556 Tasting Notes

76
drank Berry Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
556 tasting notes

So other than the disastrous peach matcha episode of a couple of weeks ago, this is the first fruity matcha I’ve tried. I was kind of concerned because it is a generic ‘berry’ flavour and not any specific type of berry, but back when I made smoothies with berries, I used to dump at least 3 different types in at a time and it always came out pretty well (unless I overdid the cranberries).

Berry matcha from Red Leaf Tea (found here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/berry-matcha.html) is definitely ‘generic berry’. Not to say that’s bad, exactly. It’s certainly not my favourite thing, I just got off of a batch of dessert-y matchas including the infamous caramel matcha so I have some matcha favourites pretty cemented already. But it is good. Not great, but good.

There’s a slight slight slight tinge of bitterness in the back of the throat as I drink this (as a hot latte) but it’s certainly easy to ignore and doesn’t detract much from the experience. I think if I were to buy this again, I’d pick the robust level of flavouring instead of the distinctive. I would stick with the classic grade matcha though. I don’t like this one enough to warrant a higher grade matcha. Although now that I’m thinking about it, I think I might enjoy this one more if it were made with black matcha. I’ve always enjoyed the interaction between black tea and berries.

I did add a bit of sweetener to this, about a half teaspoon of rock sugar to my 10 oz mug of milk, water, and matcha. Used about 2/3 teaspoon of matcha. I think I might use a full teaspoon of it next time. It will probably take a while for me to get through this small order.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C

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86

There are days, like today, that I wish I was affected by caffeine. Matcha has a fair amount of caffeine, 70 mg/tsp or something, according to the Red Leaf Tea website. I’m still searching for caffeine content for black matcha, but I expect it’s quite a bit higher than that. I didn’t get any sleep the night before last and I think I woke up in the middle of a REM cycle this morning because I kept having to slap myself to stay awake during my commute in. Unfortunately, while matcha is tasty first thing in the morning like today, the caffeine is not helping me wake up.

Creme Brulee Matcha (Found Here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/creme-brulee-matcha.html) is a nice thick custardy sweet sugar drink. I made this as a hot latte with a bit of sweetener from classic grade, distinctive level flavouring, green matcha. After having French Vanilla and Bavarian Cream matcha yesterday, I can’t say I’ll get all 3 again, probably just one of them, though I don’t know which one, but it’s nice to taste this all the same. It tastes like the custard part of the dessert, not the spun sugar top, but it’s quite nice. I haven’t had creme brulee in a while, too obsessed with chocolate things, but this is a nice reminder.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C
CHAroma

I’ve slapped myself while driving too! LOL! That’s so funny! Well, it’s bad we have to resort to that, but it’s pretty funny at the same time.

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86

Trying this matcha, my 7th run at flavoured matchas, right after having the French Vanilla matcha so I can definitely taste the difference. They really aren’t very similar at all.

Aside from the custard-y vanilla flavour that’s not quite the same as the french vanilla, there’s also the definite flavour of lemon! Quite strong for me too. This is the classic matcha grade with distinctive level flavouring made into a hot latte with a couple ounces of water, frothed with a fork (I’m at work) and finally with one of those little half pints of milk like you get when you’re little for $0.25 from the school cafeteria in elementary school. They’re probably a dollar now, but they were 25 cents in my day! Man I feel so old, I’m only 30! But I digress.

There is a slight hint of bitterness in this that I didn’t experience with the French Vanilla matcha, that one was a bit smoother, but this one is creamier and the bitterness is quickly overtaken by the flavour of matcha and vanilla/lemon. I think I like the distinctive flavour level on this one, I’m not sure I’d want the lemon flavour to get any stronger. But this is good. Not my favourite, but good. Another success! Now I just need to keep that streak going for the next…15 matchas that I have that I haven’t tried. I won’t be opening them all at the same time though, I only have so many tins and I’d be hard pressed to drink them all while they are still fresh if I had that many open at the same time. A pity, but I’m happy to drink the ones I’ve tried so far that I purchased.

This matcha can be found at: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/bavarian-cream-matcha.html

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89

Well, let me start off with the fact that this is the 4th normal (green) matcha I have tried and is now ranked number 2 on my ‘like’ scale of green matchas. I have LOVED my black matchas, but I’m just starting out in my world of ‘normal’ matcha. Haven’t managed any of the non-flavoured stuff yet, but it’s just a matter of time.

The first green matcha that I liked was the champagne matcha in distinctive flavouring and so I thought, hmm, maybe I will like everything in distinctive flavouring! Wrong. Robust would be much more preferable in this french vanilla matcha. I like it, it tastes smooth and pleasant and there’s nothing much objectionable in this at all, even for someone like me who doesn’t especially like green tea at all. Unfortunately, I seem to be lacking the actual vanilla flavour though. I can pick it up in hints on the edges of my tasting perceptions, but I like it much more upfront than that. When I order again, and I probably will, I’ll probably order this flavouring again in robust, and there’s a good possibility it will be black matcha as well. I’m finding I like it better. But I have 14 more green matcha flavours to try, of which this is the first that I have actually bought and not just got as a sample from traders, so I’m cautiously hopeful. This one isn’t horrible, like 2 of them I tried, and although the flavouring isn’t as strong as I would like, I can definitely drink the rest of this without problems.

Key points to note: this was made as a hot latte, as in the ‘second best’ way to make matcha according to RLT’s pamphlet they send out with each order. I added no sugar, though I usually do for these types of things. This just plain didn’t need it. Though I think I will right now with the remainder of my latte. Maybe that will make the flavour stronger? Hang on a sec…

Alright, this is even better, sweetener does bring out a slight French Vanilla flavour. Now I know what to do next time.

Apologies for the rambling nature of this comment. I got no sleep last night.

This tea can be found at: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/french-vanilla-matcha.html

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91

If my last tasting note is any indication, this is the tea I pick when I haven’t had any sleep the night before. Strange that. I’m drinking it again, it’s just as good as the last time. I’ll blasphemously put half of my pot in a travel mug to drink on the way to work. It won’t be as good then, but it will still be good. And I’ll probably brew up the second and third steeps when I get home from work.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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60

Had another pot of this tonight. I’m really finding that I like it better at room temperature better than I do hot. It’s more raspberry and less bergamot at that temperature and that’s the way I prefer it. I’ve really been moving away from earl grey over the last few months, perhaps my tastes are changing but I’m really not liking it as much as I used to. This is still a pretty tasty tea though.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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96

Decided to try out my other matcha that I have here at work before I go home for the day. Maybe the amount of caffeine in 2 matcha lattes (black) will actually affect me in some way. So far it’s just making me vaguely headachey.

I just licked the spoon I was using to stir the little bit of sweetener I put in and mmm this is going to taste so good. And it totally does. The caramel flavour comes across really well (although I DID use the robust flavour setting so it might be that too, this is from my first order at Red Leaf Tea and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, so that seemed a safe way to try out matcha for the first time. Playing it safe with both the black matcha base and the robust flavouring level.

This one for some reason doesn’t have that little bit of bite that I’ve started to associate with black matcha, it’s much smoother and nicer. This is really really tasty. I haven’t tried it with regular matcha yet, but I think that might be on my list for my next order (I have 2 orders not even unpacked and I’m planning my 4th order already, I think I may have a problem).

At any rate, this is wicked tasty and I recommend it to anyone who wants to try out flavoured black matcha because it’s just about perfect.

You can find it at:
http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/caramel-matcha.html

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81

I got this in a trade with Alphakitty from a few months ago, just got around to opening the envelope. I need to find a good way to mail matcha though, because I can’t use a normal sized baggie if it’s going to adhere to all the sides and take up all the matcha that way. Going to have to think on that.

I made this as a latte at work. Frothed it up as much as I could with some hot water and a fork, added hot milk to it. It’s a nice inviting hot chocolate type colour, so that’s nice. It certainly smells like it will taste good.

This still has a slight bittery aftertaste like the other black matcha I tried but it fades quickly so that’s alright. The upfront flavour, though, is fantastic. I can definitely taste the raspberry and the chocolate in this and it tastes really good. This is a good one to have with the black base, I don’t know that I would like it nearly as well with a green one.

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74

So far in my life, I haven’t liked oolongs very much, but I also haven’t tried very many at all either. Certainly none from such an esteemed company as Whispering Pines. This trade is from Alphakitty. She sent it to me back in January and I’m just now getting around to tasting it. I love to do trades, but I have a bad track record for actually drinking the traded teas in a timely fashion. My bad. If anyone is irritated by that that has traded with me, I can put your trade on the top of the pile. Otherwise I’ll just go on picking an envelope at random a couple of times a week.

Back to the tea, this is not as scary a tea as I thought it would be. In anticipation of not liking it, I couldn’t make myself drink it until now and it’s cooled off completely but I think I like it this way. I’m always really torn between how I like a tea most, hot or room temperature. I rarely drink iced tea, even in the summer. This tea, however, is strongly mint and that’s nicely refreshing at the cooler temperature. I can taste the oolong, oh yes, but I can’t really pick out any specifics to the flavour except that I probably wouldn’t like it plain but it’s just fine with the mint. I don’t pick up really any cinnamon which is strange because usually I’m so sensitive to it. Well, it’s a bit ‘warming’ despite not actually being warm so that might be the cinnamon talking. All in all, not bad. I’ve got another cup of the tea waiting for me (I made a pot) but I don’t think I’ll be steeping this again.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Lala

I can’t tell you how often I thought “its not as scary as I thought” while drinking tea! Love this post.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

This tea is ideal when coldbrewed for 14 hours :)

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72
drank Himalayan Splendor by Teavana
556 tasting notes

SIPDOWN! I don’t know why I hoard the last bits of a tea sometimes. Sometimes I don’t even like the tea very much. This one might be a little overleafed because it was a bit more than one serving and a bit less than two servings left, or I estimate because I couldn’t get it all into a teaspoon so I just dumped it all into my gravity infuser since there wasn’t enough left for a pot.

This tastes…well, stronger than I normally have it, but still okay. Sweetened and milky, this also has a bready flavour and a bit of malt this time. Not astringent or bitter. Pretty good and I’m glad I could let this one go.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

I do the same thing!

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Bio

Single, vegetarian, asexual, 5 cats. Airplane Engineer. I drink most of my tea with a bit of sugar and all the ones with a black tea base with a little bit of milk too. I’m super sensitive to bitterness and spiciness so I tend to avoid those.

I am also a flavoured matcha latte fanatic.

Location

Renton, WA, USA

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