828 Tasting Notes

drank Ginger Ale Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
828 tasting notes

Well I am going to give this a try. I have been kind of MIA lately. About a week and a half ago I had to have eye surgery. I haven’t been able to really use a computer a whole lot since because of blurry vision and trouble concentrating. But it is getting better. So bear with me on this review.

I had been saving this one for last from my recent Red Leaf order. I am a total sucker for delayed gratification. This was the flavour I was most looking forward too. I love ginger. And the more gingery the better. I absolutely love drinks like Jamaican ginger beer.

I got this one as distinctive only for the reason that the order also contained some fruity flavours and I did not want to make the order complicated by getting some flavours distinct and some robust. But I would have liked to have gotten robust.

The smell of the dry matcha is very gingery. Not so much like a gingerale soda, but more like an alcoholic ginger beer. Delicious.

I mixed this one up cold, 1tsp per 8 oz water and a bit of white sugar. The taste was…ok. A bit different. I think I need to change my parameters a bit. There was a sweet ginger taste. But not really ginger spicey at all. It was almost as it the flavour was a bit floral and perfumey. Some bitterness that could be the matcha or could be the “ale” part. Not as strong as I would have liked but that may be due to the flavour distinctiveness I chose.

I think next time I make this, I am going to try a bit less matcha.

You can purchase it here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/ginger-ale-matcha.html

And now my eyes are all blurry from looking at the screen :(

Edit: This one is slightly better with using a bit less matcha. More than 3/4 tsp but less than 1tsp.


I hope your eyes heal up quickly. :)


Hope your eyes are better soon!


No fun! I hope your eyes are better soon too!


good luck with your recovery. happy healing!


Hope you heal fast!


How did surgery go? I hope it was successful and you’re not running into any complications.


Hope you heal up soon!!


Thanks for the well wishes everyone. I am doing OK. I am progressing appropriately according to the surgeon. I could have trouble for up to 3 months.

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drank Seed Harvest by Handmade Tea
828 tasting notes

Made this one iced.

It was ok. The anise was settled down a bit and the fennel was stronger but the flavour was still predominately black licorice. Surprisingly I had to add quite a bit of sugar to sweeten it up.

I initially thought this one would be better iced vs hot but I am not sure. Still need to try it as a cold brew though.

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drank Qilan Wuyi Oolong by Verdant Tea
828 tasting notes

I am a bit disappointed in this one. I think it is my fault though. I love wuyi oolongs, they are so roasty and toasty and comfortable. But I think I failed to properly read the description of this one before I purchased it. I was tea-blind.

This one taste much more of a green oolong. It is greeny tasting with a lot of floral notes. Not terribly much roast or toast or comfort. It did brew up quite thick with a lot of honey notes.

It is still quite a delicious tea, just not what I was expecting. I would normally reserve a tea like this for the afternoon, not the first one of the morning. So I feel like I am not quite wakened up yet.

180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Seed Harvest by Handmade Tea
828 tasting notes

I hadn’t been avoiding this one. But I was in no hurry to try it. It seemed like it would be a chai to me, I don’t mind chai but it is definitely not my go to tea.

After opening the tin up, it smelled strongly of fennel. The brewed tea is very strongly anise (which smells like black licorice). It taste like a moderately bold black tea with sweet black licorice notes. The licorice is not overpowering, which is quite nice. There is definitely no need to add any sweetener to this one as it is fairly sweet on its own. I get a very quick, light salty fennel taste at the beginning of the sip but it is soon covered up by the licorice flavour. I am not getting much other spice out of this tea. There is a light “heat” to the aftertaste. It is definitely not a chai.

Due to the black licorice flavour, I definitely think this one would be better as an iced/cold brew.

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Hmmmm – I have been avoiding this one (sending it out in swap packages as often as possible). I think your review confirms that I won’t like this – I don’t have much left so should at least TRY it.
Glad you had a pleasant experience. :))

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drank Citrus Punch Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
828 tasting notes

This one is distinctive flavour.

The smell of the dry tea is citrus. Very similar to a vitamin c chewable tablet. I was a little worried due to the disaster of when I tried the orange matcha and it was so chemical flavoured. But I ordered this one at distinctive flavour for the purpose to tone down any chemical flavour there might be.

I made this cold shaken. 1tsp for 8oz water and about a 1/4 tsp white sugar.

It turned out ok. A little lacking on the citrus flavour but it is there. I can tell it is citrus but that is about it. It is not really distinctively orange, or lemon, or lime, etc. I am getting quite a dryness in the aftertaste. I would say it is similar to what you get after you suck on a lemon slice. I think this one would have been better at a robust level but I am still so scared if that chemical taste. Sigh. Ha ha.

I will play around with parameters a little and see if I can coax out some more flavour.

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drank Demain by Nina's Paris
828 tasting notes

I think I figured this one out. Finally, when there is just one serving left. Ha ha, that is how it always works out.

1.5 tsp for a 8 oz mug, 3-4 pieces of brown rock sugar, 190F (definitely hotter than what would be recommended for a green), 1-1.5 minutes.

That is all.

190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Ooh, I just ordered some of this on Amazon a few days ago. Getting it shipped to a relative in Florida so she can bring it back up when she returns. This is helpful!

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It is so cold. I know I shouldn’t complain. I have lived in this darn country and province my entire life. I have made a conscious decision to continue living here. I actually quite like how we get four distinct seasons. I normally would not mind if it was this cold. But come on polar vortex, it is March 1. It is supposed to be like -5C, starting to melt a little every day.

It is currently -40C, feels like -52C. If you would like to know what that is in Fahrenheit, -40 is where the Celsius and Fahrenheit scales meet. That’s right! It is -40F feels like -61.6F. WHAT?!?! I am not even going to bother going outside, not because any exposed skin will freeze in 3 seconds, or because my nostril hairs will freeze on contact to the air, but I am scared my door will break off its hinges if I open it because it is so cold.

So I am drinking this to warm up. I brewed it a little extra time today so it is nice and thick. 7 pearls for 2 minutes (I usually do just 1 minute). It is thick and bold and malty. Some hints of cocoa, but a lot of sweet dark plum flavours. It is STRONG. And I need that today.

I declare today a tea day!

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Hurray for tea days! Just the thing to keep you warm from the snow. :)


Those temperatures are insane. I want to come live there for a bit just to see if I could take it.

(I would put up with a lot to get my four distinct seasons, though. I really would.)


Anna you are welcome to come and visit anytime. If you stay here for long enough you will get used to it :)


Thank you! I think Canada is awesome – I’ve wanted to come live there for a while since I first visited. =)


I miss having seasons. We have two—green (rain) and brown (no rain).


I wouldn’t trade my 4 seasons for warmer weather


I might trade my 4 seasons for warmer weather. I could visit the seasons in other places and not have to live in the ones I don’t like… :)


your note makes me think to a girl I worked with and who was absolutely in love with Russia. She explained me she particularly adored the cold days in Russia when it was “so cold that my nose was blooding”. I think I stared at her as if she was a cold heroin…

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Thanks to CHAroma for sending this to me in a swap!! I have wanted to try this one forever, but figured I wouldn’t be able to because it was limited edition over a year ago.

The tea smells quite mild and sweet. I was anticipating a bold, kick you in the butt, kind of holiday blend.

The brewed tea is a little but more than slightly sweet. It is very smooth, a little bit of malt. I have to admit, I am actually getting a little bit of chocolate taste. There is a little bit of vegetalness to the tea. More like a really dark oolong, without the roastyness. There is a slight metallic twinge to the tea which is actually pleasant.

I am finding this tea to be a little light. I thought it would be a lot more bold than it is. I will try using more tea next time. This tea is more than a year old, so even though it is in good condition, I have to take that into account.

I saying all the above, it is still a very delicious tea. Just not what I expected. Andrews and Dunham have never done me wrong :)

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Vintage tea! How awesome that you got to try it. =)

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drank Warmth – Cinnamon Spice by Tetley
828 tasting notes

I am not a huge rooibos fan, but my mom gave me a little cardboard tin of this a long time ago and I actually didn’t mind it. I keep it on hand for when I want a quick bag of tea. It is definitely “warming”.

Well somehow I ended up with several cans of this tea. So I am trying to get rid of some of it. I even gave a few cans to a relative and still have a few left.

I would normally brew this tea quite weak, one bag for a 16 oz mug for 1 minute. But with the latest can I opened (I don’t know if it is a newer or an older can), the bags seem to not have as much tea. I also need to brew two bags vs the one I used to do.

I feel like Tetley is ripping me off…hmmm… Maybe it will be easier to sip it down. Anyway, it is a basic rooibos, sweet, with some cinnamon flavour. Sweet cinnamon, not spicey. It works.


I love when I find rooibos teas I can enjoy, because I’m not a fan of the medicinal taste.


I agree, I hate medicinal rooibos. I find this one is not too bad if you keep the steep time low.


I’ve discovered certain flavours seem to drown out/work with rooibos better. Orange is definitely one. Perhaps cinnamon too.

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drank Earl Grey by Hampstead Tea
828 tasting notes

I picked this up a while ago at Winners when they were selling some Fauchon teas. The box was pretty. This is a tea I could easily drink at work. I read the box (I thought anyway) and decided to pick it up.

So I am at work, I open the first individually sealed packet and there. Is. A. Smell. Hmmmm. What is going on. I put the bag into my cup and flip over the packet to read it. Oh no! My beloved Earl Grey has been…(dramatic pause)…Darjeeled!!!!

I am no fan of Darjeeling. I don’t know why. I have never ever like it. In taste and smell it reminds me of cheap cigarette ash. No matter what kind of Darjeeling I have tried, I just don’t like it. I find it worse when it is in a blend because that is usually the first and only ting I can taste.

Well…proceed with tainted tasting note, I guess. Even though I don’t prefer Darjeeling, I think I will be able to finish off this box of 20 tea bags. There is some bergamot in there. It is super light, all trampled and beaten up from the Darjeeling. Not as much as the package makes it out to be (“the zing of the bergamot oil…”), but it is just a work tea. I often don’t even taste the teas I drink when I am at work, I just quickly gulp and move on.

Upon closer inspection of the box, it does say this is a Darjeeling Earl grey, but it is kind of buried under all of the cute graphics and fancy writing. No wonder I missed it. Damn marketing…

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

Darjeelage! Seriously, cute graphics and fancy writing can be so distracting. Lethal.

I’m trying to figure out how I feel about darjeeling, but I’m still on the fence.


Butiki has several really good Darjeelings…I never thought I would be big into them but those converted me :)

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I am a lifetime tea lover.

I did foray into the world of coffee for a period of time, but I returned to my true love. I still, however, enjoy a good cup of java.

My all time favorite tea is Earl Grey, which I drink every morning, the stronger the bergamot the better. I definitely prefer natural oil of bergamot to artificial flavouring.

I mostly like black and dark oolong teas. My current favs are Fujian blacks, Keemun and Assams, and Wuyi oolongs. I gravitate towards anything with lychee in it. I also drink a lot of herbal blends but am wary of hibiscus. I do not favour mate, or pu’erh tea, although I have found a few blends that I like. (I so badly want to like straight pu’erh tea but it all tastes gross to me. I keep trying though). Rooibos, green and white teas fall somewhere in the middle. I find myself gravitating towards heavily roasted oolongs and teas from Paris/France based companies.

I love iced teas and cold brews.

My current tea goal is to make the perfect cup of chai from scratch – almost there…I think.

I am in love with the whole experience of tea.


Saskatchewan, CANADA

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