After I had read all of these raving reviews for Red Leaf’s matcha, I knew that I had to try one to see what the buzz was all about! Matcha, in general, has been on my shopping list for a while. I had wanted to try plain old matcha, black matcha and red matcha. After seeing these flavors and the different matcha options, I knew that now was the time to try a flavored red matcha!

If you’ve followed me for a while here on Steepster, you’ll probably know that while I do enjoy green, white and black teas, my main love of tea sits with oolong and the herbal rooibos. There have been a few rooibos teas that I’ve tried and that have tasted far too much like medicine (those teas leave me hesitant to try rooibos from new places). The kind of rooibos I like is creamy, almost with a hint of vanilla, rich and with a little bit of that drying wood flavor.

I ordered a small size of the French vanilla matcha with a red matcha base. The flavor strength I picked was “robust” – I like my tea to be with LOTS of flavor! When I opened the packet, I noticed that it didn’t smell much like rooibos. The scent actually reminded me a little bit of those pina colada LifeSavers. It wasn’t too powerful… but was actually a little bit muted.

When the hot water hit the matcha, that’s when the rooibos scent really came to life. Wood with just a little bit of sweetness! Sipping now… the rooibos isn’t as strong as I expected, but it’s smooth and sweet. It’s nice, but lacks a lot of dimension.

What I find to be most strange is that I do not taste any French vanilla. It seems like all of the flavor is in the actual texture and finish of the tea. I suppose I get some sort of creaminess during the actual sip itself… there is a little bit of a sweet flavor that fades quickly at the end… but it doesn’t scream vanilla to me. Hmm.. this makes me a little bit sad.

This matcha isn’t bad, but I was expecting so much more. Maybe I picked the wrong matcha base for this particular flavor or maybe the red matcha is just a little bit stronger…? I do want to try more matcha in the future, but maybe a different flavor and base.

If you are interested in trying this matcha, here is the link to purchase: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/french-vanilla-matcha.html

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Tea (& Coffee) lover. Bookworm.

Favorite teas: Milk Oolong, Flavored blends, Dessert teas, Creamy Teas, Rooibos, Oolong, Black, Green
Dislikes: Spices, Peppery flavors, Cloves, Cardamom, Licorice, Peppermint, Cinnamon, Mate, Puerh, Chai, Ginger

My Rather Picky Ratings
90+ – Reserved for the very best! Always in the cupboard!
80-89 – Quite good! A very pleasing cup.
70-79 – Room for improvement, but not bad.
60-69 – Mediocre.
50-59 – Bad. Will not purchase.
49 & below – Depending on the more specific rating: Undrinkable. Yuck. Will not purchase.

Note: Teas in my cupboard are all of the teas that I’ve logged, regardless of their current presence in my actual cupboard. For an updated list on what teas I have available for swap, check out the swap thread and not my cupboard! Thanks!

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