2063 Tasting Notes

drank Matcha by Olive Nation
2063 tasting notes

Since I am trying to learn a lot about matcha, I had my daughter pick up something at Whole Foods called Sweet Matcha by Rishi. We don’t have it around here. It was really good made as a cold latte, but expensive (to me) all though it is cheaper than buying at SBucks. The bag was $10 and it makes 9 or 10 lattes, but only eight ounce ones. I usually make at least sixteen ounces!

I decided to try my hand at an instant latte mix using my Olive Nation matcha. I compared the calories per serving of the mix with calorie count on different types of sugar and came up with what I thought would be a good proportion. I decided on one part matcha powder to five parts sugar to replicate their calorie count and sweetness level. Of course, if you want it less sweet you can add less sugar and then use less than a tablespoon in your drink.

I am rather pleased, though there is one thing I would change. Rishi says they use milled cane sugar. I wasn’t sure what that meant but I went with confectioners sugar thinking it needed to be very fine to dissolve quickly. I think next time I will use my raw cane sugar from Whole Foods, and I may pulse it in my grinder before mixing it in.

It was a fun experiment, pretty successful since I have been enjoying these easy peasy lattes almost every day, and I think I came out way cheaper than buying another Rishi Sweet Matcha!

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drank Shou Mei White Tea by Igourmet.com
2063 tasting notes

Trying to finish this tin as it is getting on a bit. Good tea, but now I have found other white teas I like even more. I thought this might be a sip down, but when I opened the tin it was still about half full! OY!


Only in Steepster world is this a problem ;)


First world problems!

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drank Magicienne by Nina's Paris
2063 tasting notes


Today was tea party day. My first student of the day stays for an hour and a half after her lesson to have a tea party with us before my late afternoon students come. As we were finishing her lesson and were about to go to the table I smelled a wonderful scent, like on Bugs Bunny when some enticing aroma wafts to him and turns into fingers to draw him near. What is that? Ah, it must be the coconut!

Indeed it was, and this turned out to be the favorite tea of the day. (We always have three and rank them.) Don’t be misled by the description. I think it says with a hint of tartness or something like that, but don’t mistake that for sour or astringent in the base. To me, the pineapple is very light and overall this is a smooth and creamy cup of tea. Granted, I had made homemade ice cream flavored with vanilla, almond extract, and chocolate chips as well as a chocolate cake with the boiled frosting that hardens, so perhaps if it were not paired with food the pineapple is stronger, but we loved it just the way it was!


That sounded like a glorious tea party!!!


I thought of you when I made the ice cream. Can you recommend any other add-ins for the ice cream that might be good with the almond flavor? Next I want to make coconut extract and have coconut ice cream!


I loved this tea!

Terri HarpLady

Awesome! I love throwing tea parties for my students!


I wonder if some sort of cherry flavor would go nicely with almond. I think coconut and almond also sound so good together.

Terri HarpLady

coconut & almond are yum, especially dipped in chocolate (almond joy, anybody?). Cherry & almond also = Yum!
coconut + crystalized ginger!!!


I also just wondered if you had more Penzeys Raspberry Enlightenment — I bet that would be good in ice cream w almond extract too. I am thinking about it because I made a stir fry sauce with it and am eating the leftovers now — so good!! (Raspberry Enlightenment, Sriracha, Soy Sauce, Rice Vinegar, Sesame Oil all put into bowl with wild abandon, mixed together, then thrown over stir fried veggies and noodles. Left over chicken thrown in last minute :)


I did think about just adding some sliced almonds – I LOVE them. I think white chocolate chips might be good, too, and the chocolate chips were really good in it and hubby liked it that way. Raspberry Enlightment – now there is an idea! I thought about chopped cherries, too. I have tons!

Terri HarpLady

Wait a minute! I got to Penzey’s all the time, & I’ve never seen that stuff there! Obviously I’ve been missing out!


I like all these suggestions for Raspberry Enlightenment http://throwyourcaraway.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/feel-the-enlightenment/ !! Love Penzeys :)


It is good, isn’t it? I served it on leftover turkey and ham sandwiches after Christmas. I served it with “pigs in a blanket” – you know, Lil Smokies wrapped with Crescent Roll. It was the favorite dip for that. It is good with egg rolls and lettuce wraps, too. Sunny Paris is wonderful on baked potato, and their freeze dried garlic is awesome. I love it mixed with olive oil and their Tuscan Sunset seasoning.


Ooo, I want number six, the savory crostini!!

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I actually ordered the peanut butter flavor matcha intending to mix it with chocolate matcha for something like a Reese’s Cup, but Sil’s notes on smoothies made me want to try all kinds of ways to use my matcha and I realized that peanut butter is a great addition to a banana smoothie for protein, and I could use the matcha to add a little extra kick to the flavor as well as to give some extra energy boosting power to the smoothie. Right away, I discovered that I didn’t like actual peanut butter in my smoothies. The texture was a bit sticky for me, but by adding just the matcha powder you can get the peanut butter taste. You can find it here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/peanut-butter-matcha.html

I chose the robust flavor level for this one, because I didn’t realize how quickly I was going to learn to enjoy the taste of matcha! It isn’t too strong for me, though, but if you are drinking it plain you might want to take it down a level, especially if you already love the taste of matcha. I drank it most recently as a matcha latte, and with 1/2 teaspoon of matcha in eleven ounces of milk and water with about a tablespoon of Turbinado sugar, this made a creamy, mildly nutty, afternoon pick me up, emphasis on creamy!

Having ordered Bilberry with the upgrade to the base and just the distinctive flavor level, I think there are a lot of these flavors that I will do that with in the future. My beloved almond, French Vanilla, and Caramel flavors will probably always be ordered in robust though because I love it so much. (My son actually requested an almond matcha latte this weekend!)

The smell and taste of this matcha is really authentic peanut butter. I bet if you held the jar of matcha under someone’s nose, they would swear it was a jar of Jif or something.
If you love peanut butter, this would be a good one to try.


i’ve never had matcha before. but maybe this is a good place to start. i seriously love peanut butter everything.


I wonder if you mixed the bilberry with the peanut butter, if it would make a good PB&J matcha! Haha!


I am more of a Reese’s cup person! Lol! Every once in a blue moon I want a PBJ, but most of the time I really dislike them. When my kids were little, we were so poor that anytime we went off for an extended time (the zoo, the beach, swimming at the lake, etc) we couldn’t afford to buy fast food or go to a restaurant so we always had to take PBJ’s since they can survive the heat and the kids would eat them okay. And I wasn’t a huge fan before that. I got so sick of them that I just starting taking Nabs, an apple, and a drink as my lunch!

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Good heavens, why haven’t I had this one in a while? I had leftovers from our Asian Buffet takeout and decided to myself a small pot of this to have with it. Good choice, me, good choice.

This was so excellent with my food. When I have green tea with food I usually perceive it very differently. Not so much with oolongs, but definitely with greens. This one was so mouthwateringly fresh that I felt like I had springtime in a cup. Delicious.

Hugo Tea Company

If it makes you happy, it makes us happy.

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drank Demain by Nina's Paris
2063 tasting notes

See that “Add to Cupboard” I clicked there? That’s because this isn’t a sample! No sir, this is part of my birthday gift from my eldest daughter! She emailed Laurent and they went back and forth putting together a gift box of four small tins and one large for me, and Laurent helped her choose my teas. The tins look beautiful together, and red is my accent color in my kitchen and there are little pops of it in my Williamsburg blue living room, so these are a nice decorative element as well. Here is a photo I took yesterday of the small tins. I hadn’t opened the large one as yet.


I decided to drink this because…well, I got it yesterday, and Demain means “tomorrow” so I thought I would drink it…tomorrow which is today! Got that?

I was having a quiet morning as everyone slept in after a late night watching movies and playing games. I got out my lovely Lady Carlyle cup and made a whole pot of this. The liquor is so lovely in the cup. It is a bright, clear, medium yellow color, really I would call it golden without a hint of orange. So pretty! I drank the whole pot before doing yoga with my son.

This is a bright and refreshing green tea flavor, yet not astringent or puckery. It is a good one for waking up!

Thank you, Superanna and Laurent!


That’s so awesome!!

Donna A

What pretty tins and so thoughtful of your daughter. Happy Birthday1


Bon anniversaire Ashmanra


That is beautiful! So jealous!!


Happy birthday! What a thoughtful gift!


Thank you! It is a super gift!



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drank Matcha organic 40g can by Zen Tea
2063 tasting notes

I bought this because apparently I am a crazy person and I am trying to acquire every matcha that crosses my path that is under $40 a tin. Help.

On the bright side, this made a really good latte! The color of the dry powder is almost identical to the Olive Nation matcha, not nearly as bright as KaiMatcha Premium. I have a really nice froth lingering on my latte, and it has nice enough flavor.

I noticed that the above says it is $24 for a 40 gram tin. I went on their website to make sure I was looking at the right tea. On their site it says it is $34.50 but is on sale for $19.99. That is a great sale price for 40 grams of organic matcha. Most matcha comes in 30 gram packages.

Edited to add: I just looked at my account and I did indeed pay $24 for my tin. I wonder why their site now shows $34.50 as the price. Maybe the sale is to clear out the last of this batch and the next batch will indeed cost that much?


Jackpot, I think we have a winner on machine 237! Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!

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I wanted a good black tea to pair with….a spoonful of frosting. Yes, that is my shameful mid-morning snack. My youngest daughter just made birthday cake number two – with four kids in the family and my godson plus hubby and me, one birthday cake isn’t enough! She did a beautiful job, and now as the birthday person I get first choice on beaters and pans. I chose the frosting bowl! Heh heh. But I really only scraped out about two teaspoons worth or a tad more.

I am really trying to sip down some teas and I am trying VERY HARD not to order more, but I can’t say I have had much success with that part! I have even given away two big boxes of teas lately! And still we have way more tea than food in this house. And way more tea than money. LOL!

I have enough leaf left now for one more pot, and I won’t be replacing this one. I thought I would back when I first bought it. My daughter liked it and it was not bad, but I have had Keemun Mao Feng from Harney and Sons and Organic Superfine Fragrant Keemun Black Tea from Teavivre, and those are superior.

I don’t regret purchasing this. It has served us well and is pretty good, but I am glad to open up space on the shelf for some other, more treasured teas to come in. It was really good with my cream cheese frosting, though!


Oh you bad girl, that sounds good! (I usually have a spice cookie with black tea)


I think making space on the shelf more than makes up for the frosting. You should celebrate and buy more tea!


Frosting has nutritional value. I’ll get back to you when I figure out what it is.


Well, it was cream cheese frosting. As a woman, I need lots of dairy to prevent osteoporosis. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.


oh yeah.. I had a spoon of frosting yesterday. I swear it isn’t every day!


Happy birthday. :)

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drank Dawn by The Simple Leaf
2063 tasting notes

I am tasting this tea thanks to the amazing JacquelineM who miraculously produced a sample of this long unavailable tea. When I first joined Steepster, this tea was all the rage. I put it on my wish list, but the company that sold it – sob! – closed before I could buy any. I think losing the opportunity to try this legendary tea bothered me more than any other that “got away.”

And here I am with a generous sample. She could have sold this on the black market to some tea head for lots of money, but instead she sent it to ME! And I saved it for my birthday, which is today! This is my evening cuppa, a treat for myself in the quiet now that the day is winding down.

This is beautiful, beautiful leaf. Dark, long, twisted leaf that is highly aromatic, especially when you scent your cup first. (Thank you, Garret, at Mandala Tea for teaching us to do that. It adds so much to the experience. Pour your hot water in your empty pot, let it warm a moment, then pour out the water and add the leaf. Put the lid on for a moment. Now, lift the lid and take a long, deep sniff of the pot and leaves. Once you have experienced the aromas, add your hot water and steep.)

This is an extremely complicated tea. I am so glad I tried the hojicha first because my thoughts went something like this: Cocoa! Rough cocoa! Roasted cocoa! Roasted….something….coffee, caramel, smoke like hojicha, and…was that a hint of cinnamon? Chicory, yes, it is there also.

No wonder everyone loved it. Thank you so much, JacquelineM, for blessing my birthday with “the one that got away.”

On another note, when I looked up the plantation on google I saw an article that said a tea garden manager of that area was abducted in fall of 2012 and held in the jungle by some group – I forget now exactly who – but had been rescued. Oh my! Glad to read that he was rescued.


Happy birthday! So glad you had a special tea to enjoy on this great day :)

Terri HarpLady

ooh, that does sound like an interesting & tasty tea! Happy Birthday!!


Happy bday! Yes it is great you got to try it if only once. Its sad though to find a tea like this then its gone :( Im sort of glad I never tired it lol not really but ya know.

Josie Jade

Hope you had a wonderful birthday! :0


Happy Birthday!


Thank you! It has been lovely!


Happy Birthday & many more!


Happy birthday!!!!!!! Happy, happy, happy! Woody cat purrs Happy birthday too !!!

This one is also nice with a little milk and sugar in the afternoon. I am really glad the tea manager is rescued too – my word!


Belated, but still sincere. Happy day to you!
(I am hoarding a teeeeeeny bit of this myself like it was gold.)


Happy Belated Birthday! I’m glad to know you had such a lovely birthday present :)


Happy one day late Birthday!


Thank you, everyone! :) I am sitting here drink Keemun Hao Ya A and licking the spoon from my youngest daughter’s first cake experience!


Happy Birthday!! Hope you had a great one. It’s my bday to :P


Happy Birthday, now belatedly, to you as well, Indigobloom! I hope you had a lovely day!

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drank Hojicha by Zen Tea
2063 tasting notes

This is my first hojicha ever. I must confess that I was scared of it, especially once I cut the sample package open. (This was a free sample included with my matcha order.)

Smoky, but with something that came across as a burnt toast aroma. Oh dear! But I determined to try it anyway. And guess what? It was pretty good! I really thought it must be very similar to coffee, but I am not a coffee drinker so I can’t say for sure. I thought it might get bitter or harsh as it cooled, but instead I liked it more than when it was hot.

The burnt toast aroma has now turned to caramel followed by smoke, and that is something I can definitely handle. This is so bold (though not in the least astringent) that it is hard to believe it is low in caffeine. I would think that people who can’t have caffeine in great amounts or in the evenings would really enjoy a nice bold cuppa like this – lots of strength and flavor but no jitters and no insomnia.

So – what I thought was going to be an ordeal has turned out to be a really pleasant cup of tea.
Thank you, Zen Tea, for expanding my horizons a bit today!


I have a sample of hojicha that I’ve been a little iffy about trying as well, but after reading this I think I’ll give it a go!


It is very smooth and has such a distinctive flavor that I can see how someone could crave this. It really is great cooled. Bet it would taste wonderful with Thai food, too.


Mmm, Hojicha. Glad you liked it.

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I am a music teacher and homeschooling mom who started drinking loose leaf tea about five years ago! My daughters and I have tea every day, and we are frequently joined by my students or friends for “tea time.” Now my hubby joins us, too. His tastes have evolved from Tetley with milk and sugar to mostly unadorned greens and oolongs.

We have learned so much history, geography, and culture in this journey.

My avatar is a mole in a teacup! Long story…


North Carolina

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