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956 Tasting Notes

80

Matcha of the morning…..

It was time to pull this one out just to see how it compares to the way I usually prepare my matcha. For a cold version of this, it calls for 6-8 oz of milk and some ice, plus a scoop of the matchaccino mix, and then blend in a blender. When I make regular matcha, it is 6-8 oz milk, 6 ice cubes, 1/2 tsp matcha, and 1 packet of Spenda blended up.

First off, I think I got the lower quality based on the reviews I read here. I think I read somewhere here at Steepster where Red Leaf mentioned that there was a lower quality matcha batch that got mixed with a good batch, so you were kind of taking a chance, hence the lower price. No worries on that as the price I paid was fair. The product in my bag is kind of a brownish green rather than the bright green I am used to for matcha.

This differs slightly in overall taste. I do find the caramel flavor is kind of light (it is delicate). To me it mostly just tastes sweet. A little too sweet. The texture is much better, but I have some ideas why that I will explain later. I can tell the difference in matcha quality as it tastes just a little green. This is not bad (remember I have the lower quality that was a cancelled “special order?”), but I think it would be better in the usual grade of matcha.

The texture differences are all due to the sugar, xanthan gum, and tapioca dextrose. Sugar itself adds bulk in comparison to Splenda. Xanthan Gum is definitely a thickener, and from what I can quickly research on the tapioca dextrose, I think it is a lower sweet/higher bulk than the cane sugar. It is nice because the ‘middle’ of this feels filled when drinking it. In my usual version, you can kind of sense the ice just not quite being enough to fill it out. If that makes sense. The only thing that seems to suffer because of the added bulk is there is not as much room for frothiness.

I think for me, I will stick to the normal flavored matcha. Adding the Splenda is not an issue for me as that it what I use to sweeten all of my tea. It just comes out frothier (unless that is a product of the quality of the matcha and not the bulking agents.)

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87

Matcha of the day…..

Creamy sweet and vanilla frothiness. This is such a great basic and uncomplicated flavor for matcha. We have the classic base, distinctive flavor, and we always make it as a kind of frappe. I did purchase some Matchaccino in caramel flavor and can’t wait to see how the way we fix this varies from the matchaccino. Stay tuned.

Starfevre

Staying tuned, quite curious.

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96

Tea of the morning……

This one is just perfect. Notes of cocoa, earthiness, and slight malt. Pure bliss and very reliable. There is nothing like a good cuppa to help you greet the day.

Usual teapot method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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87

Matcha of the morning….

Yes, this has become a morning ritual for me. This came in my third order. It is a large size, classic base, distinctive flavor. I ordered the ‘buy 2 large, get a small free’ promo on a day when this was the deal of the day. Man, that was very nice. And they added in the Eggnog free sample (which I have tried and really liked it). Yes, I think you can tell they have won me over. Lucky for them that my kids will drink this, too. Now I am just waiting for English Toffee to go on special. I am thinking of buying the 3 Large get 1 Large free. We will be a French Vanilla/English Toffee house. Should have tried the Bavarian Cream?

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89

Matchaaaaaah!

I think this one is settling in to be the overall family favorite. My daughter and I love the caramel, but my son does not. He loves this one, though. I find his preference a little strange as the flavors are kind of similar. All I know is this one is on the list to buy more. I just have to hope(ask?) for it to be a deal of the day sometime.

I do get toffee! Yum. I have classic base, and distinctive flavor. It is perfect this way. Of course, at our house, it is always made up with 1 c. milk, 6 ice cubes, a packet of sweetener (don’t judge!), and 1/2 tsp of matcha all blended up into a frosty drink in my mini-blender. Soo yummy.

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65
drank Mocha Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
956 tasting notes

Its all in the preparation?

Yes, I am looking for a way to enjoy this rather than let it go to waste. Today, I added 3/4 tsp to some hot cocoa. It was not terrible. The mocha flavor was light and worked well with the cocoa but I could definitely taste the green tea prepared this way. I am not a green tea drinker no matter how hard I try, so it was a bust.

I know the flavors in the matcha are as much an olfactory experience as taste. I tried the same trick on my daughter (with her knowledge, of course) using Cookies & Cream matcha and putting it in her hot cocoa. She said she could smell the flavor, and it was as much the smell of certain flavors that were not exactly agreeable. The whole experiment was pretty much a fail. We will be sticking with the milk/ice/matcha/sweetener blender drink.

Starfevre

Good luck!

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89

Matcha of the day….

I was only going to keep two or so of these open at any given time, but the mocha disappointment made me want to open this one, too. Well, I think we got three good ones in our four pack which is not bad odds. This one is pretty tasty. I do get toffee flavors. It is kind of like a roastier version of the caramel. I do have distinctive flavor level (with classic matcha base)and think that robust would be better.

Edit to add: My kids both love this one!

Made with about 1 c. milk, 1/2 tsp. matcha, and ice in our mini-blender.

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65
drank Mocha Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
956 tasting notes

This is one of a four pack we ordered over last weekend. I am pretty sure it is the one my son was most excited about. Unfortunately, it is not what he expected. I guess I have this one all to myself. Ours is classic base, distinctive flavor, prepared with milk, ice, and sweetener in the mini-blender.

The flavor in this one is average. I now think one should stick to robust flavors for coffee types as that is how coffee is. Robust. I get light chocolate and coffee, just what you’d expect, but because it is light it starts tasting like something is wrong with it rather than it is mocha flavored. I am sure it would be better stronger. I am not sure I will take a chance on ordering a different flavor level as I am no longer that adventurous with my tea dollars and there are definitely a few we love.

I have to say that taking a chance on a flavor is not all that fun for me at this point. I don’t like spending money on something I/we might like. I do appreciate the sample program and can’t wait to see what they offer in January.

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71

Matcha of the day…..

Well, the kids and I chose some flavors and put in an order. Pretty sweet that it only took a few days to get here. We were not sure of the flavor level in the free samples we got, so we chose distinctive level for flavor (ours is the classic base). I have to say, the amount of flavor in this one seems kind of light, but it does have hints of a cookies & cream milkshake when made with milk and ice. I probably would have liked the flavor a little stronger. In no way does this come close to the caramel, french vanilla, or egg nog for me, though. I am pretty sure it will not be a staple, but we will enjoy it while we have it. I will have to ask my daughter’s opinion on this one.

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96

Tea of the morning……

It is a whirlwind week. Lots of holiday concerts for my kids. One is in band, one in orchestra, both in the HS symphony, both in the HS jazz band, and both in chamber groups at their music school. I am the music version of a travel team soccer mom. And my oldest just turned 16 today. It is a big week.

Luckily, I have tea to keep me going! This one is always excellent. Notes of cocoa, roastiness, light malt. It is one of those teas that I pick up my mug, and frown when it is empty. So happy I have a huge supply of this one.

Usual teapot method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
gmathis

Just reading your first paragraph makes me tired!

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Bio

Tea enthusiast, trying to keep up my cardio for the zombie apocalypse. I have come to accept that I am a western brewing black tea drinker as that is where my ‘tea heart’ lies. I started on loose leaf as a way to have my dessert and not suffer the caloric issues. Once I tried it, I was hooked.

I drink what I like, which is mostly China blacks, a few traditionally scented blacks and Earl Greys, plus a flavored tea here and there. I don’t mind spending a bit on premium varieties on occasion, but an expensive tea has to deliver. My favorite places to order are Harney & Sons and Upton Tea Imports. TeaVivre is great for Chinese tea.

My ratings are pretty subjective. If it falls under 70, I may not take the time to post about it unless I had something specific to say. If it is 70-80 I like it, but I will probably not rebuy. Favorites are over 80 and up, but sometimes the less expensive or more easily obtainable version of a similar taste will win out for my cupboard space.

Usual teapot steeping method: 24 oz teapot, 3 perfect scoops of tea (4 1/2 actual tsp), freshly boiled water, 4 minutes. Lightly sweetened.

Usual mug steeping method: 15 oz mug, 1.5 perfect scoops of tea (just over 2 actual tsp), freshly boiled water, 4 minutes. Lightly sweetened.

Usual pan method: 1 1/2 cups water, 2 perfect tsp chai (3 actual tsp). Simmer for 3 minutes. Add 2/3 cup skim milk. Simmer for 2 more minutes. Strain and sweeten.

Usual pitcher method:
5 or 6 Perfect Spoons of tea (this means about 7-9 actual tsp), freshly boiled water, brewed essentially double-strong in my 24 oz teapot for 4 minutes. Fill my Fiestaware Disc pitcher (about 60 oz.) halfway with ice. Add brewed double-strong tea to the pitcher. Stir it a little and enjoy. No additions.

(*SRP is my Sample/Stash Reduction Plan starting on April 12, 2012. I got so far, but just decided it was too fussy to keep track.)

Location

Ohio

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