70
drank Caramel Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
111 tasting notes

So I’ve had this matcha for a few months now, and I’ve drunk it many times trying to make this taste the best.

I got it robust flavor, with basic grade. This was a mistake. The matcha is closer to being mud brown than it is to bright green, or even dark green. Worst of all, is underneath the buttery sweet caramel scent, I can smell that this is very bitter. It reflects that way in taste, too. It doesn’t matter how much I whisk it, or how cool the water temperature it is or how little matcha I use — for drinking warm that is — right after the pleasantly sweet caramel and vegetal flavors is an intense bitter taste that feels like a punch in the teeth.
Mind you, it was less bitter at a cooler temperature, but it was still undrinkable prepared in the traditional way.

Doctoring it up as a latte with a sugar is an improvement, but it still tastes subpar, and I didn’t order this in order to load up on the calories. I wanted something healthy but still pleasantly sweet. So this is in itself is a negative.

Finally I’ve discovered the way to make this palatable. Shaken with cold milk. The bitterness is finally gone, and I’m finally tasting what I had hoped to taste. Pleasant vegetal notes with extremely buttery and mouthwatering caramel. I can actually put a full teaspoon in a 12oz serving and be totally happy. This is still a bit disappointing though, because this wasn’t how I wanted to drink matcha. But at least I’m not needing to add sugar in this method. I can say honestly though that it tastes very good like this, even if this wasn’t the way I wanted to drink it.

I’m relieved that I’ll be able to finish it afterall now, because as a Canadian this was crushingly expensive, and I didn’t like the prospect of just tossing it.

I hate being such a downer, especially since everyone loved this so much, but I felt I should be honest.

If I order again — very doubtful — I’ll leave the flavor at delicate and instead put the money to upgrading the grade of matcha. Hopefully a lighter flavor setting will also make the matcha happier and tastier when prepared as a warm drink.

Preparation
Iced
ashmanra

I noticed that the MATCHAccino is on sale for the next few days at half price in caramel flavor. I thought about ordering with the upgraded base. Even the upgrade gets discounted, so it would be really interesting to compare.

Chizakura

Hmm, I’m sort of tempted now too. I really wanted to love this, but … ugh. It’s the price that’s making me hesitate though. I understand why matcha is pricey, but if it was more accessible for a Canadian I would’ve happily leapt to try this with an upgraded base.

But if it’s half off then it’s worth a try, heh. :D Does the MATCHAccino version have sugar? I noticed it does have calories, so there’s something different about it.

ashmanra

Yes, it does have sugar. I have the regular caramel matcha, basic grade and robust flavor level. My hubby loves it for hot lattes and I like it for cold ones. I add about one tablespoon of sugar for 16 to 20 ounces of milk. The MATCHAccino says to use one tablespoon of the mix for eight ounces of latte, but I tasted the beta versions and the finished product and found that I liked it fine with one tablespoon for my large glass, so I am really using about half of what they call for. I would like to try it with the royal base, though! I experimented with making my own instant latte mix, and I used the information on calories and amounts from Rishi Sweet Matcha. I came up with a ratio of one part matcha to five parts sugar, and that is for a pretty sweet (to me) latte. You could use less sugar, though.

ashmanra

Hmmm, you work at Starbucks! Your Tazo Matcha is presweetened for the green tea lattes isn’t it? I wonder how it compares to Rishi sweet matcha. I know we can’t buy it in stores. I think it is only made for Starbucks.

Chizakura

Ooh, if that’s what it takes to make it taste good, not sure I want it. DX; I’ve been trying to cut back on the sugar (not entirely out mind you, but trying to watch it) so… I might just try the regular matcha with an upgraded base. That might make the difference. But I’ll work on finishing this as cold drinks in the meantime.

And yes, you are right. The Tazo Matcha is not only sweetened (I’m talking about the powder, not about the Classic syrup that gets added for some reason) but it’s actually the first ingredient! There’s more sugar than green tea, which is pretty scary. I don’t like our matcha. I can get it for free during my work days, but I’m not interested. It’s too sugar-loaded. If it was just a little bit of sugar I’d be okay with that, but it’s got a ton.

ashmanra

I told my daughter how much sugar I believed was in it when I looked at the calorie count and at the amounts that are put in, and she started ordering hers with no syrup at all. She found it to be plenty sweet enough.

Chizakura

Yes, it’s very sweet. When I tried it, I got it without the classic too since the powder is pre-sweetened. It’s too sweet for me. XD; It’s too bad, because for me that’s the cheapest matcha available, heh.

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Comments

ashmanra

I noticed that the MATCHAccino is on sale for the next few days at half price in caramel flavor. I thought about ordering with the upgraded base. Even the upgrade gets discounted, so it would be really interesting to compare.

Chizakura

Hmm, I’m sort of tempted now too. I really wanted to love this, but … ugh. It’s the price that’s making me hesitate though. I understand why matcha is pricey, but if it was more accessible for a Canadian I would’ve happily leapt to try this with an upgraded base.

But if it’s half off then it’s worth a try, heh. :D Does the MATCHAccino version have sugar? I noticed it does have calories, so there’s something different about it.

ashmanra

Yes, it does have sugar. I have the regular caramel matcha, basic grade and robust flavor level. My hubby loves it for hot lattes and I like it for cold ones. I add about one tablespoon of sugar for 16 to 20 ounces of milk. The MATCHAccino says to use one tablespoon of the mix for eight ounces of latte, but I tasted the beta versions and the finished product and found that I liked it fine with one tablespoon for my large glass, so I am really using about half of what they call for. I would like to try it with the royal base, though! I experimented with making my own instant latte mix, and I used the information on calories and amounts from Rishi Sweet Matcha. I came up with a ratio of one part matcha to five parts sugar, and that is for a pretty sweet (to me) latte. You could use less sugar, though.

ashmanra

Hmmm, you work at Starbucks! Your Tazo Matcha is presweetened for the green tea lattes isn’t it? I wonder how it compares to Rishi sweet matcha. I know we can’t buy it in stores. I think it is only made for Starbucks.

Chizakura

Ooh, if that’s what it takes to make it taste good, not sure I want it. DX; I’ve been trying to cut back on the sugar (not entirely out mind you, but trying to watch it) so… I might just try the regular matcha with an upgraded base. That might make the difference. But I’ll work on finishing this as cold drinks in the meantime.

And yes, you are right. The Tazo Matcha is not only sweetened (I’m talking about the powder, not about the Classic syrup that gets added for some reason) but it’s actually the first ingredient! There’s more sugar than green tea, which is pretty scary. I don’t like our matcha. I can get it for free during my work days, but I’m not interested. It’s too sugar-loaded. If it was just a little bit of sugar I’d be okay with that, but it’s got a ton.

ashmanra

I told my daughter how much sugar I believed was in it when I looked at the calorie count and at the amounts that are put in, and she started ordering hers with no syrup at all. She found it to be plenty sweet enough.

Chizakura

Yes, it’s very sweet. When I tried it, I got it without the classic too since the powder is pre-sweetened. It’s too sweet for me. XD; It’s too bad, because for me that’s the cheapest matcha available, heh.

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Bio

Hello! I’m a 24 year old Canadian, currently working at Starbucks while I figure out what I want to do with myself in life, haha.

Like most everyone else, I grew up with teabags, and then discovered the grass really WAS greener on the other side with loose leaf. Nowadays I drink nearly exclusively loose, but will drink a bagged tea if I don’t care what I’m having.

My favorite kind of tea is black, and unflavored, although I do enjoy an occasional dessert black. I like whites second best. I’ve recently been dipping my toes into honeybush tisanes, greens and oolongs.

My favorite vendors are Butiki Teas and Verdant Teas. Both have fantastic teas, above and beyond customer service (especially Butiki), and fair prices for their very high quality teas. I can’t recommend them enough.

Purely for tasting notes references, I don’t use any additives for my teas. Older tasting notes for blacks was with milk+sugar, and then with just milk. Whites, oolongs, greens and herbals are all drunk straight unless otherwise specified in the notes.

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Canada

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