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55 Tasting Notes
I am just about at the end of this sample – It made I have no idea how many pots of tea, maybe 10? It seemed like a ton! I’ve lost count over the last few days. My last steep wasn’t particularly long, but for the first time I can tell it is getting to the end. I’ll probably do one more longer steep, but I can definitely say this lasted a longgg time.
When I opened it, the earthy smell seemed less pronounced than others that I’ve tried (that is a very small list anyway). Dry, it reminded me of charcoal leftover after a bonfire – the layers were so interesting. After rinsing, I was surprised at how many small bits of tea went through the strainer (I have a large strainer that fits in the teapot and so far this is the first time I’ve ever had anything go through it; it is very fine) but they remained settled at the bottom and didn’t have any affect whatsoever on the drinking experience.
My first steep was quite dark, but I should have left it a little longer (I’m still a bit afraid of turning it into fish soup…I don’t even know if that would happen but I’ve been doing short steeps to minimize the chance that I’ll need to pour it down the drain). It didn’t taste nearly as strong as I expected, but it had a strong smell that was clean, crisp, and earthy. Subsequent steeps were a bit longer (I’ve been judging based on colour mostly, once it gets nice and dark I take the leaves out) and each steep has been flavourful.
I’ll admit that the crumblyness and bits on the bottom had me worried at first, but this is definitely a very well rounded tea. Mellow is a great way to describe it and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it, particularly to someone who is either new to puerh or who – like me – has had bad experiences in the past!
Venturing a little deeper into the pu-erh world is fun! This is my first raw pu-erh. I didn’t even read the label before I made it – but as soon as I saw the light, golden liquid I did! So different from the ripe ones I’ve already tried. The first steep was light and vegetal – the initial smell reminded me of canned green beans, but not as pungent. The taste was smooth but a bit astringent – just a little drying, but not bitter or unpleasant.
Second steep was sweeter – I got a distinct apricot smell. I steeped it a little longer this time (just over a minute, the first steep was probably around 45 seconds) and it was lovely.
I’m still working on my third steep but this is definitely a nice tea. I think I prefer ripe over raw, just because the flavour seemed more…blunt? My favourite thing about pu-erh is that I have experienced a mineral taste that just feels so quenching and healthy to me. I’m not sure I would buy more of this one for a while, simply because there are so many more ripe pu-erhs that I want to try, but I’d gladly drink it again :)
I want to LOVE this. I want it to be my daily matcha that I never ever run out of. But I can’t – It’s awful. I am reading the other reviews and trying to figure out what happened – maybe I got a bad batch? This and ginger (two flavours that I love) are the only two matchas that I wouldn’t order again (and may not even finish).
The first time I tried it I used warmer water and added a bit of coconut milk. I was so turned off by the taste that I didn’t try again until now, months later. But the funny thing is, I blamed the coconut milk; I had just assumed that it was “off” somehow. So today I made it as an iced latte (my favourite way to drink flavoured matcha) without anything added at first. I had to pour it down the drain and start again with a different kind.
The smell and taste are the same – plastic-y, chemical tasting, nothing like coconut (fresh, dried, toasted…it doesn’t matter. Nothing like it!). A few people have mentioned sun screen but I love the smell of sunscreen and would gladly eat something that smelled like it (as long as it was edible) and this just isn’t it. I’ve tried twice prepared two ways – I’ve had a lot of flavoured matcha – so I don’t think it’s me. Did anyone else get a funky batch of this? I don’t even feel like I could put it in a smoothie to keep myself from wasting it. I adore my other flavours from Red Leaf Tea so I won’t let this stop me from trying some new kinds but I am starting to think I am just not meant to find a perfect coconut tea!
First off, thanks for the generous sample!
I really enjoyed this tea – mango is one of my favourite fruits so I am always on the lookout for anything featuring it! I haven’t tried it hot yet and to be honest I may not, because it is really good iced! I found the mango flavour authentic and the base was definitely still present. A tea-loving coworker smelled it and guessed correctly that it was mango, which I think it pretty impressive!
I’ll definitely be taking a second look at this company because I was very happy with this sample :)
Part of me is so sad that it’s taken me this long to learn to enjoy pu-erh tea. My first experiences were terrbile – and very rarely will you see me pour tea down the drain. Now that I’ve found some better quality teas though, and learned to rinse them, my sadness comes from having only ordered sample sizes. Maybe my timing is actually just right, because I found out some big news this week…I’m moving to China at the end of the summer!
I’ve been resteeping multiple times with steep times ranging from 10 seconds to eventually 5 minutes once I’ve steeped the tea to death. Mellow is such an appropriate word to describe it. The taste is warm and earthy but clean and not muddled. I don’t get any hint of fishiness, even with the smell.
I can’t find words to describe it, but it tastes healthy – I feel like my body likes it more than any other tea I drink. I have a few different samples left to try, but that was the end of this one. I’m not sure whether I prefered this or the one I reviewed a couple of weeks ago from Verdant…
I want to like pu’erh tea. I really do. But until today I have been trying and failing miserable at making any that didn’t smell like rotting fish (I don’t even like to eat fresh fish). I even bought a flavoured pu’erh from Davidstea that I ended up pouring down the drain and returning the rest of the bag. Having read a bit more about ways to brew I decided to give it a try again.
I actually love the earth smell of the dry leaf, but I was a bit nervous about how it would turn out wet. I made sure I did a rinse, but then I couldnt remember how long the first steep should be. I went by colour and stopped after about 20 seconds when it was starting to get dark – it actually had a very beautiful rosy tint to it as well. I thought I could smell a little bit of fishyness at first, but that seems to have disappeared entirely.
This is delicious. It is so different from anything I’ve had before, and it makes me want to keep trying different pu’erhs. I am still only on my first steep, but the wonderful earthiness really reminds me of warm moss on a hotter than normal spring day. I wish I had ordered more (I got a sample size of I think every tea Verdant tea had in stock when I ordered) but that just means I’ll have to place another order soon!
I was surprised at the colour of this tea – it has a delightful, milk chocolate colour that I normally would associate with hot chocolate or maybe coffee, but not normally tea. I like it, it’s interesting.
I am the worst steeper ever. I am kicking myself for leaving it too long (next time I’ll try for about 2 – 2.5 mins). It probably only steeped 5-7 minutes though, so it shouldn’t be shot. It smells absolutely wonderful – sweet and rich with a malty element. I imagine it would taste better had I not forgotten about it :( It still tastes quite good, but not special. My parents drink a lot of tea – far more than me – but only Red Rose. This reminds me of a cup of too strong Red Rose that was allowed to become bitter. It’s drinkable, but for the price I’d rather have a cuppa what’s on the stove already brewed.
I have a newly discovered love of passion fruit, so I was very excited to see a passion fruit flavoured tea during my recent visit to Sawadee Tea House. I had only tried two of their teas before (a green and an oolong) and they were both great.
The dry leaves have a somewhat fruity smell, but not one that was distinctly passion fruit. To be honest I would never have guessed passion fruit as a flavour for this one at all, but it is a very nice tea. I liked it best iced; it reminds me of a bottled iced tea – only way better and without any gunk added. I probably won’t buy more of this specific kind, but the tea itself is very good. If anyone has tried a good passion fruit tea, let me know!
This was my first time trying this type of tea, and I’ll admit I was skeptical. It seems to be a love it or hate it kind of tea, and I reallllly wanted to love it. I had planned on getting a small amount to try on my last trip to Halifax, but when I had the chance to smell it I decided to go with 50g instead of 25.
The smoky scent of this tea is strong – so strong that I was seriously worried about having a coughing fit when I actually drank the tea. It isn’t a bad smell by any means; it is comforting, like a bonfire. Actually what it reminded me of most was going through Spaceship Earth at Epcot when I was little and the smell of the scence where Rome was burning. That was my first thought even at the store and I knew that even if I didn’t like the taste of the tea, I would love to just open the bag up to feel nostalgic once in a while!
My fears of the smoke being to strong in the brewed drink were immediately dimished on the first sip. Instead I found the tea to be surprisingly smooth and extremely comforting. I was worried about oversteeping, and probably left it a few minutes longer than I should have, but it had no sign of bitterness whatsoever.
I definitely don’t think this will be an everyday tea for me, but I’ll definitely always keep some on hand for cold rainy or snowy days!
Wow…It’s been a long time since I’ve done a proper tasting note! I am still making my way through my last orders of Della Terra and Verdant Tea, as I wait for my newest order to arrive!
The dry leaf for this tea smells wonderful! It is very strong and the almond is definitely very present! I found that the tea kept its smell once it was steeped as well.
Mostly, this reminds me of a nice amaretto tea. It isn’t heavy on the chocolate, although I do get those notes as well. The flavour isn’t as strong as the smell, but in this case I definitely consider it a good thing. It has a nice balance of sweetness on its own, and tonight I added a tiny bit of vanilla agave (I am in love with the stuff) and it works great together.
I almost always find that chocolately dessert teas benefit from a splash of milk, and this one was no different. It’s perfect for when I want something hot-chocolately but not heavy. It isn’t my favourite dessert tea, but I would consider buying it again. I’ll definitely drink the rest!
I am just sad that I am drinking this instead of trying new teas from my Verdant Tea order that came last week :( Let’s hope that tomorrow I can actually taste and enjoy something! I hate being sick!! This is barely even helping, but it is sort of soothing.
One of my coworkers was nice enough to pick some of this up for me when I gave him some samples of the kinds I already had! I was really excited to try it, and it’s good, but not great. It looks kind of like … black tea with coconut … but someone threw some clodhoppers or other chocolate candy in the bag and they smushed together. It doesn’t smell bad, but I am not sure I would have added cinnamon to this blend. I think that if anything it is distracting and seems to muddle things up.
I made this as a latte with a tiny bit of vanilla agave (seriously, I’m trying to stretch it out as long as possible). It looked kind of gross in the cup – lots of loose bits of chocolate floating to the top – my latte foam ended up speckled. Taste-wise it reminded me of a macaroon or spider cookie. Sadly the big thing that it was lacking in taste was tea – it just tasted like spider cookie warm chocolate milk. I’m sure I’ll finish the bag, but I don’t think I’ll buy more.
It’s funny how my taste in teas has changed over time. I find that now I am more drawn towards straight teas, but somehow most of the ones I own are flavoured. I am so happy that I ordered this as one of my samples! It is naturally sweet and actually reminds me of my favourite aspects of Nepal Black.
I steeped this one twice, and I think it would be good with or without a bit of milk. It doesn’t really need sweetener but my boyfriend put some sugar in his and it was definitely tasty!
I’ll keep this one in stock!
I’ll start off by saying that tiramisu is one of my favourite desserts, and I am (a little bit) happy that it isn’t something I can have often, because I’d weigh as much as three elephants. I’m not sure I would ever add matcha to my homemade tiramisu – no one else would even try it – but I was intrigued and decided to add it to my order.
This is the best flavoured matcha I have ever tried. It is leaps ahead of everything else. I was worried it wouldn’t mix well with the matcha flavour, but it did. I had another tiramisu tea (not matcha, I think it was a rooibos) and it wasn’t authentic at all with the flavour. Everything about it is perfect. I’ve tried it both iced as a latte and hot. I’d give the edge to the iced version; the flavour just really seemed to pop. Hot it was still amazing – it had a solid tiramisu flavour that was decadent and creamy and I just can’t find any fault with it at all! The only bad thing about this tea is how fast I’m going to need to buy more of it! I think at some point I will try putting this in the blender and making a frappucino style drink! If only I had ordered it at the beginning of the summer….now I am always cold and looking for a hot drink. If you are trying to pick a sweet dessert flavour this is definitely the one I would go with. Just writing this review makes me want to go make more – but I am so torn because I don’t want it to be gone too quickly!! Check it out here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/tiramisu-matcha.html
Cheesecake matcha basically sounds like a dream come true. I’m not sure why I didn’t order this with my first order – I LOVE cheesecake, both making it (which I am great at, if I do say so myself haha) and eating it (which I am equally good at, maybe too good). So if I can get matcha that will satisfy my cheesecake craving without all the calories, I am definitely going to try it!
I received this with my order of tiramisu and caramel, and although it had the least distinctive smell and flavour, it definitely still had an authentic cheesecakey-ness that was so worth it. I think the best part of this was that it wasn’t just matcha that tasted like cheesecake – it tastes like what I imagine matcha-flavoured cheesecake would taste like (I haven’t ventured into the world of baking with matcha because I am the only one who would eat it and I really don’t need to eat an entire batch of cookies, cheesecake, etc. By myself!).
Sweet, but not too sweet, with that little hint of tanginess that you get from cream cheese, this is a perfect after-dinner tea. I am going to make it again and do a better job – I had it iced the first time, and I think that is how I will prefer it, but it wasn’t quite cold enough. I took it to work in my timolino and forgot to put ice cubes in! That will be a necessity next time. I can’t wait to mix this with a few other flavours!
I bought the caramel matcha more or less on a whim – it was on sale, so I could get a bigger size! Thinking back, I’m really glad I did. I am much more of a chocolate or vanilla person – caramel is not something that I normally lean towards. Red Leaf Tea hasn’t steered me wrong yet! I am amazed at how much I like this!
Dry, the caramel smell is strong, even though I only ordered delicate. In no way does it overwhelm or taste artificial though. I decided to take some to work with me, so I made it iced. It reminded me of a caramel version of chocolate milk – great flavour, creamy and all-round delicious. It was so good I even let two of my coworkers try it, and they agreed that it was heavenly.
I find that my favourite way to have sweet flavoured matchas is as a latte or an iced latte, and I usually add a little bit of honey, depending on the specific flavour. My thermometer is currently m.i.a (I think it’s at the bungalow) so I’ve just been letting the water get a little warm in the kettle and everything has been turning out great! I am thinking that caramel might become a staple flavour in my tea cupboard and I love having the chance to try so many wonderful flavours. I would highly recommend picking up some of this at http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/caramel-matcha.html
I’d say that overall, this was my second favourite flavour (behind tiramisu, which I haven’t logged yet. I think I might make more tonight.) If you like caramel at all you should try this!
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I was so excited for my samples from Zen Tea – and surprised that they arrived so quickly! The Coconut Oolong was the first one I opened, and I was very happy with the toasted coconut scent that hit my nose!
Once brewed, the toastiness definitely remained, but I’m not so sure about a real presence of coconut flavour. This tea is good enough that it really doesn’t matter – I loved it anyway. It was comforting and just what I was looking for. I appreciated that it wasn’t an artificial tasting coconut tea. I will probably order more of this with my next order.
I had a cup of this iced from the store on the weekend, and I could smell it before they even handed over the cup! I immediately decided that I needed to buy more because there was no way this one would let me down! I have to say that the actual taste was a bit of a let-down, but that seems to be a trend with anything I get iced in store. I should have taken some home and steeped it myself and I’m sure I would have been happier with it. I am still contemplating buying more, but it wasn’t so good that I had to make an extra trip back to the store to buy some.
Just finishing a cup of this…It smells great when you open the bag, and I had lots of walnut pieces as well. It smelled good enough that even my boyfriend (who limits his teas to nepal black, cold 911, and peppermint amour) tried some. He only drank about half his cup though, and I can’t say I blame him.
As great as this smelled dry, the actual taste was a bit disappointing. It still smelled quite good brewed, but it tasted sort of muddled – it didn’t seem that much like toasted walnut, but at the same time I didn’t really get a whole lot of green tea taste either.
I’m seeing that a few people have recommended it iced, so I’ll probably give it another try; I still have a decent bit left.
I had my first ever visit to Sawadee Tea House on the weekend! I’ve looked on their website before, but it seemed like every time I was in Halifax (which is only 3-4 times a year) I just never managed to make it. I almost didn’t get a chance to check it out this time either – we stopped by on Friday and it was closed! It was very disappointing (we went during open hours, according to the website), but I’m sure they had a good reason for needing to close. I was able to go back on my own on Saturday and it was just a great experience. I’m not sure why, but I expected a much smaller shop and selection. I spent a good 20 minutes or so just browsing the teas and the accessories in the shop before settling on Blue Mango Green and an oolong.
I find it kind of strange that I love matcha, but I haven’t liked the majority of green teas that I’ve tried. As you can probably tell if you’re reading this, I’m a sucker for anything with mango or pineapple – or any tropical fruit, except papaya – yuck. Anyyyway…
When I finally had a proper look at this tea, I noticed that it looks quite a bit darker than I expected it to. It smells great though! If I didn’t know that the flavor was supposed to be mango, I probably wouldn’t guess. It is definitely a tropical fruit flavor though, and I could see the pieces of pineapple in the bag.
Once brewed this has a light, clean taste that isn’t bitter at all. I was a bit worried that my water was too hot, but I think it must have been ok! The flavoring isn’t overwhelming at all, and I think I would buy this one again. I predict that it will be great iced (the last little bit in my cup is basically ice cold anyway, and it tastes really good!)as well….but I don’t think I should have any more tea today!
I will admit that I have only had 2 cups of this (found here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/madagascar-vanilla-matcha.html) since it arrived! I thought I should give it another try before I write a review of it, but my feelings haven’t changed a whole lot. I am wondering if I should have picked “distinctive” for my flavour profile, because while I get a slight aroma and flavor of vanilla it isn’t as strong as I expected, especially when I compared it to the mango matcha that I tried first.
I certainly would not classify this as a “blah” tea, but when I want something flavoured it isn’t what I’ll reach for. I made some before work today, and as it cooled (I find it gets better as it cools) I just kept thinking that it tasted like extra smooth regular matcha. Like a toned-down on the grassiness matcha, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I think this would be perfect for someone who has been newly introduced to matcha, or for someone who maybe had a bad first experience. If I had tried this as my first matcha, I think I would have thought “Ooh….matcha is awesome!”. What I really thought was: “This is interesting….but I think I need to try more before I decide.”
The Madagascar Vanilla is definitely something that I can see being great in baking or smoothies, and I have read about a few people mixing it with other flavours such as mint (that may be something I need to try in the future!). I can also see it being a go-to tea to make when I’m not sure exactly what I want. I do wonder though how different the French Vanilla matcha is from the Madagascar Vanilla. I may have to place another order soon to compare…
The best thing about this matcha is that it seems to be pretty versatile…I feel like I could probably use it to extend the life of some other kinds if I really wanted to. The taste is mellow and smooth, and there is no artificial taste to the vanilla flavoring. I recently noticed that on the Red Leaf Tea website they have an option for a “2 in 1 custom matcha”, and I think this would be a really awesome option to use as one of the flavors. I’m not sure I will pick up more of this when it is gone, but that is more due to the fact that there are so many different kinds that I want to try. I could see me coming back to this sometime in the future.
This was the perfect cup of tea for me to pick this morning! Pineapple is probably my second favourite fruit (after mango!) and I was excited but hesitant to try it (the last oolong I tried from DT I either let steep wayyy to long or it just tasted way too floral). If anything I think this one is a little weak, but maybe I just didn’t use enough leaf. The pineapple definitely comes through in both smell and taste. It isn’t a fresh, juicy pineapple flavor, but more of a pineapple candy (clear gummy bears?). It is definitely sweet enough all on its own, and I can’t wait to try it iced!