1260 Tasting Notes


I chose to drink this tea tonight simply on name. I went out for sushi for dinner at Sushi Studio in Long Beach. They have a Caribbean Roll which is Asparagus tempura topped with salmon with lots of mayo and tobiko ontop! Yum! Though, I think the garlic edamame stole the show. I believe this sample comes from Kittena, ty!

STEEPED: pale brown/orange tea, smells fruity.

TASTE: Brisk green rooibos taste upfront with fruityness – some sips I get a zip of mango, other sips.. blast of soapy papaya (but for some reason papaya tastes soapy to me sometimes). The fruityness is pretty gentle, and lingers as an aftertaste as mango and papaya. Tea is on the light side. Not getting the orange or passionfruit. Not sure if I taste any floral. CP is not tart tasting.

COMMENTS: I should really get more green rooibos – the rooibos here is pretty good and not funky like red rooibos is. I love how the fruit waves in and out of this tea. However, I’d like the fruityness to be stronger. Though, this would make a very good ice or cold steeping to bring out the fruit flavor.

Boiling 7 min, 0 sec

Ha, I don’t think I’ve even tried this one yet! I feel like I had a reason for sending it to you, but I can’t think of why… oh well! Glad it wasn’t too bad :)

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drank Orange praline by ESP Emporium
1260 tasting notes

I believe this sample is from Rachel Sincere, ty!

DRY: Interesting little cubes in this tea, mixed with leaves and orange peel bits. Checking ESP, these cubes are caramel pieces.
STEEPED: Orangey smell mixed with a distinctive caramel smell. Pale yellow tea.

TASTE: sweet orange (a more artificial / candy taste) with a base of green tea – the tea is nice and mellow. Bit of a caramel smooth taste.

COMMENTS: I really enjoyed the green tea taste as it’s a perfect mellow and tasty. However, the orange was kinda weird tasting being artificial. I think this would be better as an iced tea

165 °F / 73 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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A selling point for teas for me is having white chocolate in it. I find white chocolate adds a nice sweetness and creamyness to teas. However, most often it doesn’t ring much in the chocolate department. Super pumped to see Red Leaf Tea came out with a white chocolate matcha! Let’s see how their chocolate flavoring works out

Specs on the matcha I’m drinking today:

White Chocolate Matcha
Matcha Quality: Classic (Basic Grade)
Flavor: Distinctive

When I opened the bag, swirls of sweet chocolate smells came forth! I’m trying to remember if white chocolate smells differently than milk chocolate, but this matcha just smells simply “milk chocolate”.

Prepared as a traditional cup of matcha (1/4tsp plus 175f water, whisked), I get a nice creamy cup of matcha. The green tea taste come first – earthy and sweet with no bitterness, then a creamy mouth smoothness coats my mouth and lingers for a few seconds after my sip. I don’t get much chocolate taste, but the creamyness is nice. This matcha is great prepared traditionally, a new twist to the regular matcha with the flavoring being more a creamy sensation.

As an iced latte (getting so tired of this warm weather here in California) this matcha tastes green tea flavor equal to the added flavoring. I made this iced latte with fat free soy milk, but it tastes so creamy that I could be mistaken for full fat soy milk. I’m getting a white chocolate taste on some sips, other sips it simply tastes super creamy.

Overall, I prefer this matcha made traditionally, the only one out of all the Red Leaf Matchas I’ve tried, which I all liked as lattes. Maybe others would get more luck with stronger chocolate flavor with the Robust setting, but as Distinctive it’s not that chocolatey and tastes like the usual creamyness in teas with white chocolate.
I’m thinking this white chocolate matcha would be great mixed in with other flavors. I’m thinking White chocolate strawberry – for a creamy berry taste!

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I love strawberries (though I love blueberries more) – the strawberries back home in Canada were petite and full flavor – all the strawberries packaged from California were kinda large and bland. Now that I live in California, the strawberries are GIANTIC and full of flavor! I procrastinated on getting this matcha.. just strawberry? I like wild matchas like Eggnog and Pistachio! But really, strawberry matcha seems like a mandatory flavor to try (and add to my cheesecake matcha).

Specs on the matcha I’m drinking:

Strawberry Matcha
Matcha Quality: Classic Basic Grade
Flavor: Distinctive

Out of the gold foil package, the matcha smells like juicy strawberry, like smelling strawberry fruit leather or a strawberry flavored candy.

Prepared as a traditional cup of hot matcha, 1/4tsp of sifted strawberry matcha whisked in some 175f filtered hot water, the green tea comes out as deliciously earthy with no bitterness. The strawberry is bright and present, adding a hint of sweetness. The taste combined almost reminds me on when I eat strawberries too fast and I accidentally eat the stem or a leaf, which happens often haha!

Now my favorite part, making this matcha into an iced strawberry soy latte! I did about ¾ or 2/3 cup of light soy milk (ran out of milk), bit of sweetener, 1/4tsp of matcha and whisked it. The result: very tasty strawberry balanced with the taste of matcha. Even better than strawberry soy milk as it tastes just like strawberry candy. An amazing treat for under 90 calories!

Overall, very delicious if you are into the strawberry candy flavor. As a traditional cup it is pretty good, but even better as a latte. I suggest not to pass this one up.

EDIT: tried this straight iced, a tumbler of water with 1/4tsp of this matcha = really good! The strawberry is bright and barely sweet.

Now that I’ve tried a couple Delicate, Distinctive and Robust matchas – delicate is like the flavoring is really like a hint of flavor. Distinctive the flavoring seems 50/50 60/40. Robust is pretty strong flavoring, and depending on what you are getting (IE: eggnog, pumpkin pie) the matcha is barely there. I’m guessing fruity matchas are best at Distinctive or lower – my raspberry matcha at Robust seemed pretty over the top strong.

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drank Bossa Nova by Zen Tea
1260 tasting notes

Arggg, I got a long day today with a crazy jitz class and making lots of filipino egg rolls (lumpias) for my wedding. UGGG.

Thanks to Zen Tea for a sample of this tea!

STEEPED: Light brown tea, coffee like smell.
TASTE: Light oolong taste, smokey roasted nutty flavor. I didn’t get much of the vanilla / creamy taste.
Sweetened, the nuttyness comes out more. I even get that nut skin taste. I think I prefer the unsweetened tea more as it seems more sophisticated in taste.

COMMENTS: This is a great alternative to someone who doesn’t want a black tea, but wants a bold nutty taste. Overall really good for hazelnut lovers. However, this wasn’t creamy for me and I felt this needed another dimension for me. Maybe a longer steep would bring out more of the oolong?

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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mmm I love walnuts in tea! I had to give this one a shot!

DRY: sweet, pineapple smell. I found I had a half a walnut in my tea! So tempted to eat it, but I left it in the bag.

STEEPED: nutty smell. Yellow tea.

TASTE: Sweet with a hit of nutty walnut. The tea is lightly creamy and green tea taste.

COMMENTS: I can’t help to think of DavidsTea “toasted walnut”. In comparison, WB is more sweet and the walnuts really pop out. However, TW is more creamy. Both good teas! I drank this one in record time – totally need this iced next time!

160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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drank KaiMatcha Premium by KaiMatcha
1260 tasting notes

Apparently 2 steepings of green tea didn’t wake me up and I feel like sticking to green tea today for some reason. Time to bring in the matcha!

Had this iced. I didn’t bother sifting, just dumped it into a tumbler with ice and water and stirred it with my straw. This matcha is just so dangerously easy to use. I sipped away at this while I finished up my wedding bouquet stuff. So goood!


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I had this tea on my wish list for awhile and with my last Butiki order, I snagged it. However, Stacy informed me that I snagged the last of the Spring Twist! Sorry guys…

DRY: really interesting looking fine and crimped looking bright green leaves
STEEPED: Beautiful pale light light green. As I pour the tea into my cup, a strong aroma of sweet veggieness and peaches comes out. Peaches?

TASTE: Drool worthy sweet! Lots of great flavors going on of fresh peas, buttery, fruity and like other tea peeps, I got that freshly picked cob of corn taste! With all that said, the taste is strong and full bodied. No bitterness.

Second infusion: vegetal flavor and slightly buttery. Not as sweet or fruity. Bit of astringency creeping in.

COMMENTS: Mmmm, very good! I enjoy how strong the flavors are in this tea – so this would be great for someone who wants a full flavored but unflavored green.

Sorry tea peeps that I bought the last of this tea. I’m not sharing though (and I’m not sorry about that).

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Mmmm pumpkin pie! I make a killer and SNEAKY pumpkin pie. I use tofu in the mix with pumpkin and lots of spices. No one notices the tofu and the tofu keeps the pie nice and moist. I love mixing pumpkin puree into smoothies and I’m happy this is the time of year that the stuff goes on sale! But now, I got it in matcha form!

Specs on the matcha I’m drinking:

Pumpkin Pie Matcha
Matcha Quality: Classic (Basic Grade)
Flavor: Robust

Out of the package, this matcha smells strongly like spicy whole cloves with a bit of sweetness.

Prepared as a traditional hot matcha, (1/2tsp of matcha powder whisked with 175f water) the spices are very present over top a pumpkiny mellowness. Slightly sweet in flavor as well. I’d call this more of a “Spicy Pumpkin Matcha” than pumpkin pie. I did not detect any bitterness in this matcha, however the green tea is pretty background level due to the flavoring strength. Overall not bad if you are in the mood for spicy fall flavors.

Now, this is where Red Leaf’s matchas shine – in latte form! I’m doing a iced latte as it is too hot in SoCal still! I used soymilk, ice, pumpkin pie matcha and a bit of sweetener shaked up in a blender bottle. The result: very amazing flavoring! I can taste the pumpkin pie spice more as a whole, with a bite of spicy cloves and ginger. The pumpkin is present and my brain is making me almost sense the smushy texture of the pie as a I drink this latte. The green tea is in the background and sometimes I cannot detect it – this pumpkin pie matcha is pretty strongly flavored!
The spicyness is a good level for me (but I like spicy) and lingers in my mouth after drinking.

Overall, pretty good and spot on! If you like spicy pumpkin pies (like how my Dad makes them), this is for you. If you aren’t into spicy, try the delicate or distinctive flavoring options as I think they will be less spicy.


Mine should be here tomorrow.

A pumpkin tofu pie sounds delicious!

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This matcha does protein smoothie well!

I was a little heavy on the protein powder (or cheap on the milk) and the chunky bits reminded me of cookies to go with the whole flavoring!

A good matcha smoothie to end a horrible work out. I had to bail on the last set as it was just getting too heavy.


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I’m a tea blogger – The Oolong Owl
www.OolongOwl.com – I do tea reviews, obsessively photograph teas with mischievous crocheted Owls and get tea drunk. I am also a crochet and knitting designer at Awkward Soul Designs.

To contact me for reviews, check out details at OolongOwl.com/about or email me at [email protected]

I was raised on floral oolongs and green teas, mostly “beauty” teas. Early on as a kid, I can guzzle an entire pot of tea (or two) at a Chinese or Japanese restaurant.
These days I like adventurous and interesting tea blends. I’m fearless in trying new teas! I’m into oolong, pu’erh, white, green, black, guayusa, mate and herbals. I’m not into red rooibos but I keep buying it anyway.

The tea brand that got me started into loose leaf teas was DAVIDsTea. I used to live in Vancouver Canada and had access to their shop, however that is now limited since I moved to southern California.

However, the perks of living in the US is ultra cheap, fast shipping! Since then, my tea stash insanely expanded.

Other stuff I’m into that sneaks into my tea notes: Brazilian jiu-jitsu, metal music, drawing, painting, cooking, photography and nail polish.

BTW, my Steepster cupboard is not even close to accurate and I track my teas on a spreadsheet. Last update 573 Teas – August 2015.


Seattle, WA USA



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