Red Leaf TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Red Leaf Tea had a unique promotion for this matcha they called “name your own price”. So, I was able to put it what I thought the tea was worth and try it out. It’s definitely a unique way to try higher quality matchas. And with that, on with the tea!
When I first got the package and inspected the matcha, I was surprised how bright green it was. I know color is a good indicator of quality, and this matcha is even greener than my highest quality matcha I currently own. I was very surprised! The smell was definitely grassy, with definite hints of spinach. But, how would it taste?
While I recognize the proper way to brew this matcha is to heat it up and put it in a bowl, my current preferred (read: lazy) way is to put in a cup with some water and ice and give it a good shake. It’s just been the mood I’ve been in for the last few weeks. I refuse to add any sweetener though- I do want to be able to enjoy the matcha taste on its own. My first taste test I used 1/3 tsp of matcha powder with 16 oz of water, but I believe that was too much. For the second, I dialed it back to 1/2 tsp and that made the matcha a lot more enjoyable (and it can make the powder go farther)!
After the above preparation, the matcha definitely still has a strong grassy taste. There is a little bitterness, but not that much since it’s such a good quality product. It’s not quite as sweet as I would like, but it’s not a bad tasting matcha either. This would definitely appeal to someone who likes a nice strong “green tasting” matcha tea. I would not recommend this for someone who wants to drink high quality matcha, but isn’t such a huge fan of the grassy taste of some green teas.
As a reminder you can get this matcha here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/emperor-matcha-tea.html
Since my last matcha has gone MIA (see earlier entry), I’ve been on the hunt for another matcha I can drink on a regular basis. Red Leaf Tea put the Amaretto matcha on sale, and so I thought I would try it again. The first time I ordered it, I got the regular matcha base with the robust flavoring (which was delightful). This time, because I wanted something more matcha and less flavor, I decided do to the DELICATE flavoring with the IMPERIAL (Superior) base. Also, I accidentally selected the “Organic” option too. It’s pretty much the highest quality matcha you can get with the flavorings, and since I was getting a matcha at such a high quality, I figured I would let the flavors be very faint and not overpower the tea.
This is the first matcha I got from Red Leaf that was not at least Robust. For the lower quality matchas, you definitely want a more prominent flavor. But for higher quality stuff, I figured “delicate” would be worth the shot. I was a little bit worried there would hardly be any flavor in there, but I’m happy to say the matcha tastes lovely and the flavoring is there. It’s not overpowering, but it’s not barely noticeable either. It’s this fruity taste but not overly sweet. In my last entry I described it as “an amaretto sour without the sugar” which this is very similar to.
To prepare this (which is basically my lazy matcha making way of choice), I took 1/2 tsp of matcha, threw in a few ice cubes, filled the rest with water and gave it a good shake. And viola. The imperial base has such a smooth taste and there’s practically no bitterness. It doesn’t need sweetener or any other additives. I’ll probably order all future matchas from Red Leaf with Superior Bases and get the flavor delicate, or at least go a step up from the base matcha. I will note that the Imperial Matcha isn’t quite as bright green as I thought it would be, but the taste is fantastic and doesn’t seem to be affected like the lower quality stuff.
You can get the matcha from here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/amaretto-matcha.html
Spring time means matcha time! This is one of the matcha that I have picked for this season. I opened the package, and the smell is intoxicating. Its a deep buttery milk chocolate scent that just smells so creamy! I grabbed my tools and prepared. I placed a generous amount of this vibrant green powder in my Chawan. The warmed matcha has a smooth peanut butter aroma. I thought this to be higher quality matcha, so I decided to brew Koicha. Sadly, I was mistaken. The Koicha turned out terrible. This brew had a dirty mouthfeel, and I almost choked. I added water to correct my mistake and it was still slightly dusty. I attempted twice (once with a sieve, the other without) to see if maybe I just sifted incorrectly. On both occasions it was still dusty and bitter. It carries a deep vegetal flavor with a lasting sweetness. This is still an enjoyable matcha, but if only prepared usucha. The main flavors mix well and create a balanced brew with a slight bitterness. I will enjoy the rest of my matcha thin. This would make a great beginner matcha for someone who is just starting out. I am still on the hunt for a stellar matcha to prepare Koicha.
Flavors: Bitter, Creamy, Dust, Milk, Sweet, Vegetal, White Chocolate
This is from the recent Red Leaf Tea side by side blind taste test. If you were included but haven’t completed your survey yet stop reading now.
Last weekend we rented a cabin on the lake in a nearby state park. It was our 34th anniversary. I grabbed one of my numbered matcha samples from the test that I really liked – Kiss Me Organics. First thing each morning I mixed a heavy tsp of it with 12oz of cold milk and a double shot of Splenda Sat on the porch swing and watched as the misty rain washed across the lake. Beautiful and relaxing. The cold frap was more delicious than one from Starbucks because even with two packets of Splenda, it was not sickening sweet like SB. I thought it could not be any better. While the setting and circumstances had a lot to do with it, I really did like that culinary grade matcha.
This morning, back at home, I grabbed Starter Matcha from Red Leaf and mixed a new glass with the same amounts. The results were even more delicious, in my opinion, though the scenery in my den was not as exciting. Seriously, this makes a dark green tea with a nice grassy flavor and long smooth aftertaste. The best part is, this is one third the price of the previous matcha and even cheaper than the Tradition brand matcha I have been using on a daily basis by about a fourth (1.31/oz my old matcha compared to $0.94/oz Red Leaf).
I know my daily matcha in the past has been a slight bit of a compromise, although I wouldn’t drink it everyday if I did not like it. With this Starter Matcha, I am getting way more wonderful flavor and it will save me money. I actually rated this second highest in the blind test – before I knew what a great deal it is.
I put a pound of this and a pound of the Deluxe Matcha (my highest rated in the test) in the cart. Placed my gift certificate order. Went to Amazon to order some unrelated stuff, came back to my email to make sure the Amazon confirmation had been sent, and discovered the Red Leaf order had already been processed and shipped! Don’t know if they are always this on top of it but that was fast. That was a late afternoon. Two days later the package arrived. I now have enough matcha in cold storage to last a year. I’m a happy den camper.
Thanks to Anlina for the sample, but this is definitely my least favourite of the lot. I’m finding it really bitter and chemical-tasting, and making it into a latte with milk and sugar didn’t really help. Probably 1tsp of “robust”-flavoured matcha was too much for a 12oz latte, but still. Oh well, can’t win ’em all. :)
Roswell Strange sent me this many months ago and I have been at a loss for what to do with it. Usually I drink my matcha with milk but Champagne milk just seemed like an odd choice. However, for some reason, a champagne vanilla smoothie seemed like it would work better. In hindsight I’m not sure why but that’s how I made this and unfortunately all the champagne flavor is drowned out by the vanilla smoothie mix. Seriously, I am getting no flavor at all and seeing as it’s distinctive flavoring, I should be able to taste something but alas I got nothing at all. Still, thank you Roswell Strange for the share!
This is just so good! Rich, creamy, caramel matcha goodness with a very slight hint of saltiness. I have tried Red Leaf’s matcha before but for some reason I haven’t tried this one. So impressed. Threw some in cold almond milk. Yum!
Makes me very tempted to make an order. . .
Flavors: Caramel, Salty, Sweet
Thank you for the sale, TheLastDodo! I’ve never had a EG pu-erh before. It works extremely well here. The ripe loose pu-erh pairs perfect with the strong bergamot… almost so strong you can’t even taste the pu-erh. The color of the mug is a deep coffee brown. Apparently there is some white tea in the blend once in a while, which is a little weird but there isn’t enough of it to really make a difference. All three steeps have a strong bergamot presence! Too bad this one isn’t for sale anymore… I always love to try different variations of bergamot.
Steep #1 // 2 tsps. // just boiled // 2 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 2-3 min
Steep#3 // just boiled // 2-3 min
I was so excited to try this flavor this morning! Thanks for the sample Red Leaf!
I made myself a cold matcha latte out of this. I love pistachios, and while this is a very tasty matcha flavor, I wouldn’t say the taste reminded me of pistachios really. It definitely has a nutty vibe. Maybe like a pistachio candy of some kind? Or nougat. It is somewhat nougat-ish.
Anyway, very nice flavor! I’ll happily finish my sample but this one won’t be a re-order for me.
This one was one I couldn’t pass up. I love Creme Brulee. Surprisingly it’s good cold too. Anyway onto the matcha. Nice rich green color. Great flavor. I started out with a little over a 1/2 tsp of matcha and mixed in hot water (about 3 tbsp of water) with my electric whisker. I need to get a bamboo one…. I then microwaved some almond milk and whisked it into the matcha. The water was hotter then I thought so I think I may have burnt the matcha a lil but once it cooled down…. nomnomnom
No one has been brave and tried this flavor yet??
Perhaps no one is familiar with panettone cake? I will briefly describe it for those of you who may not be familiar. It is a light, airy cake the texture of a yeast roll, very lightly sweetened and studded with candied citrus peel and raisins. Since it is so light and not overly sweet it makes AMAZING French Toast!
So I got this matcha organic, lowest possible flavor level, and with the slightly upgraded “royal” matcha.
I made a cold latte this morning with 1/2tsp match, 1 cup milk, and 1 tsp powdered sugar (sometimes sugar helps the flavor pop)
It was VERY good! It has a nice candied citrus taste, and is not at all artificial or funky. Highly recommended if you like the idea of candied citrus matcha :D
Thanks to Anlina for the sample! :) I tried this a few different ways. A while ago, I mixed it up with 80 degree water (using a milk frother) and tasted it that way. It was ok, tasted like matcha plus a nutty flavour that wasn’t unlike macadamia nuts, but there was definitely some bitterness that I wasn’t a huge fan of. Then I heated/frothed some milk and made it into a latte, which definitely helped, though there was still a bit of a funny aftertaste to it. Today I finished off my sample by dumping the rest (about 1tsp) into the blender with 1/2 banana, 1 tbsp of hemp protein powder, a bit of sweetener, and 2 c. of skim milk. Very tasty! It added a bit of nuttiness and a caffeine boost to my blender drink, but there were enough other flavours in there to prevent any bitterness or weird tastes from emerging. So… recommended as a smoothie add-in but not as a straight matcha drink. :)
This week I took part in a blind taste test of 12 different types of matcha which was sponsored by Red Leaf Tea. Each tea was rated based on color, flavor, and sweetness. Deluxe matcha was one of the teas that scored the highest. It had a sweet and heavily floral flavor that is unlike any other matcha I’ve tried. The texture was great, it didn’t have the bitterness or grainy texture you find in lower grade matcha. Best of all, it was one of the least expensive, costing only $1.56 per ounce
You can read the results from the full taste test on my blog:
Thank you Red Leaf Tea for giving us samples to add to the Matcha TTB.
I’ve been drinking a lot of matcha lately. I’ve been using cashew milk a lot which has worked very well. This is a nice creamy drink but it doesn’t seem as chocolatey as I expected. Usually I’m wow’d by the flavors from Red Leaf. I still enjoyed my drink but this wouldn’t be the one I would order in a larger size (although I certainly would drink up any samples sizes).
This is a queued tasting note.
belated May the 4th guys!
Finished this up by cold shaking this one into a timolino of milk; I had a really awful sleep the night before so the instant caffeine boost from this was a slight life saver at work the next day. Just to get that extra caffeine jolt I added more matcha than I normally would have; and the last teeny bit I gave to one of the dietitians at work since she couldn’t stop going on about how great the Tiramisu matcha I gave her was.
Apparently she went to DT to see if any of their matcha was comparable, and all DT’s flavoured matcha just tasted so flat to her. Personally, I haven’t tried any of the flavoured stuff from DT yet but I can totally see it! They’re relying on coconut sugar as a sweetener and, in my personal opinion, as a filler too…
Unfortunately for me while more leaf meant more caffeine the flavor suffered a little bit; the raspberry was amped up to the point where it started to take on a rather artificial floral/perfumey quality that while tolerable was a little unpleasant too. The chocolate/truffle notes, interestingly, seemed to stay the same. Either way it was still pretty tasty and a life saver during the day. It’s not something that I’ll order though; while I’ve been mentally putting together a Red Leaf order for a while now this doesn’t compare as well with the blends I want to order that I’ve already tried, and it doesn’t trump the blends I want to order and haven’t tried.
In other news, Tre got his Star Wars tattoo! I think it’s so cool he got it done on May the 4th. For those who missed it, this is his very first tattoo and he got the Empire Emblem, with a red tint, on the back of his right shoulder blade. It definitely looks well done, though it’s just starting to enter its “ugly stage” of healing now.
He spent the ENTIRE night bitching/complaining about how much it hurt though and how in pain he was. Seriously!? He always boasts about being tough/having a high pain tolerance (even though neither of those is particularly true) but just went on and fucking on. I wanted to give him a good bitch slap by the end of the night and tell him to fucking grow a pair.
I’ve got a tattoo on my inner elbow (a place generally agreed to be more sensitive than where he got his) and while it definitely wasn’t comfortable, it certainly wasn’t overly painful and I did not complain about it at all.
So far he’s doing an ok job with the aftercare; I had to convince him not to take his bandages off after having them on for just an hour (instead of the artist’s recommended eight hours) though. He thought he was “bleeding” (he wasn’t) and wanted to clean everything up. No! No! No! And, he’s still not using lotion on it at all so it’s super dry and flaky looking right now.
At least he’s not scratching, though!
Thank you VariaTEA – you know I’m always up to try a new flavour of matcha.
You can definitely tell, just from the smell, that this is robust flavouring; if you focus hard enough you can actually pick up on the scent of the raspberry before even opening the resealable bag it comes in. And once it has been opened, you’re going to be flooded with the sweet smell of a confectionery-like raspberry with a dark chocolate backdrop – it’s 100% Raspberry Truffle in scent.
As I was whisking this one, it frothed up a great deal more than the average matcha and that thicker, frothy texture didn’t let up easily; for the first half of the chawan I probably could have consumed it with a spoon. It was that frothy! Considering how strong the smell is before being prepared, the flavour is actually surprisingly light – but there are some things about it that tip me off that it’s robust flavouring. I’ve noticed with other robustly flavoured matcha that some flavours tend to get a sort of chalky note; one that reminds me of children’s chewable vitamins or Tums. It seems particularly bad with flavours with fruit in them. This certainly isn’t the worst offender I’ve encountered (I think Orange probably wins that spot, or Boysenberry) but I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t noticed it at all.
Otherwise, the flavour is pretty good. I’m a touch surprised that the raspberry is coming off a lot stronger than the chocolate though; when I think of truffles I absolutely picture the over the top, dark, rich, fudgey chocolate notes with the ‘extra’ flavour kind of infused in as more of an aftertaste or undercurrent. You could say the opposite is true here! The raspberry doesn’t have any tartness or tang to it; more so it’s a bit of a sweet and confectionery type of raspberry; like what you’d have in a raspberry danish for example. The chocolate is obviously creamy from the milk but has a distinct ‘dark chocolate’ taste to it. It’s maybe a touch fudgey. The notes from the matcha itself are still present, though quite lightly. But that’s to be expected given the flavour level.
Overall; I’m quite happy with this one! It’s gonna do wonders for satisfying those late night sugar cravings and I’m already picturing how well this would taste lightly sprinkled over top cereal or popcorn. If I had to really emphasize anything to potential buyers though it’d probably just be to expect that the raspberry is going to taste stronger than the chocolate.