Strawberry or Amaretto for my second matcha for the day? Probably will be my last, unless my daughter bends my arm to try the amaretto later, in which case that means if I have strawberry now I can have amaretto later without AS much guilt. Not that matcha is a guilt ridden drink but since I add milk, and creamer, it kind of turns into one. My daughter REALLY wanted amaretto matcha and I got it in the white tea base for her since she is not so much into vegetal flavored teas. So alas I shall have this one, strawberry! Haha isn’t it awesome how we figure out ways to get to enjoy even MORE tea!!
This is where you can find the strawberry matcha that I am reviewing and make your purchase: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/strawberry-matcha.html
So here is what I was expecting. I am a snob when it comes to two flavors, chocolate, and strawberry! Strawberry and chocolate are flavors that can really taste icky when done poorly. Chocolate can taste cheap like cheap chocolate easter egg candies we would get as kids, at least in my family haha. My husband LOVES those cheap o chocolate eggs but not me, I prefer expensive chocolate, the good stuff. Now as for Strawberry, this can often taste like chemicals, totally fake tasting, and it will smell that way more often than not as well.
This strawberry on the initial sniff did not have that chemical aroma but on a deeper sniff did have a bit of a “bite” in the nasal cavities but you really had to take a deep whiff to get it. Luckily I didn’t end up snorting my matcha!
The matcha I ordered is formulated as follows:
Size : Small
Matcha Quality: Starter (Basic Grade)
Storage : Add Small Metal Tin Container (Holds up to 45g)
I paid an extra 3.00 for the small metal container.
I also believe that my matcha base was upgraded to Royal matcha (Premium Grade) due to Red Leaf Tea being out of starter matcha but I could be wrong about this – regardless their starter matcha is excellent quality and better than some other companies higher grade matcha!
So onto the preparation of my strawberry matcha and matcha latte to follow:
I made my strawberry matcha using a cute pottery bowl I got a steal on from a site called fab. When I ordered it I had no idea that I would be using it for a matcha bowl. I got two of them thinking they were large enough for cereal but they ended up being the perfect sized chawan! I used the matcha whisk I got from steepster select before they stopped the program which I hope is back soon and the scoop that also came in that package. Just keep in mind you really do not need those items, you can use a fork, kitchen whisk, even a battery operated whisk! For me, froth is not too important personally. What is important though is to strain the powder I use a typical kitchen wire strainer, like the kind you may use to strain pulp from orange juice while filling your glass. The finer you get the powder the better! Note though that I think it is the flavoring perhaps that Red Leaf Tea uses but there will be these little crystals left over in the strainer, be sure to use your scoop or something to grind those through the strainer or at least just turn the strainer over and put them back into your powder. They seem to end up devolving into your mix. I have noticed this with ALL flavors from Red Leaf, not just strawberry. At the advice of another steepster – I wish I could remember who, I made a paste with the powder and enough water to cover the bottom of the bowl and about a 1/4 of an inch past that. Once I got my froth going I added the rest of the water. Then I fill a tall glass with ice, add milk, and a slight tiny splash of vanilla creamer, then the matcha tea mixture. I always taste the straight matcha first when trying a new flavor.
This matcha – straight – before adding to my iced mixture, was really good, slightly tart, a slight TINY bit of a chemical taste, but not bad, it seemed to just give it more of a tart kick. Also note that I opted for distinctive flavoring with this one which I honestly feel is enough – normally I go with Robust, which you could opt for Robust if you really want a HUGE strawberry taste but I think distinctive for this is fine. You can totally tell this is strawberry!
Once I added the matcha mixture to the tall glass with all my mixings in it the real party began! The vanilla creamer – just a splash mind you – made this taste like strawberries and cream dessert sitting atop a nice wedge of white cake, or dare I say, cheesecake even! Oh now I just realized I totally need to order some cheesecake matcha from Red Leaf tea, oh yes they do have that flavor too! You can also combo order matchas, mixing two kinds together or more if you contact them to ask them to do so! I personally would opt to just order a straight cheesecake flavor so I could mix and match my own combinations here at home. Strawberry and Cheesecake matcha mix – oh yes – please!
Sorry I got distracted there … so THIS matcha, in my mix of creamer, milk, and ice is delightful. Its fresh, zesty I may even say, slightly tart, yet the sweet of the creamer does add to the goodness, I love how the matcha base is just the right strength to let me know I am in fact drinking a quality matcha here, its earthy, vegetal, and fruity with the lovely strawberry flavor.
You know this matcha screams summer and while I have been longing for autumn to get here for the weather this mix makes me feel like going down the street to our local fruit farm and grabbing up a bunch of fresh strawberries! Yes I am lucky to have fruit farms close to my home. The grassy matcha base along with the fresh fruity aroma of strawberries just makes me sit back and appreciate summer a little while longer. This would be SO GOOD mixed with some orange juice in a smoothie rather than a milk based drink as well. This makes me want to just play around with this flavor and see what all I can come up with! I bet an actual cheesecake made with this matcha would be sinfully divine!
I love it when a tea is inspiring! When you start to day dream, feel appreciation for small things like strawberries at the fruit farm. When it makes you want to get inventive and try new mixtures. This is what this matcha flavor has done today for me. I won’t promise or swear that there is absolutely no chemical like flavor to this however as picky as I am I would say that most people would not notice it at all. I know that Red Leaf does use all natural flavorings so I am not worried at all about what is used to flavor this matcha, its probably just a thing I personally have with strawberry flavor but it is one of the best strawberry flavored teas I have had, and the only strawberry matcha I have ever come across!
Again here is the link to purchase: