Red Leaf TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
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.
I have been missing having a bowl of matcha each day. Somehow I just haven’t made time for it. I am trying to stay off Prilosec, and that is going okay I suppose. I still have a lot of heartburn from the rebound effect but I am combating with as many milder measures as I can.
Red Leaf Tea posted a really neat video on Facebook today about how they make matcha and bamboo whisks and it reminded me how much I miss my afternoon bowl.
(I am also trying to get off blood pressure medicine and it has actually been almost too low lately. I am guessing the reflux meds left me magnesium deficient and caused high BP and now it is getting better. My doctor always my tea was raising my heart rate and blood pressure. Today proved him right.)
I made a double sized bowl of matcha today because I haven’t had it in so long and also wanted to see how it changed my blood pressure. It was really relaxing. I took a break, turned on some spa music, meditated, and sipped my tea. It was as good as I remembered. This is one of the smoothest I have tried and not at all bitter.
My BP did go up – I checked it before and after, so I will counter that by trying to exercise more around tea time. Exercise always brings it down and both tea and exercise are good for me, so win-win.
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?
Cooking with matcha!
This time it was another pasta dish, as I find it’s really easy to incorporate matcha into the sauce used. Wont share the pasta recipe, mostly ‘cause I don’t measure things properly so I can’t give an accurate recipe – but the dish was shell pasta with minced garlic and a goat cheese cream sauce that used a slightly heaping 1/2 tbsp. measurement of the matcha…
Just a very rich, creamy and buttery dish overall – in part from the cream element of the sauce, but also in a way that was distinct to the buttery flavour I’ve experienced with this matcha as well (it’s become a favourite of mine to cook with). The matcha also brought a strong underlying marine note to the whole dish which is a nice added component.
My coworkers always look at me so questioningly when I bright bright green pasta to work for lunch: I’ve explained that it’s tea infused before but it just baffles them. Some day, when we do a staff potluck or something, I’m DEFINITELY going to have to bring enough to share.
This is a queued tasting note.
Made this one up as an iced almond milk latte for the commute to work. I think that this is one of those matcha flavours that I’m gaining a deeper appreciation of the more that I drink it. This cup had such an incredibly buttery and creamy flavour with an equally creamy and rich mouthfeel; this was accompanied by vegetal and grassy notes and a lovely brown sugar finish.
So today for breakfast/lunch I made a Tomato Alfredo recipe that I’ve done like a billion times. I wanted to switch things up a little bit though, so I pulled out all my matcha and looked for something I could easily mix into the sauce.
I picked this ‘cause it’s probably the most savory/umami match I’ve currently got other than pistachio or just plain, unflavoured matcha. I have to say, it turned the normally quite beautiful pasta sauce into this very gross poop brown colour. Very not appealing…
The flavour was nice though; still a very strong, creamy tomato note like is normally present with this particular sauce. I mean, it’s essentially a rose sauce. The matcha was definitely noticeable though: this is a creamy sauce but it doesn’t usually taste buttery, per say. This time I definitely got that creamy, buttery note from the matcha. It also kinda of softened some of the ‘tang’ from the tomato. So, it was vegetal and rich and creamy with a buttery finish but not as “sharp” as it normally is. Richness without brightness, if that makes sense? It was better tasting than it sounds.
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!
So, I don’t know if there’s any truth to it but there’s this absolutely GREAT story about why grape ice cream isn’t a thing; I don’t really care if there’s truth to it or not to be honest but here’s the Ben & Jerry’s story that I’m talking about:
There is no such thing as grape ice cream. The reason? It has a lot to do with dogs, girls, the 1876 World’s Fair, pharmaceutical companies, and it’s more complicated than you might ever imagine.
After his successful invention of the ice cream soda in 1874, Philadelphia’s Robert Green began to tackle a request from his customers. Green boldly stated, in an 1876 interview with the Pennsylvania Inquirer, “The people are tired of vanilla and chocolate. They want something more.” What Green did not know, is that grapes contain a special molecule Anthocyanin that prevents freezing, so he kept turning up with grape milk.
Companies such as Baskin Robins made a few futile attempts, but failed because of the anthocyanin. No breakthroughs were made until 1976, when Ben from ‘Ben and Jerry’s’ decided to try his hand. As it turns out, he was motivated by a challenge from Jerry’s attractive sister Becky.
Ben confessed in a People Magazine interview in 1984 that he had a huge crush on Becky and promised to create the flavor just for her. Knowing the history of grape ice cream, she coyly requested it, thinking it to be impossible. Ben began to include the grape skin and juice to better see the differences between batches. While he didn’t understand the science behind this at the time, he found that including the skins increased the levels of anthocyanin enough to make the ice cream freeze.
“Becky was impressed. We were at her house, alone. I gave her the scoop – on a cone. I was really getting somewhere. She was laughing and happy. She couldn’t believe I did it. I’ll never forget what happened next. Becky jokingly gave her dog a lick from the cone. He liked it and took a couple of licks. Then he just gasped and dropped dead. He flipped down onto the floor and was just gone. I had no idea grapes are toxic to dogs. Specifically to the anthocyanin. Becky was devastated. I had invented a deadly dog poison, and I definitely wasn’t getting anywhere with her now.”
Kyle and I stumbled across this story, and realized that regardless of whether or not it’s truthful, neither of us had ever had grape ice cream and so we NEEDED to try it. Low and behold, I have grape matcha – so we just infused some of that into a vanilla ice cream. Sure, it doesn’t look pretty like you’d think grape ice cream would – but it tasted pretty solid! Definitely lots of matcha taste too, but I like green tea ice cream anyway.
I’d totally make it again.
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!
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.
This is a queued tasting note.
Made this one as an eggnog matcha latte, and I have to say I think I finally found the best way to drink this one! Seriously – it felt really perfectly balanced. The apple notes in the matcha like to come off as artificial and cloying, and the strong flavour of the eggnog definitely tempered some of the unnecessary intensity of the matcha without losing all of the flavour. Plus, the eggy/custard sweetness of the eggnog actually complimented the apple notes as well. Plus, the nutmeg in the ‘nog and the strong cinnamon notes in the matcha married together nicely as well to really cement in that this wasn’t just an “apple eggnog matcha latte” but an “apple pie eggnog matcha latte”. Now isn’t that a mouthful…