4405 Tasting Notes

91
drank Cinnamon Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
4405 tasting notes

I ordered this Matcha not just because I love the flavor of cinnamon, but because of the many different blending opportunities it would present with so many of my other flavors. I was thinking primarily with the Caramel Matcha, because I LOVE the combination of cinnamon and caramel, but it would also be great with the pear and the fig Matcha, and well… just about all of them, really.

But it’s also really amazing on it’s own. I ordered the distinctive level of flavor with this one, and I’m not really sure why except that it is my “go to” specifications, but in the past I’ve been kind of mindful of the flavor that I’m choosing and I would have thought I would have gone for the delicate flavor so that the cinnamon did not overpower the matcha. And this distinctive level of flavoring does overpower the flavor of the matcha just a bit. (I also ordered the basic/classic grade of Matcha) Actually, not even by a “bit” – but a whole lot. This is like the Matcha’s answer to the cinnamon challenge! It’s STRONG.

But … it’s still really yummy. And by the time I’ve reached mid-bowl, I taste more of the Matcha… it’s like it needed time to catch up with the flavor of the cinnamon which is really quite aggressive.

However, even though the cinnamon is strong and it’s a sweet-yet-spicy-hot kind of cinnamon taste, it doesn’t taste like cinnamon candy at all. This tastes of true cinnamon, like Saigon cinnamon. It is really vibrant and zesty.

This matcha is available here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/cinnamon-matcha.html

Babble

See this is a matcha I would have a hard time justifying, because why not just buy cinammon powder and add it, you know?

LiberTEAS

I see what you’re saying, except that I have tried to add my ground cinnamon to Matcha and it doesn’t stay evenly incorporated. This isn’t like Matcha + ground cinnamon. It is a flavoring, so it doesn’t go flying all over the place when you try to whisk it.

Babble

Hmm.. good point. That makes sense :)

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85
drank Peanut Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
4405 tasting notes

For those of you who have “known” me for a while, I was quite put off by the idea of peanut butter flavored teas (ie: Frank had a few peanut butter teas that he offered way back when, and those were some of the only teas that I would not, could not order. I could not drink them in a house, I would not drink them with a mouse, I would not drink them here or there, I would not drink them anywhere.)

So, you might be thinking … what has changed that would prompt me to order a peanut flavored Matcha? Well… it wasn’t a tea at all that changed my mind, but a taffy! Yes, a taffy. This taffy, to be exact: http://hungryinportland.com/2012/06/29/salty-peanut-salt-water-taffy-from-the-salty-road/ This taffy that I received in one of my last Foodzie boxes was the best taffy I ever had. And it was a PEANUT taffy (which tasted remarkably like peanut butter). It was amazing. So, I guess … I was just thinking that if I could enjoy a peanut taffy so very much … maybe I AM missing out on something pretty spectacular with the peanut butter flavored teas.

So when I saw that Red Leaf Tea had a peanut flavored Matcha, I decided to try it. (They now have a peanut butter flavored Matcha too: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/peanut-butter-matcha.html ) Maybe I might like it, since I did like the peanut taffy so much. And I do actually like peanuts. And peanut butter. But, it just seemed kind of WEIRD to have it in my tea. I don’t know why. Tea + Peanut … just didn’t sound like something good to me.

But, the taffy was a turning point for me, and now, I am courageous enough to try Peanut Matcha!

I prepared it traditionally with water and whisked it (it frothed up beautifully), and then I took a taste. It was good… but all the sudden I wondered how it might be if I were to add a pinch of sea salt into the chawan… so I did. This instantly dissolved my froth. But I whisked again, and the froth came back. I didn’t add a lot of salt, just a little teeny pinch of it, just enough to accent the peanut a bit.

YUM! OK… this is really quite good. Much better than I was prepared for. I thought, maybe I’d like it, but I like this very much. It is sweet and nutty and creamy. The taste of the peanut is balanced well with the flavor of the Matcha, which is smooth and vegetative. I like the way these two flavors work together. Quite yummy.

My specifications for this order were NOT my go-to specs. I went with the delicate peanut flavoring instead of the distinctive, and the basic/classic grade of Matcha. I went with the delicate in case I wasn’t all excited over the peanut flavor, so that I could easily add the peanut Matcha to smoothies to help disguise the peanut flavor if I needed to. But no need to do that, because I’m loving this!

You can order your own Peanut Matcha here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/peanut-matcha.html

Azzrian

NICEE! :) Good idea adding the salt!

Alphakitty

Ooh, this sounds great! I just ordered the peanut butter matcha, I wonder how they’d compare.

Mélissa

They also have a peanut butter matcha that no one reviewed yet. I can’t wait, I can’t wait!

LiberTEAS

I don’t know how different they’d be, @Alphakitty. I ordered the peanut one before the peanut butter one was introduced (at least, I think so! I don’t remember seeing the peanut butter one when I ordered the peanut. Then again, I think I ordered the peanut from the homepage rather than while perusing through all their Matcha). @Melissa: I know they have a peanut butter one, I mentioned it in the tasting note above! I don’t know how much different it will be, it would be interesting to compare the two.

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85

This is the random tea that I received as part of Pekko Teas’ generous offer a couple of weeks ago in the forum. I am glad that this is the tea that was chosen for me, because really, it is not a tea I would have selected for myself. I’m not big on Lapsang Souchong, I’m just starting to gain an appreciation for it, and I don’t generally add them to my cart when shopping for tea.

I like this one. It’s smoky, of course, but, after a quick rinse, I find that it’s not too smoky, and I can easily discover the caramel-y undertones and even a hint of pine, and the earthy undertones. It’s quite a lovely tea. Sweet, smoky and interesting.

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72
drank Strawberry Lemonade by iHeartTeas
4405 tasting notes

I received a sample of this tisane with the last order that I placed with iHeartTeas (thanks Rachel!) – the label ingredients does not list rooibos, but I could see the rooibos in there and the website lists rooibos.

This is tasty. The strawberry flavor sweet and tart – with the tartness further emphasized by the lemon notes. It is more tart than sweet … and tart is not my favorite kind of flavor, but, I’m still enjoying this.

Not bad … not my favorite lemonade type tisane, but, it’s agreeable.

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90
drank White Lemon by Shanti Tea
4405 tasting notes

I’m revisiting this tea because TeaEqualsBliss sent me a bit more of it in the last box that she sent me. (Thanks sister!) Here is my full-length review of this tea: http://sororiteasisters.com/2011/02/25/white-lemon-from-shanti-tea-2/

It tastes as good as I remember, although, I did slightly oversteep it and the bitterness of the lemon sort of peeks out with the longer steep time.

I think that either Shanti Tea has discontinued this tea, though, or at the very least, they’re currently sold out of it, because I can’t find it on their website. It’s a shame, because even with the slight bitter edge to it, it is still quite pleasant.

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89

When I was measuring this tea out into my Breville basket (yes, I normally do brew Oolong teas in my gaiwan, however, this is no ordinary Oolong and I thought that it would be better prepared in my Breville because of the other ingredients), a HUGE chunk of papaya accompanied the other ingredients in my scoop. Papaya is not a flavor that I would normally associate with Chardonnay … but hey, what do I know? In the last 6 months I’ve consumed about four sips of wine … and that was a Merlot. I know less about wine than a wine novice would.

But with all the big chunks of fruit, I will say that my interest was definitely piqued. And once I poured the tea into my mug, I could definitely SMELL the chardonnay.

It has a very warm and luscious kind of smell, and as I sip it … it is like being wrapped in a warm, soft, thick-pile blanket. So soft and luxurious! The cinnamon gives it a warm taste while the vanilla gives it a very soft, luscious kind of feel and taste. I do taste the tropical notes of citrus and papaya, although these flavors are less apparent than some of the flavors that are mentioned by Vintage TeaWorks: pear, butter, melon, and butterscotch. It is silky smooth and sweet and absolutely YUM!

Azzrian

I am absolutely placing an order with them tomorrow when I get paid!

TeaEqualsBliss

Azz – Between Liberteas and I – we can send you some, too!

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96

Muscatel!

If you’ve ever read a tasting note or tea review and read the word “muscatel” and wondered exactly what it might taste like – this is the tea to try. This tea will show you through its amazing flavor what muscatel is. It is more than grape. It is a wine-like taste, grape, sure … but a fermented grape. Sweet and dry. Hints of black currant. Even notes of musky spice and wood. This tea has that. And it is SO good.

This is quite possibly one of the most pronounced muscatel tastes that I’ve yet to experience.

The tea itself is also a bit different from other Darjeeling teas that I’ve tried – which tend to be light, crisp and even a bit sparkling in nature. This tea has more of a Ceylon-like body, not quite as crisp and sparkling, it is more substantial. Smooth and silky. Sweet. Dry without a overwhelming astringency.

Just plain … amazing.

Azzrian

Mmmmm Muscat! So good!

Kiaharii

So I’m still learning about Darjeeling teas, but do you know if this is spring/summer/first flush/whatever. I’ve got a Margaret’s Hope (which is guess is the estate) Autumnal so I was just wondering. :)

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83
drank Lime Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
4405 tasting notes

I ordered this particular flavor of Matcha primarily because of the mixing options it offered … primarily, I thought that lime and watermelon Matcha would taste amazing … and I also figured that it would add a bright citrus flavor to smoothies as well.

The aroma is very lime. But there’s more to it than just that. It actually smells like a lime tree … like the aroma that one might experience if sitting beneath a lime tree. The limes, the blossoms, the leaves, the earth, even the tree itself. It’s bright and citrus-y but also earthy.

The flavor is lime and matcha (oddly enough! ha!) but it isn’t overwhelmingly tart. The sweet flavors of the matcha sort of offset some of the tartness that I expected – or at least I think so. I expected something that would encourage a little bit of a pucker. But I’m not disappointed that it isn’t sour as I’m not a big fan of sour taste. This is more sweet-and-sour, with a leaning toward the sweet, and even a bit of bitterness from the lime. This makes me wonder how it might be if I added a pinch of salt to the Matcha before I whisk, I might try that next time to see if the bitterness is more balanced.

As it is though, it’s not bad at all … in fact, it’s really quite good. Not as good as the licorice Matcha I had a while ago, but, it’s still quite nice. It has a bit of an acidic bitterness, but it isn’t too much of either of these elements, and the fruit flavor gives off a bit of sweetness and seems to bring out some of the earthier qualities of the Matcha that I don’t often experience in pure Matcha.

It is smooth and creamy and has a flavor that is quite unlike the other Matcha that I’ve tried – and if for no other reason, I find that to be a good reason to try this one. I love the brightness, and I’m thinking that now I must get some of the lemon Matcha too … another blending possibility with this one! Mmm… Lemon-Lime Matcha!

You can find this deliciously different Lime Matcha here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/lime-matcha.html

EDITED TO ADD: The specs for this order are my usual go-to specifications: basic/classic grade Matcha with distinctive level of flavoring.

Mercuryhime

put it in a margarita! It’ll be so pretty!

LiberTEAS

Well, I don’t really drink alcohol, so I’m not in to Margaritas much. This might also be pretty good with lemon lime soda… might have to try that!

Mercuryhime

I’m not a fan of alcohol either, but it looked so pretty in a frosty martini glass with a curl of lime zest in my imagination. :)

LiberTEAS

yes, I bet it would be pretty. And it might even be tasty… but not something I’d drink regularly. :)

MegWesley

Whenever I see the lime matcha, I think of “put the lime and the coconut” song. Then I think of the coconut matcha. I wonder if they would actually taste good together?

Azzrian

I am considering this one.

LiberTEAS

@Meg: well, I’ve tasted lime and coconut flavored tea before (although I’ve not combined the lime and the coconut matcha yet), and it was pretty amazing.

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98
drank Licorice Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
4405 tasting notes

I am a licorice FIEND! Black Jelly Bellys are my favorite, my candy choice at the movie theater is usually Good and Plenty. I love the flavor of black licorice – a balance between spicy and sweet, with an intriguing minty undertone … oh so good!

And this has got the licorice flavor spot on. It’s a strong licorice note (my specs for this Matcha were my go-to specs: classic/basic grade with distinctive level of flavor), but it works with the rich, creamy, slightly buttery and vegetative notes of the Matcha. This particular flavor of Matcha is a little less balanced than some of the others, but I can’t really complain about that because the licorice flavor is so crisp and good. The aftertaste reminds me of Altoid’s Liquorice. oh yum yum yum!

I have to admit though, that I was a little scared to try it because I worried that because Red Leaf Tea had proposed a “new and improved” licorice flavor a few weeks ago when they were asking in the forums for input on new flavors to add to their already extensive line of flavored Matcha, and it made me worry that maybe the current Licorice flavor wasn’t good, and NEEDED to be replaced. But if this is the non-improved licorice flavor – KEEP IT. I can’t imagine it getting better than this. I really can’t!

If you like licorice, you should try this. But if you LOVE black licorice – you’ve GOT to try this. This one might just be my new favorite. Yeah… I love it that much!

You can find this amazing Matcha here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/licorice-matcha-organic.html

Alphakitty

I love licorice too! Most people don’t, but I go straight for the black jelly beans.

gmathis

I am not a licorice lover at all, but one that tastes like the candy sounds much more appealing than that nasty cloying herbal licorice root taste!

Nik

Black jelly beans are my favourite! But for some reason, I’m not really a huge fan of licorice in tea. It’s possible that’s just because of the few (mediocre) experiences I’ve had, but it always somehow coats my tongue, which feels kinda gross. Besides the spot-on flavour, did you have that experience with this matcha? If not, I might have to add it to my shopping list.

LiberTEAS

I didn’t notice anything unpleasant about this tea. I loved it.

Nik

Good to hear!

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96
drank Zhen Qu by Butiki Teas
4405 tasting notes

This is fantastic!

The dry leaves are gorgeous – lots of golden curls amongst the dark chocolate curled leaves. The aroma of the brewed tea is chocolate-y and sweet, with notes of malt and caramel. Nutty too. My taste buds are eagerly awaiting a sip as I wait a few moments to allow it to cool a bit.

Ohhh… so good! Rich and malty with a strong honey-esque tone. Chocolate-y, yes … and deliciously caramel-y too. The caramel and honey mingle together to form a honey-caramel overtone that possesses hints of the caramelized sugar that have not quite burnt… but have developed a really rich, brown color.

It’s remarkably smooth, and the flavor also possesses something I did not anticipate from the aroma – a floral note. Like a hint of flower somewhere in the distance. I did not really smell the floral tone, but I can taste it.

A really REALLY good black tea. It has some vigor to it too.

Bonnie

I really like this one too

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Bio

I am obsessed with tea!

I am a co-founder of the SororiTEA Sisters:
http://sororiteasisters.com

I also review teas for the Tea Review Blog:
http://www.teareviewblog.com

In addition to my passion for tea, I am also a mixed media/altered arts artist. You can see some of my art here: http://eccentricpastiche.blogspot.com

I am also a self-proclaimed foodie. I review local restaurants and the food I buy online here: http://hungryinportland.wordpress.com

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My favorite teas are Yellow Teas with most Oolong teas at a close second. As far as “flavored” teas go, I love Earl Grey, Chocolate and Jasmine teas.

I also am intrigued by flavored teas with an unusual or unique flavor combination.

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I don’t do a whole lot of swaps anymore, however, I do occasionally sell sampler boxes here: http://liberteas.teatra.de/ I don’t always have sampler boxes available as it depends upon how much time I have as well as packaging supplies. I usually post at least one or two sampler boxes per month, though, so if you’re interested, keep an eye out or PM me and I’ll let you know when I have some posted.

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Most of the teas that I record in my notes here are going to have a fairly high rating from me. This is not because I am not discerning, but because I do not usually waste my time on drinking tea I do not care for, nor will I waste my time on writing about it.

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Vancouver, WA

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http://SororiTeaSisters.com

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