974 Tasting Notes
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
(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.
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!