1220 Tasting Notes
I had this hot once, and I remember it wasn’t bad, but I decided to use up the rest of my sample in a cold brew experiment. It was…less than delicious. I wanted it to taste like root beer and it just didn’t. Ah well, this is just one less tea I need in my cupboard! I can’t remember what I didn’t like about it, I just remember it wasn’t nearly as good as I had been hoping for.
Butterscotch is another one of those flavors that I adore. Butterscotch anything is pretty much a guarantee I buy it. I love the rich buttery-ness of it. In my drinking days, butterscotch schnapps was my go-to drink. I love it. Mix it with a bit of milk or hot cocoa…oh yes. The best, though, is around the holidays, mix a touch of it into egg nog. Ooooh, now that’s an idea, egg nog matcha. Red Leaf Tea, I will love you forever if you develop an egg nog matcha by the holidays! I can’t have real nog any more, so I’ve been hunting for a good tea substitute.
Anyway, yes. Butterscotch is love for me. It’s another Dad memory, he loves it and it makes me think of him…or maybe I’m just homesick this week. Butterscotch pudding is the only pudding I’ll touch and if an ice cream shop offers butterscotch topping, I’ll risk the dairy allergy to get a cone covered in the stuff. Liquid gold, it is. And seeing the success of Red leaf Tea’s Caramel and French Vanilla flavors, I have complete confidence in this blend being amazing. I think this definitely calls for a hot tea latte, despite it being stupidly hot outside. Am I in Toronto or back in Tennessee? These hot days are killing me…I should be able to handle them better!
No, I went for a cold matcha instead, it’s too hot out there to bother with hot drinks, though this one was made to be enjoyed hot. Hot with a touch of rum and milk. Mmm…anyway. Yes. Cold, it’s less than stellar, but it’s still yummy. Very buttery and rich, but not too rich. I want to sip on this all day, but I need to save some for when it’s cool enough to be able to handle a hot drink. It does taste like candy, but it’s not overwhemingly sweet. It’s just tasty. I’m not wowed by it like I am with some of their other blends, though. This one’s good, but I need to try it a few more times before I decide if I’m going to keep it on my shelf or not. Perhaps a warmer water temperature will help, or a better ratio of tea to water. Still, it won’t be hard at all to convince myself to drink this one! I might even be convinced to share it. It can be found here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/butterscotch-matcha.html
Growing up, we had a long, gorgeous grapevine in our backyard. Concord grapes…mmmm. Is there anything finer? We had an archway that the grapes grew over, and my brother and I would just sit under it for ages, eating the grapes and spitting out the seeds. Mom would make grape juice and grape jelly and all sorts of grapey goodness…there are few things in this world as delicious as homemade grape juice.
When my wife was searching for a house for us while I was still living in the States, I didn’t have a whole lot of input. I mean, I could see pictures and such, but really the decision was out of my hands. One day she called me and told me she’d found it, she’d found a home for us. The house itself is kind of small, especially since we rent out the basement, but the backyard…gah, the backyard. It opens up behind the garage into a sort of fairytale….including a long grapevine snaking around the edge of the garage. When she told me about that grapevine, I was sold. This house is our home. We’re hoping it will survive when the garage gets torn down.
So grapes, as you can see, bring up crazy amounts of memories, and I’m very eager to see which kind of grape flavor this matcha yields. If it’s concord, I’ll be in heaven. Heck, I’m already in heaven, I love grape flavoured anything!
Oh yum. The scent as the bag opens is very much in your face grape. Grape, grape, grape. Guh, it smells so good. The first sip is amazing, like pure grape skittles in liquid form. It doesn’t taste like realy grapes, unfortunately, not to me, at least. But it does taste like grape candy, which is almost as good! Remember grape mentos? It tastes like those…yum. Iced, this is amazingly refreshing on this hot summer day. Is it officially summer yet? I think so….anyway, yes. This is a wonderful matcha blend, and if you’re a grape fan, it’s one you need to try (found here:http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/grape-matcha.html). Need. The smell alone makes it worth it, it smells so amazingly good. I’m so glad they put together a grape blend, I know I’m in love with it. It is totally one of my favorites that I’ve tried so far and despite having a horrible day, it’s putting a smile on my face, so thank you, Red Leaf Tea.
Now, when I was in college, I worked in the campus library. Said campus library also contained a coffee shop where I got an employee discount, so I lived on sugary coffee drinks. I loved them, especially anything mixed with caramel. I learned how to brew coffee at home (yes, it took me until college to learn this), but it was never quite the same, so day after day I bought coffee after expensive coffee. It turns out, my body takes issue with both caffeine and dairy, so eventually I had to give up coffee. Have you ever seen a librarian strung out on coffee? Scary stuff. But considering I only liked it with extra sugar and way too much cream, it was probably for the best. Now, every once in a while my father in law will brew up a two cup pot when we’re at his house and offer me a cup, but I just don’t touch coffee anymore. Haven’t since I started drinking looseleaf tea about two years ago. But occasionally, I miss it. Occasionally I just want a big cup of creamy coffee goodness and I have to tell myself no.
So when I spotted this matcha, I had to have it. The caffeine in matcha doesn’t affect me the way the caffeine in coffee does, and so I am very, very eager to try this. Maybe I’ll even sprinkle in a bit of caramel….next time.
When the package is opened, the smell of coffee hits you square in the nose. Mmm, I miss that smell. That smell only grows stronger as the matcha is brewed…mmm, it smells yummy. Okay, so, it’s love at first sip. It tastes like strong, sweet coffee. It is lovely…there’s even a hint of chocolate! I can’t wait to try this in latte form with some Caramel Matcha…maybe even the English Toffee to bring out the chocolate in both. Definitely begging to be mixed with vanilla soy milk. If you’re a coffee fan, or an ex-coffee fan like myself, this is a matcha to try (found here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/orange-matcha-clone.html). It’s so, so good. It’s like an expensive coffee from Starbucks without the too high price tag and the horrible side effects of coffee! The aftertaste is almost one of roasted barley, which I like. Coffee always tasted burnt to me. But this is lovely. I see a happy future for me with this matcha at my side.
Now, full disclosure here: I’m not a cherry fan. I’m just not. Cherry is one of those throwaway flavors that they include in a pack of candy just to tease the kids who don’t get the good flavors like strawberry or grape. Now, bing cherries are delicious, but maraschino need to stay far, far away from me. But my wife loves them. Cherry anything, and she loves it. So this is a “tempt her to the dark side of matcha” purchase, as she doesn’t like matcha much. Today we’re trying all three I bought for her…and then feverishly cleaning the house while hopped up on matcha goodness. But I am interested in seeing if it tastes like a real cherry or a cherry flavoring. And if it’s a real cherry, which one? Bing? Black? Sour? Maraschino? The world may never know…because my cherry palate is about as refined as a brick. I should have bought the chocolate matcha and made her a cherry chocolate milkshake…she’d be sold in a minute! Maybe I’ll find some chocolate soy milk…yeah…
Regardless, I’m looking forward to trying this! A whole new world and all that. What’s life without a few new experiences? Holy cherry, batman! It is very, very cherry. I mixed a full scoop with 200 millilitres of chocolate soy milk for the wife, but had a sip or two of it straight before I mixed in the milk. Mmm. If I liked cherry, I would be all over this. The taste of the matcha isn’t lost at all, but cherry is definitely the frontrunner. It is a maraschino cherry flavor, but according to my wife, this is far from a bad thing. I can smell it from across the room and it smells amazing. Kind of like a cherry slushie without all of the horrible syrup and artificial flavoring. I think iced, this would be an incredibly refreshing treat…it makes me want to try making matcha popsicles. Maybe matcha fudgicles, or cherry chocolate pudding. Definitely going to experiment with this little beauty to make various different treats for that wife of mine. Maybe I’ll order the Cola matcha with the next round and mix it with that…mmm. Now that one I can get behind. Or cherry vanilla….yum. This matcha just inspires me to play around a bit and try new flavors. Maybe cherry is one that I’ll keep around, if only to experiment with (found here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/cherry-matcha.html).
I know, I know. These reviews are nothing but memories, but I can’t help it! If I can drink a tasty drink that is good for me, gives me energy, and makes me think of happy things, well, why wouldn’t I? This one is all my grandmother and my father. Every Thanksgiving, my grandmother would let us drink cranberry juice mixed with ginger ale, and we felt so grown up. So grown up! It’s still my preferred way of drinking cranberry juice, and when the cranberry ginger ale is released around the holidays, all I do is think of her. Her son, my father, is a ginger ale memory for me too, it’s his favorite soft drink. Vernor’s, if you’ve got it, or Schweppes, but Canada Dry will do in a pinch and make him think of me anyway. When my wife is ill, it’s ginger ale, if you please, not lemon-lime anything. You know that old adage that girls always search for someone like their father? It’s so true in my case…my wife and my father are amazingly alike. So when I spotted it on the Red Leaf tea website, I had to grab it for my campaign to get her to like matcha. Who knows, I might convert my dad with it when he comes up to visit next (found here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/ginger-ale-matcha.html)!
This is wonderful. Ginger and I are not the best of buddies, but I’m coming around to it. This reminds me of a local ginger ale found only in Middle Kentucky called “Ale-8-1”. It’s full of ginger flavor, but in a very good way. If you get this one, don’t be put off by the overwhelming ginger smell, it’s not nearly as strong as it smells, which is a good thing to me. It would definitely be a matcha I reach for when I’m headed into work with an upset stomach, but need a pick me up. I don’t think it’s one I’ll keep in stock, but it’s not one I’ll be actively trying to swap away either. I’m excited to try it with the cranberry. If you’re familiar with ginger ale brands, it’s more of a Vernor’s than anything else. Lord have mercy, I spend way too much time with ginger ale, apparently. But if I can talk my Dad into trying matcha, this will definitely be the one I lead with. Who knows, my father in law greatly enjoyed the French Vanilla matcha from Red Leaf Tea, maybe my dad can be won over as well!
Now, I have to say, I am wildly impressed with Red Leaf Tea. With the sheer amount of matcha I’ve been getting through this promotion, I was starting to feel like I was taking advantage of their goodwill and resolved to hang up my reviewing hat, saying that I had tried all the flavors I wanted to try. Imagine my pleased surprise when I mentioned this in a review and they responded to let me know they were releasing new flavors soon and encouraging me to keep trying new ones and keep reviewing! I know they read all reviews posted and I’ve received wonderfully kind responses to my reviews and emails to them. Their customer service is stellar and it makes it so that I want to recommend their teas to everyone I meet (and I do!). And while yes, I have gotten a ton of matcha through this promotion, I’ve also gained an adoration of matcha that will keep me coming to them long after I really do stop reviewing their product. But by now they know me, and they know my reviews and they’re just wonderfully kind to me. When I received my package yesterday, I found a little matcha spoon included with my order! I don’t know if it’s a promotion I just didn’t see, or if it was for me specially, but it certainly made my day!
I don’t know an awful lot about English toffee, but what I do know, I like. I got this one to try with my wife, in an effort to get her to like matcha. We’ll see how it goes!
When I opened the package, (found here:http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/english-toffee-matcha.html) it smelled a lot like the Caramel Matcha from Red Leaf Tea, which is very promising. I love their Caramel matcha. Brewed up, it still smelled like caramel, but with a hint of chocolate. And that’s exactly what it tastes like, caramel mixed together with tasty, tasty chocolate. I’m not a huge chocolate fan, but this is very, very good. Very sweet too, but not overwhelmingly so. But then again, I like my teas sweet. But when I see pictures of English Toffee, this is what I think it would taste like, so yay! I love that it even tastes like that crunchy caramel….mmm. This would be a very good starter matcha for those who like sweet things, English Toffee especially. I might even win my wife over with this one!
Guh, cotton candy. This was the flavor I most looked forward to, and it’s the one I ripped into and gleefully made a cup as soon as the package arrived. So much for my nap, I have matcha to drink! I didn’t even read the description on the site, it just instantly wound up in my cart. Cotton candy is childhood to me, as well as a good number of college years spent drinking cotton candy cosmos. I can hear my mother in my head right now. “No, you can’t get cotton candy, if we’re going to pay $5 for a snack, it’s going to be something more than just spun sugar!” But rarely she would cave and oh man. Oooooh man. I remember at one company picnic, they had a cotton candy machine, and you could have all the cotton candy you wanted. They even showed you how to make it! It was amazing. It was the ultimate snack of my childhood. Fast forward a few years to the summer between my first and second year of college. I had an apartment with three other girls, two of whom I didn’t know, and I was working at Beech Bend Park. Now, if you know where that is, you either a) went to Western Kentucky University or b) are a biker, because it’s adjacent to the Beech Bend racetrack and the Beech Bend Campground, where Harley days are held every year. Usually, I got stuck working the teacups (ironic, huh?), but every once in a while, I got to work food services and I got to make the cotton candy. Oh my goodness. Heaven. Hot work, but heaven. A year or two later I went to O’Charley’s with a friend and spotted the Cotton Candy Cosmo on the menu. Unable to resist anything cotton candy, I had to try out. Out came a martini glass overflowing with fresh cotton candy. A little shaker contained vodka and when your poured the vodka over the cotton candy, it melted and mixed in so beautifully that you forgot you were drinking way too much alcohol.
Now it’s my go-to snack when the wife takes me to the movies. It’s $3 and it makes my inner kid go bouncing all over the place. This tea does the same thing (found here:http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/cotton-candy-matcha.html). It’s…it’s amazing how much it really does taste like cotton candy, especially when cold. The cooler my cup got, the more it tasted like those little fluffy clouds of heaven. You can still taste the matcha, and it has an odd creaminess to it, but it’s just…wow. Wow. It all blends together and it even has that burnt sugar bit at the end of the sip. I’m going to take a cup of this to the Zoo next Tuesday, ride the carousel, and just go back in time to the carnivals and theme parks of my youth.