61 Tasting Notes
Trying my first DAVIDsTEA green tea. I’m a wimp and have still to really like a plain, just leaves tea, so forgive me.
Dry Smell: Smells like amaretto, weirdly enough. Nutty. So I do smell the almonds. I also get the lemongrass. It smells a little like something caramel-flavored. So not a really buttery caramel.
Steeped Smell: Smells faintly of apple cider. Maybe a little spicey, probably the cinnamon. Color is a very light beige-y green.
Taste: This is not a strong tea, which tend to be my favorites. However, I do enjoy this. It tastes like a hot apple cider. Kinda. But I like my hot apple cider mulled with plenty of zingy spices, so I’m not used to a plain appley flavor. I would have liked if there was a bit of tartness to the apple. Maybe some lemon to make that happen. I will try squeezing a bit of lemon in this next time. I do taste that caramel-flavor flavor. Not true caramel. In my opinion, caramel is a buttery gooey sweet chunk of goodness. If you tell yourself this is a caramel apple, you may be disappointed. But as a warm soothing drink that tastes like a weak but well-balanced caramel-flavored apple cider, you can let yourself accept it. So, in conclusion, something I like, don’t love, it won’t be one of my regular, must-keep-stashed-at-all-times, but if someone bought it for me, I would enjoy it and leave it at that. In all truth, it tastes good. Just can’t pinpoint why.
My second Red Leaf Teas matcha. The quality is consistent. However, when I was ordering this matcha, I wasn’t really paying attention to what strength of flavor I was ordering, and ended up ordering Robust flavor instead of distinctive, which was the perfect flavor strength for my first matcha, the Bavarian Cream. This matcha, the Pumpkin Pie, is strong. Wicked strong. Eat Pumpkin Pie spice with a spoon kind of strong. I think delicate or distinctive would be perfect for this matcha. Anything else is just too damn…strong. I noticed that some of the options have changed since the last time I ordered. You can’t choose to automatically add the small metal tin to your cart, but it is still available with the rest of the accessories on a different page. Also, you can now choose whether you want your matcha to be organic or not. Personally, I am content with my regular matcha for now. Anywho, let’s get on with this review for the Red Leaf Pumpkin Pie Matcha, which you can find here —> http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/pumpkin-pie-matcha.html
Size: Small (30 grams)
Quality: Royal Grade(Premium)Green Matcha
Flavor Strength: Robust (oops)
So far I like to buy the special sale matchas, which take place between Friday and Sunday of every week. You can also vote on which matcha will be on sale next, which is cool. Buying one of the special sale matchas allows me to upgrade my options, like better quality matcha and stronger flavor, and still keep my order at a reasonable price. As my appreciation for Red Leaf matchas grows into an obsession, though, I have a feeling that attitude will change to a few times a week >.> And trust me, you will become obsessed. On to the flavor itself. Hot damn does this hit you in the face. Not in a bad way, though. Clove, clove, clove. From the smell to the taste, that is what stands at the forefront. Next you can taste some nutmeg and cinnamon, and it all rounds out with a truly pumpkin taste. Essence of pumpkin. As though dried pumpkin was ground up into little tiny bits and added to this. I love that you can really taste the quality in these flavors. This is not just poured out of a bottle.Time is put into mixing these flavors to create a balance. Word to the wise though, unless you are crazy about these spices, Distinctive is going to be the strongest you want to go with this flavor. I’ll remember that next time. I still use this in my smoothie (see Bavarian Cream matcha review for “recipe”),but when using this flavor I like to add a little dollop of real pumpkin to the mix to enhance that flavor, and after pouring into the cup, dusting cinnamon over the top. Delicious!! All in all, I definitely recommend this flavor. I did like the Bavarian Cream matcha better, but I will have to try this one with a toned down flavor.
This is my first tea from Red Leaf Tea, as well as my first flavored matcha. So let’s get down to it.
Size: Small (30 grams)
Quality: Royal Grade(Premium)Green Matcha
Flavor Strength: Distinctive
Other: I also opted for the small metal tin.
I was first introduced by Red Leaf Teas on this site when I looked at the top rated teas, wanting to try something different that was proven to be delicious. The top rated tea was Red Leaf Tea’s Caramel Matcha. When I went to the site, they had a matcha for sale, which was the Bavarian Cream Matcha, found here —> http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/bavarian-cream-matcha.html . I decided I would take advantage of the sale to try something new. I am so glad I did!! First, the feature of being able to choose the grade, flavor strength, and size of the matcha is ingenious. It is also clear that this company means to put out the best product possible, and wants you to handle it properly to get the best experience. I was surprised to learn that matcha should be kept in the refrigerator or freezer to maintain freshness.
Onto the flavor itself. This matcha is wonderful. The smell is delicious; creamy, citrusy, vanilla smell. Just like a custard should be. Making this the traditional way, the matcha itself is smooth with a hint of pleasant bitterness on the back end. The Bavarian Cream flavor does not disappoint. It is rich and custardy and refreshing. It balances the grassy green flavor of the matcha wonderfully. The citrus-like flavor comes through and is bright, making this a cup of delectable complexity. I still have a problem with frothing and whisking properly, so I prefer this in other nontraditional way. My favorite method is in a breakfast smoothie, as follows:
1 tablespoon Matcha
1 scoop Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
~1 cup frozen banana chunks, more or less depending on desired thickness
1 cup of milk (I use almond coconut milk, since I’m lactose intolerant)
just add all of the ingredients to a blender and process until smooth. This is a definite perk-me-up. You will have no problem feeling, full, satisfied, awake and alert after this momma.
Anywho, in conclusion, this is just damn delicious, and I WILL be getting more. I suggest you do the same.
My throat is starting to hurt. I think I am getting sick. meh :( Nothing better than a pot of hot tea with some honey to make me feel better!
Dry Smell: Orange. Like, ORANGE orange. but not orange juice or orange candy. This smells more tart, like orange zest.
Steeped Smell: This smells almost identical to Wild Sweet Orange by Tazo. Tart orange with a hint of sweetness, and hibiscus.
Taste: Tart. Almost excessively so. Reducing the steeping time would most likely fix this problem. I had to add extra honey to cut the tartness, which I’m not complaining about due to the scratchy throat problem. Other than that, this tastes like a hot orange and hibiscus punch. Tasty. Not something I would stock as a staple in my tea closet, but definitely something I would buy and drink again. I will have to try this iced.
I received this as one of three samples in my first DAVIDsTEA order. Living in Albany NY, I am not fortunate to live near a DAVIDsTEA. sigh
Dry Smell: strawberry and yogurt. or strawberry ice cream. Either way there is a creamy strawberry smell the moment you open the bag.
Steeped Smell: Creamy strawberry smell is still there, but most of the creaminess is gone and in its place is a tart sweet smell. Whether it is the hibiscus or the rhubarb I am not sure
Taste: HOT At first, it is just tart. But not in a bad way. I’m a big fan of hibiscus, whether it is mixed in to a blend or straight up, hot or iced. I’m not really getting rhubarb though. Once you swallow, the creaminess and the strawberry comes back and lingers in a very nice way. I’m sure if I steeped this for less time the tartness wouldn’t be as prominent. Overall, I would definitely buy some of this and play with it to see how I liked it best. A note on the color: This is the most wonderful deep ruby color. I like my tea stronger, so it almost looks like blood. Which is fitting since I am sitting here after work watching True Blood :) Mmmm, Joe Mangianello, mmmm. cough anywho…
COLD I took the other half of my mug and put a big ice chunk in it and swirled it around to make a quick and dirty iced tea. It is not as intense, but the flavor is still there. The tartness seems to have dissipated a bit, letting that strawberry ice cream flavor shine through. To be honest, I always prefer tea hot, but this would definitely be a nice treat on a hot day, which I hope those are all behind us.
Dry Smell: Blueberry Pie Filling. Then the stevia. The stevia hits the back of your throat and has a weird cooling effect. I’m not sure if I like that or not. I’m not very familiar with stevia, so we will see. I’m not smelling tea yet.
Steeped Smell: Earthy tea smell immediately followed by the blueberry pie filling smell. I can’t just say it smells like blueberries because the smell is somehow sweeter, like jam or preserves, not quite fresh. Which is appropriate since this is named blueberry JAM.
Taste: I’m a major sweet tooth, so even after trying a sip without sweetener, I added my usual teaspoon of honey. There is a definite astringency to this tea. I’ve had this problem with a couple of DAVIDsTEA products, and haven’t yet figured out how to make it disappear. Only when I am swallowing and after do I get any hint of blueberry and sweetness. I will try this iced, but for now, I’m not really a fan of that astringent taste. Anyone have recommendations on how to make a smoother cup or should I expect this from all of their black teas? I haven’t tried their others yet…
I love this tea. I figured I would lead with that. Get to the point. :) This starts off as a woodsy rooibos, with a flavor and spice profile similar to apple pie, as other reviewers have said. When you swallow, you get the lovely licorice taste and coolness on the back of your throat. It is very smooth, and you can get away with forgetting about this tea steeping for a while. If you under-steep it though, this tends to taste watery. This is a great tea to wind down at the end of the day, or finish your meal off with a sweet but low-calorie treat. Also, last I knew, this was sold on the Starbucks/Tazo in loose leaf form.