90
drank Caramel Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
405 tasting notes

I set out to compare my 3 caramel matchas side-by-side, so I’m being very precise in my preparation this time: .6g matcha, then 5g cold water and stirring to get all the lumps out, then 2oz hot 185˚ water, then whisk to a foam.

This review is for the Classic Green matcha with Distinctive flavoring.

Now I that I have them both in front of me, I can actually taste the difference between the delicate and distinctive flavorings; it wasn’t immediately obvious to me before. The distinctive smells more strongly of caramel, the delicate more like matcha (duh). The distinctive tastes, not so much more caramel-y as sweeter – the caramel was already there in the delicate, but now it taste truer. I didn’t think to try adding sugar, though many people have said that improves the flavor even more.

I did try adding a teaspoon of milk to each. This really brought out the caramel flavor in the distinctive, where in the delicate it seemed to make the green tea taste a little harsher, oddly enough.

As they cool, the delicate gets a bit bitter but the distinctive really doesn’t – the caramel flavor just takes over more.

One odd thing I noticed was that the distinctive seemed to settle more quickly – I swirled each cup before sipping, every time, and had to swirl this one longer than the delicate to get it re-integrated. Something about the extra flavoring making it denser? Or just coincidence. Either way, a good thing for me to know so that I remember to mix it up before drinking.

You can buy this at http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/caramel-matcha.html

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Some notes on ratings:

I’d have separate rating scales for tea types if that were possible (probably Black, Flavored Black, Darjeeling/Dark Oolong, White/Green/Light Oolong, and Herbal) because the flavors and quality markers are just too different. A flavored black rated 100 isn’t better than every oolong I’ve ever drunk, just delicious for a flavored black.

Ratings are a combination of my enjoyment and the perceived quality – I do often demote teas a few points for artificial flavorings, small quantity of steeps supported, or weakness of flavor (requiring extra leaf).

I pay less attention to the number than the order of my ratings; I don’t necessarily keep a stock of everything rated 80+, but if two breakfast blends are rated 82 and 84 I consistently enjoy the 84 more.

And in case it’s not obvious? I am not an expert. I don’t even know what I like until I taste it sometimes, but I’m ok with that :) I like learning to like new teas, as well as enjoying the comfort of familiar ones.

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