Red Leaf TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
I tried this tea back to back with Red Leaf’s Emperor Matcha. Both are some of their highest quality matches you can order. This is a warm green powder, velvety smooth and richly fragrant. It mixes up into a dark green liquid, and frothed well with my bamboo wisk. I really loved Red Leaf’s Emperor Matcha for it smooth creaminess. This one, the Manju Matcha, is the savory brother to that tea. This is much more vegetal, with mellow tones of kale and seaweed. It was a bit too strong at my usual mixing proportions, and found it to be preferable with a bit more water to matcha. I want to emphasize, this tea is FAR from sour or bitter, but definitely savory on the scale of matchas. If you prefer your matcha to be leafier, this will be a divine tea for you. I personally, prefer the Emperor Matcha, but both of these are high quality and well worth a try.
Flavors: Broth, Grass, Green, Kale, Seaweed, Vegetal
This matcha had a vegetal flavor that was quite similar to spinach. The hint of sweetness made it more appealing, but if you’re not a fan of vegetal flavors this might not be the best matcha to start with. This was our second place winner and pick for best budget matcha in Round 2 of the Matcha Blind Taste Test.
You can read the full results of the blind taste test on my blog:
This matcha was slightly sweet, with a somewhat nutty flavor and grainy texture. It ended up being the least expensive of the samples in the matcha blind taste test I’m taking part in, but isn’t among my top picks as far as matcha goes. I think it’s worth exploring some of the slightly more expensive options from Red Leaf Tea.
You can read the full results of the blind taste test on my blog:
I’m cheating with this sipdown; I simply give up trying to find ways to make this enjoyable so I brewed up one last chawan worth of tea, hot and in plain water, mostly just for the caffeine buzz and then gave away the last of the matcha (probably around 10g) to my Dad/Step Mom.
Even if they end up not liking the flavour, I come out as thoughtful since they’ve both really gotten into wine/Sangria as of late and I’m sharing some of my nicer teas with them which I know they always appreciate as well. For me, it’s a win-win. No more crappy tea; and parental appreciation!
Had this at work, before my shift, a few days ago: I worked out that with the bus ride to work I can get there half an hour early or five minutes late – obviously I’m gonna go with early. That gives me plenty of time to have a cup of tea before work though! And honestly, even with 30 minutes to kill it still takes less time to get to VV than it did to bus to Sobeys.
Drinking this hot in plain water, it was actually the best way I’ve tried it so far which surprises me a lot because Sangria is not something you drink hot. That said, it doesn’t taste like Sangria at all – more like orange rinds, grass, and some sort of super muddled red fruit with an odd sort of starchyness to the flavour. So maybe that’s why it works alright: it’s not a true Sangria flavour in the first place.
Regardless, I’m happy to have found a way of drinking this that’s not awful.
I’m adding Sangria matcha to the many flavours under my belt because I thought it would make for a really great summer flavour to have stock up; and obviously it’s not a flavour that screams “try me in milk” like how I normally prepare my matcha so I made it as a Matcha Soda instead.
This is the ‘recipe’ I used:
- 1 tsp of matcha whisked into approx. 2 ounce of hot water
- Dissolve approx. 1 tbsp. of sugar into the concentrated matcha to create a ‘matcha syrup’
- Cool down the syrup, and add a can of Club Soda
Just being perfectly honest, as soon as I took my first sip I knew that I didn’t like this flavour of matcha. There was a lot that I personally felt was wrong/off about it – for one the fruit flavours are incredibly muddled on top of tasting really artificial. I know Sangria is a combination of different fruits but I couldn’t pinpoint any of the individual fruits that traditionally make up Sangria. In addition, the vegetal/grassy notes of the matcha were far too pronounced for my liking (despite this being Distinctive flavour level) and took on a ‘swampy’ kind of flavour when compared with the weird/chemical tasting fruit notes.
I’m definitely disappointed by this flavour; it’s nothing like I’d hoped it would be and if you’re looking for an accurate Sangria flavour I think you’re best off looking elsewhere. The worst part is that I’m almost certain that Robust flavouring would taste even more chemical/artificial since that’s the way fruit flavoured matcha tends to go but, while delicate level flavouring might reduce the fake fruit flavour, I think it’d make the Sangria flavour even less distinct than it already is.
Using the rest of this will certainly be a challenge for me.
Porch sitting at 6:00 AM with a latte made with classic matcha. It is 60 F and there is a gentle rain. My latte was made with cold milk. Why am I not freezing? Oh, right, because my body doesn’t wake up until after 8. My brain loves this weather. Anyway, so the neat thing about participating in a blogging matcha tasting event is you get to try like a zillion different matchas. The bad part is they start tasting so much alike, when you aren’t real skilled in them yet. Such is the case with this one. I found it to be umami with popcorn notes, when testing. Today, with milk it is very smooth. There is little to no bitterness and the taste with milk leans towards nutty and green leafy. Makes a good sweetened latte.
I didn’t like this matcha in milk, but yesterday I used it for a matcha soda and I thought it was a wonderful improvement! Unfortunately, I couldn’t convince either sibling to try it: my brother couldn’t get over the gross, cloudy/opaque green colour and my sister said it smelled too sweet. Such a thing doesn’t exist!
I thought it was really great because it was clearly apricot flavoured, quite juicy, and just a little bit floral from the matcha itself. I think one of my complaints last time was that it tasted artificial, as well? If I’m remembering correctly, that is. And while it wasn’t a totally realistic/natural flavour in the context of a matcha ‘soda’ with sweetener and carbonation that’s not really a bad thing. It also wasn’t nearly as obvious, which helps.
From my latest RLT order;
I picked up a 30g size at distinctive level flavouring because I’ve found that’s what I enjoy most of my matcha at. I don’t actually know why I chose apricot though; I want to try a new fruit flavor, and I guess because this doesn’t have many reviews it seemed like an interesting gamble. The smell of the dry matcha was… Concerning.
There’s a very fake/artificial presence to it and my immediate thought was “Oh no, distinctive was definitely too strong of a flavour!”. It’s not really an uncommon thing for RLT fruit based flavours to taste very chemical, especially at the higher flavour levels. And, I also had no idea what sort of prep method would be the best one to use here. Ultimately I went with cold milk in the hope that it’d maybe mute the flavour of the matcha a little bit and taste creamy; I’ve had some really good creamy apricot teas so I know that flavour pairing can taste great is executed well.
Honestly; it’s not as bad as I’d have expected just based on the smell of the dry matcha. It doesn’t taste natural but it’s not overly artificial or chemical tasting either and I’m going to consider that a win! However, even though it’s not terrible there is something off about this. Fruity milk in general is so hit or miss though. If it was creamier, with perhaps some vanilla added in I think it could work splendidly but just plain milk? No.
Next time I make this I’m going to try a different prep method; hot water, making added in to cake or cookie mix? I sense there’s promise here – I just have to find the way to best utilize this flavour of matcha.
I did not participate in the matcha madness taste test, but I read lots of results, so don’t read on if you’re still trying not to be spoiled.
Between their name your price opportunity, and their blind matcha taste test, Red Leaf has been successful in making me their customer. After everyone’s thorough taste test reviews, I had to give their Deluxe Matcha a try. It has been on sale for a while now, at $20 a pound! I’d love to take advantage of that deal but, I worry that I just won’t drink that much matcha before it starts to go stale. (Or maybe I would, but who knows, I like to have variety in my my matcha). So far, the package sizing is my one complaint; I wish there was a medium size (say 40g or 3oz) The sample size can’t be resealed and the full pound bag is too much for me at the moment.
Other than that, this is a fantastic matcha, especially for the price. I have been drinking it iced, without milk. It is smooth, vibrant, fragrant. I haven’t had any problems mixing it together or frothing it up. This is the first matcha I’ve had in recent memory that tastes so specifically different from other matchas, rather than varying tones of green grass flavors (though Red Leaf’s Emperor Matcha is out of this world and distinct in a different, more delicate way).
This matcha is stunningly floral, almost as if it were a jasmine-flavored matcha. It is sweet in a natural-tasting way and gently vegetal, with no bitterness or savory/seaweed flavors. The mouthfeel is full and present, even made with water it does not feel thin or plain. If you have ever been skeptical of matcha or want to like it but have always ended up with something too sour or bitter, I highly encourage you to try this one. The smell and taste is like a spring day, not too girly or perfumey, but amazingly fresh and delicious. A powerful iced tea for this summer season and an amazing all-around matcha.
Flavors: Floral, Flowers, Grass, Green, Honey, Jasmine, Vegetal
Whisked this in some coconut milk today; it was very tasty with a strong, sweet pistachio flavour but also super intense/concentrated and with an almost chemically floral aftertaste. I could taste a ‘watered down’/dulled coconut flavour too, and it complimented the pistachio well. I did think the consistency, with the slightly less viscous/creamy texture of the coconut milk, was pretty nice. It had a very silky, soft mouthfeel actually.
I’ll probably try another flavour of matcha in coconut milk tomorrow, actually.
Unrelated, I had the longest bath ever today! Major moving perk: went from having a super small, cramped shower to a glorious bath tub that I can stretch out and soak in. Now that it’s a feasible possibility, I’d actually quite like to look into ‘tea bathing’ too. I think there was a topic on the discussion board about it, so I may look for that sometime during the weekend.
Finally cracking into the larger sizes of matcha I got in my last order instead of the sampler; I thought this “mini vacation” would be a good excuse to bring a little with me and finally give one a try.
This is one of a couple that I’ve never tried before that I got in a larger size; I really like pistachio and I had enough faith that I’ve tried enough of RLT’s matcha to know what flavour works best for me and order appropriately. So that said this is the basic grade matcha (because it’s more than likely going to get used up in milk so I’m not springing for something higher quality) but the distinctive level of flavouring.
Of course, I don’t have a chawan or chawask at my Dad’s house and you can only take so much teaware with you on a three day trip so I made this one the same way I used way back when; in a cup with a fork. I’d forgotten just how poorly that whisks everything up; but it did the trick well enough.
It tasted so good! Very distinctly pistachio, and really creamy! Growing up, I absolutely adored pistachio pudding; I remember when they sold it in those premixed pudding cups. My little chubby heart shattered when they stopped selling it that way. I guess it wasn’t a popular enough flavour? You can still buy the boxes to mix up yourself but it’s not the same – I can never make it the right consistency. Point is, that’s what the flavour reminds me of. Not much nuance or depth to it, but it’s very enjoyable.
Also; I think this matcha will have a better “share-ability” factor because pistachio is supposed to be green. Every time I try to share matcha with a coworker they get freaked out because of the colour. “It’s strawberry? Uhh, but Strawberry shouldn’t look green…”
It’s been a while since I did a swap and I’d love to try more straight teas or teas from companies I order from less frequently/have never ordered from so if we follow each other on Steepster and you’re interested in doing a swap please send me a message!
I’ve historically not been the biggest fan of Matcha and have pretty much shied away from trying it further. I used a gift certificate for this one though, I figured why not? And I have to say I’m glad I did!
I do still prefer other kinds of tea over Matcha, but I’m no longer fully counting it out of my rotation. This matcha definitely has a pleasant sweetness to it that you can bring out even further with the smallest dab of honey. You definitely taste the green grassyness that matcha, and indeed green tea, are known for as well but they aren’t over powering like some out there. Additionally plenty of Matcha’s have more of a steamed vegetable taste and this one thankfully DOES NOT. There is a very slight bitterness when you first sip but then it disappears, which is another huge bonus for this Matcha.
Please note I used the traditional bamboo whisk method for preparation and used two bamboo scoops of matcha for 8oz of water [I don’t like it too strong ;-) ]
Flavors: Sweet, warm grass
Found this in my sample drawer last night while I was inventorying and organizing for this weekend’s get together. I don’t yet have something to shake matcha in nor do I have the bowl and whisk. Latte it is.
I’m getting a sort of powdery feel in the back of my mouth on the first few sips of this, not pleasant. Maybe I need less matcha? I put in 3 tsp like usual. Stirring doesn’t take away this sensation. I don’t know what I did but I don’t think I will be able to finish drinking this before I leave for work :/
Finished this one off cold shaken in a timolino of water like I’ve done with the other flavors from RLT’s sampler – guess I’ve kind of set myself up to do this sampler with the first tasting in cashew milk and the second in water.
I definitely liked this better in water, which was interesting to me because I liked the cashew milk version a whole lot too. It lost a great deal of the creaminess/melted ice cream flavor I got to experience trying it that way but it gained a much more clear, focused flavour instead – butterscotch candies, exactly like displayed in the picture for this matcha.
I used to call those Grandma candies, ‘cause my grandma kept a tin of them and scotch mints on the front dash of her van. They were always scalding hot and partially melted from sitting in the open sun all day, and the wrappers were a bitch to take off but they tasted so good. I’ve been thinking about those summers I spent with my Grandma in Eyebrow a lot lately; whether it’d be a realistic idea to move there…
It’s a very quaint village community, mostly retired seniors. The houses there sell for like $200.00 among residents, not sure what utilities would ring in at every month. Finding a job would likely be pretty hard; there are only two or three local businesses (one is owned by my Aunt) so I don’t really know how I’d make an income – though my expenses would be a lot lighter than they are now. Hell, I don’t even know if most of the houses there have progressed past dial-up internet: it’s actually been years since I’ve gone to visit.
I just know that it makes me happy there; it’s such a quiet, peaceful place. It’d be a great place to finish up class though, if the internet thing worked out. I don’t know if I could survive without the internet. For realsies. It’s nice to think about, anyway…
This one has been on my personal wishlist for a while and I was very excited to get to try it recently. Like the others from the sampler, I made it in cashew milk.
The dry matcha smells very strongly of butterscotch; it reminds me of Butter Ripple Schnapps, which is a favourite drink of mine. It’s a little grassy too from the matcha itself.
This was very delightful; the butterscotch flavor really comes through and creates a sugary sweet drink that reminds me of melted down Butterscotch Ripple ice cream; it’s not nearly as boozy anymore so it’s reminding me less of Butter Ripple Schnapps. The mild nuttiness of the cashew milk compliments the sweetness very well also, and there’s a gentle vegetal note from the matcha itself – it’s not as grassy as the dry leaf smelled but it is present.
This one was very interesting and tasty and I’m really happy I finally got to try it. I imagine it would also work wonderfully in a hot latte as well – butterscotch is a very adaptable flavor. So far, this is my favourite of the matchas from this sampler that I’ve tried.
Finished off the last of my sample of this blend just in a timolino shaken into some cold water; the flavor didn’t differ drastically from the cashew milk version apart from the obvious absence of nuttier notes and a thinner mouthfeel. It’s still very rich and more of a iced coffee/latte type drink than a cup of more traditional java.
I’ve spent all day binge watching episodes of Wil Wheaton/Felicia Day’s internet series tabletop – there are so many games I want to pick up now, either as a Father’s Day present for my Dad (I’m going up on the 28th to 30th to visit and see their new house in Regina so I’ve got time to get my Father’s day present) or a birthday present for my brother who turned 17 on the 17th.
Someone needs to kick me off their site though; I have to do cuppings for at least two of my tea samples for class today otherwise I’m gonna be hella overwhelmed on Tuesday when I finish the cuppings off…
I’m not a coffee person so on the rare occasion that I do decide I want to partake in some java I usually go for actual coffee, not coffee flavored tea. To me those two things are separate, and for a reason. However, I still couldn’t resist trying this flavour – I had this gut feeling that it was going to be done well.
Like the previous matcha from this sampler, I made this in cashew milk. It mixed up such a bright, cheery green too and the smell was definitely freshly brewed coffee; quite roasty.
I was surprised by just how strong and sweet this one is; and I know that sweet kick isn’t from the cashew milk either since it’s unsweetened – but with the level of rich sugaryness it made me think I was drinking more of a Iced Coffee/ Iced Cappuccino type drink like you can get from Starbucks or Tim Hortons or whatever your coffee shop of choice is. At the same time, though it was quite sweet, it maintained a nice level of roast in the flavor and had some surprising caramel notes. And of course, from the milk, there was a faint nuttyness that worked really well with the coffee flavor. It probably only made the idea of drinking some sort of fancy sweet coffee drink stronger, if I’m being honest.
I wouldn’t buy this one again if I’m being honest; I just don’t do coffee – but it was surprisingly more nuanced than anticipated and like my gut told me it was in fact well done. So I do recommend trying it if coffee and sweet coffee drinks are your thing.
The name has it right right! If there ever was a deluxe matcha this is it!Thank you Red Leaf for supplying samples for our Matcha TTB. I will definitely be buying more of this. It’s like drinking a good green tea. Grassy notes. Slightly floral. A bit of bitterness. All complimented by almond milk but the almond milk makes sure to stay out of the way and let the loveliness of this matcha take over. Nom nom nom. I really want to try this out the traditional way!
Flavors: Floral, Grass
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Flavors: Fruit Tree Flowers
Finished this one off hot in plain water yesterday at work; I worked a 3-11 shift – the first I’ve done in weeks. I actually love working evenings/late nights – but because I’ve got a very open availability I get scheduled all over the place and lately I’ve been doing 9-5 shifts; definitely not my favorite thing.
I think this was marginally better hot/in water – while it still tasted very floral, especially given this is cranberry matcha, it was also much less artificial/perfumey tasting. I definitely continued to get an “unsweetened cranberry juice” vibe from this one. I’d totally drink it again; but I can’t see myself actually ordering more. There are so many other flavors that appeal to me more.
I’ve never really thought of cranberry as a flavour that I needed to experience as matcha; however when I saw it as one of the options for the sampler I knew I had to try it out. Cranberry is a consistent favourite flavour of mine in teas. Opening up the sample packet, it definitely smells pretty strongly of cranberry – like an unsweetened cranberry juice.
I prepared 1/2 tsp. of the matcha in my chawan, but with cold cashew milk instead of regular milk or water. The cashew milk doesn’t froth very well, but it gets very thick and it takes a long time for the matcha to resettle and separate.
This definitely nails cranberry right on the head, but with a very floral and perfume like component. I think this is in part from the matcha itself, but also from the flavoring used. Sometimes Red Leaf Tea’s fruit blends have a tendency to taste somewhat chemical or artificial and I think that’s happening a little bit here. While I don’t mind the floral notes, the “perfume” is very fake tasting and detracts just a little from the overall flavor. I would absolutely be nervous trying this one as a flavor level like “Robust”. I can’t even imagine what it would be like at the “There’s matcha in there!?” level – probably bad.
It is weird experiencing the flavor cold and paired with the light flavor of cashew (from the milk) but in a pleasant way. Harney & Sons has a blend called Boston which is the pairing of cranberry and almond, and the pairing of flavors here reminds me of that tea. This aspect of the matcha works well for me; though obviously not everyone is going to have access to cashew milk to try it this way.
I think I’ll have fun tinkering around with this blend; there’s room for improvement for sure, but if you like the taste of cranberry it’s absolutely worth giving this one a shot!