4550 Tasting Notes


Thank you to TeaEqualsBliss for sending me some of this tea.

This is an adventurous tea – it takes the palate on an adventure. It is also quite different than I expected it to be. With a name like Tropical Island, I expected something pineapple or papaya or mango … or a combination of these flavors. But I didn’t get those at all.

The first flavor that I tasted was lime. It really stood out over all other flavors in the cup with the first two or three sips. After that, the blackberry flavors began to emerge, and I also began to notice the flavor of the black tea. After a few more sips, I tasted a sort of “sweet and sour” kind of taste, and I guess that’s from the sour sap? Soursop? I’m not real familiar with this fruit, as I tend to shy from things called sour. But, I’m liking it just fine here.

By about mid-cup, I notice a hint … very subtle hint … of pear.

A really intriguing cup that kept me on my toes. I like the challenge that this tea offers.

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drank Banana Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
4550 tasting notes

I know that I should be drinking other teas right now… I have so many different teas to be tasting and reviewing, but I wanted more Matcha!

When I opened the package, it smelled very much like banana candies. I’m not a big fan of banana runts but I do like banana taffy. I don’t know why I don’t like the banana runts. I just don’t. So, as I was whisking this, I hoped that it wouldn’t end up tasting like banana runts.

It doesn’t. I don’t know, maybe it actually does but as I have it made up in my mind that I “don’t” like banana runts that because I do like this Matcha, I’ve decided that it doesn’t taste like banana runts. Does that make sense? Probably not. Does it have to make sense? I guess not.

It tastes good and sweet, but it isn’t an overly sweet banana taste. It tastes more like the fruit to me, rather than something overly sweet. The sweetness is more like the sweetness from the banana and the Matcha … which is what I mean about the tasting like the fruit rather than something too sweet. It tastes like banana mixed in with Matcha without the texture of the banana.

As I was opening this pouch and all the while as I prepared the Matcha, I couldn’t help thinking about the minions – http://youtu.be/BYBw_o_2nG0 – and their love of bananas. I love the minions.

I chose the distinctive level of flavoring together with the classic grade of Matcha, and I think that this combination worked well. The banana flavor is strong but doesn’t overwhelm the sweet taste of the Matcha. Interestingly, though, I don’t taste a lot of vegetative taste from the Matcha with this… it’s almost like the vegetal tones have melded with the fruit tones in some way. It tastes less vegetal and more banana-y, but I still taste the Matcha. The Matcha tastes more buttery to me this time around than vegetative. But it is still smooth and creamy and rich, and I’m loving it! You can get some of your own Banana Matcha here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/banana-matcha.html

It tastes absolutely lovely. I love it on it’s own, but I think it will also taste great mixed with just about any of the various Matcha flavors that I have in my cupboard. Cinnamon Banana … yum. Banana Cheesecake … yum! Strawberry banana … might be good. I think I’m one of the only ones out there that isn’t particularly crazy about the combination of strawberry and banana, even though I do usually add strawberries and bananas to my smoothies … I usually have other fruits in there too so that it’s not all about the strawberries and bananas. I am thinking I’d rather have boysenberry and banana.

Anyway… I don’t usually close my reviews with a song choice, but, I think it’s fitting to offer this song choice with this Matcha: http://youtu.be/wCkerYMffMo


I read this and thought of Banana chips; does it taste like that? Interesting?


I love the Minions, too, and I’m also not a fan of the strawberry-and-banana combination. I am happy to find someone else who also thinks it’s kind of “meh.” =)




I love the little minions. I’ve watched that several times and I didn’t even register on me before that the main lyric was “banana” and “potato”.

I like strawberry and banana, but what I do really like is banana and caramel. It is like a sundae.


Oh, Meg, thank you! You said banana+caramel and that led me to think that I like banana+honey, and that reminded me that I’m completely out of honey. And Nutella. Glad I read that before leaving for the supermarket. :D


@Nik Glad to help jog your memory! :D


I’m intrigued by this. I’m no fan of banana, but my BF is. I feel bad with all the flavored matchas I’ve been getting.

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I like pumpkin pie. It’s not my favorite dessert, but I like it, and no Thanksgiving is really complete without it. (I also make it for our Christmas feast as well, because my family loves pumpkin pie, and I really only make it these two times a year)

This flavored Matcha from Red Leaf Tea – http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/pumpkin-pie-matcha.html – has managed to capture the essence of pumpkin pie so well. It tastes as though someone has liquified the pumpkin pie and added it to a bowl of Matcha! So rich and creamy and deliciously pumpkin!

I can taste the rich and savory taste of the pumpkin, the sweetness of it, and the accent flavors of cinnamon as well as the hint of buttery pastry. If I could change anything about this, I would like a bit more pumpkin flavor here, but I wouldn’t want to sacrifice any of the other flavors to add the pumpkin flavor, so as it is, I like it just fine. So yummy! I made this into a latte (using a 1:1 ratio of hot water to warmed milk) because I wanted to accent the creaminess a bit more, and I think that this Matcha really benefits from being served this way. It tastes good prepared traditionally using only hot water, but it tastes REALLY GOOD when prepared as a latte.

The Matcha flavor is not overwhelmed with my specifications of classic Matcha with distinctive pumpkin pie flavoring, however, if you want more Matcha flavor, go with the delicate flavoring level. I don’t think I need more of the pumpkin pie flavor, I think that as it is with the distinctive level, there is a really good amount of flavor, with the flavor of the pumpkin pie just a little stronger than the Matcha, but the sweet, smooth, vegetative taste of the Matcha coming through in a nice way.

I really like this one, and I look forward to also trying this with the Cheesecake Matcha for a Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Matcha! Mmm!

This Pumpkin Pie Matcha is available here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/pumpkin-pie-matcha.html and you really should get some before Thanksgiving … I’m looking forward to enjoying this on Turkey day!

The Purrfect Cup

I have to get around to ordering this.


I had to laugh when I read your last paragraph. For us Canadians, Thanksgiving is tomorrow! Aside from that, I should really look into getting some of this matcha; it sounds great :)


I keep thinking sea weeds and pumpkin pie; not a mix really. would you sit at the beach smelling the freshly/fishy seaweed smell and have pumpkin pie while sitting there? I am sorry, please don’t punch me in the face or anything. It is something to consider. Algae vs. pumpkin pie? why vs. why not combine it says those mixing the brews…I suppose.


I do agree that the other flavors came more over the pumpkin pie, but it’s still enjoyable.

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drank Holiday Chai by Stash Tea Company
4550 tasting notes

I think that KeenTeaThyme send me a bag of this tea … THANKS!

this is not a bad chai … although I’ve definitely had better. Very clove-y. I’m enjoying it. The black tea is fairly mellow, the spices are very pleasant and warm.

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drank Talk To Me by Shoti Maa Tea
4550 tasting notes

Hmm… well, I can definitely smell the licorice, to e honest, I was really hoping to smell more of the lavender, but, I can barely discern it at all from the scent … in either the dry leaf or the brewed tisane. I can smell the cardamom, an hint of mint, and the licorice.

The flavor is very herbal. As in medicinal. It has a sort of medicine-y taste. It’s not a horrible taste, but not something I’d want to drink on a regular basis either.

And I LOVE licorice, but, here, combined with the other herbs, in a sort of weird combination, it just isn’t working for me as well as I had hoped it would. It’s alright, but, nothing I’m all giddy or excited over. I can finish the cup, but, I don’t know that this is something I’d buy. It might be good for occasions when I was feeling under the weather, because a nice side affect is that I feel my throat feeling very soothed as a result of sipping this.

It’s not bad … it’s just not my favorite. I think this would be better if it were lighter on the licorice, and maybe heavier on the lavender or perhaps the mint. Which is weird for me to say because I like licorice… but in this particular combination, it’s just not working out for me all that well.

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Thank you to TeaEqualsBliss for sending me some of this tea.

This is a delicious green tea. I do not see it on the Praise Tea Website anymore though … I wonder if they’ve just sold out or if they’ve discontinued it?

It’s vegetative (sweet grass taste) with a smooth buttery taste at mid sip. A moderate astringency (slightly dry, not pucker-y) toward the tail. Very enjoyable, it is very soothing and relaxing to sip. I taste warm, nutty tones, and a lovely fresh sweetness. A wonderful cup.

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This is a lovely Yunnan … smoky, rich, earthy and sweet. Lovely malt tones. Even though the description depicts an Oolong by saying it’s partially fermented … it tastes much more like a black tea than either an Oolong or a green. I do taste a lightness to this, hay-like and sweet, but, I still find it leaning more toward the black tea type.

It’s good, a fairly strong amount of astringency toward the tail. Enjoyable. Thank you TeaEqualsBliss for sending me a bit of this.


Good, review. I am a fan of Mountain Rose Herbs but have not made purchase as yet. I even wanted to volunteer with them last year 2011 at their Herb festival in Oregon but no money to get there. At least I think it was them. I had submitted the paper work and sent it online to them; so they had me on paper anyhow. Always revealing of sort.

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drank KaiMatcha Premium by KaiMatcha
4550 tasting notes

This is seriously one of the BEST Matcha I’ve tried. Since I’m not drinking it side-by-side with another high quality Matcha, I can’t say it’s the absolute best, but, it definitely ranks right up there in the top three, if not #1. Yes, it’s that good.

First of all, after having consumed so many flavored Matcha (and yes, I love those too), I’ve kind of forgotten what REAL Matcha froth is like. This is thick and foamy and lush! The color is vivid, bright green. And the flavor is superb. Sweet, vegetative, of course, but, not like some other Matcha … this is buttery and more like mild steamed vegetables with a hint of grass rather than grassy and/or vegetative. It’s milder, mellower, and the strong buttery tones mellow it out further. This doesn’t have the bittersweet taste that I often talk about with Matcha, this has no bitterness whatsoever. It’s just sweet. Sweet and lush and green and DELICIOUS! Thick and creamy. And there is some pleasing complexity to this too, every once in a while I could swear that I taste a note of cocoa in the background. Or sometimes a hint of flower … or a fruitier tone that I didn’t notice previously. It plays games with the palate, but in the very best way possible – it keeps the palate interested and keeps me sipping.

An excellent Matcha. TRY this Matcha!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Having never had matcha…I don’t know much about it. About how many servings are in an ounce? It just seems VERY expensive to me. :/


My post office is holding mine hostage, I’m so anxious to try it out after reading so many amazing reviews!


Now I’m really jealous of everyone that run, LOL


@Whispering Pines: I really don’t know how many servings are in an ounce as I’ve never really calculated it. I eyeball everything anyway, so my calculations wouldn’t be precise versus someone who might weigh and measure everything.

But Matcha is more expensive than most teas, and for good reason. It is made from tencha, which is essentially Gyokuro (only processed slightly differently). After it’s been dried, the stems and veins are removed and the leaves are stone ground into a very, very fine powder. There is a lot of work and tea that goes in to producing a single ounce, and so it costs more.


Oh, and it’s worth it!

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drank Matcha Sendo by Camellia Sinensis
4550 tasting notes

Backlog: Yesterday afternoon, my Matcha was this Matcha… I had just enough left for one chawan and it was a delicious way to say goodbye to this yummy Matcha. Here is my full-length review for it: http://sororiteasisters.com/2011/05/02/matcha-sendo-from-camellia-sinensis-2/

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Mmm! My first couple of sips, I wasn’t completely sold on this, but, I decided to try it with a splash of milk to go latte with this, and that made all the difference in the world.

Without the milk, I didn’t taste much of the bake-y cookie/cake/bread-y kind of taste I was looking for to distinguish this as a gingerbread Matcha rather than just a spiced Matcha … but the milk helps bring out that bready/cookie kind of taste that I wanted.

The spices are strong, making this a bit more like a gingersnap than what I’d expect from gingerbread. But that’s OK, generally speaking, I’d rather eat gingersnaps than gingerbread because most gingerbread tends to be more of a sweeter, cake-ier kind of treat with a muted ginger flavor. When I eat ginger cookies or gingerbread … I WANT ginger! (The best ginger cookie I’ve ever had, in case you’re curious, are these Ginger Snapdragons from Liz Lovely: http://hungryinportland.com/2011/04/26/ginger-snapdragons-from-liz-lovely/ … oh yeah, and they’re VEGAN! Hey, TeaEqualsBliss did you see that?)

Anyway… back to the bowl of Matcha that sits in front of me. If you have this Matcha, I recommend trying it latte if you haven’t already. It takes it from yum to SUPER-DUPER-YUMMER-ISTIC! And if you haven’t yet taken the plunge and bought this Matcha, you can do so here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/gingerbread-matcha.html By the way: what are you waiting for? The holidays? They’re just around the corner! Imagine adding some of this Matcha powder to your favorite ginger cookie recipe – that would be AH-mazing!

This has a strong ginger flavor, but, it’s not a super-spicy ginger, it’s warm, but also sweet. There is a brown-sugar sweetness to this in the background, sort of molasses-y, just like in real gingerbread. There is also notes of cinnamon that meld delectably with the ginger to create a very warm and festive flavor that is very holidays-y-ish to me.

And the matcha is not overwhelmed here, it adds a very pleasing, smooth, creamy taste to the cup (err… bowl) that is not overwhelmingly vegetative … it’s more buttery than anything and I think that this buttery, slightly vegetative taste really lends itself well to the bakey-cakey kind of taste of the overall flavor.

I ordered this using my go-to specifications: basic/classic Matcha with distinctive level of flavoring. And I don’t think I’d change a thing with these specs … although I am curious about how this might taste with a black Matcha base as well as a higher grade of Matcha. But as it is, I really like this a lot. Very comforting and yet invigorating at the same time.


Oooooo! Vegan! :) YAY!

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I am obsessed with tea!

I am a co-founder of the SororiTEA Sisters:


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.


I don’t do a whole lot of swaps anymore, however, I do occasionally sell sampler boxes. I don’t always have sampler boxes available as it depends upon how much time I have as well as packaging supplies. If you’re interested, keep an eye out or PM me and I’ll let you know when I have some posted.


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.


Vancouver, WA



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