August 2015 Simple Loose Leaf – Tea Review

Tea of the month club time! Today is for the August 2015 Simple Loose Leaf club!

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Simple Loose Leaf box info – Simple Loose Leaf is a monthly Co-op tea box that sends 4 to 6 loose leaf tea samples (1/4oz size) – you get a wide assortment of different teas such as straight teas, blends and herbals. With being in the Tea Co-op, you get a membership ID. If you enjoy and want more tea that you’ve sampled, you can purchase it from the Simple Loose Leaf Tea Shop for 50% off.

For your first box, you can enter OolongOwl for a 50% off your first Simple Loose Leaf’s Tea co-op box!

In this month’s box: Osmanthus Ceylon, Roasted Hojicha, Ruby Tisane, Rooibos Chai Herbal, and Zesty Orange Pu’er.

I’ll be reviewing Osmanthus Ceylon, Ruby Tisane, and Zesty Orange Pu’er. I’m in the mood for orange!

Tasting of August 2015 Simple Loose Leaf Club

Osmanthus Ceylon is a black blend of darjeeling and ceylon with osmanthus petals.

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Osmanthus Ceylon has a soft orange floral scent. The black sips in quite good – it’s a sweet floral with a bit of citrus orange vibe to it. If you’ve had osmanthus teas before you’ll know what I mean, it is an interesting floral flavor. The black is quite brisk and dry, so it pairs well with the orange floral making a fun twist to an orange black. The dryness is quite high, a 6/10. This black tea is totally moreso aimed for a drinker that adds milk and sugar for a delightful afternoon tea.

Ruby Tisane – this herbal blend has apple, rosehips, hibiscus, citrus peel, and flavoring.

August 2015 simple loose leaf (1)

I made this one iced and it came out nicely fruity. I can taste mostly apple, with tart orange and hibiscus. I added some agave, which made this a light fruity iced tea. I think I would enjoy this one would be even better served with some orange and apple slices.

August 2015 simple loose leaf (2)

Zesty Orange Pu’er is a ripe pu’er with orange peel and flavoring.

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I made this iced because I love iced ripe pu’er and the pairing with orange sounded great. The pu’er has plenty of sweet tangerine-like orange flavor over a rich earthy base of pu’er. The main flavor is orange and pretty natural tasting. I didn’t add any sweetener as I think it would of become too candy like in taste if I did. The blend is very refreshing, perfect for a hot summer afternoon. I love this pu’er blend and I require more of it!

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(tea provided for review)

 

Jasmine Green from The Little Red Cup Tea Co – Tea Review

Today’s tea review is Jasmine Green Tea from The Little Red Cup Tea co. This particular jasmine green is fair trade and organic! This tea is from WuYuan County, Jiangxi China.

Little Red Cup Tea Co also has these really cool tea tins!

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Dry Leaf

The Jasmine green has a lovely soft sweet jasmine scent. The tea is small little half moons.

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Steeping Instructions

Little Red Cup Tea Co has pretty flexible steeping instructions. They have a basic guideline for a water temperature of 170F to 180F. I’m going to play with this one, wheeeeee!

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I steeped 5 grams of leaf in a 200ml tea pot. At around 1.5 minutes I liked the flavor. The tea opened up revealing a cut leaf.

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Tasting of Little Red Tea Cup Co’s Jasmine Green Tea

The Jasmine green steeps up a lovely deep orange colour with a soft jasmine scent.

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Jasmine green tastes of a soft jasmine – not perfume like or soapy. I’ll give the floral a 3/10 rating. The green tea has a smooth silky texture with a fresh, savory green pepper and lightly bitter background. After each sip I get a floral jasmine taste that has a tint of peachy fruityness to it.

Resteep: The resteep is a little less jasmine in flavor with more green pepper notes. The bitterness is a touch more, but not at all hard to drink.

Comments

I find Little Red Cup Tea co‘s Jasmine Green tea quite neutral with its jasmine level and a friendly, easy to drink tea. This green is s great daily jasmine tea to have with meals, as it’s soft to not overpower your meal.  I hate to say it, but I have been asked – this tea could be a great “Chinese Restaurant” candidate, but much more fresh and better quality. If you are looking for a great every day jasmine green, be sure to snag a sample of this one!

The price point on Jasmine Green is inexpensive, especially for an organic fair trade tea! The Little Red Cup Tea co sells their Jasmine Green in sample sizes as too!

(tea provided for review)

August White2tea Club featuring Dahongpao and Clover Patch Oolong – Tea Review

OMG This month’s White2tea club is awesome! I cannot contain my joy when I saw what I got.

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OOLONG! This month – Fresh Dahongpao, Aged Dahongpao, and Clover Patch Oolong. DROOL! Can I drink them all at once? I quite enjoy these tasting sets for education – I get to learn, try new teas (that some don’t get to try) and drink all the tea! I’ve never had Fresh Dahongpao nor even seen it for sale (apparently for good reason).

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Tasting of August White2tea Club – Fresh & Aged Dahongpao and Clover Patch Oolong

Let’s start with drinking the Fresh and Aged Dahongpao.

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Aged Dahongpao has a strong scent. I don’t wanna say it but it smells like a car tire to me. The Fresh Dahongpao smells roast sweet and much lighter than aged.

I steeped both in gaiwans, gongfu style with boiling water. I used 3 grams each in itty bitt gaiwans.

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After the first infusion, Fresh Dahongpao has a soft buttery sweet scent with Aged Dahongpao with a deep, rich, tire scent.

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First, Second, Third, and Fourth Infusion:
Fresh Dahongpao tastes so different compared to other Dahongpao’s I’ve had. The flavor is light, the lightest Dahongpao I’ve had. The notes are caramel, wild forest wet leaf, twigs with a creamy texture. The finish is citrus dry, a bit gritty with a sweet hint of peaches. Yeah, that’s a lot going on.

Aged Dahongpao is Pow, very strong! The flavor is sweeter and mellow with notes of rich dark fire wood, charcoal brickettes with a Mineral sweetness. There is a warm peachy floral aftertaste too. So smooth!

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Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Infusion:
Fresh Dahongpao developed a spicy flavor like cinnamon stick. The flavor intensity is still weak and getting more gritty dryness with an abrasive mouth feel. The flavor is cinnamon spice and woodsy forest. The flavor is slipping greatly with each steeping.

Aged Dahongpao is creamy and super smooth. The flavor is has a thick woody flavor with lots of mineral amber sweetness. Aged Dahongpao is very pleasant to drink.

Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, and Thirteenth Infusion:
Fresh Dahongpao had a final steeping at the 9th infusion. The flavor finished as a herby eucalyptus.

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Aged Dahongpao is still super smooth. The flavor is mellow and mineral, marshmallow and woodsy. With each steeping it gets sweeter and sweeter. The final steeps are light and woody.

What I thought was interesting was how the Fresh Dahongpao taste. It wasn’t that bad as stated, it had lots going on and it was a fun drink. The cons was the weak flavor and a short tea session. The thing is I’ve had much much worse Dahongpao that wasn’t fresh. I’ve had Aged Dahongpao before, and as always it is pretty good with a strong flavor. Aged was completely chill, smooth and mellow in comparison of the Fresh Dahongpao. If you haven’t had an aged oolong, be sure to seek it out!

 

Clover Patch Oolong time! A modern, experimental processing of oolong! Hey, if this tea is popular, I bet I could get into the market of Tea Owl rolled oolongs that were swatted with dragonfruit cactus chunks found in my backyard.

Clover Patch Oolong had some really big leaf that is very fragrant of roast floral. Pictured is 4 grams as I couldn’t get any more on this little plate!

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During a quick rinse the scent of this tea was intense! Whoa! Let’s not half owl-butt this shall we – Aroma cup go!

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Clover Patch Oolong steeps up a light golden yellow. The aroma cup smelled really neat, like roasty coconut, butter, and floral.

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First, Second, Third, and Fourth Infusion: Clover Patch Oolong has a thick silky texture. The flavor is juicy and refreshing like a strong white tea but with a heavy flavor. The notes are white grapefruit without any tart and flavor. The aftertaste, holy hoots, the aftertaste is strong and long lingering of butter, persimmons and floral. The floral is quite strong but I’m not sure what floral I’m tasting, maybe honeysuckle or buttercup? The flavor might be soapy for some but I like it being a floral lover.

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Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Infusion: So much aftertaste, this is nuts! The lingering aftertaste intensity is as much as drinking the tea! I don’t know if I’m drinking anything with flavor as all I taste is the aftertaste of floral and fruit. I resetted my palette and got notes of custard, butter, linen, and wet leaf. Got a bit more tart closing in on that white grapefruit flavor. I wish I didn’t reset my mouth, dat aftertaste is amazing!

At the 6th infusion the tea hit me hard and fast. Like a giant Owl Dragon, spewing a fiery breath of floral. I was sweating violently and my kitchen became magically clean from flailing energy.

Eighth and Ninth Infusion: Clover Patch Oolong’s flavor is slipping fast and it’s really light now. All I’m getting is a lightly tart grapefruit and linen. There is now some dryness and the aftertaste is just a whisper. Nooooooooooo come back, I’ll bake you cookies!

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Tenth Infusion: The desperate 15 minute steep. This was the sweetest in flavor but double the dryness. All I got was sugar cane notes. No aftertaste. Just like that, the energetic tea drunk was gone. What a weird experience with the tea energy coming in fast and not lasting long.

If you want a unique, experimental, modern oolong, get your hands on Clover Patch! So much fragrance! It appears you can purchase more, but I don’t see it on White2Tea yet.

In all, this month was awesome – I had lots of fun trying all the oolongs and experiencing fresh, aged and modern experimental oolong! White2tea club GO GO GO!

Matcha Brand Comparison 2, Round 3 – High End $17 to $48 per ounce Matchas

So you are looking for a great matcha and you are willing to spend more for it? This Matcha Brand Comparison will be looking at the $17 to $48 per ounce Matcha range!

Amazon Matcha Comparison
Round 1 – Matcha Brand Comparison under $9.99 an ounce
Round 2 – Matcha Brand Comparison $9.99 to $16.99 an ounce

I’ll admit, this set up isn’t that great. There is 24 matchas in this Round and simply TOO MANY matchas for me to deal with at once and keep my own review standards intact. I’m sure as readers it would be hard to believe my ratings of 24 matchas at once, if I read it myself I’d think it was bunk. I could of just drank them all in more than one sitting and rate them, but I felt my ratings would fail at comparing them as a group and full of crap. However, I was told to rate these all together, so meh. #teabloggerproblems.

I broke the tastings in half, so I drank half one day, the other half a week later. I’d like for you to consider each group separately as I drank them, which would be best representation of my ratings. With that said, some in the first part would rate high but not as good as in group 2.

Testing Procedure

Every matcha is labelled by number or letter. I do not know what brands I was drinking at the time. After I wrote out my results, I edited in the brands, price and further thoughts.

Despite the numbering system, I drank each matcha in random order within their group.

For all matches I used 160F and started with a 1/3 cup water. I opted to weigh out the matcha – 1 gram of matcha each, rather than volume measurement. For equipment I sifted the matcha and whisked it with an electric frother.

Note: these matchas are being compared to each other vs. overall from previous matcha comparison posts. Some matchas may be repeated but have a different score.

Rating Scale Breakdown (out of 10)

Matcha Powder Colour – Colour of the unprepared matcha powder. This is important as matcha can range in colour as well as colour is usually an important factor of the quality of the matcha. Generally we are looking for a vibrant green matcha.
1 = there is no color. 10 = the green is bleeding my eyes.

Matcha Powder Scent – Scent of the matcha powder. Hey, I like smelling things!
1 = smells awful. 10 = I might be caught looking suspicious with green powder under my nose from smelling the matcha too much.

Prepared Appearance – Color mostly considered here as well as foam. Photos were taken right after whisking.
1 = I want to pour it out it’s so ugly. 10 = The tea should be considered art.

Bitter Sweet Scale – How bitter or sweet it is. I was told to rate bitter/sweet this way but it was awkward for me as something can be both bitter and sweet, as well a high sweetness may not equal good.
1 = Bitter! Someone sandpaper my face off. 5 = Neither bitter or sweet middle ground. 10 = Really sweet that I call shenanigans that this has been laced with sugar.

Flavor – This is a personal rating here, I’d take this with a grain of salt. A little tough to determine as well since if it is quite bitter I will rate the matcha lower.
1 = I regret drinking that. 10 = Nope, 10 was a slip of a keystroke. It’s truly a 1 not a 10 (as I run off to buy it all).

Price – This time around it appears the ranking is done for me. The matchas are numbered and ordered by price point. Prices pulled July 2015 so price may vary.

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Matcha Brand Comparison GROUP 1 – $16.99 to $20.75 per ounce

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BLARG!! I’m annoyed. I found out after the fact that Matcha 10 – 14 were in Round 2 after I drank them and wrote reviews. I’m moreso annoyed as some of these matchas were terrible and I had to drink them again. WHYYYY! I did include a picture of Matcha 12 above.

I’ll post Matcha 14 in this group to give a bit of overlap to compare with the others.

 

MATCHA 14  – Red Leaf Tea Kennin Matcha

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Matcha Powder Colour  6/10 – Very fluffy, but not as green as the other matchas.

Matcha Powder Scent 7/10 – Fresh scent but quite light.

Prepared Appearance 8/10 Good looking appearance, though not as good as other matchas in this group.

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Bitter Sweet Scale 6/10 Again, savory, but with a bit of sweetness which is natural tasting.

Flavor 6/10 The notes here are toasty sweet brown rice, wheatgrass, chestnuts, fresh spinach and umami savory. Despite being a top pick last round, this matcha wasn’t as fresh and complex as others.

Price – $16.99 per ounce, sold in 30 gram packages. With volume discount, Red Leaf Tea Kennin Matcha is as low as $8.49 an ounce.

 

MATCHA 15 – Ito En Teas’ Tea Matcha

matchatea

Oh yay, Ito En (aka Teas Tea). I’ve had a number of their products, mostly their premade teas which are the absolute best.

Looking at their website under the “origin”, where this matcha is from doesn’t get any more specific than this:

matchateastea

Matcha Powder Colour  8/10 – Pretty nice coloured matcha!

Matcha Powder Scent  6/10 – Barely any scent, but what I can smell is floral and sweet.

Prepared Appearance 6/10 – The foam didn’t stick around that long, but the colour of the matcha is quite lovely.

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Bitter Sweet Scale 5/10 – In the middle. This matcha has both bitter and sweet notes.

Flavor 7/10 – Flavor notes of rice, spinach and lots of freshness, but with a buttery almost floral finish. The flavor is on the lighter side. A pretty good matcha that’s easy to drink.

Price – $17.14 per ounce. Ito En Teas’ Tea Matcha is sold in a 20 grams tin with no sample sizes.

 

MATCHA 16 – Ito En Matcha LOVE Usucha

usucha_tin

We have another Ito En Matcha! The origin of this matcha also is simply a map in Uji, Japan.

Matcha Powder Colour  9/10 – Very fluffly matcha with a great vibrant colour. Top of the class!

Matcha Powder Scent  4/10 – I couldn’t smell much on this one, despite the great colour. All I could smell was a little rice.

Prepared Appearance 9/10 Whisking this matcha was like whisking a bowl of melted ice cream – it foamed quickly and had a thick appearance. Really nice colour on this one.

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Bitter Sweet Scale 7/10 This matcha has a pleasing amount of sweetness that is natural tasting.

Flavor 9/10 – I quite liked this one. The flavor is very fresh, nutty, white bread toast, buttery and fresh spinach. It’s like I’m eating fresh out of the oven bread with butter and spinach. Very good and energizing cup of matcha.

Price $17.14 per ounce. Ito En Matcha LOVE Usucha is sold in a 20 gram tin with no sample or bulk sizes.

 

MATCHA 17 – Red Leaf Tea’s Emperor Matcha

Classic-Matcha

Red Leaf tea is back  with another Chinese matcha. A high roller one too with “Emperor”. I wonder if the next level is “God Matcha”. Like other Red Leaf Tea Matchas, no information on where in China it’s from and when it was harvested.

Matcha Powder Colour 9/10 Another very fluffy matcha. This one fell out of the sifter. The colour is pretty!

Matcha Powder Scent  5/10 This one has a bit more scent than Matcha 16, sporting a bit of toasty rice.

Prepared Appearance 8/10 A good looking matcha – the foam was tight, goregous dark jade colour, but not as thick as other matchas here.

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Bitter Sweet Scale 4/10 – Not that sweet at all, mostly savory in flavor.

Flavor 4/10 – This matcha started tasting good with creamy savory chestnut, but had a weird sour finish. I recleansed my pallet and tried again and it still tasted like sour cabbage.

Price $17.99 per ounce. Red Leaf Tea’s Emperor Matcha is sold in 30 gram bags with the option of purchasing more for a cheaper price, down to $8.99 per ounce.

 

MATCHA 18 – Red Leaf Tea’s Tofuku Matcha

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This Japanese Red Leaf Tea matcha is from Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. I love tofu and I looked up “Tofuku” and it’s a temple in Kyoto.

Matcha Powder Colour  5/10 – This matcha is slightly grey but not too bad.

Matcha Powder Scent  7/10 – A strong sweet floral scent, I like it!

Prepared Appearance 5/10 – This matcha foamed nicely, but the colour was a murky jade.

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Bitter Sweet Scale 7/10 – Pretty sweet in flavor with an absence of bitterness.

Flavor 7/10 – Tofuku Matcha is sweet and fruity, like the juice that is packed with peaches. The finish is vegetal like celery and green peppers. I didn’t mind this one, I would drink this again as the fruity notes were interesting. If you like a fruity matcha this one would be for you.

Price $17.99 per ounce. Red Leaf Tea’s Tofuku Matcha is sold in a 30 grams bag, with the option of purchasing multiple bags for a cheaper price, down to $12.79 per ounce.

 

MATCHA 19 – Red Leaf Tea’s Manju Matcha

matcha-japan14000986795373cf77549c2

Another Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. Apparently there and Uji is loaded in matcha.

Matcha Powder Colour 7/10 – The colour is pretty comparable to the others, but a touch lighter.

Matcha Powder Scent  9/10 – Very nice scent with a creamy freshness to it.

Prepared Appearance  9/10 – Hello good looking! This matcha is light foamed, thich and attractive coloured.

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Bitter Sweet Scale 5/10 – In the middle ground, kinda sweet but also savory.

Flavor 8/10 – This matcha was quite creamy with notes of white rice, white toasted bread, and chestnuts – a pretty solid workhorse matcha!

Price $19.99 per ounce. Red Leaf Tea’s Manju Matcha is sold in a 30 grams bag, with the option of purchasing multiple bags for a cheaper price, down to $14.29 per ounce.

 

MATCHA 20 – Red Leaf Tea’s Matsuri Matcha

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Another Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. More evidence it rains matcha there.

Matcha Powder Colour 8/10 Nice gorgeous colour of green.

Matcha Powder Scent  4/10 Unfortunately this one smells kind of plastic and kale.

Prepared Appearance 8/10 A solid, good looking matcha – but we’ve seen better.

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Bitter Sweet Scale 7/10 – This matcha has a good amount of sweetness.

Flavor 8/10 – This one has an odd flavor and unlike the rest. I’m picking up grassy, raspberries, and floral. It is odd as it really doesn’t match the scent of the matcha powder. This one is a tough call as some wouldn’t like that berry taste, but it is pretty neat to me.

Price $19.99 per ounce. Red Leaf Tea’s Matsuri Matcha is sold in a 30 grams bag. There is no bulk discount for this matcha.

 

MATCHA 21 – Pure Matcha’s Premium Ceremonial Grade

An Amazon matcha! Oh my, I am in shock!

This matcha does NOT USE CAPS AT ALL IN THEIR LISTING. No “WEIGHT LOSS WIZARDRY!!!!!” Unfortunately it does include mostly health claims but they aren’t obnoxious as other matchas on Amazon have been. Bonus points!

This matcha is from Nishio, Japan but no harvest date is listed.

Matcha Powder Colour 9/10 – That’s a good looking matcha powder!

Matcha Powder Scent  9/10 – This matcha is quite aromatic, like sweet fields of grass.

Prepared Appearance 9/10 – Another good looking matcha. For this price point we are in, it better look good.

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Bitter Sweet Scale 6/10 – Lightly sweet, but with a bit of vegetal bitterness.

Flavor 9/10 – Pure Matcha is quite nutty with chestnuts and walnuts notes, along with a bit of grassy. There is a light smooth sweetness that reminds me of honey. The flavor is quite nice in this one, I like it!

Price $20.75 per ounce. Pure Matcha’s Premium Ceremonial Grade is sold in a 30 gram tin. Prime Shipping!

As a side note, Pure Matcha also sells Black and Rooibos matcha!

GROUP 1 COMMENTS and RANKINGS

Oolong Owl Favorites:
MATCHA 16 – Ito En Matcha LOVE Usucha
MATCHA 21 – Pure Matcha’s Premium Ceremonial Grade
Both matchas are really good and come in a tin. Matcha 16 being the cheaper price of the two and the one I like better out of the two due to fresh taste.

You can’t go wrong with:
MATCHA 19 – Red Leaf Tea’s Manju Matcha
MATCHA 20 – Red Leaf Tea’s Matsuri Matcha
Matcha 19 being the noteable one as you can get it cheap in volume.

There is an obvious jump in flavor comparing this price bracket with the last. The winner from the last, cheaper round was Matcha 14, and I think it’s worth jumping to the ones I mentioned above if you want to spend a bit more.

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Matcha Brand Comparison GROUP 2 – $23.50 to $48.00 per ounce

Hello high rollers – these are your matchas! To be honest, this tasting was tricky. The matcha were really close in colour as with the prepared appearance. Most of them are really good, you honestly can’t go wrong and just snag one that sounds good to you and ignore my hootings.

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MATCHA 22 – Misake Tea Company’s  Meditation Ceremonial Organic Matcha (Amazon)

This is an Amazon matcha, and another health claim loaded one. “THE SECRET OF THE ZEN MONK’S FOCUSED CALM ALERTNESS” and “HOURS OF JITTER-FREE ENERGY WITH NO CRASH”. LIES. ALL LIES. I know this. I know they don’t think you drink 12 matchas at once like I did for this review, but I’m so jittery a walk down my hall will give me multiple butt bruises. I’ve done these matcha tasting 4 times now and each time I crash so hard I fall asleep at like 9pm.

Wait, this matcha seriously says MAKES YOU EVEN SEXIER! …With over 137 times the EGCG of standard green tea, it aids in Weight Loss and Fat-Burning. EGCG has been shown to suppress the appetite and help turn carbohydrates into energy instead of fat. Remember that part about increased stamina? Make sure your partner drinks some too!”

O_O What the @*&#$%^()

Matcha Powder Colour 5/10 – The matcha powder is nice and fluffy, but the colour does not belong with the others.

Matcha Powder Scent  4/10 – The scent of this one is squeaky, like cheese. Does that make any sense?

Prepared Appearance 8/10 – This matcha has a nice foam with a lovely colour.

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Bitter Sweet Scale 3/10 – Bitter Sour!

Flavor 2/10 – I didn’t know a matcha could taste sour. The flavor was quite strong, so I watered it down and it still tasted sour. Past the sour the flavor is of artichokes and wheat grass. I question if this tea has been stored poorly or has gone off.

Price $23.54 per ounce. Misake Matcha Meditation is sold in a 30 gram tin. There are some coupon codes in the listing to make buying multiple tins cheaper.

In case if you were wondering, no I did not become sexy after drinking this. I made such a sour ugly face while drinking this one that I’m sure would of ruined my chances of becoming Miss Universe. I slid some to my husband aka “Tea Hating Husband” – he spat it out saying it was disgusting, he hates me and wants to return me back to Canada. Moving on.

 

MATCHA 23 – Midori Spring’s Organic Ceremonial Matcha Gold Class (Amazon)

Another health claims Amazon matcha with CAPS lock in effect. Oh look, a new claim, “(5) Help the body cleanse of harmful elements.” Hmmm, what harmful element do I need to be cleansed of? It’s certainly not Oxygen. Since it’s “Gold Class” does it kill off all the other elements and leaves the gold behind? So this matcha makes me a Alchemy god? Ooooooh!

The origin of this matcha is stated as “tea gardens mostly from Aichi and Kagoshima in Japan”. Mostly? Okay then.

Matcha Powder Colour 6/10 – Wow, this matcha is quite fluffy and very heavy. If you can see in the photos, this one has the least amount of matcha. The colour is pretty middle of the pack.

Matcha Powder Scent  5/10 – This one smells like an empty cardboard Sun Maid raisin box. I’m not sure how I feel about that, have a 5/10.

Prepared Appearance 7/10 – This one foamed up so tightly it doesn’t even look like foam. However, the foam layer is thin.

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Bitter Sweet Scale 6/10 – This matcha is lightly sweet.

Flavor 6/10 – This matcha is really neutral and weak in flavor. It’s not very umami, grassy or vegetal. It has a leafy taste. If this had no foam, I would think I was drinking regular ol’ green tea. The flavor is pretty friendly to non-tea drinkers due to the neutral qualities.

Price $23.54 per ounce. Midori Spring’s Organic Ceremonial Matcha Gold Class is sold in 30 gram tins. Prime Shipping! However, I’m thinking since this matcha was quite weak, this matcha needs more per serving, thus much more expensive than listed.

No I didn’t find any gold, though admittedly it didn’t cross my mind to check my stool.

 

MATCHA 24 – DoMatcha’s Green Tea Ceremonial Matcha (Amazon)

DoMatcha is back and it’s none of that 2nd grade stuff like we had in Round 2. Not much information in the Amazon listing, just mention of it being from Kyoto and Uji Japan.

Matcha Powder Colour 7/10 – A pretty nice green. Man, these practically look the same.

Matcha Powder Scent  7/10 – The scent is light, with a toasty rice essence to it.

Prepared Appearance 9/10 – It’s a cloud of fluff! Very lovely appearance!

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Bitter Sweet Scale 8/10 – The sweetest of the matchas, without tasting freaky.

Flavor 10/10 – Oh that’s good. I had to stop myself from inhaling the entire cup. I’d just make a bucket of this matcha and submerge my face and drink it like some kind of animal. The matcha is really creamy with notes of custard, sweet grass with a light soy bean taste.

Price $23.58 per ounce. DoMatcha’s Green Tea Ceremonial Matcha is sold in a 30 gram tin. I’m not paying attention to that price. This stuff is good! Take a bow DoMatcha, you did good!

 

MATCHA 25 – Ito En Matcha LOVE™ Classic (Ito En / Amazon)

Another Ito En Matcha. Sorry readers. As I’m looking up this matcha it appears to be sold out on the Ito En site. However, I see it for sale on Amazon… for $205.95. WUT THE LIVING F!

Matcha Powder Colour 9/10 – Gorgeous colour, such a vibrant green!

Matcha Powder Scent  6/10 – The scent is on the weak side, what I do smell is a little toasty.

Prepared Appearance 9/10 – So much foam that I think I can use it as spackle. I was tempted to throw a scoop of foam against the wall to check, but I would of gotten in trouble. Great colour on this matcha too.

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Bitter Sweet Scale 5/10 – This one is nor sweet or bitter.

Flavor 9/10 – SUPER UMAMI. So much umami! The most umami tea I’ve had so far! Dang! The matcha is thick, creamy, toasted rice and nutty. It doesn’t have much in grassy or vegetal taste, nor is it sweet. I can see many loving this matcha!

Price $24.29 per ounce. Or $205.95 per ounce if you are desperate. Ito En Matcha LOVE™ Classic is sold in a 0.7 oz/ 20 gram tin.

Good job, Ito En! Fingers crossed this is back in stock soon!

 

MATCHA B – Yunomi Obubu #21: Gokou Matcha

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Yay, it’s a Yunomi Matcha! This is the stuff! So much information on this matcha – it’s a Spring Harvest, minimal pesticide use, shaded for 3 to 4 weeks. Hey, we know the tea farmer’s name too! Be sure to check it out!

Matcha Powder Colour 8/10 – This matcha is heavy and fluffy with a pretty green. This one is also pretty heavy, not as heavy as 23.

Matcha Powder Scent 5/10 – I’m not digging this scent. This matcha smells like a cut dandelion weed.

Prepared Appearance 6/10 – Interestingly, this one required little sifting as it just fell out of the sifter. The matcha whisked up thin (to my disappointment) with a good colour.

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Bitter Sweet Scale 6/10 – The matcha is both sweet and bitter, more on the sweet.

Flavor 5/10 – Whoa, that’s grassy! The flavor tastes just like those big and fat dark green blades of grass I chewed on as a 8 year old. This matcha also has a spearminty essence to it. There’s not much else to this matcha, to my dismay. If you love wheatgrass, you’ll enjoy this matcha.

Price $24.43 per ounce. Yunomi Obubu #21: Gokou Matcha is sold in a 25 gram bag.

 

MATCHA 26 – Ito En Koto No Tsuki Matcha

koto_no_tsuki

It seems Ito En has a lot of expensive matcha. Not that I’m complaining, so far they have had some good ones! I love the tin design on this one, however with all the tea drinking I do I have no fear of a lack of English on packaging.

Matcha Powder Colour 9/10 – Another pretty matcha powder!

Matcha Powder Scent  9/10 – As I scooped this one the scent was quite appealing. Under close sniffing, it has a strong umami and brown rice scent.

Prepared Appearance 6/10 – This one has nuclear green foam! Thin layer of foam, but a nice colour.

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Bitter Sweet Scale 4/10 – Bitter matcha!

Flavor 7/10 – The texture is grainy despite the sifting. The taste is quite vegetal with lots of kale, spinach and asparagus tang. The background is creamy too. It’s not bad, but too vegetal for me – but if you love vegetal you’ll give this matcha a 10!

Price $27.86 per ounce. Ito En Koto No Tsuki Matcha is sold in a 20 gram tin.

 

MATCHA 27 – EPIC Matcha Organic Ceremonial Grade (Amazon)

An Amazon matcha! HAHAHA The name of this matcha – EPIC MATCHA. MATCHA FOR DAYS MF! Oh snap, “ROCK SOLID MONEY BACK GUARANTEE” ROCK SOLID YO! Hahaha, I’m in tears, this matcha is hilarious!

I love the tin design, washi pattern and colour – the teal is a nice change of pace since everyone does green.

Bonus points for this Amazon matcha not being full of buzz words.

Matcha Powder Colour 6/10 – A weaker colour out of the group.

Matcha Powder Scent  6/10 – The scent of the matcha is weak and what I can smell is of plastic, boo.

Prepared Appearance 9/10 – Whoa, this foamed like mad. Another matcha I can use to patch holes in the dry wall!

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Bitter Sweet Scale 2/10 – Well that’s bitter.

Flavor 4/10 – EPIC FAIL! This matcha sips in bitter with vegetal extreme taste. It also has a marine salty vibe to it. What does taste good is the creamy notes, but it doesn’t save it. I watered it down to tame the epic but it was still too bitter to enjoy the epic. Just too Epic guys.

Price $28.27 per ounce. EPIC Matcha Organic Ceremonial Grade is sold in a 30 gram tin. EPIC PRIME SHIPPING!

 

MATCHA C – Yunomi Obubu #22: Uji Hikari Matcha

Excellent-Matcha-01-720x710

It appears Yunomi is guilty of using the same stock matcha pictures in their listings. Come on, you can do better!

Like the other matchas, there’s plenty of information on this matcha and how its made. The difference for this one compared to Matcha B? The cultivar is different! (I’m not well versed in Japanese Greens, since I’m more of a weird tea blends/oolong/pu’er head. Go hit up My Japanese Green Tea blog.)

Matcha Powder Colour 9/10 – I originally gave this a 10, this matcha looks great. It’s pure green but I think it’s a touch light.

Matcha Powder Scent 9/10 – This one smells good, I want to lick the straight matcha. I resisted as I would of regretted eating straight matcha.

Prepared Appearance 6/10 – UGGG, it’s bald! Did I mess this one up? It’s pretty as powder but this isn’t good at all.

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Bitter Sweet Scale 7/10 – Nicely sweet without being artificial. Very good!

Flavor 9/10 – A very easy to drink matcha! The matcha is creamy smooth and balanced with a good amount of sweet, fresh green and light savory. The sweetness has almost a coconut note to it. I like it! As I drink this matcha it’s like I’m in a luxury tropical get away!

Price $28.30 per ounce. Yunomi Obubu #22: Uji Hikari Matcha is sold in a 25 gram bag.

 

MATCHA 28 – Aiya Organic Ceremonial Matcha (Aiya / Amazon)

It’s Aiya Matcha! I was hoping I would be seeing their teas! This matcha is available off Aiya’s site (with a loyalty point program) or off Amazon. 

Matcha Powder Colour 6/10 – This matcha was clumpy and a little annoying to deal with. The colour was bottom of the pack, but still not bad.

Matcha Powder Scent  5/10 – The scent was light and somewhat plastic.

Prepared Appearance 6/10 – This one looks very nice – I like the foam and colour. I’m docking marks as it smells like plastic as I was whisking it.

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Bitter Sweet Scale 3/10 – Vegetable bitterness!

Flavor 4/10 – This one was tough. As I drank this I wanted to like it, which is weird as I had no idea what brand I was drinking. The notes are lettuce, grass, wonderbread toast with a light citrus pineapple lime taste. This one certainly bites back with bitterness at the end. If it weren’t for the bitterness I would love this one – I don’t mind bitterness with all the sheng pu’er I’ve been drinking lately, but this one doesn’t hit me right. I saw after the fact this is Aiya matcha and I’m sad. All the Aiya matcha people I met were very cool and knowledgeable. Sorry Aiya, I still love you guys!

Price $29.60 per ounce, however it’s $23.96 on Amazon for some reason. Aiya Organic Ceremonial Matcha is sold in a 30 gram tin.

 

MATCHA 29 – KENKO Matcha Green Tea Organic Ceremonial Grade (Amazon)

Another Amazon matcha seller loaded in health claims. The usual stuff HOWEVER I FOUND SOMETHING SCARY. I had to screen cap it just in case.

matcharip

Dammit, nothing like copy and pasting health claims and recipes from another amazon listing. #headdesk

Matcha Powder Colour 8/10 – This matcha was also another heavy weight one, but not as bad as Matcha 23. Gosh, the colour is also nice!

Matcha Powder Scent  6/10 – The scent here is weak, but lightly fruity.

Prepared Appearance 8/10 – This matcha, like the others, has nice colour and foam. Not wall spackle though.

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Bitter Sweet Scale 6/10 – This one is on the sweet side, but also savory.

Flavor 8/10 – Lovely flavor! There are lovely rice notes with zips of blade grass and spinach. This one is quite close in flavor to Matcha 31.

Price $30.16 per ounce. KENKO Matcha Green Tea Organic Ceremonial Grade is sold in a 30 gram tin.

 

MATCHA 30 – Red Leaf Teas’ Tanabata Matcha

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This is it, the most expensive matcha on Red Leaf Tea. Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan

Matcha Powder Colour 7/10 – Gosh, these are just blurring in colour. The green looks nice but not as vivid as some of the other matchas.

Matcha Powder Scent  6/10 – This one smelled very marine like to me. I’m not sure how I feel about it.

Prepared Appearance 7/10 – The appearance is great but not as pretty as others.

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Bitter Sweet Scale 2/10 – OMG so bitter and sour!

Flavor 3/10 – The flavor is pretty umami, not as umami-tactular as Matcha 25. This one is also pretty marine, strong cabbage and sour rice milk. For this price, this matcha had to of gone off or stored badly. In defense, I did not open my matchas until right before I went to photograph and drink them so I don’t know what’s up.

Price $34.99 per ounce. Red Leaf Teas’ Tanabata Matcha is sold in a 30 gram bag. No volume discounts.

 

MATCHA 31 – Aiya Premium Matcha (Aiya / Amazon)

“Of the over 200 farmers in Nishio city that are contracted by Aiya, only a select few have the experience and knowledge necessary to produce Matcha high enough in quality to be called “Premium Grade.”  The result of their efforts is a rare treat.” Well that’s pretty spiffy!

Matcha Powder Colour 7/10 – I can’t tell the difference between this matcha and Matcha 30 in colour.

Matcha Powder Scent  9/10 – Ooh, nice smell – it’s fruity and plummy.

Prepared Appearance 9/10 – Lovely appearance! Gorgeous green out of the others as it’s a perfect jade!

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Bitter Sweet Scale 5/10 – This matcha is both sweet and bitter.

Flavor 8/10 – This matcha starts off bitter, but ends with a sweet finish. The notes are grassy, creamy with a spinach concentrate. As I drink it, I’m thinking this is just too potent and I watered it down, which calmed things down. The matcha also has a nice creamy background and a fresh spinach taste. A very good matcha

Price $48.00 per ounce off Aiya’s site. Aiya Premium Matcha is sold in a 30 gram tin. However Aiya Premium Matcha is $37.99 on Amazon. This one is expensive but you need less matcha per serving. Aiya also has a point loyalty program.

Side note – I was told by the Matcha review organizer that Matcha 30 is sourced from Aiya, so is the same matcha, though potentially different batches.

GROUP 2 COMMENTS and RANKINGS

Oolong Owl Favorites:
MATCHA 24 – DoMatcha’s Green Tea Ceremonial Matcha
MATCHA 25 – Ito En Matcha LOVE™ Classic
MATCHA C – Yunomi Obubu #22: Uji Hikari Matcha

These three matchas were my favorite, with DoMatcha’s being the all time good one. I made it again iced and it was really good too! As always with Yunomi teas, you got the most transparency in knowing where your tea is from down to processing details.

You can’t go wrong with:
MATCHA 29 – KENKO Matcha Green Tea Organic Ceremonial Grade
MATCHA 31 – Aiya Premium Matcha (high roll’n!)

If you go with the KENKO (or any other matcha going on about magic health claims) tell them all you care about is the taste. There’s no miracle tea cure.

It appeared many of the matchas had storage issues (suspect for the sour matchas) and it sounded like other bloggers who were participating also ran into a few that didn’t taste right. I think this stresses you want a tea seller that can back where their tea is from and when it was made. You also don’t want to buy a whole bunch of matcha that you cannot finish within a short time frame.

There are also a couple matcha sellers that weren’t in these reviews – O-cha and AOI come to mind – maybe a future matcha review? Until then, I need a break from all this green powdery stuff. I’m still trying to clean up all the matcha powder from the last round.

(Tea provided for review. Amazon links are affiliate)

 

Crimson Lotus Tea 2014/2015 Jingmai Sheng Comparison – Tea Review

I thought it would be really cool to do a side by side sheng pu’er comparison session. I had planned to do a side by side tasting with a pair of shou pu’er I have, but Crimson Lotus Tea was sending me some samples and I thought it would be cool to compare their Jingmais together.

The two Crimson Lotus Tea sheng pu’ers are:

2015 Spring Jingmai “Midas Touch”

2014 Planet Jingmai Ancient Tree Single Serving Pu’er 

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I was planning to just drink a small sample each, say 5 grams. I didn’t realize after the fact that Planet Jingmai is a weighty 8 gram ball of pu’er. I seriously thought Planet Jingmai was like 5 or 6 grams, just like your standard mini tuocha.

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It would be totally awful of me to attack a nice hand-rolled whole leaf pu’er with a hammer. However, Ambitious Tea Owl was in support of the tea crushing.

HOOT SMASH!

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I then hesitated. Maybe I should just drink these separate, they would be great tea sessions on their own. After much debate, I said screw it – I’ll drink them full sized together. I’ve drank 12 matchas together multiple times now, how hard is 16 grams of sheng pu’er? I’m still young. There’s people who have drank much more than that, cough Cwyn cough.

Dry Leaf

Planet Jingmai is super compact, hand rolled ball of leaf. Midas Touch has a stronger scent of sweet grass.

2014 2015 Crimson lotus tea - oolong owl

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Steeping Instructions

So I failed and just saw the instructions on Crimson Lotus Tea. For Planet Jingmai they gave it a long couple minute rinse to loosen the ball. I didn’t do that, I just did a quick rinse. The obvious is due to the shape of Planet Jingmai it will steep up a lot different. Another error that will come up is I think I will have issues telling dryness apart as it adds up when you drink it.

Anyways, I did 200F water temperature, a single rinse and started with quick 20 second infusions.

Tasting of Crimson Lotus Teas’ 2014 Planet Jingmai and 2015 Spring Jingmai Sheng “Midas Touch”

Midas Touch on the left, Planet Jingmai on the right.

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First, Second, Third, and Fourth Infusion:

Midas Touch steeped up a golden peach cup. The flavor is stronger than Planet Jingmai, being sweet, smooth and creamy. Midas Touch develops a nice apricot note with a hint of amber. At the 3rd steep I’m introduced to a bit of bitterness and thick mouth coating that I find pleasing. Yum, I’m already liking how this is going.

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Planet Jingmai steeped up super light with barely any flavor. First and Second steepings were just too light, so practically just rinses and poured out. Third infusion was better but still lightish. The flavor is meyer lemon, linen, savory elements, and cream. Planet Jingmai  has a nice silky texture already. 4 steeps in and the ball is still solid in the middle.

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After 2 rounds I started feeling the effects. I’m tanked. The world is spinning. I guess it’s not from the Jingmai Planet as it is weak in flavor. After I drank 4 rounds, I decided to take a quick break and the room started spinning when I leaned over to pick up my Nintendo 3DS off a low side table. After that, I took a longer rest on the couch eating protein balls playing Pokemon Shuffle.

Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Infusion:

Crimson Lotus 2014 2015 Jingmai Sheng Pu'er Comparison - Oolong Owl Tea Review (10)Midas Touch is in full force! The flavor is peachy, thick, light sweet bitterness with a great peachy apricot aftertaste. I find this pu’er the perfect level of bitter, dry and sweet. I would be happy to drown in this one. I slammed a cup and ran to my garage weight room and banged out some deadlifts. Hell yeah!

Planet Jingmai is gaining flavor and it’s light milky, citrus and linen. On the 6th round the flavor finally hit – delicously creamy, sweet amber, woodsy, and a bit of grapefruit. The mix of flavor is on the mellow side.

I took another break here as I felt like my brain is exploding. The smoke detector also started going off randomly and I had to turn on some metal to drown it out. I was alone in the house and didn’t trust using a ladder while tea drunk. Playing Devin Townsend’s Ziltiod, a sci-fi prog metal opera, was perfect! HUMANS, BRING ME YOUR FINEST CUP OF TEA. MAKE IT PERFECT. YOU HAVE 10 EARTH MINUTES. /guitar solo!

I was totally inspired of aliens from the Planet Jingmai and its crazy lumpy appearance.

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Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Infusion:

We have a colour switch! Midas Touch is lighter than Planet Jingmai. At the 8th infusion Planet Jingmai still has a hard core. The leaf difference is showing with Planet Jingmai being a touch red and big leafy.

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Midas Touch is now starting to lighten. It’s creamy sweet and lost some fruity and moved to a bit savory. Each steeping got more vegetal and started tasting 100% like edamame. So good as I love edamame, creamy and beany is my kind of thing! Bitterness is gone but a weird dryness on my teeth. I could almost think the teas got swapped.

Planet Jingmai… Oh yeah that’s good! The flavor is strong, thick and heady finally. I’m getting notes of woodsy cedar, sap with a bit of sourness and at end of sip there is an essence of artichokes. The texture is smooth. Very interesting flavor for a Sheng!

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Yet another break I had to take here. I was way too jittery and crazy. I decided I should eat lunch and tea drunk jitters made peeling boiled eggs ragingly impossible. It was a whole lot of swearing and lettuce on the floor. Ambitious Tea Owl was catatonic, buzzing with the pu’er wrapper on his head. Handling a knife was a bad idea so I resorted to smashing eggs (they were already smashed) and a ripped half a red pepper into a salad.

Twelfth and Thirteenth Infusion:

Midas Touch is softening and on its last legs. It finishes sweet, smooth and little beany. On the 14th infusion it was dead.

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Planet Jingmai finally fell apart and whoa that’s bitter! Each sip is a bitter one with artichokes and wood with a dry finish. My guess is the outer leaves have just been steeped out to death, whereas the middle is still wanting to tea.

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Fourteenth, Fifteen, Sixteenth, and Seventeenth Infusion:

Planet Jingmai is still going! The flavor is consistently savory, amber sap and woodsy with dryness. Finally died on 17th infusion.

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Comments

Out of the two Crimson Lotus Teas‘ shengs, I like 2015 Spring Jingmai “Midas Touch”  more for that tasty beany flavor at the end. My preference is total personal preference, both jingmai shengs were very good!

2014 Planet Jingmai Ancient Tree Single Serving Pu’er was also pretty good and long lasting. I could see actually taking the time to rinsing it better or maybe breaking it up would change the flavor a lot from what I got. What I find really appealing about Planet Jingmai is it’s a single serving and much better than all the mini tuochas I’ve had.

Finally…yeah, don’t drink 16 grams of sheng at once, especially if you are sensitive to pu’er tea drunken craziness and you are alone. I didn’t finish every cup and I poured leftovers into tea tumblers that I drank later. I can’t recall much of what happened that evening after I drank all that tea.

Pu’er wrapper hats!

Crimson lotus 2014 2015 Jingmai

(tea provided for review)

2015 If You Are Reading This It’s 2 Late Sheng Pu’er from White2Tea – Tea Review

I recently did a big White2tea order. When I opened the box there was something in there that smelled really pungently strong.  Upon sniff testing every tea in my box, this was the cake! If You Are Reading This It’s 2 Late! I kept smelling the cake it over and over, curious how a promise of sweet sheng smelled so pungent. This much confusion meant I needed to drink this ASAP.

If You Are Reading This It’s 2 Late is an interesting name. I’ve already trolled people on instagram with it!

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With all these White2Tea cakes, I got lots of potential White2Tea tea reviews, ontop of the usual White2Tea club stuff. I also just ordered more teas from the recent White2Tea sale. I hope you all don’t mind. I don’t mind. #fangirl #fanowl. Hmmm.. do we need the official White2tea fan tea owl? Maybe a white two headed Tea Owl with puppy ears?

Unwrapping & Dry Leaf

If You Are Reading This It’s 2 Late cake was pressed softly as the edges were breaking apart. The cake has a pretty appearance with a dark unsaturated green and silver leaves twisted together.

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I was able to pull whole pieces off easily with my fingers. Teal “pu’er pick” owl stabbed out  some larger bits.

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Steeping Instructions

I wasn’t sure here. I was thinking a safe bet would to go 185F for new pu’er. After much debate I went with 200F water temperature. I’m living large but not YOLO tea drinking. I used 8 grams in a 120ml gaiwan. I did one rinse and started with 15 second infusions, adding more time with each infusion.

Tasting of White2Tea’s  If You Are Reading This It’s 2 Late Sheng Pu’er

First and Second Infusion: 2 Late steeps up a light golden cup with a sweet, hot leaf, and pungent scent. Yup this is the tea!

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These early infusions have a lovely sweet taste with a sugar cane vibe. The mouth feel is thick of fluff and milk. The finish is light but the aftertaste is mighty. 2 Late is  sweet, almost metallic, but creamy and fruity.

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Third, Fourth, and Fifth Infusion: If You Are Reading This It’s 2 Late’s flavor is growing right at the start of these infusions. The flavor is  peaches and cream like that instant oatmeal I ate every day in college. The flavor is complete with even a light metallic bitterness of a cafeteria spoon!  The aftertaste is heavy peach, like a stronger version than actually drinking the tea.

The thick fluff mouth feel is addictive and is the best part for me. There’s a bit of dryness, but pleasant. I’ll give the dryness level a 4/10. The dryness and mouth feel make my mouth feel full of fluff and oil, my teeth feel like plastic and I’m thinking I have felt for a tongue. All that sweet pu’er is making my brain turn into stuffing trying to understand what is going on. I might of just turned into a crochet critter of mine which would be a strange world of photography, and being passed around and squeezed by old ladies at knitting circles.

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Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Infusion: If You Are Reading This It’s 2 Late switched gears. 2 Late is not as fruity but still thick and creamy. The flavor is savory, buttery, and herby like boiled to death spearmint leaf. The mouth feel is the same and there’s some peachy aftertaste still but its fading for savory. The astringency has gone up making my teeth feel dry and funny.

I started bumbling about the house raging that my Tea Owls collective agreement requires them to have tree stumps. Mr Oolong Owl (tea hating husband) had a sip and said this tea “tastes like tea”. Thanks, I didn’t know that. He then donated us this handsome stump from his wood turning pile.

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The Tea Owl is pleased.. WITH THE POWER PU’ER HE WILL BREAK THE PU’ER PICK FREE. THAT PU’ER PICK WILL BREAK ALL THE CAKE.

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Ninth and Tenth Infusion: Oh that’s good. 2 Late is light, smooth flavor of butter savory herb with a mouth feel that I’m pretty sure I can rub a match on the light it. I do like the early steeps for sweet fruit but these middle steeps have a nice mellow lightness that makes me happy.

Paused my session as I had to make dinner. Turns out tea drunk makes for sloppy potato peeling and added human skin and blood flavoring for mashed potatoes.

Eleventh, Twelfth, and Thirteenth Infusion: I’m going in without a dry mouth. If You Are Reading This It’s 2 Late is sweet, milky with a steamed herb finish. The aftertaste is savory and peachy floral. I can feel the dryness spreading in the middle of my tongue and cheeks. On the 13th infusion I tasted not much of anything.

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Fourteenth Desperation Steeping: Candle lit steeping. Yeah I’m drinking tea 2 Late, har har har! Sleeping is over rated when there’s good tea that needs to be finished. Teal Tea Owl has unstoppable pu’er pick strapped to his back.

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I did the final steeping a 14 minute one because it sounded snazzy. This one had a hint of flavor, with just linen notes and lots of dryness.

Comments

White2Tea’s If You Are Reading This It’s 2 Late is a really nice young sheng if you are into the sweeter pu’er. This tea is an example of a tasty sweet pleasant bitterness. If you love crazy mouth feels, this pu’er takes you on a fun ride!

As I sipped this tea, I often thought of White2Tea 2015 Poundcake. At this time as I’ve only tried the 2015 Poundcake Gourd of Blood Sacrifice. If You Are Reading This It’s 2 Late is more mellow and all about the mouth feel. 2 Late is sweeter for longer and less cooked vegetable flavor. Whereas Poundcake is more intense upfront but fades to intense vegetal later on. Both 2015 Shengs are pretty good and the same price, so you can’t go wrong trying both. I’m leaning more to 2 Late as I got a sweet tooth as well as a tea texture fiend.

For your own sanity, do not drink an entire session in one day! I was up to 3 am completely wired and wacky.

Sunday Tea Hoots 6 – Cruisin’ to Alaska

If you caught my Drink Militia Interview, I mentioned I have been DYING to go on a cruise.

Sunday Tea Hoots 6 - cruise

I’ve been putting off booking one for awhile since I had some green card stuff I had to deal with. So I had to wait to book anything until I got my green card extension and fingerprinting appointment taken care of. Now that I did my appointment and now sitting around waiting for mail, I can go on a cruise! I right away booked a cruise to Alaska for the end of August! YES! I will also be back home in Vancouver for a few days.

Sunday Tea Hoots 6 - Oolong Owl

I’ve done a couple cruise blog posts – Mexico and Hawaii – My haul and 15 days of Afternoon Tea. Alaska is going to be awesome! I don’t know what kind of tea I’ll find, but at least I got Afternoon Tea!

I seem weird that I like cruising. My husband and his parents are really into it. A couple of my old work peers hated cruising saying it was boring. I cruise with Princess, which seems to attract an older age group compared to Carnival or Disney (not counting cruising generally seems like a retired person’s type of holiday). My main attraction to cruising is the food – and Princess does the fancy pants food!

sunday tea hoots 6 cruising

There are lots of activities on board the ship, I tend to check out the arts and crafts ones. I like hanging out in the lounges knitting or crocheting and watching the ocean.

I have also posted about traveling with tea, specifically on cruises. This cruise I’m tempted to get weirder and bring a gaiwan, but I think that would be completely annoying to clean. I think I’m going to bring a couple tea tumblers. Crimson Lotus Tea Gongfu to Go – this one is my replacement gaiwan. Sadly this travel tumbler has been discontinued at this time. I will also bring my DavidsTea The Carry as a vessel to haul hot water around for times I want to sit and have tea while I watch those glaciers cruise by.

sunday tea hoots 6

With a few weeks left before I go on my cruise, I am now stuck on what and how much tea to bring. Hopefully I will pick up some good teas while I’m in Vancouver.

Anyways, when I’m gone I will have scheduled Oolong Owl content.

Lime Jello Salad Green Tea from 52 Teas – Tea Review

I remember going to a buffet with my little 5 year old cousin. Buffets, especially back in the early 90’s, always had jello but this buffet in particular only had jello salad. The jello was lime with streaks of red and green cabbage and a little carrot in it. I picked out a large wiggly cube for my little cousin. Turned out, he never had jello before. He cried right after noticing it wiggle around on his plate, but we finally convinced him since that his older cousin liked it, so will he. He caved and finally tasted it, ending up loving it and eating so much jello! After that, he would always get jello, preferring the cabbage laced variety.

Now we have Lime Jello Salad Green Tea. YES!

Lime Jello Salad Green Tea - 52 Teas - Oolong Owl Tea Review (1)

This tea is from the new 52 Teas management – I’m very excited to have tea made by Anne! I got this tea as part of their Kickstarter – I had to have lime jello salad tea, it just sounded too fun to pass up!

Dry Leaf

The tea smells sweet and faintly like pineapple. The leaf looks quite nice – big flat chunks with marshmallow root and pineapple cubes.

Lime Jello Salad Green Tea - 52 Teas - Oolong Owl Tea Review (2)

Steeping Instructions

As per the steeping instructions on the package, I did 175F water temperature and steeped the tea for 2 minutes. For this green I used a large in-mug stainless steel tea filter.

Tasting of 52 Teas’ Lime Jello Salad Green Tea

The Lime Jello Tea steeps up a light bright green. Dang it, I have no lime jello as photo props!

Lime Jello Salad Green Tea - 52 Teas - Oolong Owl Tea Review (3)

Lime Jello Salad Green sips in as a fun combination of grassy sencha, tangy citrus, and fruity sweet. The fruity citrus flavors are lime and pineapple with the aftertaste is grassy lime. The tea is quite smooth, probably from the marshmallow root. It totally reminds me of jello salad with the grassy green with fruity lime flavor, very neat!

Iced – Lime Jello Salad green is pretty good iced! It was like drinking watery lime jello salad, hahaha! With a little agave sweetener, this tea is very tasty!

Lime Jello Salad Green Tea - 52 Teas - Oolong Owl Tea Review (4)

Comments

52 Teas‘ Lime Jello Salad Green Tea is a really fun tea to turn heads on the name, but taste good as a solid citrus green. This tea is great iced and I am now curious what would happen if I add gelatin to it….

I imagine with other 52 Teas and it being handmade, if you want this tea you need to buy it ASAP before it’s gone. After that, the only way you’ll get more is if more gets reblended. Like other teas, Lime Jello Salad is available in a taster sized 1/2 oz (14 grams) and the large 2oz (57 gram) packet.

Anyways, I look forward to more of 52 Teas new creations! (pssssst, more oolong or pu’er blends please!)

 

Limited Edition Qimen from Joseph Wesley Black Tea – Tea Review

When Qimen came out it perked my interest. Then a bunch of my tea friends told me Qimen is amazing and they were buying more as it was a limited edition tea. Then I caved and bought 2 packages – recently ran into some bad tea luck on stuff selling out on me before I could buy it (I shake my fist at white2tea’s bang dong hong!) so I decided I wasn’t going to take any chances. It wasn’t hard to cave in for a purchase at Joseph Wesley Black tea – I love everything I’ve tried so far. The packaging on their teas is great and the website is a pleasure to look at.

Qimen from Joseph Wesley Black Tea - Oolong Owl Tea Review (1)

Dry Leaf

Qimen sports cute, dainty, and delicate curls of tea with the odd gold tip. The dry leaf is super delicate as it is easy to break them with your fingers. The leaf has a fresh dark chocolate raisin scent.

Qimen from Joseph Wesley Black Tea - Oolong Owl Tea Review (2)

Steeping Instructions

There are so steeping instructions with this tea but I’m okay with that. I went a bit light on tea, 5 grams with a 120ml gaiwan. I used boiling water with quick infusions of 15 seconds.

Tasting of Joseph Wesley Black Tea’s Qimen

Qimen steeps up a pretty golden brew with a dark chocolate scent. This tea is super clear!

Qimen from Joseph Wesley Black Tea - Oolong Owl Tea Review (5)

First Infusion: Qimen starts nicely sweet and soft with a fruity finish. There was a slick mouth feel too I think. I drank it so fast before figuring out what I tasted.

Qimen from Joseph Wesley Black Tea - Oolong Owl Tea Review (3)

Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Infusion: The flavor strength is on the low-moderate side for a black making it a delicate sip. However, what is there is really good – honey sweet, slick and smooth texture, along with a dark chocolate and a slight smoke note. The finish has a touch of floral with an aftertaste of chocolate. Qimen has a really clean taste with not a lick of bitter or dryness. There is so much going on!

Drinking Qimen is making me happy. It tastes great and I’m drinking it faster than I can type about it.

Qimen from Joseph Wesley Black Tea - Oolong Owl Tea Review (4)

Sixth and Seventh Infusion: Qimen is still going but getting lighter fast. The flavor is still chocolate and honey, but there’s a bit of dryness trying to come out that dries the cheeks and tip of tongue.

Eighth Infusion: 10 minute steep to get all the flavor out! Very sweet infusion of honey fruit and chocolate. Despite the long steeping, Qimen did not get any more drier or bitter. Great tea session!

Qimen from Joseph Wesley Black Tea - Oolong Owl Tea Review (6)

Comments

Keemun fans get Joseph Wesley Black Tea’s Qimen now before we buy it all! This tea is a limited release!

Qimen is a great black for chocolate drinkers who don’t want a strong punchy black. I find this black has a great flavor that is easy to drink that you could chug it, but also complex for tea snobs to enjoy. I liked it so much my tea pets stayed dry! I would not add milk or sugar to this black as it’s sweet on its own and too light for milk. Qimen is also a great high quality black tea with a nice price – it didn’t hurt the wallet buying 2 packages.

Bonus: Sharing Qimen with tea friends!

Qimen from Joseph Wesley Black Tea - Oolong Owl Tea Review (7)

Sunday Tea Hoots 5 – Daiso Green Tea Food Haul!

I love Daiso! I’ve purchased a number of cute little tea pots and cups for cheap. Daiso is a Japanese Dollar store. I first encountered them years ago in Richmond, BC, near Vancouver. I was very happy to learn when I moved to SoCal they opened Daiso stores and they are spreading like wild fire – I got 2 stores close to me!

I crashed a new one that opened nearby and they had a special display of different green tea and matcha foods.

Green Tea Pastry Roll

Daiso Green Tea Food Haul - Oolong Owl Sunday Tea Hoots (1)Weird warnings on package.

Daiso Green Tea Food Haul - Oolong Owl Sunday Tea Hoots (2)

The warnings did not lie, the pastry smelled a little weird, so I let it sit out for a bit before taking a bite.

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With the first bite I can taste the alcohol, so I let it sit some more. It’s pretty much a puffy dinner roll laced with a bit of matcha flavor. It’s not that sweet. I’d use this in a sandwich, I’m thinking chicken salad.

Green Tea Flavored Rice Cake
The package seems fun and the item inside has a squishy firm texture. I like chewy rice cakes so I thought this would be good.

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Ewww, that looks like a flattened turd! My appetite has decreased drastically.

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The clear wrapper is edible as it dissolves on the tongue, thank the white rabbit!

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Tastes like sweet rice with a floral green tea taste. The texture is chewy like gummy mochi with a bit of resistance when you bite in from the rice wrapper. Texture might not be for some if you aren’t used to similar foods. I wouldn’t get it this rice cake again – for 130 calories for $1.50 I can have something better.

Tohato Harvest Maccha Green Tea Biscuits

Good sign when there’s matcha whisk in corner. The brand name confused me as I was worried these had tomato in them.

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Inside is 8 little packets with 4 cookies each. Topped with coarse sugar.

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Oooh, very tasty! Crispy layered biscuit with a hint of sweet with a satisfying finish of matcha flavor. Like the texture of a saltine but for dessert. Reminds me of  skyflakes crackers with sugar on top. I think many would enjoy these. I’d love to have these with a cup of hot tea.

Daiso Select Chocolate Matcha

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Inside this box is 2 types of chocolates with 5 packets inside, which is an unfair and uneven amount of chocolate.

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The left chocolate is pretty crappy as it tastes kind of old and is pretty dry. It has a distinct matcha taste though.
The right chocolate is like a truffle with matcha chocolate and sweet matcha syrup goo inside. This chocolate is super sweet, but again pretty junky chocolate.

Green Tea Cream cookies

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10 cookies in a package, they kind of look like blonde oreos.

Daiso Green Tea Food Haul - Oolong Owl Sunday Tea Hoots (12)
The have a depressing amount of cream in middle. Though, the cream amount seems pretty standard for a dollar store cookie.

Daiso Green Tea Food Haul - Oolong Owl Sunday Tea Hoots (13)

Turns out the filling is really potent matcha icing, which is tasty. The cookie sucks as it’s flavorless and hard. I kind of want to scrape all the icing off all the cookies and just eat that.

Creamy Greentea Chocolate

These look like melty kiss chocolates but in green tea flavor!

Daiso Green Tea Food Haul - Oolong Owl Sunday Tea Hoots (14)

Each chocolate is a cube of chocolate dusted with coco powder with green tea in middle. They taste mostly dark chocolate with a little bitterness of grassy green tea. The chocolate quality is a little better than the last Daiso chocolates, but but not as creamy and smooth as Melty Kiss brand. It is better to spend the extra $2-$3 and buy Melty Kiss at the Asian Grocery store as the chocolate is better and you get more.

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Green Tea Flavored Cough Drops

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I found the candy really sticky, but it is also quite humid here so that could be the reason.

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It’s matcha in flavor with that eucalyptus throat soothing finish. Quite nice flavor – matcha and mint go nicely together. It isn’t as minty like other drug store cough drops, so I’m not sure how much relief one would get.

The winner was the Tohato Harvest Maccha Green Tea Biscuits – next time at Daiso I will purchase a couple packages of these sugar biscuits!