1236 Tasting Notes
Mmmm strawberries. I cannot begin to tell you how much of my life has been spent picking strawberries. As a child, I hated it, but now I remember it fondly…isn’t it weird how that happens? So good…strawberry shortcake is the most delicious thing in this world. Especially made with fresh, sun ripened strawberries. As long as I can remember, my mom has had a row or two of strawberries in her yard. When we lived in Michigan and we had room to garden (and soil that was more than just clay), we had tons of strawberries. Tons! But then we moved to Tennessee, and the soil there was not as habitable, but she still managed to squeeze some delicious berries out of that red clay. So strawberries and strawberry flavored things that actually taste like strawberries always remind me of her and of that gorgeous garden she kept in Michigan. Of course, they also remind me of the time I was about 7 and picking strawberries in the garden when I felt some grass brush over my foot. I looked down to see a snake slithering over my foot. shudders I have never screamed so loud in my life. And thus a lifelong fear of snakes was born.
So the real question here is will this matcha be a snake or a shortcake?
Shortcake. Oh my goodness, shortcake. This smelled amazing when I opened the package, like creamy, sweet strawberries. Like, well, strawberry shortcake, to be honest. Guh, I just want to dive into it. I took it to work with me and my mind was blown by it. I kept getting distracted by how good it was. I love a good tea. I’m trying to figure out which six I want to keep in stock and this is a definite front runner. I think mixing this with a little French Vanilla would be out of this world. I love berries so most of my smoothies are berry smoothies…this will be an amazing addition to that particular mix. Now, it doesn’t have that hint of tartness that fresh strawberries do, but that’s okay. I’m in love anyway. It tastes like strawberry candy, but I know Red Leaf Tea doesn’t use artificial ingredients, so I’m very excited to have this. Next time I’m craving a bag of strawberry puffs, I’m going to reach for this instead. Mmmm…maybe I’ll take some of this to work with me today too! (Found here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/strawberry-matcha.html)
I have such a love/hate relationship with licorice, and I had to try this one (found here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/licorice-matcha-organic.html), I just had to. Licorice in tea is one of my favorite things of all time, and the Licorice Mint tea from Red Leaf Tea is a must for me when I’m sick. And while I love allsorts, any other licorice candy is not for me. I just think it’s vile. Every Easter my mother would gleefully sit by as I sorted out all of the black jelly beans from my basket. She was the only one in the family who liked them. Is there anything more gross than popping what you think is a purple jellybean into your mouth, only to discover it was a horrible, horrible, licorice one? Blegh! But allsorts….mmm. They’ve become a bit of tradition in our family. They’re impossible to find in Tennessee, so when I’m sending a package to my folks I always include Coffee Crisp for my mom and allsorts for my dad. That is, if I can keep myself from eating them all before the package goes out! Trust me, it happens more often than I care to admit.
I kept eyeing this tea, adding it to my shopping cart and then removing it in favor of another flavor of matcha, adding it back to my wishlist. I finally bit the bullet and I’m here to find out if this is an allsort or a black jellybean.
It’s not a black jellybean at all! It is a lovely sweet licorice that soothes the throat and makes me unbelievably happy. I was very scared of this blend, but those fears were unfounded. It is delicious and definitely one I need to keep around for when I’m sick but I have to deal with work anyway. Completely lovely. It’s not really an allsort either, it’s the licorice I’ve come to know and love in teas. I should have expected that, but I was scared by the picture on the website.
Licorice tends to polarize people. You either love it or you hate it. I’m one of those who loves it, but my wife is one who hates it. If it’s in a tea, she can taste it, and it bothers her. But for me…oh, I love it and this matcha is beautiful in the balance of flavor to matcha. I want to make a large mug of this, but I have other matchas to taste and review!
Cranberry. Cranberry is another one of those flavors that brings out very distinct memories for me. Thanksgiving at my grandmother’s house, not for the cranberry sauce (which I loathe), but for the cranberry juice she always had on hand. I loved it! And she’d mix it with a bit of ginger ale for me and oh, I felt so grown up…my first cocktail! Virgin, of course. We lost her the year I started college, so every time I taste anything with cranberry, I think of her. Then growing up, my mom taught me how to make this delicious cranberry-orange bread with fresh cranberries, and that bread is why I always have cranberries in my freezer. I made it for my in-laws the first Christmas after the wedding and now they look forward to it every year. Maybe after I’ve tried this straight I’ll need to try it with some orange juice. But cranberry is a flavor very near and dear to my heart, so I am very much looking forward to trying this one. The health benefits of cranberries aren’t such a bad thing either, and since I don’t drink juice anymore, this might be a good way for me to get them (found here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/cranberry-matcha.html).
This blew my socks off. The scent when the package is opened is a sweet cranberry, not the tart berry I was looking for, but I can’t bring myself to complain. I put about a quarter of a teaspoon in a small mug, added about 75-80 C water, some sugar, and frothed it up. Then I added robots (by which I mean ice in the shape of robots) and a touch of cold water to make a beautiful iced tea. I am so far from disappointed it hurts. This is lovely. I didn’t expect to like this one nearly as much as I do, but I am in love. I’m definitely seeing the berry in cranberry, but there’s also a hint of tartness in the middle of the sip. I am so surprised, I honestly didn’t expect to be wowed by this. But I am and I am going to restock on it ASAP. I can’t wait to try it blended with some vanilla matcha or some orange juice…yum. I don’t have a lot of experience with cranberry outside of the little fruits baked into muffins, but I think I need to branch out and try some new things!
Okay, so, fair warning. I’m not overly familiar with the acai berry or how it should taste. I’ve had acai berry/blueberry juice before, and loved it, so I’m hoping I’ll love the berry on its own. Of course now, all I can think of when it comes to this tea is RuPaul’s Drag Race with all the different queens trying to say “acai” for a TV commercial. It’s like the Pink Dragonfruit from Tealish. I’ve never had dragonfruit, but it smelled amazing and so I tried it and I loved it. Now I’m on the hunt for an actual dragonfruit to try. So while I can tell if I like the tea and if it tastes good or not, I have no real way to tell if it tastes like the actual fruit at all. But that’s okay! Everyone should be open to new experiences, and I am looking forward to this one (found here:http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/acai-matcha.html).
Okay, yum! It’s kind of like blueberry on steroids? I don’t know, it’s got this amazing berry flavor with a round tartness….yes, round. It was the word that came to mind as I sipped it. It’s just…lovely and unexpected. The flavor is very bold and very…unique. I don’t quite know how to describe it, but I liked it. I definitely want to try more acai flavored things if this is what I have to look forward to! I’m not sure if I need to restock on this ASAP, but it’s definitely in the running for my must-have list.
After seeing some of the glowing reviews for this matcha (found here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/mango-matcha.html), I had to try it. Trying Mango Diablo from DavidsTea recently has brought back to mind my love of mangos and real mango flavor. I had forgotten it in the face of so much fake-tasting mango flavored tea and candy out there. But I used to beg my mom to let me buy a mango. There are few things better than slicing into a perfectly ripe mango. Makes a royal mess to eat it (at least, the way I did it), but it was so, so worth it. Still, I hate messy food, so if I can find that mango flavor without the mess, I am all for it! It was a bit worried about this tea after the strange bitterness of the Peach and Lemon flavors, but what’s life without a few risks? Mango makes me think of summer and tropical smoothies and everything delicious in life.
So when I opened it, it had that same smell the Peach and Lemon flavors had, a faint hint of bitterness, and I got worried. Still, never let it be said that I’m afraid to try new things. I made a cup of this to take to work with me, and thank goodness I did, it was a hellish day and I desperately needed the energy from it. But…it wasn’t that great. It tasted like decent mango flavor with a back hint of chemicals. I don’t know what it is, but I think I just need to stay away from the citrus group of flavored matchas. The Peach redeemed itself when iced, so maybe the mango will do the same. I’m hoping it does. My feelings may also be skewed a bit, I’ve been spoiled by the delicious goodness of the Mango Diablo from Davids, so my opinions on the mango flavor might have been different if I hadn’t been drinking tons of the Mango Diablo lately. That’s my new standard for mango flavor and this just doesn’t match up to it.
Still, it will be no great hardship to finish this off, especially in smoothies over the coming summer months. It’s not horrible, it’s just not for me. But maybe a lower temperature will help or finding another way to drink it. Or maybe one of my friends will try it and like it and then it will have a good home!
Amazing. Utterly amazing. Took a mug of this iced to see The Avengers yesterday and I was distracted from the movie several times by the tastiness of it. So good, so creamy, so perfect. I look forward to trying this at home with my own steeping parameters, I still don’t like the “make double strong and then ice” method, but I understand that’s how they have to do it to be able to make iced tea on demand.
So sad. I am a huge fan of Peewee’s Big Adventure, and I so desperately wanted to love this tea, but for me it was nothing but a Big…disappointment. I cold brewed this, I had it hot, I did everything I could to it, but it didn’t wow me. Cold brewed, this just tastes weak and bland…and since I used about twice the leaf I usually use for cold brewing, that just sucks. It’s alright enough, but it’s not one I feel the need to have more of. Oh well.