drank Irish Cream Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
620 tasting notes

Sipdown! (164/397)

We ran out of coffee in my house and I really need a good caffeine boost this morning as I didn’t get much sleep last night and have an important job application to write up today. So, I was forced to make the effort I’m usually too lazy for and prepare a matcha latte. I went with this one as it’s a sipdown, and I really need to speed up how quickly I’m getting through my teas. This very generous sample came my way a couple of years back from VariaTEA, so I’m not exactly sure what flavour level it is, though my spreadsheet says delicate. I’m not sure why, since it doesn’t say on the packaging and from the looks of it VariaTEA never mentioned it in any of her notes (nor did Cavo, who it looks like VariaTEA got it from). Ah well, I’m going to trust that she told me in a message or a note in the swap or something, and say that it’s delicate. I definitely remember thinking the flavour wasn’t very strong in the past, so dumped about twice as much matcha as I usually would into my cup. This doesn’t really help. The matcha is vegetal, which is weird in a sweet latte, but there is virtually no Irish cream flavour at all. There is some creaminess, but it’s barely distinguishable from regular milk creaminess, just making it seem like I used semi-skimmed milk instead of skimmed. No whisky or alcohol at all, just sweet (I added sugar) creamy milk with a grassy, green-bean like matcha. I don’t think it’s just the low flavouring level either, as I’ve had other delicate matchas from Red Leaf with more flavour, and I’ve seen a couple of notes from people with the highest flavour level saying the same thing.

Thank you for the sample, VariaTEA, but I wasn’t a fan.

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I first got into loose leaf teas when a friend of mine showed me Cara McGee’s Sherlock fandom blends on Adagio a good few years back, but they weren’t on sale in the UK so I started trying other kinds instead and have been hooked for almost three years (and have purchased several fandom tea sets including the Sherlock one I lusted over for so long).

Flavoured teas make up the majority of my collection, but I’m growing increasingly fond of unflavoured teas too. I usually reach for a black, oolong or white tea base over a pu’erh or green tea, though I do have my exceptions. I will update my likes and dislikes as I discover more about my palate, but for now:

Tea-likes: I’m generally easily pleased and will enjoy most flavours, but my absolute favourites are maple, caramel, chestnut, pecan, raspberry, coconut, blueberry, lemon, pumpkin, rose, hazelnut and peach

Tea-dislikes: vanilla (on its own), ginger, coriander/cilantro, cardamom, liquorice, pineapple and chocolate

I am a 25 year old bartender, English Literature sort-of-graduate and current student working towards finishing my degree. I am hoping to one day complete a masters degree in Mental Health Social Work and get a job working in care. Other than drinking, hoarding and reviewing tea, my hobbies include reading, doing quizzes and puzzles, TV watching, football/soccer (Sunderland AFC supporter and employee of my local football club), music, artsy weird makeup, and learning new things (currently British Sign Language).

I should probably also mention my tea-rating system, which seems to be much harsher than others I’ve seen on here. It’s not always concrete, but I’ll try to define it:

• 50 is the base-line which all teas start at. A normal, nothing-special industrial-type black teabag of regular old fannings would be a 50.

• 0 – 49 is bad, and varying degrees of bad. This is probably the least concrete as I hardly ever find something I don’t like.

• I have never given below a 20, and will not unless that tea is SO bad that I have to wash my mouth out after one sip. Any teas rated as such are unquestionably awful.

• This means most teas I don’t enjoy will be in the 30 – 50 range. This might just mean the tea is not to my own personal taste.

• 51+ are teas I enjoy. A good cup of tea will be in the 50 – 70 range.

• If I rate a tea at 70+, it means I really, really like it. Here’s where the system gets a little more concrete, and I can probably define this part, as it’s rarer for a tea to get there.

• 71- 80: I really enjoyed this tea, enough to tell somebody about, and will probably hang onto it for a little longer than I perhaps should because I don’t want to lose it.

• 81 – 90: I will power through this tea before I even know it’s gone, and will re-order the next time the mood takes me.

• 91 – 100: This is one of the best teas I’ve ever tasted, and I will re-order while I still have a good few cups left, so that I never have to run out. This is the crème de la crème, the Ivy League of teas.

I never rate a tea down, and my ratings are always based on my best experience of a tea if I drink it multiple times. I feel that this is fairest as many factors could affect the experience of one particular cup.

I am always happy to trade and share my teas with others, so feel free to look through my cupboard and message me if you’re interested in doing a swap. I keep it up-to-date, although this doesn’t mean I will definitely have enough to swap, as I also include my small samples.
Currently unable to swap as I’ve returned after a long hiatus to a cupboard of mostly-stale teas I’m trying to work through before I let myself purchase anything fresh

I also tend to ramble on a bit.


South Shields, UK

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