So I joined steepster a little over a month ago – I’m not even sure at this point how i even found the site. Mostly I was looking for a place to find out about “other” teas and be able to share my joy and enthusiasm with other like minded people. I never expected to pulled into things quite like this.
One of tea types that I had never tried was Matcha. And this, is where this review comes in! I’d been holding off diving into the matcha world because I’d kind have gone on a tea buying binge and wanted to try and sort out what kinda of teas I liked before delving into an entire other “genre” of tea. However, Red Leaf had the audacity to not only put CARAMEL matcha on sale, but also put forth a challenge to the community to beat Azzrian’s epic review! Since I enjoy a good challenge, especially in the name of tea, I got the OK from my other half to order and then i waited…and waited…
For those of you in Canada, it took seven business days for my order to arrive. I’ve had the joy of waiting 10+ days so I was happy with that, not to mention HELLO new tea right before the long weekend!
Tearing open the package, I discovered the tin I’d added to the order, as well as the gold foil envelope that I’d heard so much about AND a little brochure that highlighted some of the options Red Leaf offers and a handy dandy guide to making matcha! So i did what any geek would do…read through it and then checked out about 5 other places on the interwebs to make sure i had a vague clue about what i was doing. I really didn’t want to screw this up. Did i mention that this was CARAMEL matcha! Oh yeah baby!
When i finally figured it out, got all my “not so very official” gear together, I was ready to open the package. At first cut, it was an outpouring of gorgeous Caramel smell! Not that artificial sticky weird caramel, but the kind that invokes vision of melted caramel…drizzled on apples and in dessert…the kind that makes you run your finger through every last drop trying to savour the moment as long as possible.
I carefully poured the matcha into my tin and got to work preparing my matcha.
Let’s just say…there’s some work to be done there! My first attempt at whisking left me with a slightly bitter tasting match, BUT because i’d done my homework i knew this was likely because i wasn’t whisking it well enough. Also….i felt it was safe to assume that there wouldn’t be so many amazing reviews if that’s the way it tasted. So…i wisked some more!
My second taste? Well it was everything I’d hoped for in a matcha, especially from a novice like me. The caramel isn’t an in your face flavour. It doesn’t trip into your mouth, take up residence and redecorate before you’ve had a chance to swallow. Instead, it slides gently into your mouth, rolls around with your tastebuds a bit and then in tandem with the tea, says “hey, nice to meet you…i’m caramel….”
I’d really had no idea what to expect when I ordered this. I did not expect what was delivered. I’d ordered the robust flavouring because i was worried about the base of the matcha being to vegetal for me. Now that I’d have my first sampling, I’d be willing to drop a level on certain matcha. That being said, there are also a few flavours i’d bump it up grin But for my first matcha taste? This was incredible. I didn’t need any added sugar or sweetner – it was a perfect blend of tea and caramel.
Since the matcha straight went well, I thought i’d try a small latte as well to see how the flavour came across when added to milk. We only have 1% in our house, which isn’t as creamy as i’f like to try with this as i think it would be a wonderful cross of cream and caramel, but it’s what was in the house! (Note that my grocery list, now has cream on it!) So i’m no wiz when it comes to matcha or do it yourself lattes, so this was pretty much me warming some milk up in the microwave, dumping the liquid matcha into it and then using my hand blender on it to froth things up and mix it all together.
Since then, I’ve been sitting here, trying to find the words to explain how wonderful this matcha is. Added to the milk only served to enhance the flavour. My other half had a taste and even he was impressed with the Caramel delight. It’s almost as if the caramel and milk got together and balanced each other out perfectly.
Overall, my first foray into Matcha land was a success in my opinion. I don’t know how Red Leaf does it but if the Caramel flavouring is any indication, they have their flavouring down pat without coming across as artificial. I can see myself wanting to start my mornings off with a matcha latte now. Not that I don’t love my tea, but I have found myself missing the creamy milk factor that used to come with my coffee or lattes before i switched over to just drinking tea. I’m not sure if drinking this after my time at the gym and so late in the evening was necessarily a smart thing to do, but i suppose it will depend largely on how the matcha hits me. I’m hoping it will be like others have mentioned and more of an “i’m more alert” than a HOLY I HAVE ENERGY kinda of thing, so that I can actually get some sleep tonight.
Thank you Red Leaf tea for making such a wonderful Caramel flavoured matcha! I’m really looking forward to trying out many more of your flavors, especially if they are even half as wonderful as this caramel one.
My matcha was composed of the following:
Size : Small
Matcha Quality: Starter (Basic Grade)
Storage : Add Small Metal Tin Container (Holds up to 45g)
I also recommend that you get the container – the lid screws on and off which keeps your powder safe from spillage and fresh.