972 Tasting Notes



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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drank Mocha Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
972 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.


Good luck!

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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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drank Mocha Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
972 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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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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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.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

Just reading your first paragraph makes me tired!

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(mine is black tea base, delicate flavor)

And more matcha……

I think what turned me off about matcha in the first place was that I could not make myself crave green tea. I have tried some wonderful green teas, but I was always choosing my black teas in the stash over the green. Always. For that reason, I stopped trying to like it. When Red Leaf offered their free samples, I noticed they offered a black base. When I saw that they were offering a great deal on French Vanilla flavor for Black Friday, I figured it was as good a time as any to try the black version along with my free samples of the green.

I have tried this one whisked in hot water (never again)and prepared as a frappe the same as we do the green flavored matcha. My comparison is for the two prepped the same way. Compared to the green base, this one is roastier. I do catch more of a roasted earthiness where the green base just reads as fresh and frothy. I do like the French Vanilla flavoring, and know it will be purchased in green form at some point. My son really liked this one. I am very glad I purchased this. It will definitely be consumed by myself or my son, the tea and coffee drinkers of the family, but I know my daughter won’t like it. She is better off with the green version. Still, for us, I do think it needs a jump in the amount of flavoring. I can now confirm that the extra cost for the black base is not worth it for me. Is it wrong that I think I will try adding it to hot cocoa next?

I am reserving officially rating this for when I have the green based version, but for the black based version, I give it a 75. I will drink it up, but not rebuy in this form.


I’ve never tried the black base, always wondered what it’s like compared to it’s direct flavour counterpart! I tried the rooibos base and it wasn’t at all what I thought it’d be like…


Indigo- my son the coffee drinker likes it. It kind of reminds me of weak coffee, but in a better way, if that makes sense.


I think I know what you mean, as that’s how I feel about the cacao tea from Herbal Infusions, only compared to hot chocolate instead of coffee!

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drank Eggnog Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
972 tasting notes

More matcha……

The matcha experiment continues. I did order the December free sample, too. Thank you Red Leaf for doing this promotion. I am looking forward to trying other flavors and have no issues with paying shipping for my free sample. Comments on that: I did notice that the Eggnog sample was a little smaller than the Caramel sample. To me, this is not a big deal at all because the purpose of the samples is that the customer can try a flavor before they buy, not drink matcha every day for three weeks…. I hope Red Leaf can work this out to be a sustainable and profitable program.

As for my little experimentation: I was surely thinking that I would like black matcha best. I was completely wrong as I seriously prefer the green. I will have to play around a little more with my French Vanilla Black Matcha before doing a review. I am not sorry I purchased it, though. It was part of the great deals for Black Friday, so I got a small size at a discount. I have also determined that we would probably like just a little more flavor. Yes, we. My son loves this and is looking forward to trying more flavors. Now to get my daughter, the non-coffee and non-tea drinker to give it a try in the frappe form.

The Eggnog flavor itself is good. Since we seem to like the frappe preperation, I think flavors that lend themselves to good milkshake flavors will probably be huge winners.

Thanks again to Red Leaf Tea!

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drank Caramel Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
972 tasting notes

First taste of matcha….

I have to admit, the free sample offering at Red Leaf Tea put me over the edge on finally giving matcha a try. Unfortunately, their offer was such a good deal that there were a few hiccups in processing. No fear, because I picked up a black tea matcha (what do you really call this?) during Black Friday and asked that she include my caramel free sample from November when she shipped my order. I am generally a black tea drinker, and thought I needed to give the black tea version a try, too, as I am not generally one to like green tea much, even though I really wanted to.

Call me thoroughly impressed. I made a frappe version in my mini-blender with milk, ice, and just a little bit of sweetener. It did not taste bad without the sweetener, it is just that it tasted fantastic with it. I very much appreciated the clear instructions on how to prepare the matcha that were included with the free sample. I think I have found a way I can love green tea! Huzzah! Thank you, Red Leaf! You have won another customer.

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drank Keemun Concerto by Adagio Teas
972 tasting notes

Tea of the morning….

I bought some chamomile for my nephew on Black Friday and this was a free sample that Adagio tucked into my order. I was definitely pretty happy about it, because my Keemun phase did not coincide with my Adagio phase. (I am still essentially in the Keemun phase.) I loved the easy availability and huge offering of flavors from Adagio when I was new to tea. I only tried a few black teas when I was shopping there, and their Fujian Baroque is completely responsible for my obsession with all teas Fujian. Even though I rarely shop at Adagio, and it would mostly be for herbals and straight blacks at this point (something about their ceylon flavored tea base just doesn’t do anything for me), I so appreciate them for what they are. They were my gateway into the world of tea, and made it so that I did not have to rely on Teavana. Thank you, Adagio!

This reminds me mostly of the Keemun Mao Feng I currently have in my stash from Upton. It is a low smoke version of KMF. It does not have the complexity of Harney’s KMF, but there are definitely notes of cocoa, and malt. I can’t say I will be purchasing this as my stash of just Keemuns is a bit daunting, but I will definitely drink it all. I think it is a bit pricey for what it is. In the mid size, it is $4 per oz. and Harney’s KMF is $4.50.

Usual teapot method.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Tea Sipper

I think the Adagio Ceylon base is actually the only Ceylon I wouldn’t mind sipping!

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My motto: Drink the good tea!

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.)



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