Red Leaf Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

drank Matcha Sample D25 by Red Leaf Tea
2112 tasting notes

I placed a Red Leaf Tea order recently and this sample was included with my order. Thank you, Red Leaf Tea!

When you participate in the free sample test found on the discussion board, you get a 10g sample of matcha and pay only shipping. Once you review that, you will be sent another free sample with free shipping, and for the third free sample, I believe you receive this one. Mine, however, was simply included free with my order, and I already have another order on the way. Another sample, maybe? Woot woot!

The matcha powder is a lovely shade of green, nice and vibrant, and the aroma was very chocolate-y to me. I felt like it was a milk chocolate smell, but I did pass this around to several people and one of them immediately said it smelled like cocoa. Two others said chocolate, and one who had not heard them say this said it was a familiar smell but they couldn’t place it. Most people smelled chocolate.

I am not a matcha specialist. I am rather new to the matcha game compared to a lot of people, but I have graduated from only liking it as a sweetened latte to really enjoying a bowl whisked every day, plain. I have tried about ten different plain matcha teas, which isn’t very many, so lots of you will be far better qualified to write about these samples.

I usually use 160F water and no sugar. I have made this sample in this way several times now and feel prepared to review.

On the first tasting session with the lady who said it smelled like cocoa, she felt that it lost all chocolate scent once whisked up and said it tasted grassy. She is not a green tea drinker with the exception of enjoying jasmine green. She prefers black tea. I thought it was good. I found that I could work up a good froth, perhaps not as easily as with my KaiMatcha but it definitely got there. I did not find it bitter.

The color is slightly less vibrant than the best grade of matcha I have tried but still had a lovely color, and I stopped to admire the brilliance of the green color left in the white cups and pitcher we had used when we passed it around. The stain in the cups was a gorgeous color and had no trace of brown.

Tonight I even tried – for the first time ever – thick or Koi style using this matcha. I have never tried it before and found it a bit strong for me, but something I think could easily grow on you if you wanted to develop that taste. It wasn’t devilishly bitter, though, which I was afraid ANY Koi style preparation would be.

Thank you, Red Leaf, for your continued excellent customer service and for the sample!

Rufus

I think if I’d find a Matcha as satisfying as this, I might give it a go. So, I guess I’ll have to place an order soon! I’ve always been one of those people who wanted to like Matcha, but couldn’t. Unless it was mixed with another tea or in a smoothie. However, I’ll have to give this one a try.

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Well, this last week has been an absolute whirlwind!

But the important thing is that as of tonight, I am officially moved into the new house! I’m so excited to be moved out of my parents house yet again, and I think this new situation will be a really good one for me!

I actually don’t have a ton of queued posts from the week; most of my tea was actually packed up early into the week so I wasn’t drinking a lot of tea this last week. I’ll have to make up for that. The reality is, that I drank a lot of matcha because it was the last tea to get packed up (because I store it in the freezer). I’ll have to drink this one again more properly and at a time I can really focus on it because really none of the tea I had this week got any proper attention, and my notes from this week are shit…

Case and point, this is all I wrote for this tea:

- Floral forefront
- Grapey finish; a little mild but quite nice!

So, I will revisit this again. Also, I’m not gonna rate it until I get a chance to have it again as well because I just know I didn’t put the time into appreciating this new matcha to rate it with any semblance of precision.

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65
drank Sangria Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
1437 tasting notes

This morning’s matcha was a 1/4 tsp whisked into a shot glass of hot water. It wasn’t my favourite combination, let’s say. A little too citrus peel/fresh cut grass for first thing, maybe, and it’s an odd combination to start with. I felt pretty horrible for about an hour afterwards, but I’m not sure whether the matcha had anything to do with that. I was feeling pretty rubbish to begin with, although not quite as nauseous. Not the combination for me!

Indigobloom

I wonder what it’d be like with OJ. Just saying :P

Fjellrev

Hope you’ll feel better soon!

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65
drank Sangria Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
1437 tasting notes

I tried this as a latte this morning, and I was pretty impressed. I wasn’t sure how the flavour would work with milk, but it was actually okay. I got more of the “wine” flavour than I did with yesterday’s coconut water, but also a hint of berry and a touch of citrus rind. I have felt more awake the last couple of mornings, so maybe there’s something to this matcha thing after all. I’m enjoying this one – thanks again to Roswell Strange for sharing it with me!

ETA: I keep meaning to say that I’m drinking the basic grade, distinctive flavouring version of this one.

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65
drank Sangria Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
1437 tasting notes

A sample from Roswell Strange. I still had some coconut water left after yesterday’s experiment, and I figured a sweeter/fruity matcha might pair better with it than plain. I used 1/2 tsp whisked into half a glass, and was a lot happier with the result. There’s a pleasant overall “orange rind” kind of flavour that works well with the sweet, tropical coconut. This turned out a lot more palatable than just plain matcha, and I was happy to sip on this first thing. A success!

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I haven’t had matcha before so I’m not sure what rating to give this tea. I sifted two teaspoons into a few ounces of not-quite-boiling water, then whisked as instructed (although I don’t have a bamboo whisk so I used a metal one, and I couldn’t figure out how long I was supposed to whisk it for). It was a really dark green and when I tasted it with a spoon it was the bitterest thing I’ve tasted in years (or ever?). I dumped the rest of a bag of sugar into it (okay, so the bag was mostly empty already) and thinned it down with a LOT more water. Like maybe two cups more. Then I tried it again and decided the flavor would be bearable if only it were cold, so I poured a little of it over a glassful of ice and now I have way more iced matcha than I know what to do with. I’m going to be drinking this batch for the rest of the day.

Like I say, I’ve never had matcha before so I don’t know if I’m just not used to the flavor yet or if this was a bad sample or if I prepared it wrong or what. I also got some cheesecake matcha in the same order so maybe I’ll try that tomorrow and see if it has a pleasanter flavor. Maybe after I learn what normal is for matcha I can come back and give this one a rating.

ashmanra

Believe it or not, one usually uses only about 1/4 teaspoon of sifted matcha per cup of tea! I can only imagine how bad that was! It would have given me the jitters, too.

ashmanra

Oh, and I usually use water between 160F and 170F. Matcha is also great shaken in milk with sugar, and an Aerolatte will mix it into an amazing frothy shake. So will a cocktail shaker with ice!

sensiblyscript

Haha, really? I had no idea! The instructions said to use one or two teaspoons in a few ounces of water and then dilute “to taste,” so I figured that meant I had to taste it before diluting. :P I’m not sure why I decided to go with two teaspoons rather than one, though. I’m thinking of making a latte-type concoction next time. :)

ashmanra

I looked at some other instructions. I saw one that said two matcha scoops each holding a bit of matcha the size of an almond. Another said to use about 1/2 tsp. for eight ounces. I know you have to have really high quality matcha for it to taste good served the traditional way! As a latte, most culinary grade matcha will do fine. I love KaiMatcha Premium but they sell out pretty fast and it is the only tea they sell. Basically they stay shut down most of the year! Ha! Breakaway Matcha has some great info on their site, but their tea is soooooo expensive. The good stuff is over $100 for 30 servings, I think.

BTW, I am also in NC and also majored in voice! I wasn’t raised as a farmhand, but I have chickens. Does that count? :)

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62

Happy National Pie Day!

To celebrate I finally tried out this matcha, from my most recent order. It seemed appropriate to have a pie tea on pie day. I’m debating drinking all my pie matcha today since I have three different pie flavours right now but I’m also just a little worried that might be caffeine overkill.

I had high hopes for this matcha, and it smells great in the package. However whisked up in a cup of cold milk it was a fair bit disappointing. There are definitely nice apple and cinnamon notes initially and I am totally reminded of apple pie in the best way. Things take a turn in the finish of the sip though; the flavour quickly falls apart and tastes very artificial and very chemical which is something I really wasn’t expecting: especially since this is only delicate level of flavouring. What it reminds me of is cheap cinnamon flavoured toothpaste. Gag.

I’m not calling this one a write off just yet: I’ve certainly had much worse flavours (such as the Sangria) but something about the way I’m prepping this or the amount of matcha I used no more than I normally would have DEFINTIELY needs to be adjusted for this to really be enjoyable.

Regardless, happy Pie Day!

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76

Sipdown (136)!

Finished this off last night whisked into cold matcha milk; it was creamy and smooth but personally I think this shines more as a hot latte. There was something about that hot latte that just had such a wonderful vanilla cakey-ness that wasn’t as evident in the cold version.

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76

This was a free sample in my most recent matcha order.

Made it up as my first drink of the day; hot matcha latte! It’s really delicious; the vanilla flavour is very smooth and creamy and it almost had like a vanilla cakeyness to it? Creamy, silky, vanilla custard type cake. Yes! That’s exactly it.

I can’t believe I hadn’t tried this matcha before either; or at least if I have I hadn’t rated it? It’s one of those flavours I definitely felt like I’d always tried too…

Tea In Spoons

I’ve been very tempted to order from them. I saw that they had a matcha sampler set.

Roswell Strange

If you’ve never ordered from them before I definitely recommend the sampler just to get a wide variety.

VariaTEA

What matchas did you get? Did you finally order your cheese pizza matcha?!?

OMGsrsly

Cheese. Pizza. Matcha.

Roswell Strange

No… I chickened out. Maybe someday, though.

I did get Grape, Apple Pie, Bubble Gum, and Butternut Pie though!

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30
drank Puerh Earl Grey by Red Leaf Tea
36 tasting notes

I wasn’t sure what to think of this tea, to be honest. Although it did have the bergamonty EG aroma to it, it was loaded with a strange astringency or bitterness that made me grimace. Since this is a puerh tea, I thankfully knew enough to go easy on the first steeping of it, and left it only for about a minute. The tea turned dark very quickly, and I don’t think I even left it in for that long. The strange bitter aroma unfortunately trasferred to the tea, and I just couldn’t finish the cup. I felt like the tea was battling itself with two different flavour profiles: the EG part that I knew and liked and the bitter, ashy puerh part that I couldn’t stomach.

Not my cup of tea I guess.

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100% honest review:
Sipping this three times to make sure of the taste was the closest I have ever came to tearing because of a tea. This is utterly terrible.
Here’s how I imagine this being created: tencha is sprayed with apricot flavoring, dried, grounded…

Resulting in a lingering chemical funk.

cookies

Some of the worst tea I’ve ever had has been from Red Leaf. When they’re good they’re GOOD, but when they’re bad… horrendous.

Liquid Proust

I couldn’t just taste it once to be fair… it was painful…

tea123

I recommend a little more leaf :)

Roswell Strange

Sorry your experience was so unpleasant LP; this one was definitely from me way back when. I definitely don’t think this is representative of RLT’s flavored matcha and hope that you’ll try some of the other flavours they carry (if we swap again I can send you a sampling of what I’ve got). I can’t say I’ve got a suggestion for you to make this one better though as I’ve been very back and forth on it myself: some cups are alright (not awesome) but others are down right AWFUL as well…

Liquid Proust

There are a few I am wanting to try and will eventually get to, but for now I have enough matcha from YUNOMI to last me awhile. I know that I will stay away from things like Pizza Matcha though. You’d think fruit would pair well, but as someone who blends tea… I know that if you don’t use the right kind of flavoring you will end up with something terrrrrrrrible. Their vanilla matcha is quite nice though, I drank a decent amount of it with my mom. I still have some chocolate matcha of theirs that I haven’t even opened.

Red Leaf Tea

I’m sorry for the bad experience. We have over 130 flavors. Some are great, some are good and apparently a few are not…
Please do not judge all of our products by this one.

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90

I like the warm, full-bodied taste of this tea. It is a good twist on an Earl Grey, especially when I don’t want something as dark as a traditional Earl Grey. Love this, would recommend!

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This is an impressive matcha if made correctly and by that I mean offsetting the slight dry taste with just water. I whisked this one up smelling the pumpkin spice which made me happy :)
The taste at first was a bit much so I adjusted it with two teaspoons of milk with a topping of whipped cream.
My mom and I both enjoy this. Adjusted, this is fantastic and I’ll be curious to see if their chocolate matchas are as good because that will sucker me in… chocolate…

Kirkoneill1988

i shall try this someday

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drank Caramel Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
1643 tasting notes

Another one bites the dust. This one is rated highly on Steepster. There is certainly nothing wrong with it. That said, not sure why I got this as caramel isn’t a favorite of mine on its own. I enjoyed it but not as much as everyone else it seems.

carol who

Looks like you’ve been drinking a lot of matcha lately :) What a nice way to spend the day.

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drank Caramel Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
1643 tasting notes

I am not a caramel enjoying person. At least not caramel ice cream topping or caramel candy. It is too sweet, even for the monkey, and just doesn’t move me… and yet, I’ve read so many positive reviews of this one over the years that I had to try some. I used 1 tsp in a mug with cold milk, cause that’s how I roll. Tasted. Kid of wondered what all the fuss was about. It was light and kind of reminded me of the French vanilla I had earlier. Then the monkey grabbed the liquid Splenda and added the equivalent of 1 tsp of sugar. Delicious! I could drink this everyday. It is sweet (obviously) but not gross sweet. It is buttery, and the flavor is really good and never gets overpowering. A perfect balance of sweet. texture, and flavor. I will have this one again – and it’s caramel.

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93
drank Deluxe Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
114 tasting notes

This Red Leaf matcha has a very unique flavor and aroma. It is strikingly floral and sweet, without the grassiness or vegetal flavors that typify most matchas. If you could grind a floral green oolong into powder form, I imagine this is what it would taste like.

Appearance wise, it leaves a bit to be desired. The color is a rather unappetizing mossy green unlike the nice, bright green Japanese matcha I’m used to. When prepared, it’s thin-ish with little viscosity and barely any froth.

Looks aside, this made a fantastic matcha latte. Deliciously sweet and luscious floral. It’s a real nice change of pace from grassy matchas. At $2.39 for a 15g sample it’s an incredible value and organic to boot.

Flavors: Floral, Honey, Sweet

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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100

Yah…………….. Feeling Awesome after have a cup of tea.

Flavors: Cherry

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drank French Vanilla Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
1643 tasting notes

Another I finished off. Possibly my personal favorite of flavored matcha I have tried. Tastes just like French Vanilla should.

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drank French Vanilla Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
1643 tasting notes

Still loving this one. 1 tsp with 1/3 tumbler full of 2% milk, once frothed produces a full tumbler so thick and creamy the straw stands straight up. After settles a bit I add more milk. As others said, the powder smells like icing. The cold milk latte tastes like cake and icing tossed in a blender and liquefied. To me the French vanilla has an extra little kick that tastes like a nutmeg was lightly sprinkled on top. I can see consuming mass quantities.

Fjellrev

This one will always be a winner in my books.

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drank French Vanilla Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
1643 tasting notes
Fjellrev

For sure!

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drank Banana Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
1643 tasting notes

The last of this one for my morning wake up cold milk latte. This natural banana flavored but not quite actual banana in flavor. More candy like. I like it but don’t love it. Maybe I just used too much? It’s another that others rated higher than my opinion.

This leaves only pumpkin pie matcha to finish up my flavored matcha. That may wait. I can’t believe I am going to write this but, you can only have so much pumpkin pie in a one week span and I am already teetering over the line. I must be getting old.

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drank Banana Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
1643 tasting notes

Man, everyone else rated this really high. I am glad I read the reviews first as it salvaged this one for me.

I prepared this with 1 tsp of powder and 8 ounces of cold 2% milk. I thought the taste was on the weird side. It was banana-ish but then there was another taste like rose water. It wasn’t real strong but distracting. I added a little sweetener (equivalent to 1 tsp of sugar). This reduced the rosewater note and brought the banana into the marshmallow candy range mentioned by others. With sweetener it is sweet but not too sweet for a dessert treat.

Sometime soon I plan to make this again and add ice cream, along with a drizzle of chocolate and caramel. This has potential!

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drank Strawberry Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
1643 tasting notes

Finished this one off as well. The strawberry flavor is spot on. I love strawberry tea anyway, but this really is a step above most I have tried. Yum.

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drank Strawberry Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
1643 tasting notes

I love strawberry black tea, even (maybe, especially) the cheap stuff in bags. I was a little hesitant to try this one as a cold latte. I mean, it sounds good in theory, I was just afraid it would taste like the powdered stuff we added to milk when we were kids. The reality is this is totally awesome. The strawberry tastes so natural I looked to see if any of the green tops were floating in my mug. Move over strawberry black tea, strawberry matcha is moving in.

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