiff. The smell is delicious, like fresh grapefruit. It’s not as strong as I assumed it would be, very subtle and nice.
I cold brewed this one because, come on, I can’t drink grapefruit warm! It’s like… a travesty against all that is natural. Grapefruit must be ice-cold with just a teeny teeny splash of sugar. I can’t drink sweetened grapefruit juice to be honest, it has to be the regular stuff (which no one else in my family will drink haha), BUT I did put a pinch of sugar in as this was brewing, just to bring out all the flavors.
Oooh man, this is grapefruity heaven. Sweet, tart, citrusy. And nothing else is competing with it, so it’s all grapefruit all the way! Well, of course there’s a lovely dragonwell base which adds some interesting nuttiness and grassy freshness. It’s perfect, sweet grapefruit. Ruby grapefruit! The tartness is right on point, not overpowering but also still there. In my book, grapefruit teas need a little bite. They’re just not right without it! And this is perfection. Oh grapefruit tea, I’ve found you! Never leave me! Thanks so much to Stacy for coming up with this amazing concoction. If you like grapefruit you NEED to try it. But no I won’t put samples of this in a swap, it’s mine, all mine, bwahaha! One of those treasures you guard carefully and savor every last leaf.
Another Earl Grey Cream to check off my list! Seriously, I am on a mission to try them alllll. I got this in my envelope from Amanda and was excited since, well, I love EGCs but I am also becoming quite fond of Della Terra. Their Mother of Pearl and Walnut Brittle are totally unbeatable teas, and everything else has been yummy too.
To be totally honest, I kind of have trouble telling EGCs apart at this point haha. Aside from a few standouts, they do tend to blend together. This one is heavy on the vanilla with less bergamot, making an exceptionally creamy cup though it’s not as Earl Grey-ish as some others I’ve tried. I had it both hot and iced and preferred it hot, even though I do love a good cold brewed EGC. It’s good but not WOW blowing me away good, a nice offering but too similar to others for me to really want to stock it. However, if you’ve never tried an Earl Grey Cream I think this would be a good place to start, it’s got a nice balance and isn’t heavy on the bergamot!
I got this in my Try Me pack and for some reason held off on trying it. I don’t know why, maybe I wanted to be in a fall mood? Well, it’s cold today, plus I really want a cookie but I don’t have any.
When brewing, this tea seriously makes the kitchen smell like baking cookies. Mmm! Of course, it’s kind of impossible to totally replicate a cookie taste in a tea, but this comes darn close. The black base has some bake-y notes, and combined with the vanilla and brown sugar flavorings it really seems like some sort of cookie or sugary bread. Delicious! The raisin really comes through, adding nice earthy fruity notes. I didn’t get a WHOLE lot of oatmeal, in fact not much at all but the vanilla/brown sugar combo pretty much covers the baked good base well enough. The cinnamon brings everything together nicely, though my one complaint is that I think there might be a little bit too much in my cup. It’s very strong and not quite but almost overpowers some of the subtler notes.
That being said, this tea is fantastic! A really good, warming cup for a cool fall evening. I think I am definitely going to have to stock this one.
I made this one hot for the virtual tea tasting and liked it but didn’t love it—it was very cinnamon-y and a bit lacking in berry flavor. Since all the flavoring elements here are natural ingredients, I thought they’d benefit from a long cold steep since that would really draw out all the berry flavor. Cold, this is much better!
The color is so pretty, a nice rosy pink. Which means lots of berry flavor! And indeed, it’s a lot stronger this way. A little tart, with distinct raspberry and goji berry notes. The cinnamon comes in at the end instead of overwhelming the cup, and it really adds to the green tea/berry combo to make this very cobbler-ish but still fresh & fruity.
Mangoes are my favorite fruit. Or at least, I think they are! My opinions seem to be divided, and watermelon (any melon, really) and pomegranate are close contenders. Man, you know what would be amazing? Honeydew Matcha. I could see that ripe melon taste going SO well with a grassy green base. Oh man, I am drooling at the thought. Not, uh, literally drooling, but I might if honeydew matcha was a real thing! Ummm back to the matter at hand. Mangoes! I love ’em! Especially when they reach that perfect peak of ripeness and are fall-apart juicy but still with a great texture.
Of course I had to try mango matcha. I especially got it to mix with my coconut and rose (separately!), but regular old mango has to be tried first. I got a small with green matcha and distinctive flavor—my preferred for fruity matchas. The smell in the bag seemed particularly strong/artificial, but I’ve found that’s usual for matcha and it doesn’t reflect the taste.
I have to say, this really isn’t a straight mango flavor. The mango aspect is quite interesting—it’s not juicy mango flesh, but more like… you know, when you’re cutting a mango and there’s some flesh left after you peel it so you scrape your teeth on the rind to get it all? You get mango flesh, but also some rind-y goodness as well that adds a woodsy, almost tangy taste. Well, that’s what the mango is like here! Rind-y. It’s kind of nice, quite different from other mango teas I’ve tried.
But… and sadly, there is a but. This tastes like lemon! Not a hint, a little whiff of citrus. It’s really lemony! I would guess this was Mango Lemon if I didn’t know better. Another review mentions citrus too (I didn’t read them first, just perusing to see if I was way off-base), so I guess it’s just how the mango flavoring is? Now that I know it, it won’t be such a surprise when I make it next and I think I could really get to like it. You can find it here:
I love baking with tea, but I had yet to experiment with Red Leaf’s matcha and baked goods. Well, two days ago I decided to change that! I whipped up a pretty simple pound cake batter, and added cream cheese and 1 tablespoon of this matcha… well, maybe a little less than a tablespoon. I’ll be honest, I don’t really measure (except for flour & sugar). I eyeball everything!
It was SO GOOD. I was worried the Bavarian Cream flavor wouldn’t come through but oh man it does. The cake is fluffy light perfection, the cream cheese/bavarian cream combo make it ridiculously decadent without adding too many calories at all (I used light cream cheese). Ugh, it’s like cake and frosting in one but with like a third of the calories. If you have this matcha with any base, put it in a cake. Right now. Just do it, it’s so good!
I love tiramisu. I mean, I really really love it. If I go out for Italian, you can bet on what dessert I’ll have (no matter how good anything else is). Even a medicore slice of tiramisu is good, but a really great piece is just… perfection. Coffee, chocolate, cream, ladyfingers. It’s tangy, rich, decadent, and so so good. The best I ever had was in Paris, though several places in NY have tiramisu that is almost as good. Of course, I had to try the tiramisu flavored matcha! And because I love the flavor so much, I went for the Robust level and the black matcha base which I just loved so much on the Cookies & Cream.
This matcha really solidifies my love for the black matcha base. I think… I might even like it better than green matcha! In fact, I think I might like the base here better than the flavoring. This was my first time with Robust, but I don’t think it is significantly more flavored than Distinctive. Then again, I think it really depends on the flavor itself—I’ve had delicate matcha that was stronger flavored than this one (Caramel) and my Cotton Candy at distinctive was so strong I honestly could barely taste the matcha! Here I think the Robust works well, it’s definitely not the strongest dessert flavor.
You can taste many of the elements: coffee, cream, and chocolate. I think the black base bolsters them a lot, since the similar notes make it taste more like tiramisu. I can’t imagine this one with a green base, I feel like the grassiness would be kind of in competition with the trio of tiramisu elements. Well, the green does have good reviews, but I think I prefer it with a black base!
This is a good matcha, though perhaps not as mind-blowing and great as some of the others I’ve tried from Red Leaf. It’s actually quite similar to cookies & cream, but without such a bold chocolate taste. What I find really interesting is that I’d swear I can taste a bit of alcohol here—not artificial flavoring, but like what they soak the bottom layer of real tiramisu in. Interesting! You can pick this one up here:
I think where this matcha will REALLY shine is in baking. Just imagine, a lovely delicate square of Tiramisu Black Matcha Pound Cake. Aww yeah.
This tea was really not at all what I expected. It tastes good, but kind of… an unidentifiable dessert taste. I’ve found many dessert-type teas have kind of the same taste profile: sweet, maybe-chocolate, a bit creamy, kind of a weak pastry vibe. That’s exactly what I got from this tea. No strong chocolate sadly, and only a hint of spice even though there were 5 peppercorns in my steeper. It was just not that great, tasted like tons of teas I’ve had before but without any stand-out notes to make me go “wow, this was great!” I’m wondering if my tastebuds are off on this one or something, since other people seem to be getting the chili chocolate vibe that I find lacking.
I am on a quest to find the perfect grapefruit tea, so of course I had to ask for this blend when I got my samples from Zen Tea! Anything with grapefruit, I’ll get. Orange grapefruit usually isn’t my favorite combo though, I find that the orange is often used to mask the grapefruit and in the end it tastes just like, well, an orange blend. I decided to be brave and cold brew this one: cold brewing anything with hibiscus makes me nervous since it tends to overwhelm everything when made that way. And when I strained this one, wow, it’s bright red. Like… Kool-aid red, fruit punch red. BUT there’s beet in this used to get that lovely ruby tone, so I wasn’t too worried about the tartness.
This blend is hibiscus done right! It’s so mild and really only comes in at the very very end of the sip, a little tartness which goes well with grapefruit and kind of mimics/adds to the grapefruit taste. And the grapefruit… wow! It’s really present! The orange doesn’t take away from it but just adds another layer of citrusy goodness, a little sweetness as well. Kind of like if you mixed grapefruit juice and orange-ade.
Halfway through my glass and I’m convinced something magical is going on in here. You can taste all the components: citrus from grapefruit, orange & lemongrass, fruity sweetness from the carrot & beet, a slight tartness from the hibiscus and a really nice, brisk herbaceous tone from the eucalyptus. But together.. it’s magic! SO GOOD! The eucalyptus is what does it I think, I’d swear it was juniper berry but it just ties everything together and elevates it into what I honestly think is the best herbal tisane I’ve ever had. I am so so impressed by these samples, and sad I only have one left to try! Definitely placing an order soon, hopefully with a ton of this beauty.
I totally forgot to mention it, but this blend is stunning! Whole orange slices, gorgeous whole herbs, bits of carrot and beet! Just lovely, everything about this cuppa is perfection.
As a kid, I was kind of obsessed with cotton candy. If I got any, no one could eat it but me, I’d go through an entire bag in about 5 minutes. If it was fresh cotton candy, probably 2. Anything cotton candy flavored I HAD to have. I think this has carried over into adulthood, since I go bananas for cotton candy flavored tea. I consider the 52teas blend mana from heaven, so of course I freaked out a little when I saw Red Leaf had a cotton candy matcha. How I waited until my 4th order to get some I’ll never know!
But now my tea is here and in one of the new packages! They’re about half the size and silver, very cute plus they take up less space. Yes, I don’t put my matcha in tins. I know, bad matcha owner! But I go through it all pretty fast with 1-2 cups a day so I don’t worry about it going bad or tasting less potent. I think I have like… 1 cup of caramel left? And I got it a month ago, so just a bit of tape is fine for me! Anyway, I got my Cotton Candy with the following options:
Size: Small (30g)
Matcha: Classic (did they change the name of this one? I remember it being called Starter a few weeks ago)
Cotton Candy is a STRONG flavor, so maybe I should have gone with Delicate but OH WELL I WANT MY COTTON CANDY. Seriously, the flavor at this level is so strong it might as well be the “there’s matcha in there?!” option. And I love it! I made this iced (mixed up the starter and just poured it in a cup with ice cold water)—usually I do lattes but I don’t see milk and cotton candy going well together. Plus I’ve found you can add a lot of water and still retain the flavor, while the same amount of starter will only mix well with a small mug of milk. I guess the milk kind of “dampens” the flavors? In any case, I had a nice large glass of cotton candy!
And OH MAN does it taste like cotton candy. The beginning of the sip is just matcha taste, but everything after that… heaven. It might as well be melted (green) cotton candy in my glass. And the taste lingers, my mouth was all cotton candy-y for a good half hour after I finished. This is just… it’s so good. If you like cotton candy you owe it to yourself to try this one out right now. Seriously! You can get some here:
My samples from Zen Tea came in yesterday, and man do they all smell good! I have two cold brews to try today, with this one being first. I was the most excited about this one, I even asked for the Green Coconut as well to compare the two. GMT’s Coconut Pouchong is one of my favorite teas, and I was hoping this one would be similar since they have the same base & flavoring combo.
The coconut flavor here is SO good! Kind of toasty bake-y, but also with some fresh coconut sweetness. It’s a nice combo, and really natural tasting. Fake coconut is… blargh, reminds me of suntan lotion, but thankfully this tea doesn’t remind me of a day at the beach. Well, maybe a tropical beach, sitting on a little foldy chair while sipping a drink from a coconut. Mm yeah, this is a vacation drink for sure! Some teas really transport you by association, kind of a mental vacation. And this, well, it’s so relaxing and refreshing, makes me feel like it’s still summer.
The Bao Zhong is lovely too, lightly floral and a little creamy. A perfect compliment to the succulent coconut! This obviously reminds me a LOT of GMT’s Coconut Pouchong, in fact I like it just as much. Coconut + oolong is a winning combination for sure!
I can’t believe I am the first to review this one! Crazy! I mean, it’s eggnog, a tasty delicious dessert-type treat. And the dessert matchas really do seem to get the most attention (for obvious reasons haha) BUT not this one! Maybe because it hasn’t gone on sale yet? I’ve wanted it for a while, and decided to just go for it in my last order. I needed one more, so eggnog hopped into my cart! I got:
Size: Small (30 grams)
Base: Basic Matcha
I’ve only gotten one matcha with the Delicate level of flavor: caramel, my very first one! I’ve found I really like the Distinctive, though I did get a Robust one in this order that I haven’t tried yet . However, eggnog is a REALLY strong flavor and I wasn’t sure if it would meld well with matcha so delicate it was. Just a regular starter base this time, since I adore my Pumpkin Pie with the green and thought eggnog might be similar in feel. You know, fall desserts! I plan on mixing them together very soon, mm pumplin pie eggnog.
Eggnog has a very distinctive taste: creamy, vanilla and almost custard-like with nutmeg and other fall spices. Much like the Bavarian Cream, this matcha actually captures the creaminess! Vanilla is dominant, along with a custard taste and nutmeg coming in at the end of the sip. Like pumpkin pie, it melds well with the grassiness of the matcha, keeping it from being so heavy. Honestly, I can’t even drink a mug of real eggnog, it’s wayyyy too rich. In fact, as much as I love it, it makes me nauseous. So this matcha is perfect! All the eggnog flavor without the eggnog ickiness. I love it! You can get some here:
And while it doesn’t seem to be super popular, I think it’s definitely worth a try! A very special flavor.
I really don’t know why I got an ounce of this instead of a sample. Odd, since I am not a huge rooibos fan. But anything with cream in the name is usually a winner for me, so I went for it! And thankfully, it was successful. I cold brewed this because the last time I cold brewed a rooibos, I really couldn’t taste the negative aspects. And indeed, no medicinal taste here! It is woodsy and has that rooibos-y flavor moreso than black tea, though there’s still some signature black tea notes. A wee bit malty, and honey-sweet.
The blueberry flavor is so damn authentic! Really tastes like fresh blueberries. And the cream, yumm. Ties it all together, this tea works way better than I thought it would. Kind of like… iced blueberry yogurt, only not heavy and very refreshing.
Whenever I order from Red Leaf, I seem to gravitate towards the dessert-y or exotic flavors, and overlook things I’d usually go for. “Rose Matcha, how mundane!” is what I thought at first. But after experimenting with a lot of candy-like flavors, I wanted something simple that I knew I’d love. And what do I love more than floral flavors? So, Rose Matcha found its way into my cart, and with a fancy base too! I got:
Size: Small (30 grams)
Quality: White Matcha
I got the 50/50 matcha mix for Bavarian Cream, and I really liked it so I decided to go for the full monty this time. White tea + rose is always good, so why not with matcha? Well, it definitely works! The white base is actually… grey-brown, which I was expecting but it’s browner than in the pictures. The flavor is different from the 50/50 blend a LOT (obviously): no grassiness at all, and there’s a really nice fruity taste. Peach, maybe? It’s very nice! Of course it has natural fruity notes as well, which compliment the rose.
Now, about the rose flavoring. I really like perfume-y flavors, but most people don’t. In the bag this smells like a perfume store, seriously strong! But once mixed up into a nice iced latte, the rose is smooth and really only slightly floral. It’s like rose candies: sweet (the most naturally sweet matcha I’ve tried) and with a good rose flavor but with no perfume notes. I think people who only kind of like floral teas would even love this!
It’s quite unusual compared to the other matchas I’ve tried, but I love it. So tasty and really refreshing in a way even the fruity ones aren’t! I’m also really happy I went with the white base, it goes sooo perfectly with the rose. I think lavender is next up for me!
You can buy this matcha here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/rose-matcha.html