170 Tasting Notes

81
drank Coffee Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
170 tasting notes

I confess, tea lovers, that sometimes I cheat on tea with coffee. In fact, coffee has become a part of my daily routine. I really do love it, and as much as I wish I could drink it straight, I do often add things to it to help make it more palatable. I don’t do that with tea. But sadly, coffee seems to be the bad boy that I just can’t quit.

But, I love an opportunity I can to combine my two rivaling beverages – coffee and tea. And this matcha sounded right up my alley. Red Leaf included a sample of it for me in my latest order. Would this be the matcha that finally broke up me and my long term beau coffee for good? I had high hopes.

Since this is a sample, it arrived with the normal matcha base and delicate flavoring. I gave it a little bit of a whiff, but the coffee smell was not as prominent as I’d like. I LOVE the smell of coffee, especially freshly roasted, so I was hoping for a little more prominence, even though this only delicate flavoring. I decided to hold off my opinion until I threw it in a cup with some ice and water, gave it a shake, and see what came out of it.

The result? It’s a very pleasant flavored matcha, but it’s not exactly coffee. It’s very faintly coffee, but it’s not exactly the kind of coffee flavoring I’ve come to expect when I see it in chocolate, sweets, etc. I think it’s more like a mellow chocolate-y flavor than that nicely roasted bean taste. It’s a nice flavor, but it’s not coffee, at least not on the lowest level. Maybe if the flavoring was kicked up a notch it would taste more like coffee?

All in all this matcha is not bad at all, but I think it will be disappointing if really want something coffee flavored. I think next time I might try the Espresso or Mocha flavors, since those might be more up my alley.

You can purchase the matcha here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/coffee-matcha.html (and it’s on sale for today too!)

Preparation
Iced
Ysaurella

you can drink tea and coffee, it is not irreconcilable at all :)

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83
drank Emperor's Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
170 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

Preparation
Iced

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100

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

Preparation
Iced 0 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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100
drank KaiMatcha Premium by KaiMatcha
170 tasting notes

Hey Steepster folks. It’s uh… been a while. A long while. I’ve still been drinking tea, but my obsession has dialed back a bit from where it was. Still haven’t forgotten about you tea.

So I ordered this matcha a couple Black Friday’s ago. Some awesome Steepster sent me a sample so I knew I was gonna like it, but I actually NEVER got around to even opening the canister. So it sat – unloved – for a couple years. I did end up pitching some of my older tea, but I couldn’t bring myself to throw this away. So, I finally broke the seal and incorporated this into my daily drinking routine, since I’m trying to get back to eating well and slimming down for upcoming wedding (yay!)

I’ll be honest – I’m way too lazy to break out the matcha bowl, whisk, and do that whole jazz. It’s just not for me. So what I’ve been doing is taking 1/3 tsp in my water bottle, mixing it with cold water, some ice cubes, and giving my water bottle a big shake. No mixer, no frother, no additives. Just matcha and water. It mixes decently enough and the taste is AMAZING. I wish all matcha were this palatable. There’s hardly any bitterness. It’s vegetable, but totally drinkable. Even though this matcha is probably WAY past it’s expiration date ;)

On a sad note, though, I don’t think this company is around anymore. Their website is still up, but support has not responded to my e-mails and their social media is pretty much dead. So, I don’t want to take my chances. So I’m on the hunt for another matcha I can drink regularly. Still, thanks KaiMatcha for your awesome tea. I probably should have bought more when you were still around :(

Preparation
Iced 0 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
ashmanra

It pulled right up for me! Their website does look like a big infomercial, but that is the correct site. I have ordered from them twice now. Love their matcha. My kids asked for it for Christmas. I did notice a while back that they were sold out of tea for a really long time and had to wait for the new harvest to come in to start selling, but a few minutes ago it was going to let me order.

Babble

Their website still works, but support and social media were unresponsive so I figured they weren’t around anymore. Are you saying they’re still active? When’s the last time you ordered from them?

ashmanra

I haven’t ordered in awhile. The website looked active. I have never seen them on any social media so I wouldn’t know about that. And sometimes I have a wretched time getting companies in general to respond to emails. If in doubt, don’t, they say.

ashmanra

Hm, it says their phones are manned 24/7 but when I called I got a message that said to email them instead. When I tried that, I keep getting the verification box with the code to submit and I am typing it correctly but I still get another code to type in so I don’t know if my email is going or not. I will email them from my private account and see what happens.

Babble

Okay, thanks for looking into it. I’d like to think they are still active, but I don’t want to send my money into a black hole.

ashmanra

I emailed them last night and had a reply first thing this morning. They are presently out of stock but will email when they have matcha to sell again. So I wonder why theme site doesn’t make that clear? It should say OUT OF STOCK in huge letters. Granted, I didn’t actually click to order and try to pay. It is the best tasting matcha for the price I have tried, but they do tend to go out of stock for a very long time. I waited many months last time. I guess they are waiting for the new harvest, but it really should be made clear and should carry an estimated date of restocking. I apologize for not investigating them more quickly before saying their website as active!

ashmanra

I just went back to their website and “ordered” and when it got to the actual checkout page it said, “Oops! Sold out and currently out of stock! Will send an email when back in stock with 10% off for the inconvenience” or something like that. Exactly what happened last time I ordered but I did indeed later get an email and discount when it came back in stock. So I am glad that at some point it does tell you what is going on, but I still think it should be front page.

Babble

Ooh thanks for looking into it. I really appreciate it. I’m going to sign up on their website and get a 10% off coupon. Really wish they would monitor their support email though :(

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drank Plum Passion by T-Spoons
170 tasting notes

Greetings from Iowa! I’m on my first work trip at my new job and I’m exploring the town on my downtime. And of course, what else does a tea lover do but find the local tea shop, right? Since it’s nearby the University of Iowa, there’s a chain called T-Spoons. I was excited to find they actually had LOOSE tea, but I was disappointed that they only had a four varieties of green (one of which they called yerba mate :-/). But still, it’s tea, and I was really excited! 

I went back and forth between the Plum Passion and the sencha. We all know sencha, but the plum passion looked more like an oolong (they assured me it was green). My curiosity won me over and I had myself a cup.

And…. I think they might have over brewed it a little bit. It’s definitely a little too bitter, but I worry that it’s my fault since I distracted them when they were brewing and they brewed it too long. I’m definitely getting some plum notes, but I can’t get past that bitterness. I think I might get them to remake it when the line dies down a little bit.

As a side note, I couldn’t find this tea anywhere with this same name, so who knows where it actually comes from..

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drank Cucumber Mint by Tea Forte
170 tasting notes

Azzrian sent this to me a while ago, and I’m just now getting to it. I’m not really getting any mint flavor to it, which makes me think it’s no good. Or maybe I’m just expecting the mint flavor to be overpowering, and it’s not. Who knows. It’s just tasting like generic green tea. It’s definitely not bad, but I wouldn’t have guessed one of the flavors would have been mint.

Anyway, I’ll leave a rating off tonight. I’m feeling very “blah” and I’ve been sneezing up a storm. At first I thought it was allergies but maybe it’s a cold. It’s hard to tell this time of year :(

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drank Strawberry & Vanilla by Lupicia
170 tasting notes

Hey Steepsters. Changed my name. See below for the reason. 

Yesterday was a very stressful day. I had a job interview that lasted a full day. 5 different people interviewed me, and then at the end of the day I had to give a 1 hr presentation. I think it went well, but now the waiting game begins. I treated myself to a massage today since yesterday was quite the challenge. 

Since yesterday was so stressful (and devoid of tea) I thought I would brew up some tea I got in a trade. This is very yummy and flavorful. Not bitter at all and was quite enjoyable hot. I’ll have to try cold brewing too. 

Since I’m applying for a few jobs, but I like my tealog to be able to speak freely, I thought I would change my name(s). If you forgot who I am, just send me a message. 

(Thanks to Crystal and Lady 0f Spaydes for a sample of this)

Ze_Teamaker

Nice. I do the same thing. I kinda hate that job places do that now.

Babble

I’m probably being overly paranoid, but eh. Rather avoid potential drama than get in trouble for it.

Azzrian

I am embarrassed to say I have to send you a PM. BAH!

Dinosara

We can be full-day interview suffering compatriots… I had one yesterday too! And I’ll have another coming up soon that will probably be 1.5-2 days. But at least I have interviews!

Babble

Oh man. This was my very first. What kind of job were you interviewing for? Mine was a training position.

Dinosara

My interview was for a faculty position. It was also my first! Nerve-wracking, for sure. I don’t know if day-long interviews are typical in your field but this was a “short” interview for academia!

Sil

stop changing your name woman! that’s twice today :P

Ze_Teamaker

I don’t even know who you are any more. X^D

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drank Pina Colada Honeybush by 52teas
170 tasting notes

I changed my picture (no one really uses pictures of themselves on Steepster, so I decided to do the same). However on one browser it shows up as the photo of me and on the other it’s the hamster in a teacup. What is it showing up for everyone else?

Okay, now onto the tea..
This was a sample from momo way back when that I decided to cook up tonight.

When I first brewed this hot I barely tasted anything. I wasn’t sure if this was a bad batch or the tea was just too cold. But now, as it cools, I definitely taste more of the flavor with the pineapple and coconut.. This is definitely a tea to drink cold or cold brew.

This tea isn’t wow-ing me, it’s just okay. I’m leaving off a rating, though, since it might be an older tea and the flavors might not be as spot on as they were when this tea was first released.

Ze_Teamaker

I use google Chrome. On the feed it is the photo, but when I go to your page it is the hamster…… oh technology.

Miss Starfish

I’m using firefox, and it’s the same (old picture) on both the feed and your profile.

Babble

I’m loving this consistency. LOL.

Ze_Teamaker

Ok. Now the photo on the feed is the Hamster.

Angrboda

I’m seeing your old one.

Miss Starfish

Checked back because I wanted to see this hamster… Yay! Hamster is now present on both.

Lady 0f Spaydes

I use a picture of myself! Its a photo I took before seeing Emilie Autumn and it seemed totally appropriate.

Babble

I know. You are one of the few. I guess Steepsters don’t like putting pictures of themselves.

Lady 0f Spaydes

Well I am admittedly pretty vain, I don’t think most people are. :P

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drank Sencha House by Zen Tea
170 tasting notes

Thanks to Zen Tea for a sample of this.

How appropriate, I’ve been listening to a lot of house music and now I am drinking a tea to go along with it. It has such a pretty green color when brewed.

This sencha has a very vegetal grassy smell – it’s definitely green tea. It might be a little bit too much for my tastes, I prefer my greens on the mellow side. However, for someone who wants a quality sencha and isn’t as bothered as much by grassy greens, this is a good choice.

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78
drank Piccolo by Lupicia
170 tasting notes

Not the biggest rooibos fan, but this came as a free sample with my Lupicia magazine, so I thought I would pop it in tonight while watching the Lance Armstrong interview on Oprah.

This isn’t bad, and has a nice natural sweetness without needing any sugar. It’s not the best, but the rooibos flavor isn’t super prominent which makes it a little more bearable.

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Profile

Bio

So the short story is, a few years ago I was VERY MUCH into tea. And then a lot of things happened, and I got out of tea for a while. And now, I’m back.

To me, tea is the missing puzzle piece for my healthy lifestyle. When I drink tea I am encouraged to eat healthy and be active. I drink tea because I simply enjoy the taste, but the health aspects are just an added bonus.

I love all types of teas, although greens and oolongs tend to be my favorite. I also love a good herbal.

Unless otherwise stated, I drink my teas straight. To brew I either use my ingenuiTEA or T-Sac (for teas that don’t expand much). One of these days I might break down and buy a Breville, but I’m trying to resist..

I’m kinda strict when rating my teas. I rarely give a tea above a 95. Teas that I really like I keep in the 95-85 category. I’ve yet to give a tea 100 yet. So, if you see a tea about 95, that means I thought it was an amazing tea!

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Florida, United States

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