618 Tasting Notes
How is it already August 8th? Time is flying! My daughter is over six months old now. She’s getting her first two teeth. They’re coming in together and I think it’s causing her a lot of grief. They’re taking their sweet time too. Only the tips have been visible for the past few days.
I held on to this tea for years thinking I could enjoy its caffeine-freeness during pregnancy. Well, pregnancy came and went a while ago and this tea is still around. There’s no time like the present! Might as well enjoy the rest of this now.
The brewed tea aroma is mouthwatering and tart. Yes, I can smell the tartness. It smells like blueberries, raisins, and hibiscus. The flavor is SUPER tart! Think about the tartest hibiscus tea you’ve ever tried and this is probably tarter. The flavor gets stronger the cooler the tea is. This is somewhat wine-like too.
On another note, I’ve finally started to lose weight after the birth. I’ve lost 20 lbs so far and have about another 20 to go to be able to fit back into my wardrobe. I’ve hit a big milestone this week. I’ve lost enough weight that I can wear my wedding rings again! Yes, I was literally so fat that my rings didn’t fit. I forgot how beautiful my engagement ring is. I really really missed it! I can’t stop staring at it. Now that I can wear my wedding rings again, I feel so much more like my old self. Losing weight is a necessity for me. I’m so glad I’m halfway to my goal!
Flavors: Blueberry, Hibiscus, Raisins, Red Wine, Tart
This one has a funny aroma. I’m not sure what it is, but there’s something odd going on in this cup. Maybe it’s one of the spices? The flavor is softly spiced orange. The base is pretty quiet. This needs a bit of Truvia to wake it up. Milk would squash the delicate flavors at play here so I left that out. I wish I could identify what that odd note is though. It’s really bugging me that I can’t. It’s not bad, just unknown to me.
It smells a bit creamy but I’m not getting cream in the flavor. It is smooth and gentle. This is not a wake-you-up-in-the-morning assertive blend. This is a calm, sweet tea to be enjoyed in front of the fire on a cold night. I’m definitely enjoying this but it’s not what I expected. No real cookie aspects to be found. I’d probably rename it “Orange Candlelight” or something to that effect. That’s what it reminds me of; it’s soft like candlelight. Thank you to TeaBrat for sharing this sample with me!
Flavors: Orange, Spices
This is my fourth sample from the flavored matcha sampler. It’s delicate flavoring with the classic base. The flavor is very subtle. It doesn’t actually taste like flavored matcha. It doesn’t taste like unflavored matcha either. It’s somewhere in between.
This tea is very smooth and less grassy than most other matcha. It’s a little creamy but doesn’t taste like cream per say. I can’t really describe it but it’s good. I definitely recommend getting a higher flavoring level if you want to really taste the cream. Unlike other reviewers, I’m not getting anything even remotely lemon-flavored or citrusy here.
I also tried mixing it with Vanilla Bean Matcha because I thought that would be stellar! Ironically, it wasn’t super amazing like I was expecting. This is a good matcha for people who like smooth, creamy matcha that isn’t heavily flavored. Personally, I think I’ll stick to other flavors for future purchases.
Thank you to TeaBrat for providing this sample! In my opinion, this is a tea that requires milk and sweetener. A little longer infusion helps too. This definitely tastes like a cookie! I’ve been sipping on it and trying to decide what kind of cookie. At first, I thought caramel, then peanut butter, then thumbprint. Those are three vastly different kinds of cookies! I guess I have no idea what kind this tastes like, but it is delicious. A delicious cookie in tea form! I forgot how much I like Lupicia Teas. This is definitely worth getting again.
Flavors: Caramel, Cookie
This is my third sample from the flavored matcha sampler. It’s delicate flavoring with the classic base. The dry leaf aroma is full of beautiful vanilla goodness. The flavor is gently sweet vanilla bean. The aftertaste is really lovely and the best part of this tea in my opinion. The natural-tasting vanilla flavoring lingers long after the sip.
This is delicious but I think I’d prefer vanilla as a component in a flavoring rather than the only thing going on. I can recommend this one, even in the lower flavoring level. I think vanilla may be one of those flavors that you want to be delicate. Although I’m really on a vanilla kick right now and I almost always prefer for it to be punched up about 100 notches. So that I enjoy this in delicate flavoring level is saying something!
Flavors: Sweet, warm grass, Vanilla
This is my second sample from the flavored matcha sampler. It’s delicate flavoring with the classic base. The dry leaf aroma is as I remember Cheesecake Matcha to be. That’s a good sign. The flavor is definitely light but it is spot on cheesecake. Thank goodness! I’m so glad this is better than the Strawberry Matcha sample. I guess there’s still hope for this sampler after all.
I definitely recommend getting a higher flavoring level than delicate though. This is mostly matcha with a touch of cheesecake. The powder seems to have blended better with the water this time too. I can absolutely enjoy the rest of this sample, but I really prefer stronger flavorings in my matcha. If you’re looking for a good flavored matcha to try out, this one is a safe bet. I can confidently recommend it.
Flavors: Cheesecake, Creamy, Sweet, warm grass, Tangy
I’ve tried this particular sample three times before writing this note. I bought Red Leaf Tea’s new flavored matcha sampler. In total, I bought 12 teas for $25. This was the first one I tried because I’ve had it before and I loved it back then! That time it was robust flavoring with the classic base. Apparently, the entire sampler is made with delicate flavoring on the classic base. That flavoring level really makes a big difference.
I thought the dry leaf aroma was recognizably strawberry. But the brewed tea aroma was a little gross. Sadly, the first time I tried this sample, it was a bitter yucky mess. I prepared it with 175 degree water in my Nespresso Aeroccino. I waited a few weeks and then prepared it this way again. It was much better the second time so I must have done a better job at getting the right water ratio. However, it still just wasn’t quite right. There’s barely any strawberry flavoring to this at all, which is a huge disappointment. It tastes like the matcha powder isn’t dissolving in the water. So I’m drinking warm water with powder floating around in it. Yuck. I even put it through the Aeroccino twice so it was definitely whisked enough, and that’s the way I’ve prepared it in the past when I did like it and drank matcha frequently.
The third and final time, I decided to try out Red Leaf’s recommended cold latte. I still used the Aeroccino and I didn’t add ice. I also did start with warm water to get a paste going since the matcha dissolving in cold milk could be a problem. It frothed up huge this time, but I actually find the matcha foam off-putting. Drinking the cold strawberry matcha latte is weird. I can taste the matcha about the same as I could in the warm water. There’s no additional strawberry flavoring making itself known. Now there’s just the added flavor of skim milk.
Honestly, I am not a fan. I don’t know if it’s purely to blame on the flavoring level or what. I guess time will tell on that front because I have A LOT more samples to go through. So far, I’m really disappointed though. I spent a lot of money on this sampler and I could have just gotten a couple 30g packages at robust flavoring that I would have actually enjoyed. I think this sampler was a mistake. I’m leaving the rating unchanged from a few years ago, but I cannot recommend this sampler or flavoring level. I would probably rate this a 27.
ETA: I take back my negative review of the flavored matcha sampler. This particular matcha appears to be an outlier. The others I’ve tried are delicious.
This tea has been on my wish list for YEARS! So a BIG, HUGE, GIGANTIC thank you to TeaBrat for giving me a sample!!
The brewed tea aroma is equal parts vanilla and caramel. Mmmm, this smells like a dream! A decadent, delicious, dessert dream! The flavor is a lot like the aroma but a tad bitter. I added some skim milk and Truvia and now it’s perfect! It’s heavily vanilla and heavily caramel and I am in love! Mmm, yes! This can replace the hole in my heart left by Butiki Teas’ Caramel Vanilla Assam being no longer available since they closed shop.
I’m always on the lookout for a great vanilla tea and caramel is an added bonus. Now I wish I had more! A lot more! But alas, an order will have to wait until I’ve sipped down my overflowing cupboard. I still have two Mariage Frères teas in there: Marco Polo, which I’ve only had probably twice, and Eros, which I have never tried. :P I’m pretty silly, aren’t I? Oh well. I LOVE THIS TEA! Thank you, TeaBrat!
My order of Golden Fleece arrived today!! Yay!!! Literally seconds after I just placed another Verdant order too. I think the universe is trying to send me a message that I need to stop ordering tea, but I can’t help myself! Is tea buying an addiction? ‘Cause if so, I think I have a problem.
ON TO THE TEA!
I started with a very quick 3-4 second wash and then a 7 second infusion. This tea has a wonderful umami. The mouthfeel is super silky smooth. It’s a little light on flavor in this first steep because I was trying to be conservative with the leaf. The cocoa and bread components are still there, just very faint. Oh no! It’s a tea disaster! I just spilled tea everywhere trying to pour the second infusion into my new red lotus teacup. :( Oh, and this second infusion is so good too!
I’m adding some pictures of my new teacup and the awesome bamboo tea scoop I splurged on. :) This is the tea that keeps on giving. Infusion after infusion are tasty and illuminate different nuances. This tea is as delightful as I remember. In fact, it may be even more delightful than I remember. It has lovely bread and cocoa notes that embody tea from the Yunnan province of China. There’s also a bit of spice in the aroma and flavor. I love it so much! Increasing the rating of 93 from three years ago to 96.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Cocoa, Spices