Red Leaf TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
This is a queued tasting note.
Finally tried this as a cold almond milk matcha latte. It was at the same time exactly what I expected it to be while also not quite hitting the mark either. It made for a super rich, and thick frothy drink though with such an intense, velvety mouthfeel. The flavour profile was interesting: it was very much vegetal and grassy which I think is definitely a combination of the matcha flavouring and then also the matcha itself. In addition to that strong vegetal flavour it was also very, very creamy and buttery which is what I wanted from this one, for sure. What I felt was missing was just a bit of sweetness; mostly this was all umami and it was enjoyable but didn’t feel overly “balanced” at the same time.
What I think I’ll try in the future is mixing this in a sweeter milk (like coconut milk, maybe) and then sprinkling the top with a dusting of cinnamon/nutmeg ’cause I think that would really push this one over the top and make it super enjoyable!
The flavor of the this tea has a rich and earthy flavor with gentle, subdued tones while also retaining its depth. Compared the culinary grade (from another brand), this tea is not bitter at all, though I would be hard-pressed to describe it in other means, though it is by no means bland or unremarkable. On the contrary, I would say that if done in the hands of a professional, one could draw its immense depth and elevate the taste of this tea to its fullest potential. I poured 2 cups of water 170 degrees Fahrenheit (76 in Celsius) in 1 tbsp of matcha. I mixed it as well and thoroughly as I could and it tasted great despite my expectations! The aroma smelled liked ceremonial grade tea and there’s no sweet taste to it, as mentioned earlier. Overall, it is good matcha tea and I wouldn’t mind using it everyday and would recommend it to someone who wants to try tea for the first time.
I placed a Red Leaf Tea order recently and this sample was included with my order. Thank you, Red Leaf Tea!
When you participate in the free sample test found on the discussion board, you get a 10g sample of matcha and pay only shipping. Once you review that, you will be sent another free sample with free shipping, and for the third free sample, I believe you receive this one. Mine, however, was simply included free with my order, and I already have another order on the way. Another sample, maybe? Woot woot!
The matcha powder is a lovely shade of green, nice and vibrant, and the aroma was very chocolate-y to me. I felt like it was a milk chocolate smell, but I did pass this around to several people and one of them immediately said it smelled like cocoa. Two others said chocolate, and one who had not heard them say this said it was a familiar smell but they couldn’t place it. Most people smelled chocolate.
I am not a matcha specialist. I am rather new to the matcha game compared to a lot of people, but I have graduated from only liking it as a sweetened latte to really enjoying a bowl whisked every day, plain. I have tried about ten different plain matcha teas, which isn’t very many, so lots of you will be far better qualified to write about these samples.
I usually use 160F water and no sugar. I have made this sample in this way several times now and feel prepared to review.
On the first tasting session with the lady who said it smelled like cocoa, she felt that it lost all chocolate scent once whisked up and said it tasted grassy. She is not a green tea drinker with the exception of enjoying jasmine green. She prefers black tea. I thought it was good. I found that I could work up a good froth, perhaps not as easily as with my KaiMatcha but it definitely got there. I did not find it bitter.
The color is slightly less vibrant than the best grade of matcha I have tried but still had a lovely color, and I stopped to admire the brilliance of the green color left in the white cups and pitcher we had used when we passed it around. The stain in the cups was a gorgeous color and had no trace of brown.
Tonight I even tried – for the first time ever – thick or Koi style using this matcha. I have never tried it before and found it a bit strong for me, but something I think could easily grow on you if you wanted to develop that taste. It wasn’t devilishly bitter, though, which I was afraid ANY Koi style preparation would be.
Thank you, Red Leaf, for your continued excellent customer service and for the sample!
Well, made this one iced at work and then I topped off the cup with some of the left over Sparkling water from when we were using it for sampling earlier in the week to make a sort of “matcha soda”. It didn’t taste terrible, but wasn’t great either. Also, the matcha kept settling very quickly; maybe because of the carbonation? I’m not totally sure what the cause was.
It was a strong drink overall because I was heavy handed with the matcha seeing as I was trying to finish off the package. Anyway, this one continued to be very, very floral which I think was bound to be the case regardless of how strong I made the drink. Obviously, there was a lot of grassyness too. The interesting thing with this brew was that the grape took on a bit of a ‘new’ quality. I’ve definitely described it as candy-like in the past, but with this cup it reminded me of straight up pixie sticks. You know the ones; basically flavoured sugar in a little paper or plastic tube. What’s even the point of those pieces of garbage!? Even as a kid I didn’t love them; there’s WAY BETTER candy out there, and if you get one of the ends wet that’s end game – your pixie stick is basically ruined.
Finished this one off; didn’t love it and likely wont miss it horribly.
Pixie Sticks are trash.
Starting my morning technically afternoon; I slept until 1PM off today with a warm bowl of Grape Matcha; just in water today, not milk. I haven’t yet figured out how to keep milk in my room for my bedside tea set up.
Might be time to invest in a mini fridge…
Anyway; this is really satisfying today. It’s got a really strong, aromatic floral quality to it that’s coming through pretty boldly alongside sweet grape notes and mild grassyness. The grape in this isn’t completely natural tasting but it’s certainly not overly artificial/candy like. It just feels very… perfumed? If that makes sense.
Delicious though, and a nice start to the day.
So, I don’t know if there’s any truth to it but there’s this absolutely GREAT story about why grape ice cream isn’t a thing; I don’t really care if there’s truth to it or not to be honest but here’s the Ben & Jerry’s story that I’m talking about:
There is no such thing as grape ice cream. The reason? It has a lot to do with dogs, girls, the 1876 World’s Fair, pharmaceutical companies, and it’s more complicated than you might ever imagine.
After his successful invention of the ice cream soda in 1874, Philadelphia’s Robert Green began to tackle a request from his customers. Green boldly stated, in an 1876 interview with the Pennsylvania Inquirer, “The people are tired of vanilla and chocolate. They want something more.” What Green did not know, is that grapes contain a special molecule Anthocyanin that prevents freezing, so he kept turning up with grape milk.
Companies such as Baskin Robins made a few futile attempts, but failed because of the anthocyanin. No breakthroughs were made until 1976, when Ben from ‘Ben and Jerry’s’ decided to try his hand. As it turns out, he was motivated by a challenge from Jerry’s attractive sister Becky.
Ben confessed in a People Magazine interview in 1984 that he had a huge crush on Becky and promised to create the flavor just for her. Knowing the history of grape ice cream, she coyly requested it, thinking it to be impossible. Ben began to include the grape skin and juice to better see the differences between batches. While he didn’t understand the science behind this at the time, he found that including the skins increased the levels of anthocyanin enough to make the ice cream freeze.
“Becky was impressed. We were at her house, alone. I gave her the scoop – on a cone. I was really getting somewhere. She was laughing and happy. She couldn’t believe I did it. I’ll never forget what happened next. Becky jokingly gave her dog a lick from the cone. He liked it and took a couple of licks. Then he just gasped and dropped dead. He flipped down onto the floor and was just gone. I had no idea grapes are toxic to dogs. Specifically to the anthocyanin. Becky was devastated. I had invented a deadly dog poison, and I definitely wasn’t getting anywhere with her now.”
Kyle and I stumbled across this story, and realized that regardless of whether or not it’s truthful, neither of us had ever had grape ice cream and so we NEEDED to try it. Low and behold, I have grape matcha – so we just infused some of that into a vanilla ice cream. Sure, it doesn’t look pretty like you’d think grape ice cream would – but it tasted pretty solid! Definitely lots of matcha taste too, but I like green tea ice cream anyway.
I’d totally make it again.
I did the thing again where I drank this and then proceeded to fail at taking notes, so I really only have a little blip of a flavour summary:
- Cold Shaken in water
- Quite floral
- A balance of natural grape and sweet candy grape
But at least my little jot notes are consistent! Last time I drank this I also made a point of pointing out that it tasted really floral so at least I’m making the same half-assed observations. Also, I need to know if anyone has tried this one in milk yet? Of the few people who Steepster says actually own it. That’s normally my go to, but admittedly I’m terrified to try it out. Grape milk seems so… wrong.
Well, this last week has been an absolute whirlwind!
But the important thing is that as of tonight, I am officially moved into the new house! I’m so excited to be moved out of my parents house yet again, and I think this new situation will be a really good one for me!
I actually don’t have a ton of queued posts from the week; most of my tea was actually packed up early into the week so I wasn’t drinking a lot of tea this last week. I’ll have to make up for that. The reality is, that I drank a lot of matcha because it was the last tea to get packed up (because I store it in the freezer). I’ll have to drink this one again more properly and at a time I can really focus on it because really none of the tea I had this week got any proper attention, and my notes from this week are shit…
Case and point, this is all I wrote for this tea:
- Floral forefront
- Grapey finish; a little mild but quite nice!
So, I will revisit this again. Also, I’m not gonna rate it until I get a chance to have it again as well because I just know I didn’t put the time into appreciating this new matcha to rate it with any semblance of precision.
This morning’s matcha was a 1/4 tsp whisked into a shot glass of hot water. It wasn’t my favourite combination, let’s say. A little too citrus peel/fresh cut grass for first thing, maybe, and it’s an odd combination to start with. I felt pretty horrible for about an hour afterwards, but I’m not sure whether the matcha had anything to do with that. I was feeling pretty rubbish to begin with, although not quite as nauseous. Not the combination for me!
I tried this as a latte this morning, and I was pretty impressed. I wasn’t sure how the flavour would work with milk, but it was actually okay. I got more of the “wine” flavour than I did with yesterday’s coconut water, but also a hint of berry and a touch of citrus rind. I have felt more awake the last couple of mornings, so maybe there’s something to this matcha thing after all. I’m enjoying this one – thanks again to Roswell Strange for sharing it with me!
ETA: I keep meaning to say that I’m drinking the basic grade, distinctive flavouring version of this one.
A sample from Roswell Strange. I still had some coconut water left after yesterday’s experiment, and I figured a sweeter/fruity matcha might pair better with it than plain. I used 1/2 tsp whisked into half a glass, and was a lot happier with the result. There’s a pleasant overall “orange rind” kind of flavour that works well with the sweet, tropical coconut. This turned out a lot more palatable than just plain matcha, and I was happy to sip on this first thing. A success!
I haven’t had matcha before so I’m not sure what rating to give this tea. I sifted two teaspoons into a few ounces of not-quite-boiling water, then whisked as instructed (although I don’t have a bamboo whisk so I used a metal one, and I couldn’t figure out how long I was supposed to whisk it for). It was a really dark green and when I tasted it with a spoon it was the bitterest thing I’ve tasted in years (or ever?). I dumped the rest of a bag of sugar into it (okay, so the bag was mostly empty already) and thinned it down with a LOT more water. Like maybe two cups more. Then I tried it again and decided the flavor would be bearable if only it were cold, so I poured a little of it over a glassful of ice and now I have way more iced matcha than I know what to do with. I’m going to be drinking this batch for the rest of the day.
Like I say, I’ve never had matcha before so I don’t know if I’m just not used to the flavor yet or if this was a bad sample or if I prepared it wrong or what. I also got some cheesecake matcha in the same order so maybe I’ll try that tomorrow and see if it has a pleasanter flavor. Maybe after I learn what normal is for matcha I can come back and give this one a rating.
Nearly done with this one…
I made it as an iced latte at work today, and while it wasn’t terrible it definitely had a strong artificial quality to it. That’s not an isolated thing either; I’ve basically had that issue all throughout owning this matcha. I was curious though if my coworkers would taste it too, so I shared it with two other people who love matcha and they both picked up on it too. One even said it tasted “like apple pie, topped with a spritz of her grandma’s perfume”. Eloquently put, no?
Lowering my rating for this one…
Flavors: Apple, Artificial, Cinnamon, Floral, Perfume
Bought a new matcha bowl/Chawan today!
So, when I got home I HAD to test it out. I was just in the process of whisking this up into some creamy eggnog for an iced eggnog latte when one of my roommate’s came home…
…With my ex boyfriend.
Steepster, correct me if I’m wrong, but is it not an unspoken rule that you don’t invite your roommate’s ex boyfriend over without at the very least giving said roommate a head’s up first so they can either plan accordingly to hide in their room or just get the hell out of dodge if they’d prefer; because I DEFINITELY would have said that would be the bare fucking minimum of acceptable behavior. Apparently I’d be wrong though because I was completely fucking blindsided…
So, now I’m hiding in my room with my matcha eggnog. The plus is that the new chawan is the perfect size for a small portion of matcha; and this tastes really good paired with the eggnog! The downside, of course, is that I feel trapped in my room right now and I’m absolutely FUMING. This is the first time I’ve seen the ex outside of work ’cause of fucking course we work together since we broke up, and I was NOT ready. I feel like my feelings weren’t taken into consideration by either of them; and I’m not willing to go out into the living room where they’re gaming and just pretend that everything is fine when it definitely isn’t.
I feel on the verge of crying, to be honest. Because of why we broke up, it’s just easier for me to have as little of him in my life as humanly possible; work is already like my own version of hell. I shouldn’t feel this uncomfortable in my own home…
It’s not fun being teased with/by someone you can’t have as much as you would like to.
This is a queued tasting note.
Made this one as an eggnog matcha latte, and I have to say I think I finally found the best way to drink this one! Seriously – it felt really perfectly balanced. The apple notes in the matcha like to come off as artificial and cloying, and the strong flavour of the eggnog definitely tempered some of the unnecessary intensity of the matcha without losing all of the flavour. Plus, the eggy/custard sweetness of the eggnog actually complimented the apple notes as well. Plus, the nutmeg in the ‘nog and the strong cinnamon notes in the matcha married together nicely as well to really cement in that this wasn’t just an “apple eggnog matcha latte” but an “apple pie eggnog matcha latte”. Now isn’t that a mouthful…
To say this one is growing on me is definitely not accurate, ‘cause I think that would mean saying that I like it. But something is definitely happening where I’m getting used to it in a way where I don’t heavily dislike it. That probably wont sell anyone on trying this one; but for me it’s kind of a positive thing.
I tried this cold shaken in almond milk; I feel like the nuttyness of the milk complimented the cinnamon/pie crust flavours well enough and the contrast of the apple against the almond milk wasn’t undesirable either. It just has a strong artificial quality I can’t seem to get rid of. It’s not nearly as bad as this, but it’s kind of comparable to that apple-cinnamon scented Febreeze. As far as Febreeze goes, that’s a pretty nice smelling one! But, you wouldn’t want someone to spray it in your mouth…
Yesterday I spent the majority of the day studying and recording my presentation for class. For this presentation, we had to pick either the history, philosophy, production style, or manufacturing techniques of a tea growing region and discuss that in detail. I picked the philosophy (and how that ties into the tea ceremony) of Japan! Huge thanks to both James at t-ching and hokdor for helping me go through my presentation as well! It helped A LOT to have someone to go through everything with and it probably cut hours off the time it would have taken to perfect a recording as well!
But of course, if I’m gonna talk about Japanese tea philosophy I’m going to be drinking matcha while I study/record. This time I tried this in the more traditional way: hot in just plain water. It’s quite tasty, if I do say so myself. At least, compared to the super funky tasting latte this made. It still didn’t taste all that natural/realistic but was a huge step up. Apple notes and lots of cinnamon for sure! This is one I still need to tweak how I’m prepping it, but it’s getting better! And it’s hard to believe the first time I tried this one was less than a month ago. It feels like so much has happened in that short span of time!
Happy National Pie Day!
To celebrate I finally tried out this matcha, from my most recent order. It seemed appropriate to have a pie tea on pie day. I’m debating drinking all my pie matcha today since I have three different pie flavours right now but I’m also just a little worried that might be caffeine overkill.
I had high hopes for this matcha, and it smells great in the package. However whisked up in a cup of cold milk it was a fair bit disappointing. There are definitely nice apple and cinnamon notes initially and I am totally reminded of apple pie in the best way. Things take a turn in the finish of the sip though; the flavour quickly falls apart and tastes very artificial and very chemical which is something I really wasn’t expecting: especially since this is only delicate level of flavouring. What it reminds me of is cheap cinnamon flavoured toothpaste. Gag.
I’m not calling this one a write off just yet: I’ve certainly had much worse flavours (such as the Sangria) but something about the way I’m prepping this or the amount of matcha I used no more than I normally would have DEFINTIELY needs to be adjusted for this to really be enjoyable.
Regardless, happy Pie Day!
This was a free sample in my most recent matcha order.
Made it up as my first drink of the day; hot matcha latte! It’s really delicious; the vanilla flavour is very smooth and creamy and it almost had like a vanilla cakeyness to it? Creamy, silky, vanilla custard type cake. Yes! That’s exactly it.
I can’t believe I hadn’t tried this matcha before either; or at least if I have I hadn’t rated it? It’s one of those flavours I definitely felt like I’d always tried too…