Red Leaf TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Looking back, I realize that deciding to get Red Leaf’s sampler pack of flavored matcha was an impulsive decision based on a few pleasant-sounding steepster reviews. Had I taken a moment to reflect, I would have remembered that I don’t like flavored teas! The only flavors I’ll usually allow in my tea include Jasmine, spices in a chai, bergamot in Earl Grey. I don’t even take milk or sugar.
That being said, my reaction to this tea (especially in comparison to the heavenly Rishi Matcha latte I had the other day) is predictably negative. While I can actually taste some green tea through the fake caramel, what ruins this tea for me is the grittiness of the matcha and the strange chemical taste lingering in the background.
Thank goodness for white matcha! I love green matcha but it’s too hard on my stomach. The white matcha doesn’t have that bright green flavor, rather that very delicate white tea flavor, but also doesn’t make me throw up, which is even better. I’ve been adding a few shakes of it to my favorite white teas and it blends right in.
This week’s matcha sample is – Cheesecake! I feel like I prepared the ground well enough with “normal” flavours like Strawberry and Banana, so I finally broke out one of the left-field flavours that I’ve been looking forward to forever but still slightly scared of. When I opened the pouch, all I could smell was very sweet vanilla. That had me worried for a minute, but I needn’t have doubted.
I prepared this one as a latte, which has pretty much become my go-to. I used 1/4 tsp of matcha, whisked into 1/3 cup of hot water, and then topped off with milk. The scent lost some of its vanilla as soon as I added the water, and started to smell more like baking cheesecake. To taste, it’s super delicious! It’s creamy and sweet, of course, but with a slightly salty-sour-tangy undertone that really characterises cheesecake for me. There’s still the flavour of vanilla sitting over the top, but it’s not overpowering or sickly. It also avoids tasting artificial, which is a huge bonus as far as I’m concerned. There’s nothing chemically about the flavour of this one, it’s just straight-up flavour-accurate vanilla cheesecake. The matcha is completely masked by it, which is the whole point I guess, so there’s not even a conflict of “green” and “sweet”. It’s truly delicious stuff.
I can imagine that this would combine well with other flavours to make various “cheesecake” combinations, but I’m trying not to have too many samples open at once because they’re not resealable. It’s something I’d try in the future if I manage to get hold of a larger quantity in a tin, though.
For now, I’m just really happy with this one. It’s a desserty treat on a dull work day.
1/4 tsp, boiling water. Prepared as a latte.
It’s likely that this’ll be my matcha at work this week – I got about 5 servings from my first sample pouch, so I reckon this one’ll probably be about the same. I prepared this one as a latte, no surprises there.
It’s good, but maybe not quite as good as last week’s banana matcha. It’s sweet, with a candy strawberry flavour, and just a hint of the grassy matcha coming through. It reminds me of those strawberry haribo sweets quite a bit – it has the same “I’m not really real” strawberry flavour that ultimately leaves you thinking of chemical flavouring. I’m not sure why I feel like this about it, because it isn’t particularly strong or overpowering, just a bit meh. I’m going to say it’s pleasant enough, and drinkable, but just not my favourite.
1/4 tsp, boiling water. Prepared as a latte.
This has been my go-to matcha for the last few mornings, made up as a latte. I’m enjoying the flavour, and I really do think it helps with my energy levels, so there’s nothing not to like here. The sample sachet I received says 3 servings, but I’m on that today and I’ve still got at least one and maybe two 1/4 teaspoon measures left, so maybe Red Leaf are just more generous than they think. Either that, or I’m using less than they have in mind. I did notice this morning that one of my 1/4 tsp measures is a bit smaller than the other, so that might have something to do with it. When is a 1/4 tsp not a 1/4 tsp? I’m not sure I can cope with the philosophical implications of that at this time of the morning!
All I really wanted to say in this note is – yum! Also, for those in the UK scratching around for Red Leaf pretty unsuccessfully, I got my sample selection (choose 5 plus one free) from the Red Leaf outlet on Etsy. They offer a limited range of flavours, and it seems to vary a bit from week to week, but it’s an opportunity to try some sample sizes at a fairly reasonable cost.
The next thing turned out to be matcha. Also good for keeping me awake, or so I’ve come to realise. I picked out banana simply because it appealed to me the most, but it was a close-run thing between strawberry and cheesecake. I used 1/4 tsp for my cup, whisked into boiling water and topped off with hot milk as a latte. I think this is basically going to be my go-to method of matcha preparation, because there aren’t many other ways I can stomach it. I still find it a bit odd, because generally speaking hot milk isn’t my thing either. Still, what works works.
I’m pretty impressed with the flavour here. It’s candy banana rather than fresh, but that’s rather appealing in its own way. It reminds me of those foamy sweets I had as a child. The added bonus for me is that it covers up most of the green tea flavour, except a very little bit which actually works with the banana flavouring rather than against it. That slight “greenness” is a bit reminiscent of under-ripe banana, and that’s okay with me. It didn’t turn my stomach even at this early hour. This one’s a win with me.
Dry powder: grassy and sweet
usedf half a teaspoon.
Brewed tea: grassy and sweet.
Tasting the brewed tea: grassy and sweet.
All I can say is this tea is grassy and sweet! Lmao. I rate this tea a 100
Many thanks to my dear friend Linda.
Bonus photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/BDqWQOrp48R/
Flavors: Grass, Sweet
See full review at: http://uncouthpalate.com/private-reserve-matcha-a23-red-leaf-tea/
This was my first experience with matcha and overall I give it a not bad. It seems like an affable intro to the matcha world and makes me want to keep exploring.
Flavors: Seaweed, Vegetal
In the world of Ark, I am very happy. Days of attempting to solo tame a Quetzal…probably one of the hardest to tame solo…and many fails, I finally realized it was not worth it, so I switched gears to massive resource gathering because I decided to trade for one. 2,000 metal ingots, 700 cementing paste and 400 obsidian later I ended up with a beautiful level 52 Quetzal with a platform saddle (I’m not even high enough level to make that yet) who is female so extra benefit of eggs. This is going to make things sooo much easier, even taming another Quetzal! On top of that I decided to dabble in breeding, using my perfect tame Pteranodon and my decently leveled other Pteranodon and ended up with a level 155 baby..aka a meat vacuum, because Ark babies are stupid hard.
This tea is all sorts of weird, mainly because I cannot seem to find anything out about it, no matter where I look. Granted this could be a fault in my searching, maybe I just don’t know the right terms, or maybe this is some sort of mysterious tea from the world of dragons. Looking at Red Leaf Tea’s Golden Dragon Feelers, a green tea that looks like it was run through a 90s era hair crimper. It is named such because it is thought they look like dragon whiskers, and they certainly are super cute. On close inspection, it really looks more like a white tea then a green, but considering I cannot find these anywhere in the blagosphere, I have to take the vendor’s word for it. The aroma is fascinating, it smells like yeasty biscuit dough, and a little like sourdough, with undertones of cooked sweet peas, but mostly it is all dough all the time. Honestly that is not at all what I was expecting from this light, fuzzy tea.
Brewing this tea brings out notes of yeasty dough, along with pepper, lima beans, and a touch of hops, it smells more like food than tea, it is very starchy and more on the savory side than sweet. The liquid is very light, distant notes of lima beans and honey blend with biscuits, I almost dipped my nose in the water in trying to pick up notes, but there is really not much going on.
The first steep is very light, in both taste and texture, it has a honey sweetness and a gentle mineral note that reminds me of drinking rain water. Underneath the honey notes is a lingering yeast quality that adds to the sweetness but also has a touch of sourdough. At the finish there is honey and lots of fuzzies, that is pretty much the extent of the mouthfeel other than warm and wet.
For the second steep, the aroma is mostly biscuits and honey, reminds me of growing up in the south, especially with the side note of lima beans. This steep has a little more going on, though it is still very light, and the mouthfeel is very light as well. Strong notes of raw honey and pollen with an accompaniment of biscuits and pie crust and a finish of lima beans. This tea is very starchy and has a sweet aftertaste. Not very nuanced but it is still tasty.
Third steep has the aroma of honey and biscuits, it has the taste of honey and biscuits. It is very light and is pretty much finished at this point.This tea is pretty but really kinda boring, I wish I knew more about it, but this tea is a mystery.
After browsing Red Leaf Tea and reading lots of revIews, I took a chance that this was my best bet for a good unflavored matcha that would compare favorably with KaiMatcha Premium, which is very hard to find “in stock.”
I am happy to say that this has turned out to be a very good choice. I compared it side by side with KaiMatcha and the color was nearly the same, perhaps this being a tiny bit less vibrant but almost unnoticeable. I am assuming this is harvested in summer since that is when the Tanabata Festival takes place.
I whisked it in 160F water and got a good froth with my little whisk. I sifted, so there are no lumps or clumps, and it sifts pretty easily. As I drink the large bowl of matcha, I give it a swirl near the finish to keep the tea well mixed. Enjoying this immensely.
This is a good value, in my opinion.
I love having a bowl of matcha with just one – just ONE – Lindt truffle. This is my special treat that I try to fit in every day, though I sometimes miss!
The taste of this new tea isn’t as bold as the others I have tasted before. It has a lighter taste to it, almost airy and transcendental like a fleeting summer breeze, leaving an unconventional aftertaste that still appeals to my taste buds. I feel that there is almost a slight metallic tinge to it, which is an alien concept to me in the world of tea. Thankfully, it’s not overpowering as if I just had just eaten raw iron, but for those who can’t handle new experiences, the aftertaste can’t be easily ignored. Personally I prefer something more wholesome, so if anything, this new tea leaves me wanting a different kind of tea. This tea was prepared with 180F of 1 1/2 cups of water. With a sweet-smelling aroma, this tea is for people who want a lighter taste as opposed to a fresh, from-the-ground, earthy, tangy kind of taste.
Where did my previous logs of this go? Yesterday I used the last of my open unflavored matcha. This morning I didn’t want to mess with the unopened bags (I have 2 lbs in the freezer) especially since they are not in resealable bags. I did have 3 opened samples of flavored matcha. This one sounded fun at 6:00 a.m. I mostly wanted to play with my new frother. Abt 1 tsp and 3 oz cold milk in a 12 oz tumbler. Nearly filled with foam – so, happy with the frother. I haven’t had acai in a while and I kind of forgot what it tasted like. I was surprised it actually tasted good in combination with milk. Fruity, not tart. Good choice. Went down fast.
Holidays TTB: I’ve been itching to get some more matcha and this TTB gives me the opportunity to try some from Red Leaf Teas! The box smelled of this when I first opened it as the bag had opened a bit. No worries, I will wipe everything down before re-packaging.
I was really excited to try this as Red Leaf is consistently rated high on this site. Sadly, I think there was some sort of user error this time around. It feels like the powder isn’t mixed in at all and it’s getting caught in my throat. It was made as a latte, anyone have suggestions?
This is a queued tasting note.
Finally tried this as a cold almond milk matcha latte. It was at the same time exactly what I expected it to be while also not quite hitting the mark either. It made for a super rich, and thick frothy drink though with such an intense, velvety mouthfeel. The flavour profile was interesting: it was very much vegetal and grassy which I think is definitely a combination of the matcha flavouring and then also the matcha itself. In addition to that strong vegetal flavour it was also very, very creamy and buttery which is what I wanted from this one, for sure. What I felt was missing was just a bit of sweetness; mostly this was all umami and it was enjoyable but didn’t feel overly “balanced” at the same time.
What I think I’ll try in the future is mixing this in a sweeter milk (like coconut milk, maybe) and then sprinkling the top with a dusting of cinnamon/nutmeg ’cause I think that would really push this one over the top and make it super enjoyable!
The flavor of the this tea has a rich and earthy flavor with gentle, subdued tones while also retaining its depth. Compared the culinary grade (from another brand), this tea is not bitter at all, though I would be hard-pressed to describe it in other means, though it is by no means bland or unremarkable. On the contrary, I would say that if done in the hands of a professional, one could draw its immense depth and elevate the taste of this tea to its fullest potential. I poured 2 cups of water 170 degrees Fahrenheit (76 in Celsius) in 1 tbsp of matcha. I mixed it as well and thoroughly as I could and it tasted great despite my expectations! The aroma smelled liked ceremonial grade tea and there’s no sweet taste to it, as mentioned earlier. Overall, it is good matcha tea and I wouldn’t mind using it everyday and would recommend it to someone who wants to try tea for the first time.
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!
I did the thing again where I drank this and then proceeded to fail at taking notes, so I really only have a little blip of a flavour summary:
- Cold Shaken in water
- Quite floral
- A balance of natural grape and sweet candy grape
But at least my little jot notes are consistent! Last time I drank this I also made a point of pointing out that it tasted really floral so at least I’m making the same half-assed observations. Also, I need to know if anyone has tried this one in milk yet? Of the few people who Steepster says actually own it. That’s normally my go to, but admittedly I’m terrified to try it out. Grape milk seems so… wrong.
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.
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!
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.
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!