423 Tasting Notes


Wow! This is so delicious and so complex. It’s hard to describe but I’m going to give it a try. It’s definitely sweet and floral, but there’s also a vegetal note like green beans or snap peas. The sweetness is like honey and the floral notes mix with the other flavors so that the whole thing feels like a progression. Luckily I have some of this left, because I’m going to have to ponder whether I want to buy some of this. I think the answer might be yes!

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This is delicious! And very interesting. Some sips are caramel first, popcorn after, some sips are popcorn first, caramel after, and some sips are one or the other with matcha after. Regardless it’s very clearly what it’s supposed to be and absolutely delicious. Despite its sweet name it manages not to taste too sugary. In fact, because of the popcorn flavor it toes the line between sweet and savory and manages to do so beautifully.

As usual I’m having this with milk, which I’ve found I prefer for most Red Leaf matchas. It’s just so good! I’m sad I didn’t try this just a little sooner because I could have snapped a larger size up while it was on sale, but..! Oh well, next time.

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I bought this a while back when it was on sale (options: classic, regular, distinctive), and have only just now gotten around to really trying it. I wanted to have a few cups of it before I wrote a review, but I think I can honestly say this is my favorite passion fruit flavored…anything that I’ve ever had (outside of a real passion fruit, that is!). From what I’ve seen it’s one of the hardest fruit flavors to imitate, and this matcha does it very well.

When mixed up with milk, this is smooth and creamy. The fruit flavor is tastes real and balances beautifully with the matcha, and the matcha sweetens the fruit and keeps it from being too tart—the only problem I sometimes have with passion fruit flavored things. I have not yet tried this mixed up with water, but I like the consistency of it with milk so much that I might not try it with water at all. It’s a little bit like deconstructed ice cream, and it’s a little bit addictive.

If you want to try this one for yourself, it’s here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/passion-fruit-matcha.html#.U8E36Kgt0us

As a side note, I have found a solution to clumpy matcha drinks: a cheap hand-pump milk frother. It’s much easier to deal with than the blender for making matcha every day, and I’ve found it wakes me up much better than black tea.

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What a lovely yunnan! It smells intensely of honey, and some of that comes through in the taste too. There are also some hay notes and a deeper earthiness that keeps it from being too light. It’s much smoother than some yunnans I’ve had, which makes for a good cup to savor slowly. I think I would get this one again.

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It’s interesting how you can brew a tea twice and it tastes completely different each time. In this case I look back at my last review of this one and have no idea what I was talking about, because this tastes like spices and molasses or those roasted and sugared nuts that are everywhere around the winter holidays. No coffee or sugary icing to be found!

I’m completely exhausted thanks to an entire day of travel yesterday; I thought it would be a few hours, but thanks to storms near home we got delayed quite a bit. The best solution I can think of is a zingy tea with some caffeine to it, and this smelled good to me this morning. There’s definitely a lot of cinnamon to it, and the creaminess is nice. I have to say that I think “monkey bread” is a better name for this tea: it tastes exactly like the monkey bread I remember eating as a kid.

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Last one for the backlog. This one is strictly so-so for me, but I think my opinion of it is tainted by my first couple of experiences with it. The hotel restaurant seemingly didn’t have much experience making tea, so I only got one teabag for two cups of water, and it was pretty much impossible to get anything out of that that wasn’t lightly scented water or sludge.

My next experience with it was better. This is a good earl grey, firmly on the citrus side of bergamot and a little astringent. I think there are better Harney EG blends, but it was fine for breakfast and helped wake me up the last couple of days of our trip.

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drank Mint Verbena by Harney & Sons
423 tasting notes

Backlog. This was actually my favorite tea from vacation—the mint is light and sweet, and the verbena adds a nice citrus note to the cup. It’s a simple combination but it’s one of the most pleasant mint teas I’ve tried. This seems to be one of Harney’s staples, so I’m actually surprised I haven’t tried it before now!

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Backlog from vacation. This was pretty good for a bottled tea. The honey flavor was very assertive; instead of the generic, sweet, “honey” flavor many bottled teas use, this was identifiably the good stuff. Somehow that managed not to overwhelm the tea base despite being the dominant flavor, and the lemon kept it from being overly sweet (although I reached for it because I wanted sweet). I think I’d like to try the dry version of this so I can control the sugar content myself, but it was a pleasant surprise when I had to grab something quickly in the airport.

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I brewed this a little lower than I would normally brew a rooibos, which turned out to be a happy accident: this tastes exactly like a chocolate covered strawberry. It’s a little sweeter than I would have expected, but the chocolate is assertive like few teas of this kind achieve and the fruit still manages to come through. This is definitely one of the better Republic of Tea flavors I’ve tried.

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This smells wonderful and tastes…not so wonderful. I’m not sure what it is about this but I’m really not liking it. It’s too herbal. The blackberry isn’t assertive enough at all despite being very present in the scent, and oddly the sage isn’t taking over either. What I’m left with is a sort of watery, fake-grape flavor that I have no intention of drinking again.

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Elizabeth, college student, history/anthropology major. I love to read, travel, and try new foods.

I loved tea as a kid, didn’t drink it for about ten years, and then rediscovered it about a year ago. I’m still pretty new to the types and brands of tea out there, but I’m interested in trying some of everything! My favorites are earl greys, yunnans, medium-bodied oolongs, Japanese greens, and fruit flavors. My least favorites are teas that are overly smoked, bitter, or contain hibiscus.

About Swaps: I am always willing to swap with anyone within continental North America! Just drop me a note. For anyone in the eastern half of the U.S. I’ll gladly swap small samples of things, but further away than that I would prefer if we dealt with larger amounts.


Indiana, U.S.



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