95

Grumble…Grumble…Sigh…Grumble…Grumble…Grrr…Grumble…Grumble… OK, let me explain. The theme for this week’s Vegan Dinner Night with my friends was smoothies. I instantly thought to bring matcha (I often do and it goes over very well!), but that required a trip to my local tea store since I was almost out. I arrived fully prepared to buy Rishi’s single serve matcha, but I was pleasantly surprised to see bulk matcha (it’s been almost 2 years since I’ve been there)! I grabbed my matcha (and some Tea on Tap for me and my mom). I arrived at my friends’ Nathan and Ben and smoothies were soon in the works, but… CRAP! The matcha is sitting in my mom’s car. Not a big deal in reality, but I was craving a matcha fruit smoothie so I thru a silent internal temper tantrum and went on with the evening. I’m sure this matcha is good, but it’s SO expensive compared to what I drink on a daily basis ($1.05/g compared to 16 cents/g which is even ceremonial grade), so I called the store and asked about their refund policy because I really can’t afford this when there are better and cheaper alternatives out there. Unfortunately, because I used a gift card, my refund would just be reloaded onto the card vs. a cash refund so I just decided to suck it up and keep it. Oh well.

When I open the tin I notice that, while it’s not nearly as dull in color as some of the flavored matchas I’ve had or even Lupicia’s 100g matcha, it’s not as vibrant (like the smiley on the far right) as I’d like it to be. It’s also quite clumpy. This will definitely need to be sifted. After a sift and a whisk, a substantial froth formed. While the whisked color was again paler than I’d hoped, it actually had a pretty substantial flavor. The flavor was sweet and smooth, just like the mouth feel. It reminded me of my first match experience which was Rishi’s individually packed matcha which makes me think this may be Rishi. Not bad, but way too expensive. For as much of a tea addict (matcha specifically) I am, I really have learned to find great bargains so I don’t have to sacrifice flavor, volume, or frequency. If you’re not on as tight of a budget as I am (which doesn’t take much lol!) definitely give this a try. It’s a good one.

The Sweet Leaf

I am very new to steepster and great to see reviews of a local place on the site! The Valley is so small I was surprised. Cool review. I have had Matcha from Fava Tea before, too— Matcha is my drink of choice, esp anytime I need a little kick I go to my Matcha (though nothing beats a great Oolong). It’s funny that you mention Matacha at Fava as I was just there. I noticed that they had many types of Matcha. They had a Rishi brand of Matcha (125 grams) for $10.00 [this is what I have purchased], Matcha in packets for about ???, and organic ceremonial grade in a tin. I get the ceremonial grade is more and I haven’t had that one, but have you tried other Matchas? I really like the Rishi Matcha in the black bag that I got from Fava Tea — and it doesn’t hurt the pocket book either. BTW, I was told that the ceremonial matcha was not from Rishi, but is from a Japan garden/firm. I haven’t had it, though, so I appreciate the advice. Off to read more reviews!! Look forward to posting some of my own. Looks pretty easy in fact!

Cofftea

I’m not sure 3 would be my idea of “many”- although it was one more than I was expecting. The matcha in packets is the same price per gram as this. It’s $20 because it contains 20g of matcha. When I was there they did not have the ceremonial grade in a tin- this tin was standard grade. I also have not encountered the black bag matcha you speak of. This was a tin, the individual packets were in a white cardboard box, and the sweet matcha is in a white container. I can’t wait til Teavana goes in the mall to try theirs. Although I hope I can get it unsweetened. I’ve heard they sweeten everything there. If you want to go somewhere that serves it- Kavarna Cafe in Green Bay uses the individual Rishi packets and it’s actually pretty good.

Cofftea

@The Sweet Leaf- Have you seen this? http://favatea.blogspot.com/2011/06/matcha-citron-tasting-today-til-sun.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=facebook

Is this the matcha you spoke of? I wonder why they didn’t have it when I went. I also find it odd that they speak of a ceremonial grade matcha, but my container says standard grade.

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The Sweet Leaf

I am very new to steepster and great to see reviews of a local place on the site! The Valley is so small I was surprised. Cool review. I have had Matcha from Fava Tea before, too— Matcha is my drink of choice, esp anytime I need a little kick I go to my Matcha (though nothing beats a great Oolong). It’s funny that you mention Matacha at Fava as I was just there. I noticed that they had many types of Matcha. They had a Rishi brand of Matcha (125 grams) for $10.00 [this is what I have purchased], Matcha in packets for about ???, and organic ceremonial grade in a tin. I get the ceremonial grade is more and I haven’t had that one, but have you tried other Matchas? I really like the Rishi Matcha in the black bag that I got from Fava Tea — and it doesn’t hurt the pocket book either. BTW, I was told that the ceremonial matcha was not from Rishi, but is from a Japan garden/firm. I haven’t had it, though, so I appreciate the advice. Off to read more reviews!! Look forward to posting some of my own. Looks pretty easy in fact!

Cofftea

I’m not sure 3 would be my idea of “many”- although it was one more than I was expecting. The matcha in packets is the same price per gram as this. It’s $20 because it contains 20g of matcha. When I was there they did not have the ceremonial grade in a tin- this tin was standard grade. I also have not encountered the black bag matcha you speak of. This was a tin, the individual packets were in a white cardboard box, and the sweet matcha is in a white container. I can’t wait til Teavana goes in the mall to try theirs. Although I hope I can get it unsweetened. I’ve heard they sweeten everything there. If you want to go somewhere that serves it- Kavarna Cafe in Green Bay uses the individual Rishi packets and it’s actually pretty good.

Cofftea

@The Sweet Leaf- Have you seen this? http://favatea.blogspot.com/2011/06/matcha-citron-tasting-today-til-sun.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=facebook

Is this the matcha you spoke of? I wonder why they didn’t have it when I went. I also find it odd that they speak of a ceremonial grade matcha, but my container says standard grade.

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Are you a company or tea blender on sites like Adagio that would you like your tea reviewed? If so, please e-mail me @ [email protected].

What I most enjoy from obtaining samples from companies to review is that it helps me to better learn to drink and review teas from a more objective perspective, meaning more of the “This tea is…” point of view rather than the “I like/don’t like” this tea. I feel objectivism in tea reviews is EXTREMELY important because no two tea drinkers tastes are exactly the same. I’ve also been extremely surprised by several teas. I love recieving a sample I think I will be only writing an objective review on, only to completely fall in love with it upon tasting it.

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Are you interested in redoing or starting your own tea related website or adding Search Engine Optimization? If so, please contact me at my work e-mail address: [email protected]
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Tea tastes:
I will ALWAYS pick loose leaf over tea bags. I only drink bagged tea if that’s my only choice or I find a flavor that I can’t find a loose leaf version for. When I do drink bagged; however, I always weigh my bag and am constantly curious as to the weight/flavor ratio- sometimes I am quite surprised by the flavor punch of light bags.

I have a preference for organic and fair trade teas (preferably both), but would never pass up an amzing tea just because it isn’t organic and/or fair trade.

I love savory teas.

I’m currently searching for a chai flavored soy powder or a soy based chai mix (either already mixed or a recipe).

I hardly EVER sweeten my teas. I feel that sweeteners (unless flavored like tea honeys, brown sugar, ice cream topping syrups, flavored coffee syrups, etc) do not add anything to the flavor profile of tea- in fact, I’ve found that they dumb down the flavors.

I NEVER serve my tea over regular iced cubes- I always make tea cubes.

I LOVE cooking w/ tea and making smoothTEAS.

I LOVE tea blending.

I rarely drink herbal teas unless they are mixed with true teas. My favorite herbals to mix with true teas are: spearmint, peppermint, lemongrass, rose hips, and gingeroot.

I can’t stand anything w/ fennel or anise. Hot black teas (except orange pekoe bagged tea that you get when you go out to eat and chai teas) tend to upset my stomach.

I drink matcha daily and love flavoring it. I’m also in a constant search of preflavored matchas.

I’m constantly searching for information on how to prepare tea authentically according to its country of origin.

My Tasting Notes Ratings (edited 8/8/10)
1: I can’t even stand the raw leaf enough to make this (I’ve never owned a tea w/ this rating, but I’ve smelled some before buying resulting in me NOT buying them that were that bad)

2: I steeped this tea but couldn’t stand the aroma enough to get it past my nose

3: I immediately gagged at the 1st sip and spit it out.

4: I manageed to get the 1st sip down, but I tossed the rest.

5: I drank the 1st cup but I can’t bring myself to resteep

6: Made it thru the entire set of infusions but I can’t bring myself to tinker w/ the parameters and won’t be making it again.

7-10: Does not taste anything like the ingredients or name suggests (i.e. Adagio’s Sour apple)

11-25: I can taste some of the ingredients, but the flavor is severely lacking

25-49: Teas that I would not consider bad in their flavor profile, but certainly below average

50: Average.

51-69: Teas above averge, but I wouldn’t go as far as calling them “good”.

70-75: Very good, but still room for improvement

76-85: Above average flavor profile

86-90: REALLY good flavors

91-99: Almost PERFECTLY achieves the goal of the ingredients and name of the tea.

100: Abosolutely perfect teas!

Other Interests: GOD! and all things pertaining to Him and His children, my dog Madison, travelling, and coffee.

Favorite Music: ANYTHING Christian. I don’t normally listen to secular music, but I do love jazz and swing.

Favorite Movies: Romantic comedies mostly. My Sister’s Keeper, P.S. I Love You, Fireproof, National Treasure Trilogy (I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE 3rd ONE TO COME OUT!), Night at the Museum 1 & 2, Sister Act 1 & 2, Yes Man, Bruce & Evan Almighty, rarely watch animated movies but LOVE anything 3D.

Favorite Books: THE BIBLE!!! & My Sister’s Keeper

Favorite Quotes: “A sad soul can kill you far quicker than a germ”- John Stienbeck "

Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing”- Aristotle

“You should always carry burdens, but they should never be your own”- me

“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” ~ Winston Churchill

“Mom was right, ‘because I say so’ is enough- at least when it comes to God.”- me

Favorite Foods: fried calamari, lemon chicken, anything w/ buffalo sauce.

Favorite Places: WA state, Switzerland, Orlando

Places I Want to Visit: Hawaii, Africa

Anything Else: I was born with a birth defect called Spina Bifida which is the failure of the spinal column to close en utero. Because of this I am a parapelegic and use a manual wheelchair.

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