603 Tasting Notes


Well, let me start off with the fact that this is the 4th normal (green) matcha I have tried and is now ranked number 2 on my ‘like’ scale of green matchas. I have LOVED my black matchas, but I’m just starting out in my world of ‘normal’ matcha. Haven’t managed any of the non-flavoured stuff yet, but it’s just a matter of time.

The first green matcha that I liked was the champagne matcha in distinctive flavouring and so I thought, hmm, maybe I will like everything in distinctive flavouring! Wrong. Robust would be much more preferable in this french vanilla matcha. I like it, it tastes smooth and pleasant and there’s nothing much objectionable in this at all, even for someone like me who doesn’t especially like green tea at all. Unfortunately, I seem to be lacking the actual vanilla flavour though. I can pick it up in hints on the edges of my tasting perceptions, but I like it much more upfront than that. When I order again, and I probably will, I’ll probably order this flavouring again in robust, and there’s a good possibility it will be black matcha as well. I’m finding I like it better. But I have 14 more green matcha flavours to try, of which this is the first that I have actually bought and not just got as a sample from traders, so I’m cautiously hopeful. This one isn’t horrible, like 2 of them I tried, and although the flavouring isn’t as strong as I would like, I can definitely drink the rest of this without problems.

Key points to note: this was made as a hot latte, as in the ‘second best’ way to make matcha according to RLT’s pamphlet they send out with each order. I added no sugar, though I usually do for these types of things. This just plain didn’t need it. Though I think I will right now with the remainder of my latte. Maybe that will make the flavour stronger? Hang on a sec…

Alright, this is even better, sweetener does bring out a slight French Vanilla flavour. Now I know what to do next time.

Apologies for the rambling nature of this comment. I got no sleep last night.

This tea can be found at: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/french-vanilla-matcha.html

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If my last tasting note is any indication, this is the tea I pick when I haven’t had any sleep the night before. Strange that. I’m drinking it again, it’s just as good as the last time. I’ll blasphemously put half of my pot in a travel mug to drink on the way to work. It won’t be as good then, but it will still be good. And I’ll probably brew up the second and third steeps when I get home from work.

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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Had another pot of this tonight. I’m really finding that I like it better at room temperature better than I do hot. It’s more raspberry and less bergamot at that temperature and that’s the way I prefer it. I’ve really been moving away from earl grey over the last few months, perhaps my tastes are changing but I’m really not liking it as much as I used to. This is still a pretty tasty tea though.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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Decided to try out my other matcha that I have here at work before I go home for the day. Maybe the amount of caffeine in 2 matcha lattes (black) will actually affect me in some way. So far it’s just making me vaguely headachey.

I just licked the spoon I was using to stir the little bit of sweetener I put in and mmm this is going to taste so good. And it totally does. The caramel flavour comes across really well (although I DID use the robust flavour setting so it might be that too, this is from my first order at Red Leaf Tea and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, so that seemed a safe way to try out matcha for the first time. Playing it safe with both the black matcha base and the robust flavouring level.

This one for some reason doesn’t have that little bit of bite that I’ve started to associate with black matcha, it’s much smoother and nicer. This is really really tasty. I haven’t tried it with regular matcha yet, but I think that might be on my list for my next order (I have 2 orders not even unpacked and I’m planning my 4th order already, I think I may have a problem).

At any rate, this is wicked tasty and I recommend it to anyone who wants to try out flavoured black matcha because it’s just about perfect.

You can find it at:

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I got this in a trade with Alphakitty from a few months ago, just got around to opening the envelope. I need to find a good way to mail matcha though, because I can’t use a normal sized baggie if it’s going to adhere to all the sides and take up all the matcha that way. Going to have to think on that.

I made this as a latte at work. Frothed it up as much as I could with some hot water and a fork, added hot milk to it. It’s a nice inviting hot chocolate type colour, so that’s nice. It certainly smells like it will taste good.

This still has a slight bittery aftertaste like the other black matcha I tried but it fades quickly so that’s alright. The upfront flavour, though, is fantastic. I can definitely taste the raspberry and the chocolate in this and it tastes really good. This is a good one to have with the black base, I don’t know that I would like it nearly as well with a green one.

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So far in my life, I haven’t liked oolongs very much, but I also haven’t tried very many at all either. Certainly none from such an esteemed company as Whispering Pines. This trade is from Alphakitty. She sent it to me back in January and I’m just now getting around to tasting it. I love to do trades, but I have a bad track record for actually drinking the traded teas in a timely fashion. My bad. If anyone is irritated by that that has traded with me, I can put your trade on the top of the pile. Otherwise I’ll just go on picking an envelope at random a couple of times a week.

Back to the tea, this is not as scary a tea as I thought it would be. In anticipation of not liking it, I couldn’t make myself drink it until now and it’s cooled off completely but I think I like it this way. I’m always really torn between how I like a tea most, hot or room temperature. I rarely drink iced tea, even in the summer. This tea, however, is strongly mint and that’s nicely refreshing at the cooler temperature. I can taste the oolong, oh yes, but I can’t really pick out any specifics to the flavour except that I probably wouldn’t like it plain but it’s just fine with the mint. I don’t pick up really any cinnamon which is strange because usually I’m so sensitive to it. Well, it’s a bit ‘warming’ despite not actually being warm so that might be the cinnamon talking. All in all, not bad. I’ve got another cup of the tea waiting for me (I made a pot) but I don’t think I’ll be steeping this again.

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec

I can’t tell you how often I thought “its not as scary as I thought” while drinking tea! Love this post.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

This tea is ideal when coldbrewed for 14 hours :)

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drank Himalayan Splendor by Teavana
603 tasting notes

SIPDOWN! I don’t know why I hoard the last bits of a tea sometimes. Sometimes I don’t even like the tea very much. This one might be a little overleafed because it was a bit more than one serving and a bit less than two servings left, or I estimate because I couldn’t get it all into a teaspoon so I just dumped it all into my gravity infuser since there wasn’t enough left for a pot.

This tastes…well, stronger than I normally have it, but still okay. Sweetened and milky, this also has a bready flavour and a bit of malt this time. Not astringent or bitter. Pretty good and I’m glad I could let this one go.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

I do the same thing!

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drank Raspberry Cream by 52teas
603 tasting notes

I know I just had this last week, but with a not-great tea tasting day so far (out of four, drank 2, liked 1) I wanted something that would actually bring a smile to my face and that I knew would taste good. Out of my teas at work, this one was right in front so in the pot it goes.

I think I underleafed this a bit. It’s definitely weaker than last time. Possibly also due to the fact that I dropped the temperature a bit to see what would happen. Definitely keeping it at boiling next time. And at least 4 tsp for 750 ml. 3 just didn’t do it for me. I think I used 4 last time.

Other than being pretty weak, this is still a good tea. Nicely flavoured and makes me happy-wiggle in my seat. I’m glad I have a few extra packs of this coming to me in the mail.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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This is, I think, the final tea I got in my trade from Tea Sipper (that I hadn’t had before, so I’ll be able to move onto someone else soon. I’m so behind on tasting my trading teas. With the possible exception of my Red Leaf Tea orders, I’m going to stop opening boxes from tea companies until I get through these trades. Probably.

Wow, this is strong rooibos. I’m not sure I like rooibos enough to really enjoy this tea. And yes, just taking some to drink, I can barely taste any vanilla but the rooibos is REALLY REALLY strong. I just don’t like rooibos this much. This is the type of flavour I would expect from a pure rooibos tea since the vanilla flavour is very subdued, if it’s even there at all.

Boiling 8 min or more

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drank Crimson Nectar by Tea Forte
603 tasting notes

I believe I got this bag from Tea Sipper but my trades are all getting confused in my head. This is why I should only open one trade at a time. It’s also a good thing that this is an herbal tea (which I..uh..didn’t look up before steeping) because I totally forgot about it. The cup is still hot though, so I couldn’t have forgotten about it for too long. Glad I looked it up before putting milk in though.

Honestly I’m not sure I’m going to like this. Hibiscus is a hard ingredient to work with and cinnamon is on my list of ‘do not like’ ingredients. Going to give it a try though. This tastes mostly of strong hibiscus and oranges with a cinnamon undertone. Thankfully the cinnamon isn’t too strong, but the hibiscus is making the tea rather tart. It’s not terrible, but it’s not a tea I would seek out again.

Boiling 8 min or more

haha i’ve started trying to put my steepster name on the label with the tea name when i do swaps to help people out since i too have this problem with swaps when i get them. who gave me this? when? what’s going on! :)


That’s a great idea! I should do that too.

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Single, vegetarian, asexual, 5 cats. Airplane Engineer. I drink most of my tea with a bit of sugar and all the ones with a black tea base with a little bit of milk too. I’m super sensitive to bitterness and spiciness so I tend to avoid those.

I am also a flavoured matcha latte fanatic.


Renton, WA, USA

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