1350 Tasting Notes
There are not words for how much I don’t want to be up this morning. Guh, I feel like a zombie. Depression – it’s a hell of a drug.
ANYWAY. Our A/C worked overtime overnight so while the cold didn’t make it any easier to get out of bed, it did make it just cool enough to enjoy a hot cuppa for the first time in ages. I reached for this, hoping it would wake me up, and it has…to a point. I love this blend so, so much…it almost smooths away my grumpiness. Almost.
This blend (found here:http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/orange-matcha.html) is one I worry about, which is why it jumped in and out of the cart so many times when the new matchas were first released. I love oranges, but I’m very specific about. If it doesn’t taste like fresh oranges, then why bother? For years, until just recently, in fact, I thought orange candies, like orange Skittles or Runts, were put in because they were cheaper to produce because nobody really liked them. Everybody knows that grape and strawberry are the good flavors, right? Wrong. This is what comes from a skewed worldview, folks. But it works out beautifully, because I love the strawberry and grape flavors of the world, and my wife loves the orange, lime, and lemons. So what that long story was winding up to was that if this matcha tastes more like candy orange and not fresh orange, I will be very, very sad. And then I’ll mix it with the French Vanilla and everything will be just fine. And, of course, cranberry is one I must try mixed with the orange at some point. I also have a history of citrus matcha not turning out as good as I’d like (I’m looking at you, Lemon and Peach), but there is a history of my being afraid of blends and having them turn out amazing (That’s Watermelon and Earl Grey) as well. So I’m just trying to keep an open mind!
I’m sitting here with three little cups of matcha to try (Orange, Apple, and Brandy) and I reached for Orange first. I took a sip, chuckled, and handed it to my wife. She doesn’t like matcha, but she likes this one! I knew she would because that first sip is tasty, tasty orange candy. It’s incredibly tasty (as you might have guessed) but it isn’t really fresh orange or orange juice. It’s orange Runts and juicy orange Skittles. Yum. My wife likes it, so I think this might become a morning treat for her, but for me…well, I don’t know! But if I want oranges in the morning, I’ll likely reach for orange juice proper. I have cotton candy matcha, also from Red Leaf Teas, what other matchas do I need? Still, I keep reaching for it as I sit here writing, so maybe it’ll grow on me. It is very good, and if you’re a fan of orange candy, this is one you must try. Not a touch of bitterness, though!
This was apparently the box of “things I’m not really that fond of, but want to try in matcha form”. I don’t drink a lot of cola, I’m just not fond of it. It’s too….burny for me, if that makes any sense. Don’t worry, I know it doesn’t. But one thing I do love is vanilla cola. Which is why this was purchased. Vanilla cola matcha for me and cherry cola matcha for the wife. I’ve had other cherry cola teas from other companies, but they were less than stellar. The cherry cola from 52 teas is just horrible, and I’ve nothing good to say about the cherry cola from DavidsTea. But here I am, trying again. Maybe this will be the cola to end all colas. When I was in college and I’d start to feel sick, I’d go buy a vanilla Pepsi and let it go flat overnight so I could have it in the morning…nothing settled my stomach better. So the fact that the cola won’t be carbonated is far from a problem for me, I prefer my sodas flat anyway. I generally only drink cola when I need a caffeine boost, so if I could make my perfect vanilla cola matcha without the hassle of all the chemicals in regular cola, well, then I’m all for it! And then I’ll be on a quest to make a Dr. Pepper matcha.
I got a new teacup with a extremely wide mouth that is perfect for matcha, so I broke it in with this little beauty (found here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/coca-cola-matcha.html). I whisked it up, added way too much sugar (oops!), and fell in love. It tastes like flat cola, which is awesome! But it even tingles at bit at first sip, which makes it all the better. I can’t wait to try it with some vanilla and cherry. It’s not really a cola flavor but more of a diet cola flavor, to my tongue any way. Regardless, next time I’m craving cola flavor, I’ll be reaching for this instead of a teeth rotting cola. With every sip, I’m more and more impressed! This really does taste like a cola drink. I’m curious about mixing in a touch of club soda, but I’m worried about the matcha separating. Still, it might be a good experiment. What I love most, though, is that the matcha flavor isn’t lost in the cola flavor, it’s still very present, but it blends well. Well done, Red Leaf Tea!
This was added to the box in an continuing effort to seduce my wife to the ways of matcha. So far, the best I’ve gotten out of her was “That’s….interesting.” Ah well, more for me. London Fogs, also known as an Earl Grey with vanilla and milk, are her favorite winter drink, so that’s what I had in mind when I snagged this little beauty. That and she’s a sucker for anything Earl Grey. But I’m looking forward to mixing this with, you guessed it, vanilla. An Earl Grey/vanilla was my very first tea, though I’m not much of an Earl Grey fan nowadays. But still, it sounded very tasty and I had to at least try it (found here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/earl-grey-matcha.html). I’m a bit worried, after the bitterness of the lemon matcha, but I was worried about the watermelon and it turned out amazing. And we’re big fans of the Earl Grey from Red Leaf Teas around here, so we have a lot of faith in this blend. Their Earl Grey Oolong is one of the teas my wife absolutely cannot do without, and their Raspberry Earl Grey was one of the few teas I’ve actually seen her mourn when it was discontinued. So yes, if there was ever an Earl Grey matcha to get her into matcha, it would have to be from Red Leaf Tea.
Success! We went to the zoo on Friday and my poor wife was only running on a couple hours sleep, so I made her a matcha London Fog and she loved it. Loved it! I stole a few sips of the Earl Grey before mixing it in with everything else and it was perfect Earl Grey, and I knew that I’d made the right choice. I mixed together equal parts Earl Grey matcha and French Vanilla matcha (both from Red Leaf Tea, of course) and whisked it together in a bowl to be sure to get all the lumps out. Personally I don’t care about a clump or matcha or two, but it really turns her off of her drink. Anyway, I heated up some vanilla soy milk, frothed it up, added it to the blend and it was perfect. She loved it! And it’s so much better for you than the regular London Fog, full of syrup and dairy…blegh. This is one I think I’ll have to keep in stock, if only for my wife’s sake, which I am more than happy to do.
And the sailor said ‘Brandy, you’re a fine girl, what a good wife you would be…” Okay, so, that song is the only real reference to brandy I have, and that’s not even the right brandy. Well, that song and the singer from the 90s…anyway. In college, one of my roommates liked to mix (cheap, horrible) brandy with her cola when she drank, and so I’ve had a few of those, but that’s really it. I’m a whisky girl, through and through. That’s what happens when you go to high school in Tennessee and college in Kentucky. But it looked interesting and I liked the brandy I’ve had, so I thought “why not?” If nothing else, it will be good for mixing with the apple matcha. Or the cola matcha, for when I’m having a bad day at work and need a drink but can’t have one just yet. At least I can pretend. But I don’t really have a flavor profile in mind when I try this matcha (found here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/brandy-matcha.html), so it will be an interesting experience. For instance, when I try a pineapple tea, I have in mind what I think a pineapple should taste like and I can match the tea up to that flavor profile and see how it compares. With this, I’m just shooting in the dark, though I’m sure I’ll be comparing it to whisky before this review is done.
Oh wow, this is good. This is goooood. Yes, the unnecessary “o”s were necessary. It’s fruity and smooth and…yum. I don’t quite know how to describe it. It’s not what I was expecting out of brandy, but I don’t really have any experience with brandy, so what do I know? I can almost taste a touch of alcohol, but that might just be my imagination. It does seem warming, which is odd since I’m drinking it cold. I love cold matcha and how easy it is to mix. Add water to matcha powder, whisk/froth, and go! Done! Yum. Saves me a ton of time in the mornings when I’m barely awake and trying to get ready for work.
Anyway, yes. If this is what brandy tastes like, I need to try some as soon as possible. I think my father in law has some…it might be time to hang out with the in laws. It tastes kind of like bubble gum but…juicy fruit gum, not double bubble. Definitely one I plan to keep around.
Now, I’m already a big fan of Red Leaf Tea’s green apple matcha, but that one really does taste like a green apple, tart and sweet all at the same time. Which is great, but every once in a while a girl needs a smoother apple, a juicer, sweeter apple, which is what I hope to gain from this matcha (found here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/apple-matcha.html). I’m eager to try it as a latte with vanilla soy milk and some of their Cinnamon Matcha…I’m hoping for a apple pie with ice cream kind of drink. I love apples and apple juice, so whenever I spot an apple blend, I have to try it. And there are so many things you can do with apple that I’m hoping to be able to do with this apple matcha. Apple matcha pie, anyone? Or apple fritters with an apple matcha icing…yes, please! I make homemade donuts occasionally…can you imagine a big apple cake donut covered in cinnamon sugar? I may have to make donuts in the near future. I hope this matcha lives up to all of the plans I have for it. And I hope it gives me the energy to follow through on those plans! Because now that I’ve mentioned it, if I don’t make donuts in the near future, my wife will be devastated.
Unfortunately, this is just not for me. The smell of the dry matcha has the smell of the more bitter matchas I’ve had from Red Leaf Tea, and that smell carried through into the taste of the brewed tea. It tastes something like apple candy when you power through the bitterness, which is nice, but far from the apple juice I was craving. I’m not an apple candy type of girl, unless it’s a sour apple. It might still be good as a latte, but I won’t be cooking with it, sadly. Still it isn’t terrible, and the bitterness seems to fade over time. Maybe it will still hold up to donuts, as the amount of sugar in them will balance out the bitterness. I don’t really think this is one I need to get more of, and if any of my local friends want a taste, I’m happy to share. I’ll experiment with what I have left, maybe I can find a way to fall in love with this tea. But personally I’m going to stick with the Green Apple matcha, also from Red Leaf Teas.