1297 Tasting Notes

drank Sweet Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
1297 tasting notes

I’ve tried this twice and both times not according to instructions, quite frankly the recommended 1 tablespoon is too much in my opinion. The first one was half hot water (80C) and half milk, mixed well with 1 heaped teaspoon of matcha. I found this to be rather bitter after a while and while it was sweet at times it tasted too strong and not evenly balanced.

So I tried warm water (50C) with 1 level teaspoon of matcha and 4/5 water to 1/5 milk. This was almost perfect. The sweetness is enhanced with cream and sweet but lightly bitter grass. The sweetness is like honey, not too much but a nice level. Overall flavour is lighter but the matcha flavour is distinct and as it settles towards the bottom of my cup it becomes stronger with each sip. Plus I also found that it tastes lighter and stays foamier with most water in the mix.

Next time I may try a bit more matcha but it makes for a nice treat every now and then. I picked up a pound in their sale :D Should give me enough time to perfect the brew.


I use less of the mix than they call for, or just increase the amount of milk over what they recommend. I agree with you! I just have the caramel one.


i usually use 1/4 or 1/2 a teaspoon when dealing with matcha unless its a smoothie or matcha pancakes

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This was part of my recent Golden Tips order. In the morning (particularly on weekends) I share tea with my husband and he tends to favour strong black tea, perhaps from habit. So this was really bought for him, while I doubt he would use it without me I thought it was something we could enjoy together. So for this morning I did a large pot (around 1 litre) with lots of milk and sweetener to accompany with it. I don’t usually have him home on Saturday morning because of football but as we are going out later to another concert (same band as before) he is having to stay home. Though it must be said he is mourning the loss of Rowdy Roddy Piper so this tea is being enjoyed whilst watching numerous wrestling clips.

Loose leaf looked nice, large pieces and full with a smoky, wood and malt scent.

Steeped colour is dark red brown.

Flavour is strong and dry with wood, malt and cocoa notes. English breakfast is spot on, it tastes similar to Twinings EB but this is a little stronger and much cleaner/pure tasting. Slight touch of smoke in the after taste but the wood/malt combination remains thick and full in my mouth.

I took a sip without milk or sweetener and it was smooth enough to drink which was rather a pleasant surprise. Strong but not compensating on it’s smooth quality with unwanted harshness which I’ve experienced with other companies EB.

So frankly this is an English person saying that this is a fine English Breakfast tea, and one would hope I know what I’m talking about :D And when asking my husband for his opinion he added “Yeah it’s nice” which is something for him. So it looked like a winner all around. Happy I got 100g of this :D

Top rating – This received top marks as I could drink this all day/any day in terms of it being a standard black tea used for a ‘pick me up’. Compared to quality black tea this would not nearly be so high but for rating it out of every day black tea this does get top marks.


Sounds like a good stiff choice. :)

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Quick notes for this one. (For the time being).

Raw leaf: Sweet wood and earth scent with mild smoke. Also some creaminess in the after scent. Pure and very nice overall.

Taste: Pretty mild actually, more than I anticipated from the smell. Even after a few steeps it’s very mild. I’m using roughly 5g in 125ml and thought it would be about the right strength for me. It’s slightly sweet and creamy with some dryness.

Since this wasn’t working for me I decided to long steep it. So on my fourth steep I went straight for 1 minute 30 seconds rather than the 10-15 seconds previously. This worked much better, now it’s thick with some bitterness but the sweet and creamy tones are still present and linger nicely in the after taste with a hint of smoke. Much better than before, though the bitterness was a tad strong and is taking some getting used to.

Since it went from one to another extreme (very light to very bitter) I will not rate it this time. I still have enough left to experiment with but so far I’m not impressed. I have a feeling this one just isn’t for me, I like a strong and creamy Sheng with minimal bitterness and dryness. Oh well, worst case I can always western steep this to use it up.


This is Autumn Gushu. i suggest you to increase leaf to 7-8g if you have enough to experiment. my usual ratio is 5-6g for 80ml for gushu


i’m not sure if i tried this yet :/


Thank you for the tip @boychik. I have around 20g left I believe so I shall increase the leaf amount next time.


You are making me want this one….

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My Golden Tips order arrived this morning with this tea being amongst them, something I purchased 100g of after craving Assam. Usually when I eat Indian food (which is a few times a week) I like to follow it with a pot of tea, unfortunately my supply ran dry of everything but Darjeeling. So during the promotion of spend $75 and save $25 I thought it was too good to pass up. From those I ordered this is the first I am tasting, it called to me in particular today.

Again this is quick notes as my back is still bad and I’m not in the right frame of mind to write a full review.

The leaves were thin, long, a bit squiggly and very wooden smelling with a hint of sweetness.

Steeping in my new teapot (red clay measuring 125ml) with approx 1tsp/3-4g leaf.

Flavour is malty but not as thick as you would think. Dominantly sweet wood with soft dark fruit tones (date and mature plum) before the malt and dryness kick in during the after taste. Some musk/smoke in the after taste which leaves a thick and full flavour in my mouth.

I liked this tea quite a bit, the flavour had authentic Assam tones I had expected but was also more delicate and pure tasting than I had anticipated. This had no bitterness and was not overly rich as some Assam can be, perhaps helped by the rather large leaves. Glad I got 100g of this rather than a sample as my husband would probably like this too.

In other news it looks like I’m too ill still to attend tomorrows concert, which with the hotel booked has cost us £80 and now shall go to waste. Money isn’t everything though and we agreed to spend the day together regardless. We also have tickets for Saturday so with some luck I will be able to make that one.


Oh no! Feel better!


Love this one. Hope you feel better soon.


The fact that they were totally unbroken could have something to do with the delicateness, maybe. Do you think that contributed to it?

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Let me start by apologising for the lack of posts over the last few days (as well as the upcoming week or so). Unfortunately I have a herniated disc in my lower back and my physical ability to move has been severely altered, so much so that every now and then I can make it a few feet to fetch something. Otherwise I am hunched over/tilted in pain just trying to get comfortable. It was my fault but an accident all the same. On Saturday I was asked to fetch some cat litter as the new kitten Ollie (Oliver) has meant we used up our stash pretty quickly. The shop is only a 2-3 minute walk away so I thought it wouldn’t be a problem, well it seems 3 bags of litter was too much and my back went crunch. An hour or so after that while I was resting at home someone came to claim Oliver, they said they had been looking for him and were told we had him. Heartbroken and in pain I had no choice but to take him over and meet them. They were to put it frankly, stupid, and had no idea how to look after him. They claimed he was a girl (which he obviously isn’t if they bothered to look at his ‘berries’) and that he must have jumped out of the bedroom window and escaped. After some arguing and me lecturing them I left him with them, hoping he would be fine. The short walk home in agony from my back and tears down my face ruined my make up and I ended up looking like The Joker, but didn’t care.

An hour passed by and me and my husband shed tears for a boy kitten we wish we got to know better but really hoped he would be fine in his original home. Then there was a knock on the door, I asked Richard to answer as I was pretty much sofa ridden and unable to move at this point…plus my Joker makeup. He was talking and I saw him take something from whomever knocked, at this point I decided to try and stand up and see what is going on. It was Oliver and his owners, they said that they named him Nelson and that they hadn’t bonded with him and really she didn’t want a boy cat. They also said it seemed like we bonded with him (too right, had him for 5 days and the first day he kissed me and slept in my arms) and asked if we wanted to keep him. I cannot describe the joy I felt to have him back, I thought I would never see him again. So Oliver is lost no more, he is officially home and part of the family. As much as Richard said he wasn’t having any more cats he was as upset as me to see him go, such a softy at heart really but he would never admit it. Even though I’ve done my back in and may have to miss a concert I was going to on Thursday (and had a hotel room booked as it’s not local) I am still happy with how everything worked out, it’s all worth it just to have him back with us for good. I will question what went on in that hour he was with the original owners since they seemed adamant they wanted him back, but either way I am just over the moon he is mine again.

Long story I know but pretty much that is where I have been and why I’ve been absent. Even writing this is painful as I’m not in a comfortable position but unable to move, but I am determined to do it.

Why write this on this tasting note? Well I’m actually drinking this and have been for a couple of days now. I decided to try it cold steeped so left it in my cold steep wine bottle gadget for a couple of days until it became a cloudy yellow and looked fairly thick in flavour. (Forgot where I was due to large back spasm and cramp). Oh yes I waited for the thickness as I like strong iced tea if it’s green based.

It worked a charm as flavour is thick, grassy and sweet but with a refreshing clean finish and floral aftertaste with only a touch of dryness. Not as thick as if it were to be brewed hot but enough flavour to tell what type of green tea it is. Plus since it’s been a few days I finished one bottle last night and re-steeped the leaves overnight. Again the strength is pleasing and it was well worth the re-steep. Plus honestly at the moment it’s easy for me to grab the bottle in the morning with a glass and sit down so I can help myself throughout the day. It wont be ice cold but it’s nice luke warm too.

So this was a story that started off badly but really turned out for the best, injury and all. Nothing is more important to me than my kitty babies, that goes for all five of them. :)


I’m so sorry to hear about your back. Have you been able to see a doctor about it? I’m glad that your partner softened up towards the kitty and that Oliver now has a new home with you!


I have not gone to see a doctor this time but I’ve visited before when this happened, must be the fourth or fifth time I’ve managed to damage my back. Feels the same as before but it’s manageable so should heal soon enough. :) Richard did the same with the other cats, said he didn’t want any but fell in love with them as soon as he met them. Sometimes I think it’s a ‘man’ thing. lol


Oh my dear! You poor thing! I hope you start feeling better soon and at least get yourself set up to be more comfortable.


I hope you back feels better soon, but I am very happy for you to have gotten Oliver back! A happy ending in the kitty department at least :)


Hope you feel better. It seems that you and Oliver were meant to be, really happy that he’s now in a loving home. :)


Thank you everyone. I’m hoping to be well enough on Thursday, going anyway really so with some luck it will all go fine. Fingers Crossed.

Red Fennekin

Sorry to hear about your back :\ Still, it sounds like little Oliver is bringing some joy, at least :-)

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This was a free sample that someone kindly gave me but I cannot remember whom, there is also a possibility this came from the EU TTB. Unfortunately it got mixed with some other stuff so I may never know. Either way thank you!

This says it can make 5 cups which sounds rather nice for a sample amount.

As I open the packet there is an overwhelming scent of toffee, definable as toffee as well, the type of toffee that I used to have sweets of as a child. A large block that I would buy on holiday at the seaside and break pieces apart with a hammer. Such good childhood memories all come rushing back as I smell this. As nice and creamy as it does smell there is little to no Matcha or green tea among it.

Putting one serving of this ie one scoop into my bowl and filling with a combination of 3/4 warm water and 1/4 milk. Whisking produced a nice level of bubbles and froth, more than expected though they didn’t last long.

Flavour was more subtle but the toffee notes were there, so was a slightly bitter undertone from the Matcha. Some dryness though subtle and the after taste is creamy though short lived.

Overall the scent is stronger than the taste but regardless this was a pleasant flavoured Matcha. One that I would consider purchasing should the chance arise.

Flavors: Cream, Toffee


I shall try this someday! :D and if it helps, it’s not me who sent it.

I use 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon and matcha is best like this


(BTW, I don’t own the site. just letting you know)


I ordered their almond matcha with royal matcha when almond was half off


Thanks Kirk. I saw it on offer but am pretty low on funds at the moment until payday which is Friday. Hoping it stays on sale until then, will pick some up if it does. Finishing off the sample now as a latte. :)


almond was half off for like two weeks :)

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drank Keemun by Fortnum & Mason
1297 tasting notes

Some quick notes on this one as I’m tired. I’ve had children running through my house all day, they are the neighbours kids and I said they could see the kitten if they want to. Big mistake, the parents seem to not even care where their own children are! So I was stuck with them for a long time. Just not used to children, I’m completely zapped.

I’ve had this tea for a while and thought I had already reviewed it but apparently I haven’t, so I’m going to do that quickly now. I bought my husband a ceramic steeping mug and I give him loose leaf tea to take to work every day, he can take the rest of this with him. Must be 1oz here so should do him for a little while…well a few days at least.

Raw appearance is rather finely chopped but not too fine and colour is dark brown. Scent is a little sweet and wooden.

1 teaspoon of leaf into my ceramic steeping mug for 3 minutes (So I know what it would taste like when my husband tries it at work).

(Excuse me while I scoff some Custard Cream biscuits)

Flavour is thick and rich with smoke, wood and dry bark tones with a sour after taste. Some almost ‘floral’ and sweet notes in there to give it a classic Keemun feel. Some astringency there and I feel that perhaps it was either too long a steep or 1 level teaspoon was too much. Either way it’s just not as ‘clean’ tasting as I was hoping. Though it would do for an every day Keemun, perhaps good in the morning.

I think my husband will like this so he can take the rest with him.

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Once steeped (Western style) this is golden in colour with a soft coconut scent. Some sweetness to it but on the whole it’s subtle.

In terms of flavour this does actually match the scent somewhat. A sip produces a soft and subtly sweet coconut essence with a hint of milk and some dryness in the after taste. As it cools the black tea thickens to unleash subtle sour wood notes. As thick as the black tea base is beginning to be; it is no where near strong enough to remove the coconut essence and if anything the contrast makes it all the more pleasant.

The more I drink this the more I am happily surprised that the coconut remains sweet throughout my many cups full. I should perhaps mention that I made roughly 1 litre of this tea in a very large pot, something to enjoy with my husband while we watch a film. Anyway back to the tea, I’m on cup number 4 and it still tastes as sweet and much like coconut as the first cup did. Something that tends to be lost on flavoured blends as you adjust to their taste.

I like that the coconut tastes pure and non chemical which only adds to it’s splendour.

This tea really offered a beautiful coconut and black tea balance which in a way lets you enjoy the best of both worlds at the same time. The choice of base was what really made this tea for me, as nice as the coconut flavour is I always enjoy tasting the base for added depth and richness. I suppose it’s a way of saying “Yes I’m a coconut tea but don’t assume that is all I am”.

Pics and more info: http://www.kittylovestea.co.uk/2015/07/22/coconut-black-tea-by-siam-tee-shop/

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“When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.”

In this case it is true, though I admit I am not a religious person. With the loss of my shrimp tank I thought it be best if I try to recuperate with a day or two of reflection, memories and mourning. It would seem that was not meant to be for long. Last night at 9:15pm there was a knock on the door from my two neighbours (who I had never met nor seen before by the way), they were holding a small black kitten and asked if it was mine. I replied that it was not my kitten, eventually finding out that some children saw it wandering the street alone so they got their parents and ended up knocking doors trying to find the owners. I believe I was one of the last stops as they asked if it would be possible to look after him with intentions of advertising about the kitten. I said yes (much to my husbands distaste) and so I welcomed him into my home.

Don’t mistake my husbands tone, he truly does not want this kitten and has made it quite clear, as he did with our other 4 cats; but I do admit that 5 cats is perhaps a bit too much. Well if I could I would offer a home to all the cats in the world, were it large enough. So for now I have my hands full with a black male kitten, I believe he is roughly 8-9 weeks old. Far too young to be roaming around and I for one could not turn him away. We called him ‘Ollie’ after Oliver Twist, we needed a name for him because I call my other cats names like ‘baby’ and ‘little pudding’.

A part of me wants him to be collected from his real owners but a larger part of me wants to keep him. One of my cats has taken such a shining to him and they are the best of friends. Perhaps because Mr Sooty Pants is also a pure black cat and as he was the youngest of our four he must remember what it was like coming into a new house for the first time.

So how long I have him for is beyond my knowledge but while I have him I’m going to make the best of it. And yes I realise this was a long story about nothing tea related, for that I am sorry. So to finish this post off I am sipping some of this Ruby black tea, though it has gone cold as little kitty is asleep on me and I can barely reach for the drink. A tea chosen to cherish the wonders of life, the good times and the bad times…it’s truly random and amazing.


You have such a sweet caring soul!


What a lovely note. My husband doesn’t care much for my cat either, but it’s so hard to turn away sweet little helpless animals!


You have such a sweet caring soul! +1

Perhaps the timing of young wonderful Ollie’s arrival is not a coincidence but rather a God-incidence? Perhaps your sweet caring soul comes from your most caring heavenly father?


Thank you all :) I discussed Ollie with my husband and told him pretty much outright that if no one comes for him (as I oddly suspect they won’t) then I am keeping him. Two cats don’t mind him, one cat adores him and has taken on the roll of father while the other cat is afraid of the male dominance. Something he will get over in time. We can make this work. Plus it would seem that Ollie has bonded with me! He won’t go to my husband to sleep. he comes to find me. If I walk out of the room he has to follow me so he can see me. He is so young to be without a mother and it looks like I need to take that roll, which I am happy to do.

He is certainly a special gift from ‘someone’ or ‘something’ in the universe.


Aww, I’m so glad it’s working out!



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I received some bad news last night, my small fish tank (which contained around 1000 cherry shrimp, 3 Ottoinculus fish and various snails) has endured some sort of freak malfunction and all of it’s inhabitants are dead. It is believed to have happened sometime through Saturday night. I didn’t notice it on Sunday morning, while I fed them I was desperate for the toilet so I didn’t check to see if they were alright. For that I feel incredibly guilty. I dearly loved my underwater friends and they will be sorely missed.

Today I am not feeling up to much while I grieve, so I chose this tea to re-steep all day while I watch films on tv (as this morning the pc died). I should be back in a couple of days if not sooner, for now I’m just picking comfort tea and trying to accept my loss. I’ve been with them for 3 years when I started to build my shrimp army.



I’m so sorry to hear about this!


I’m so sorry for your loss Kitty.

Maddy Barone

Oh, dear, That’s horrible. Hugs.


So sorry to hear that.

Roswell Strange

Sorry to hear that. Maybe enjoy a tea with good marine notes in their memory?


sorry for your loss :(


Thank you very much everyone. Your thoughts and words mean a lot to me.

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I’m 27 years old from Leicester, England named Kayleigh. I have a wonderful husband called Richard whom I am very lucky to have in my life.

I started off many years ago drinking herbal and fruit teas which over time peaked my interest in trying new types. Eventually I began to import and sample many different teas and cultures which I still do today. My life goal is to try as many teas and ways of having tea as possible.

Tea wise my cravings change constantly from pu erh one month to jasmine green to the next and so on.

I adore cats and have four of my own called Honey, Cassie, Mr Soots and Ivory.

I also have two fish tanks which thankfully my cats have no interest in. They house an array of tropical fish and shrimp.

I am a proud vegetarian and have been for the majority of my life. When I say vegetarian I mean just that as well, no fish or seafood, no chicken now and again, no animal products such as gelatine and cochineal.

I also enjoy watching Japanese Anime and horror films.

I am always up for tea swaps so if you see anything in my virtual cupboard then please contact me.

A short list to help swapping with me easier though honestly I am not fussy and am willing to try anything. Plus the notes below are usually, sometimes I love a tea that has an ingredient I tend to dislike and other times I hate a tea that I thought I would love.

Likes: Any fruit but especially melon and orange, vanilla, all tea types (black, green, white etc), nuts (any), flowers, ginger, chai.

Dislikes: Licorice, aniseed, clove, eucalyptus, lavender.

My rating system
I have my own way of rating teas that makes each one personal. I have different categories, I rate each tea depending on what it is made of. For example: I rate green teas in a different way to black teas or herbal teas. So black, white, green, Pu Erh, Rooibos, Oolong, blends and tisanes all have their own rating system. That way I can compare them with other teas of the same or similar type before for an adequate rating. And when I do give top marks which is very rare I am actually saying that I would love to drink that tea all day, every day if possible. It’s a tea that I would never turn down or not be in the mood for. So while I agree that no tea is 100% perfect (as nothing is) I am saying that it’s as close as it comes to it. After all, in my book the perfect teas (or close to perfect anyway) are ones that I could drink all the time. That is why you will find a high quality black or Oolong will not have as high a score as a cheap flavoured blend, they are simply not being compared in the same category.


Also a proud SororiTea Sister


Leicester, England, United Kingdom



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