1188 Tasting Notes


I forgot I had a sample of this tea from a DavidsTea order!

Taking it easy today. The other day I got my 3rd stripe on my white belt in brazilian jiu jitsu. Yesterday I rolled and got a buggered thumb and a cut lip. I got an advanced class tonight and probably going to get more damaged similar to last week as blue belts pick me off doing crazy moves on me.

With that said, a nice strawberry tea? yum!

DRY: Very sweet strawberry smell that is also nutty. I ate one of the brittle pieces and it was chewy, weird! Lots of brittle pieces and strawberry chunks. (wonder if they load samples to be a perfect spread of tea?)

STEEPED: Strawberry and black tea smell. Hmmm.. now I recall I did get my nosed winged in last night too. Uggg, I’m an injury magnet.

TASTE: Black tea base with a slight tart strawberry (like as if the strawberry wasn’t fully ripe tart). Quite sweet. I couldn’t pick out the nuttyness.
Sweetened, the strawberry comes out more. However, sweetening this tea seemed overkill as it is already sweet. No bitterness or astringency.

WHO’D LIKE THIS TEA: A black tea drinker that likes sweet teas – it’s already sweet! Also a pretty good black base that isn’t ultra robust, so someone wanting to try a black tea could give this one a go.

COMMENTS: really good but I wish I didn’t sweeten the last of my pot as it was just too sweet for me! I added sweetener before I tasted it. I wish I got creamy and nutty notes from the name strawberry shortcake, all I got was strong tarty yet sweet strawberry.

Overall, not bad, probably would be good iced (the focus of the summer collection).

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 30 sec

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Much much better iced! Sweet, fruity tangy and strawberry and refreshing! Still has that weird colour though.

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Raspberry Matcha – White Matcha base

It took me awhile to put two and two together to figure out Red Leaf Tea’s Matchas http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/ white, black and red matchas are actually from white, black and rooibos teas! Derp! What is super cool with Red Leaf teas is that you can get white/ black/ red matchas on their own, or select it as the main base for your flavor matcha!
For me, I love white teas with fruit in them – the white tea is delicate, delicious and does not take away from whatever fruit is in it. With that said, I felt I wanted to try something new, so I selected a white matcha to play with fruit elements.

My matcha specs:

*Raspberry Matcha
Quality: White matcha
Flavor: Robust *(again, I love a strong flavor so might as well go with a bang!)

I went with raspberry as I find it slightly uncommon as a fruity tea, and often is tart. Raspberries are very tasty too!

With this order I snagged a tin for my matcha for $3.99. The tin is a perfect size for the matcha as well as having a good seal. I think I’d like to bling my tin sometime with those foil fruit stickers or glitter polish once I get time. Anyways, I recommend ordering the tin because the matcha comes in a non resealable bag and you don’t want to get the deliciousness ruined by the air.

Out of the package, the white matcha is mysteriously weird brown grey powder. However, there was AN EXPOLSION OF RASPBERRY SMELL! Holy cow! I felt as if I was getting smacked around by a sweet pump raspberry.

I sifted up my matcha over a wide mug using a fine tea strainer. From there, used 180f water and whisked the matcha. This matcha was hard to create a froth and the froth did not stay, despite my efforts.

As a traditional cup of hot matcha, the taste is super bright and strong raspberry essence! The raspberry flavor reminds me of those raspberry syrup shots you can get at a coffee shop but unsweetened. No tartness here! The white matcha was lovely and rich. It wasn’t veggie tasting or bitter and was a great base to not disrupt the raspberry attack. However, there is astringency present, drying my throat, which lingers for awhile after drinking. The colour of this cup of matcha was an interesting brownish green. The astringency and power of the raspberry was a little much for me – next time I will need to go easy on the amount of matcha I add as I think I went with 1tsp.

Of course, I needed to try this matcha as a latte – I’ve fallen in love with how amazing Red Leaf’s matchas are in lattes and it’s way better (and cheaper) than getting it made at a coffee shop.
I added 1/2tsp of matcha sifted and whisked in hot water and sugar, topping it with vanilla soy milk. The colour of the latte is a pretty light creamy brown. The taste is wow – the perfect tea latte with a shot of juicy raspberry! The white tea is present and makes the latte really light. The astringency is gone as far as I can tell.

Overall, very delicious as a latte and I think this matcha would be killer to mix with another flavored matcha – I’m thinking chocolate matcha with this would be insanely yummy! For someone looking to order, this would be great as a 50/50 with another flavor (a cool option Red Leaf Tea has).
Commenting on white matcha, I think an awesome combo would be grape flavoring, which would work well with the astringency.

180 °F / 82 °C

how do you feel about the white versus the green? I know a lot of ppl have mentioned they prefer the green…

Awkward Soul / Oolong Owl

I like the green more. I’m not a fan of astringency unless it’s helping or creating a flavor experience (like wine). With no astringency, its pretty good. I think the green is more fun with the froth and happy green colour as well.
My upcoming order will have a black matcha, might as well try them all! I’m scared of the red matcha though, but will try it sometime soon.


Nice. Looking forward to the reviews. I’m thinking I’d enjoy the black


I was not a huge fan of the white, but it’s worth a try. I spend it on whatever matcha is on sale so it’s not as expensive.

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I am totally weird.

I have a little bit of soy milk left which I’m saving to review some more matcha later. However, I just lifted weights and need a protein bump which I normally do with a protein smoothie. Instead:

1/4tsp of Cheesecake Matcha sifted + Strawberry non-fat high protein greek yogurt (150g, Dannon Light and Fit Greek)

The colour is awful pukey green brown pink but the taste is really good! The cheesecake comes out, makes a smoother yogurt and goes with the tartness of the strawberry. A little hint of green tea. It’s like eating strawberry cheesecake filling! It’s pretty sweet, maybe almost too sweet for me.

With that said, I think I could pull off plain greek yogurt with a flavored matcha.


Great idea! Just close your eyes when you drink it.

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I hate when this happens. I make a tea order, it ships. While I’m waiting I check out the online store again and see teas I should of ordered along with my order! ARGGG! Mango mate was one of them, thanx Kittena for the sample!

STEEPED: sweet and fruity with a hint of grassy smell. Steeps up a deep golden yellow.

TASTE: Sharp hit of earthy grassy mate with a sweetness of mango. Actually a pretty sweet tea on its own. Not bitter, tart or astringent.

WHO’D LIKE THIS: peeps into green, unroasted mate. It’s a little grassy compared to roasted mate.

COMMENTS: overall, really good green mate. The sweetness is nice. I wisht here was more to it, like creamy or stronger fruity, but Mango Mate is not bad. Fusion does great mates and I’ll be back sometime to get more.

185 °F / 85 °C 7 min, 0 sec

I seem to not be a fan of green mate, so glad you like this one more than I recall I did! (If I even reviewed it!)

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I needed a 3rd matcha today and I didn’t want to crack open the other matcha yet.

I predicted it would be good, 1/2 tsp of Caramel Matcha + 1/2 tsp of Cheesecake Matcha (both from Red Leaf teas) + a tsp of sugar + vanilla soymilk = AMAZING! Cheesecakey caramel yum! I prefer to mix my own creations as I have more control of my tea.

Back to crocheting!


Woot! So exited to get mine

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Cheesecake matcha

This is my second matcha from Red Leaf teas http://www.redleaftea.com/ to try – I had a great experience with my first matcha from them, Caramel Matcha, so I was excited to put another order in.

I’m a big cheesecake fan that rarely eats cheesecake. I prefer to bake my own treats. Cheesecake, in my opinion, is expensive to make and quite a bit of work, so I make it on special occasions. The other issue I have is that my husband does not like cheesecake, and I need another person to eat it with me so I don’t eat the whole thing myself!
With that said, when I see cheesecake teas or other fun dessert teas, I jump on them. No to little calories and all the sweet deliciousness! Cheesecake matcha? Oh hells yes! Red leaf teas has great sales and within hours of it being posted on sale, I snagged it.

The specs on the matcha I ordered:

Cheesecake Matcha
Size: Small
Matcha Quality: Starter (Basic Grade)
Flavor: Robust
I went with Robust flavoring this time (the last time I tried Delicate) because I decided to not mess around.

Red Leaf gives you lots of power over your matcha – you can set the flavor strength and matcha quality. Wanna go hardcore elite mode? Try a Imperial superior grade.

I ordered in the middle of the night, but my order was shipped the following morning. Red leaf is very prompt!

Straight out of the package, smells strongly sweet cheesecake goodness. I can’t tell that there’s supposed to be lovely green matcha in this package!

Note on packaging, their matcha (at least the small size from my experience) comes in gold foil non resealable packets. This time around I ordered a small tin, which is very handy if you do not have a small tin. The tin is good quality, size of a squat spice tin, but all metal with a twist top with plastic grooves inside to ensure a good seal. You don’t want the air to damage your matcha! I took off the sticker label off the foil packaging and stuck it on my tin – very handy!

I still don’t have all the pro matcha gear, so rest assured if you want to have matcha do don’t need all the gear to try it! At this time I just use a standard ½ teaspoon measuring spoon, wide mug, fine tea strainer to act as a sifter and a bamboo whisk I got from my local Daiso, a japanese dollar store. Previously I used a wire whisk but that takes more time to whisk but is very do able. If anything, sifting the matcha is the most important step I wouldn’t skip. Red Leaf also gives you the option to buy the matcha accessories along with your order.

I whisked up Cheesecake matcha following the instructions given in a pamplet in my order. I found this batch was harder to get the nice froth than my Caramel matcha. Cheesecake matcha is more brown green compared to Caramel matcha – I’m unsure if it’s the flavoring strength or different flavor that effects the colour.

Prepared traditionally with just hot water, the Cheesecake matcha is earthy, mouth watering, full flavor green tea. No bitterness. There’s an additional hit of smoothness in this matcha at the end of my sip. Very fun and delicious!

However, my favorite way to enjoy matchas is as a latte. I immediately had another cup of matcha. This time I added organic light vanilla soymilk, a teaspoon of sugar to a whisked cup of matcha. As a latte, the matcha changes into full force CHEESECAKE mode! Smooth, creamy and that hit of tangy cheesecake!

Overall, very good matcha and cheesecakey. For me, I want something more than base cheesecake, I’ll add some raspberry or caramel matcha for my next cup! Ahh, I love how flexible matcha is!

Now, my next evil plot: baking a cheesecake, but not just any ordinary cheesecake, a green tea cheesecake with this Cheesecake matcha in it! Red Leaf tea has recipes on their site (https://www.redleaftea.com/index.php?dispatch=pages.view&page_id=36 ), but googling around I found a couple matcha cheesecake recipes too. Unfortunately with watching my calories I can only have one small slice of cheesecake. Anyone wanna share it with me?

180 °F / 82 °C

Wow, that cheesecake would taste really stellar right now!

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So glad I got 6oz of this tea, I could easily finish it and spread the love!! This is my warm up tea today, tea to drink before I crack into my Red Leaf Matcha order!

Coconut Cacao! mmm! Insanely creamy and so delicious lightly sweetened.

I was sipping this tea downstairs watching the morning rain (I miss rain! It’s rained like 3 times since I moved here and I’m used to non-stop rain for week + back in Vancouver) and the roommates show up and ask why I’m drinking their coffee – since this tea is so black it looks like coffee.

Regarding my roommates coffee. It’s DISGUSTING and I’ve never tried it because yeah.. they make it the night before. Fill up a french press with 1/2 to 2/3 full of cheap ground coffee. Top with water and let it sit on the counter overnight. Then they drink it in the morning before work or sometimes drink it later that evening after work. EWWWW! Never drinking that coffee!

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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Noo, my internet has been hiccuping so I lost the tealog I wrote! And I don’t want to retype the whole thing!

I tried Grape Oolong for 3 infusions, the 2nd being the best. Very nice floral oolong with a twang of grape that got better on the 2nd infusion. There was a bit of astringency on the first infusion but worked with the grape taste. 3rd infusion was good but not as grape flavored.

Very yummy (thanx for the sample Kittena!) I might have to get more of this!

180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec

Ugh, I feel your pain on losing what you’ve written. This is why I like to keep them all in a word document. Helps with spellchecking too.

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So, I steeped up a small pot of this to drink while I work on my knitted shawl of doom last night. However, I cheaped out on the leaves so it was a little weak. With less leaves it wasn’t as melony, but still good. Before bed I was planning on drinking out of a huge pile of rooibos teas I haven’t tried and couldn’t bear to toss out WMX’s leaves, so I did a resteep with much less water. Still delicious!

I guess I need to order more, YAY!

I did let the tea hating husband try WMX. He was like “it’s sweet and then it tastes like tea.” thus, he didn’t like it. I’m sad as I thought he’d like this tea (and I’d love to find a tea he likes) but happy at the same time because it’s MOAR TEA FOR MEEEEE!

Butiki Teas

I must know, what does a “shawl of doom” look like? Bummer about the hubby not liking tea. There has to be something he likes. FYI, WMX is going on sale very soon.


lol, shawl of doom….I had a blanket of doom last year that I made for our good friends’ wedding….but it took FOREVER!

On sale!!! I might have to buy this!

Awkward Soul / Oolong Owl

gasp, on sale!! Ooooh! That means I should really try the samples I have from you in case I need to order out of those too!

The shawl of doom is http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/cloud-illusions and I thought I could have it done by April for my civil ceremony wedding, but barely got halfway. Now I’m hoping for October for when I have my wedding celebration with family. I’m a fast lace knitter, but this beast of a shawl is taking forever! Dreading when I get to the beading /cry

Butiki Teas

Love the style. Good luck, I hope you get it done in time for your celebration.

Well, don’t worry the sale will be a month long so you have some time for sample tasting.


That is a beautiful pattern!


Very pretty shawl!

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I’m a tea blogger – The Oolong Owl
www.OolongOwl.com – I do tea reviews, obsessively photograph teas with mischievous crocheted Owls and get tea drunk. I am also a crochet and knitting designer at Awkward Soul Designs.

To contact me for reviews, check out details at OolongOwl.com/about or email me at [email protected]

I was raised on floral oolongs and green teas, mostly “beauty” teas. Early on as a kid, I can guzzle an entire pot of tea (or two) at a Chinese or Japanese restaurant.
These days I like adventurous and interesting tea blends. I’m fearless in trying new teas! I’m into oolong, pu’erh, white, green, black, guayusa, mate and herbals. I’m not into red rooibos but I keep buying it anyway.

The tea brand that got me started into loose leaf teas was DAVIDsTea. I used to live in Vancouver Canada and had access to their shop, however that is now limited since I moved to southern California.

However, the perks of living in the US is ultra cheap, fast shipping! Since then, my tea stash insanely expanded.

Other stuff I’m into that sneaks into my tea notes: Brazilian jiu-jitsu, metal music, drawing, painting, cooking, photography and nail polish.

BTW, my Steepster cupboard is not even close to accurate and I track my teas on a spreadsheet. Last update 573 Teas – August 2015.


Long Beach, CA



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