What happened to the matcha company Red Leaf Tea?

Anyone know what happened to Red Leaf Tea that sold a billion varieties of matcha? I don’t know if they changed their name or aren’t around anymore?

10 Replies

They rebranded as “Matcha Outlet” and reduced their selection.


Thanks, Roswell… and whoa they really reduced their flavors. Darn.

And if anyone else is looking for more matcha… threeleaftea.com (I haven’t tried anything from them yet).

LuckyMe said

Damn, what happened to their selection…it doesn’t even look like the same store anymore. I remember they had this one really floral Chinese matcha. Very unique, but seems its been discontinued.

If they were warehousing their many, many different flavoured options and the wider range of straight matcha option I would imagine that was probably insanely expensive – and probably led to a lot of tea deterioration and product that would need to be written off.

Alternatively, if they were blending to order that would probably also be quite expensive and time consuming. They’d still need to keep an absolutely insane amount of flavouring options in inventory as well. I imagine at one point this might have been manageable, but with such an increase in competition in the flavoured matcha ‘market’ I bet there was probably a big decline in patronage and that made keeping some of those really weird/obscure flavourings in stock just not practical/cost effective for the amount of time they were actually being sold.

Just speculation, though.

AJ said

^ Definitely. I know they’d already dramatically reduced their selection even while still under the Red Leaf label. There were some complaints of quality deterioration/wonky flavouring towards the end if I recall. I didn’t even realize they had finally gone under.

I hate to say it, but DavidsTea has slowly been expanding into Flavoured Matchas and have a few surprisingly unique ones.

Wow, you think they’d get in a bit of trouble for using Starbucks in their branding there…

Obviously a bit biased as I work for DAVIDsTEA, but I do enjoy a lot of the interesting flavours that have some out in the last two or so years – though most of the really divergent ones are only limited edition (like the rose, gingerbread, and coconut water matchas that were all super nice).

Personally, in addition to buying from DT, I’ve also started buying a lot more flavoured matcha from Bird & Blend (also some very unique concepts; but a bit pricey ordering from Canada) and 3 Leaf Tea – both of which generally are carrying unsweetened flavoured matcha which I really enjoy.

When Red Leaf Tea first switched to Matcha Outlet they were still carrying about 30-40 of the flavours from the Red Leaf site (and not just the 5 or so they have now) so I did actually buy some matcha from them under the “Matcha Outlet” label that aren’t sold now – it’s a shame they reduced even further from those 40 or so flavours they first had after the website switch. Logistically, it makes sense though…

EDIT: To add, I have a gut feeling that the “wonky flavouring” issues near the end probably were from them blending to order and the flavourings used not getting enough time to rest/air out before being shipped – but that’s just a theory.

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ashmanra said

I believe they bring back some flavors for a very limited time and offer it at a good price. If you sign up for their emails, you will be notified when the flavors make their return appearance.

Oh, I didn’t know about this. Thanks ashmanra!

ashmanra said

You’re welcome!

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ashmanra said

Harney and Sons sells one or two flavored matcha blends now, also.

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