Oolong Owl’s Daily Tea Consumption

Since I’ve been in Spreadsheet everything mode, I started a spreadsheet documenting my daily tea consumption which I find to be the most helpful tea spreadsheet I’ve created. I found tracking how much tea I drink to be SUPER SUPER helpful in understanding my tea drinking practices, learning about my teas and being more effective with tea purchases.

What my Daily Tea Consumption Spreadsheet tracks

1. Tea per gram each day.

2. How much tea leaves my house (gifted/swapped)

3. How much tea comes in.

4. Running totals of whether my stash is growing or shrinking

Here is a screen shot of my spreadsheet for February and March: (click image to zoom in)

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Yes, I weigh all my tea before I steep it, which is really easy to do since I got this handy little gram scale. I use Google Sheets, so I can access my spreadsheet by my phone when I’m on the go. I have a number that is the sum of all the tea I drank and an average per day.

To understand my spreadsheet madness – I documented how much tea I drank by weight of leaf, rather than by cup. I think “how many cups I drink” is not useful of a metric. For one, something like drinking a tea bag or matcha would be about 1 to 2 grams per 175ml to 250ml/ 6 or 8oz cup. As an example for the other direction 5 gram pu’er tea nugget  gave me approximately 950ml (32oz) of tea. A black tea blended with nuts weighs 8 grams to produce a single 355ml / 12oz cup of tea. To put the tea numbers together, a day I drink 10 grams of tea could be 1.5 cups to 8 cups of tea (cup as in 250ml/8oz). And really, what is a “cup of tea” numbers people say? I’ve seen steeping instructions say either 6oz, 8oz and even 12oz. If I drink gongfu style a single cup is 30 to 50ml, or 1 to 2 oz. I can go back to the pu’er tea nugget example and say for 10 grams of tea I drank 38 cups of tea a day!

What I learned from tracking my daily tea consumption

From the spreadsheet, I learned I drink a lot of tea, so far over a 1lb a month, about 14 to 19 grams of tea a day. My consumption seems to vary day to day, often spikes when I make a pitcher of iced tea. Days I drink a couple black blends or fruity herbals I can hit 29 grams of tea a day. Days I review teas tend to spike a bit as well, showing a tea blogger has to drink lots of tea! I am curious to see whether my daily tea consumption will change with each season.

What I learned about tracking my teas so far is how much things weigh – like my weighty nutty black teas verses matcha. Say, I know my round of matcha is 2 grams, a 30 gram tin of matcha would last me 15 rounds of tea. A weighty nutty black tea would be like 7, 6oz cups of tea for 30 grams/1oz. (Not the common number thrown around that 1oz of tea should be 10 to 15 cups.)

In regards to tracking how much tea you drink to effectively buy tea, I also track how much tea arrives by weight and compare that to how much I consumed that month. I need to trim down my stash since at this time I have over 500 teas, so seeing that I’ve gained an excess of tea is kind of a bad thing (though, I feel I shouldn’t count pu’er, that’s an investment, at least that’s the line I’ve been lying to myself with.)

Even if you track say for a month, you’ll have an idea of how much tea to purchase that you can consume in a good amount of time before your tea goes stale. I cringe when I hear tea sellers state a size as “A month’s worth of tea.” to upsell. Is it a month worth of tea? Maybe for them, but potentially not for you. With tracking and learning your own tea drinking habits, you’ll actually know what a month of tea is for you.

I know it’s May and I posted previous month as my main example of my spreadsheet, but if you are curious of what my current month looks like, here you go –

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I’m over 1kg on tea this month! O_O CRAP!

Customary Tea Owl photo:

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Golden Tips Darjeeling Comparison

I was sent five Golden Tips Darjeelings to review. I tend to drink Chinese blacks or Taiwanese oolongs oxidized into blacks so I’m no Darjeeling super taster. I decided to taste all five Darjeelings together so that I can taste the differences between them.

Assisting with this darjeeling comparison tasting is Black Tea Owl. He knows a thing or two about black tea, since he is made of black tea!

The Darjeelings are:

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Oaks Organic – Second Flush, Summer. Grade: SFTGFOP1 MUSK. Picked June 9, 2014

Castleton Muscatel – Second Flush, Summer. Grade: SFTGFOP1 CL CH. Picked July 5, 2014

Arya Classic Organic – Third Flush, Autumn. Grade: FTGFOP1. Picked November 4, 2014

Makaibari Organic – Third Flush, Autumn. Grade: FTGFOP1. Picked November 28th, 2014.

Darjeeling Tea – Golden Tips Luxury Tea Bags, packaged August 2014.

All five teas are product of India, with the four loose leaf teas mentioning the origin and estate it was grown in. I really like how all the teas give you plenty of information on them! For tea bags, I love that there is a packaging date on the Golden Tips Darjeeling tea bags. Often I wonder how old tea bags are and rarely is it mentioned on the packaging.

On the amazon listing, the four loose leaf darjeelings mention they are also fair trade certified.

Steeping Procedure for the Darjeeling Comparison

All five Darjeelings were measured in 2 gram portions and steeped in 6oz of 200F filter water for 3.5 minutes, steeped in a steel filter in mug. (The tea bag was not modified in any way). There was some error here as I don’t have 5 of the same cup so some could be steeped off. Not to mention, some teas might do better with a longer infusion, a different temperature or more leaf.

Golden Tips Darjeeling Comparison Tasting

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Oaks Organic Second Flush

Dry Leaf – fragrantly floral, second strongest scented darjeeling out of the five. The leaf here is mostly dark, with some brown reddish hints with some gold highlights.

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Steeped – Oaks Organic steeped up a pretty dark reddy brown colour. The scent is fruity sweet and mouth watering.

Flavor – Oaks Organic tastes has a creamy texture, with oak woodsy and stone fruit notes. There is a peachy sweet finish and a hint of dryness after sip. This darjeeling is the 2nd sweetest out of the five. I quite like the combination of oak and peach here, they work very well together.

Castleton Muscatel Second Flush

Dry Leaf – darker than Oaks, with some silver accents. Roasted sweet scent.

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Steeped –  The colour is also a reddy brown, maybe a touch darker than Oaks Organic, but it’s hard to tell. The scent is of malt and corn.

Flavor – Castleton Muscatel has a lighter flavor despite the color. This black tastes smooth, with caramel and malt hints over corn notes. This black is the 3rd sweetest out of the five.

Arya Classic Organic Third Flush

Dry Leaf – Whoa, interesting tea appearance! This one has green leafy bits, along with dark leaf and reddish highlights. The scent is the strongest with lots of fruity tang.

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Steeped – Arya Classic steeped up the lightest of the five, which was unexpected, with a straw and corn roast scent.

Flavor – Arya Classic Organic has a bright flavor, with notes of light agave, roasted corn, and light wood with a tangy finish. The texture is lightly smooth and creamy. This darjeeling was the sweetest out of the five. I found Arya Classic interestingly complex and a surprising in colour and taste, especially for a black tea.

Just out of curiosity, I tried this black cool and it was quite good. It’s sweet and got more fruity once cool. I think Arya Classic would make a great iced tea!

Makaibari Organic Third Flush

Dry Leaf – This one also has some green pieces, but not as much as Arya, but otherwise similar in appearance. The scent is the weakest out of all the teas, with a hint of earthy perfume.

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Steeped – The colour is in the middle of Oaks/Castleton/Darjeeling bag and Arya Classic, with a golden medium hue. The scent is very different being mostly tropical fruit like.

Flavor – Makaibari Organic is the smoothest and creamyest mouth feel out of the five. It has a light and mellow even flavor of light woodsy and floral tropical perfume, reminding me of papaya. These flavors sound great and I’m sure there’s someone out there that this appeals to, but unfortunately I could not get out of my head that this darjeeling tastes just like that creamy white hand soap. Sorry!

Darjeeling Tea – Golden Tips Luxury Tea Bags

Dry Leaf – It’s in a bag. The leaf looks more broken up, typical for tea bags. Not strongly scented too, but of roasty and fruit.

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Steeped – Out of all the Darjeelings, this bagged tea turned a deep ruddy brown the fastest! I assume the colour changed fast due to the leaves being chopped up for tea bagging. This one also steeped up a little darker than Oaks Organic and Castleton Muscatel. The Darjeeling Tea bag has a malty rich scent, I predict this one will be strong in flavor!

Flavor – As predicted, Golden Tips Darjeeling Tea bag has the strongest flavor. It is dark woodsy and malt with a briskly dry finish. This darjeeling is the least smooth and sweet, as well as not as vibrant as the others. I find the Darjeeling Tea bags do holds up its own as to me, this tastes the most of what I associate Darjeeling to taste like with the rich, woodsy and brisk elements.

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Comments

Lining up and trying five Darjeelings at once was an interesting experience! It was neat to see the differences in the flushes as the second flush was darker, whereas the third was lighter with a different leaf appearance.

Out of the five Darjeelings, I quite enjoyed Oaks Organic – I will drink all of it! Arya Classic Organic was also pretty good and I’d rank number two. After that, I’d rank the Darjeelings I tried as #3 Castleton Muscatel, #4 Darjeeling Tea Golden Tips Luxury Tea Bag and finally #5 Makaibari Organic as the one I liked the least.

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(teas provided for review. Amazon links are affiliate)

Single Origin Teas Flavored Tea Review

Today’s review will be of a couple flavored teas from Single Origin Teas. Majority of Single Origin Teas’ selection is unflavored, but they do have a small flavored line up filled with interesting tea blends.

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By the way, Single Origin Teas will be at the Midwest Tea Festival in June 2015! If you are in the area be sure to check out the Midwest Tea Festival and report back!

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Tasting of Single Origin Teas’ Flavored Tea

Orange Blossom Oolong

This oolong is sourced from Anteaques in Edinburgh, Scotland! Scottish tea! The leaf has a super orange scent with dark twists of oolong and curls of orange peel.

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I steeped this tea at 190f for 2.5 minutes and it comes out a dark golden orange cup with powerful orange scent.

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The taste of Orange Blossom Oolong is mostly of sweet navel orange. The flavor is strong and fresh and with a background of woodsy. This tea is like I’m eating an orange while on a wooded hike. There is a sweet floral orange after taste. This blend has a super orange flavor – a blend for someone who wants more flavor than tea. This mega orange oolong tea blend would make a great iced or cold brew, as well as being a great tea for kids.

I got a second infusion of the same leaves. The second round is still sweet orange, which is rare for a blend to carry on with the flavor, and a zesty after taste. This infusion is clean and refreshing with no dry or bitterness.

Blue Lady Black

This is another tea sourced from Anteaques in Edinburgh, Scotland! The dry leaf is cute with delicate blue, yellow and red petals. I steeped this tea for 3 minutes with boiling water.

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Blue Lady Black steeps up a dark woodsy red. The taste of Blue Lady is fruity, as if it was a Lady Grey but with tropical fruit instead of lemon/orange. The black is malty sweet, with mid sip being delicate tropical fruity, like mango and passionfruit. The finish is lightly dry. I could see this being pretty good with milk and sugar and and perfect for afternoon tea.

Candied Chestnut Black

The dry leaf looks very good for a blend – the leaf looks large! There are also pieces of chestnut, but they like to hide at the bottom. The leaf is interesting looking with some thin black leaf as well as some wadded oolong like shapes.

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The product page just mentions this is a Chinese oolong fully oxidized as a black tea. I steeped this tea with boiling water for 4 minutes.

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Candied Chestnut Black‘s flavor is dead on chestnut – it’s thick creamy nutty with roasted skin notes with a sweet finish. The black tea is light, but with a deep roast flavor that works amazingly well with the chestnut. The aftertaste? More chestnut! This is so far the most natural tasting chestnut tea blend I’ve had, mostly as this isn’t as sweet as others I’ve tried.

I found I also got a pretty decent second infusion – you enjoy more of the base here, which is a thick creamy black with a hint of caramel finish, along with a little bit of chestnut roasty notes.

Out of the three Single Origin Teas flavored teas I’ve tried, Candied Chestnut is my favorite for my love of chestnut flavored things and mega roasty flavor.

For the curious, the orange prop is actually a Korean hand lotion! (Tonymoly brand).

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(tea provided for review)

Nepal Teas from TÊTÊ – Tea Review

Today’s review is of 3 teas from Nepal – TÊTÊ‘s White, Green and Black tea. TÊTÊ exclusively sources tea from Nepal with direct partnerships. These Himalayan grown teas are full loose leaf from remote tea gardens. In addition, TÊTÊ‘s teas are all organic.

First off, really nice packaging – stylized simple and modern. #lessismore for sure!

(edit: end of the review there’s a coupon code!)

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Tasting of  TÊTÊ’s White, Green, and Black Nepal Teas

I did gongfu style steeping in a gaiwan for all the teas to get the full flavor out of them. The instructions on the tea packaging is for western style brewing.

TÊTÊ White Tea

The dry leaf is light in weight with leaves of silver, pale green and tans. It was hard to capture on camera, but this white had fuzzies!

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For water temperature, I did 190F and started with 10 second infusions, no rinse. The white tea steeps up pale light yellow cream.

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The first infusion of TÊTÊ White Tea has a sweet silky lip feel with juicy creamy and bosc pear notes.

The second, third, fourth and fifth infusions got sweeter and even better. The white developed more of an apricot pear flavor over a cream and straw background. With each infusion the white got a little dry of a finish – 2/10 Astringency. I got one final infusion after the 5th, which was light on flavor with a hum of floral but with a really dry finish.

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TÊTÊ Green Tea

The green tea is dark green with the odd fleck of golden olive tones.

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I did two runs with this tea and decided steeping it at a low temperature of 160f was best. I first steeped this green at my usual 175f green water temperature and it was bitter. 160f turned out better, which was the temperature on the western brew instructions. The steeped colour is light yellow green.

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TÊTÊ Green Tea sips in asparagus sweet with a soft silky texture. Later steeps develop a light smokey flavor just like grilled sweet asparagus. With each infusion the green loses sweetness and getting more savory. I got five infusions then it got too light and dry to continue.

TÊTÊ Black Tea

This black tea has pretty dry leaf of black and gold waves – also the most scented of all the teas with a tasty sweet scent. I used boiling water to infuse TÊTÊ Black Tea.

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The first three infusions were really sweet with notes of honey, cherry wood and a hint of chocolate malt. I found this black wasn’t thick, heavy or rich and had a very clean taste.

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Fourth, fifth, and sixth infusions get an amber incense note along with the cherry woodsy which I find quite nice and unique for a black. There is a slight astringency 3/10 that dries the throat. These infusions are less sweet but interest savory notes.

I got two more infusions for a total of eight rounds. TÊTÊ Black Tea’s final infusions had a sweet come with light amber notes and a stiff dryness as a finishing move.

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I also had this black western steeped as per package instructions. TÊTÊ Black Tea makes for a pretty good long infusion as it was creamy and woodsy with a hint of amber, however I found the gong fu infusions sweeter.

Comments

Out of the three teas from TÊTÊ, I liked the Black Tea the most, with White Tea second – I found them the most interesting and different, perfect if you want to try Nepal teas. TÊTÊ Black Tea was also the most photogenic of the teas!

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TÊTÊ Green Tea was more difficult to steep as it seemed the most sensitive to heat. Either way, check out TÊTÊ for some tasty Nepal teas!

Edit: A coupon code!

OOLONGOWL for 20% off TÊTÊ! Expires June 16 2015

(tea provided for review)

 

May 2015 Simple Loose Leaf – Tea of the Month Club Review

May to me is strawberries and spring teas. I’ve been chugging shou pu’er like it’s going out of style and I really need to switch to greens, whites and young sheng pu’er to get me into Spring and Summer mode. It looks like the Simple Loose Leaf box this month has some nice oolongs and greens!

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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!

The teas this month for Simple Loose Leaf – Chinese Jade green, Irish Breakfast black, Shui Xian oolong and Yerba Mate.

For May 2015 Simple Loose Leaf is experimenting with size, so each tea is 10 grams instead of 7 grams, but we got 4 teas instead of the usual 5. I quite like this change, especially for unflavored teas as I get two gong fu steeping rounds. The teas that interested me in particular this month is the Chinese Jade and Shui Xian (I cannot say no to a roasted oolong), so that is what I’ll be sampling here this month.

Tasting of May 2015 Simple Loose Leaf teas

Chinese Jade has a lovely dry leaf and is vibrant in color with curls of silver. I decided to steep this in a gaiwan, gong fu style, with 175f water and 10 second infusions.

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Chinese Jade sips in with the flavor of sweet buttery peas with a smokey nut like finish. The aftertaste is lightly fruity floral like peaches. With each infusion the green gets more intense vegetal with a walnut shell bitter and smokey taste, making for a strong cup.

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I got 5 good infusions, with the later steeps getting pretty dry with a 5/10 Astringent dry finish. I steeped a 6th infusion but it got too vegetal bitter and dry to drink.

I had a giggle in finding one single branch leaf that is reddish brown where all the others leaves are green.

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Shui Xian Oolong is my kinda tea. The scent of the leaf is roasty toasty nutty with an appearance of long twirls of dark leaf. Gimmie! I also steeped this tea in a gaiwan but with 200f and 15 second infusions.

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The first six infusions taste of sweet mineral, toasty pastry notes, and fruity apricot finish. Shui Xian kind of reminds me of an apricot danish. The apricot finish and aftertaste is quite light.

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The later infusions, up to 9, lighten considerable with less fruity notes and more of a savory butter and mineral notes, kind of like an unsalted saltine cracker.

My favorite has to be the oolong for this month’s Simple Loose Leaf box!

Oolong Owl’s World Tea Expo 2015 Haul

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Oolong Owl invades the World Tea Expo 2015

Read Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3

Here it is, my haul from the World Tea Expo 2015! Admittedly, it is hard to purchase things for just yourself at the World Tea Expo as many are sold as wholesale, or they just had one or two items as demo.

I purchased a bunch of tea books – I learned from last year that the books will disappear. Cook books were of interest to me, my husband and I buy (and receive) lots of cookbooks. I purchased 3 cook books – Tastefully Small Savory Bites, Tea Party: 20 Themed Tea Parties with Recipes and Tea & Sweets: Fabulous Desserts for Afternoon Tea.

Tastefully Small Savory Bites is of savory hors d’oeuvres. Some are pretty cheffy and interesting, like Rose Beef Canapes and Caramelized Onion Lamb cups. I got this book signed too! I need to work on my appetizer game, my dinner events have always been a brick of cheese on a wooden board.

Tea Party: 20 Themed Tea Parties with Recipes runs with various tea party themes, like bridal shower, gentleman’s tea, and garden tea party and has a menu of savory and sweet recipes as well as tea list.

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Tea & Sweets is my favorite of the three – the recipes look amazing! All are tiny and fancy dessert ideas. If you are familiar with Teatime Magazine, you know their photos and recipes are great. This cookbook includes various mini cheesecakes and brownies to fancy like Lemon White Chocolate Mascarpone Flower Tartlets and Chocolate Truffle Cones with Jasmine Whipped Cream, and this sexy Banana Fosters Tartlet.

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I also got this book – The New Tea Companion: A Guide to Teas Throughout The World by Jane Pettigrew & Bruce Richardson. This book features photo listings of various teas by region and brewing instructions, as well as information on the tea. Pretty handy to learn about all the teas out there!

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And I got my copy signed!

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For tea, I purchased 2 pu’er cakes from LongRun Tea, one 2012 Jasmine Ripe 100 gram mini cake and a 2011 ChunHui Raw 357 gram. I bought the jasmine cake since it was small and cheap, but came back for the raw cake. I sampled it when I first found their booth, then I bought the Jasmine cake. I then walked around the floor for an hour and kept thinking about the flavor of that raw pu’er, then went back and purchased it!

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I posted about these cups from the Taiwanese ceramics Freecer Co on Day 2 and on the last day of the World Tea Expo I went back and got a pair for me and for someone else. They were pricey, but so beautiful and with a nice weight to them.

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I love the color and the glaze! It looks amazing in person!Oolong Owl World Tea Expo 2015 haul (1)

This was the first thing I bought at the World Tea Expo within the first hour I was there. Turns out, this was the only one left (already!) besides the one on demo. This is Summus‘ cold brew oolong set, with a gorgeous cold brew bottle that changes color depending on water temperature! I also got extra black and oriental beauty teas. Their Taiwanese black cold brew was amazing!

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The design is a tree with birds, designed by the seller’s talented 6 year old daughter! I love the bottle shape, ease of use with a built in filter in the silicone lid! They also had a dragon and a butterfly design but this one spoke to me. I will be doing a more in depth review in the future. I can’t wait to use this bottle, it is perfect for Spring and Summer cold brews!

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After my purchases and the tea samples from the World Tea Expo, my official tea stash count is…

drum roll!

591
CRAP.

oolong owl world tea expo 15 haul

I hope you all enjoyed my posts and photos from the World Tea Expo 2015! World Tea Expo will be back in 2016 on June 15-17th in Las Vegas!

(All my purchases, but amazon links are affiliate)

World Tea Expo 2015 – Day 3

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Oolong Owl invades the World Tea Expo 2015

Read Day 1 | Day 2 | Haul

The final day of the World Tea Expo 2015! I’m tired! So much walking, carrying lots of packages/tea owls/camera stuff as well as tea binging and crashing. The caffeine crashes being the worst. I actually didn’t have much to do today – I had seen almost all the booths so all I had on the quest list is to hit a few booths I missed, The Finest Brew (again) and purchase some tea cups.

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As a surprise, my husband stuffed the giant Hell Hoot into my camera bag, so I had 3 Tea Owls on shift today.

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Long Tea Session

The tea bloggers and I crashed The Finest Brew, which was a tea blogger favorite spot as we got to sit and have reinfusion after reinfusion of interesting tea and coversation. The Finest Brew  was the last booth I hit on Day 2, so the other bloggers visited the booth just before me the same day. I was told to show up again to have what Geesa had in his pocket, dubbed #PocketOolong.

First off, we finished a pair of black teas from Tong Mu (not a Jin Jun Mei or Lapsang Souchong). These blacks are expensive, like 3 days to pick off only a couple trees. Exceptional black tea!

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We then had random black tea that that was found in tins while looking for the moonlight white, that were made last week, one pan fired, another sun dried.

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Then we had a comparison of Moonlight White vs. a Ceylon moonlight white. Pssst, the Ceylon won.

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Finally – the POCKET OOLONG! Pocket aged delicious!

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Turns out one was a 25 year old, the other a 28 year old.

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The flavor was amazing as well as color difference!

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The older one had a real manly, cigar, deep woodsy flavor. The 25 year wasn’t as strong, but with later more richer infusions, it tasted close to the first infusion of the 28 year old one!

The smell was unbelievable, I was super happy to have this tea experience. Need to invent a never ending cup!

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Leaf in hand!

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Turns out I spent almost 2.5 hours at The Finest Brew getting tea smashed. I wasn’t walking straight after that.

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Drinking the waste tea bucket was tempting. Surprised one of us wasn’t found passed out face first in it.

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During the session, a few celebrity-tea sightings caught on Oolong Owl Camera! Tea for Me Please, My Japanese Green Tea, I Heart Teas, World Tea Podcast, The DevoTea, Steep Stories of the Lazy Literatus, and World of Tea.

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During the entire session in my field of view, I could see the Giant Ginseng mucking around. One point it spotted me looking at it and tried to wave me over again. After the session in a tea drunk stupor, this happened.

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North American Tea Championship – flavored teas!

I floated over to the NATC tasting after, most likely this walk would of failed a sobriety test.. if there was one for tea. Flavored teas and herbals!

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More Teas

Nuwati Herbals – This booth was busy every time I went to visit. I have a touch of First Nations in me, so I was curious to learn more of what this tea seller had. Nuwati Herbals does medicinal herbal style tea blends, as well as bath products. Very potent scents from here!

World Tea Expo 2015 - Day 3 - Oolong Owl (66)

World Tea Expo 2015 - Day 3 - Oolong Owl (70)

Bitaco – This booth looked low key and when I walked by yesterday it looked busy each time, but my fellow tea bloggers told me to visit.

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Turns out, this seller does Colombian Tea – interesting! They have black and green, as well as blends. The blends are unique – it’s not often one sees a Starfruit blend. Their Cocoa and Cacao nib black was also delicious and thick in flavor.

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Alpha Dominche – this place was always busy, but with it being the last day, I was able to approach! I saw these last year, and like last year was impressive to watch it steep tea.


This tea machine, moreso for restaurant/coffee or tea shop setting, does precision tea steeping. You program the steeping instructions into the touch pad and it will steep, vacuum around and dispense the tea. It also does multiple infusions! The strength I saw in this device was being able to make a consistent cup each time that is fool proof, no matter who is using the machine.

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Day 3 Goodies!

Since I spent most of my day at one booth, I only got a few goodies (that I cleared the other places out, ha!). I’ve been using 2 tote bags during the World Tea Expo – Zojirushi and Rooibos Limited one. I managed to pick up an Aiya Matcha one tote!

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Bitaco also provided me with samples – Nice!

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My favorite item, and the second thing that made my day was a cookbook from the Rooibos Limited vendor “A Touch of Rooibos”. I saw it on display at the front of the show room floor and wanted it, since I have been buying cook books at the expo. I went to their booth and asked and they gave me one for free! YES!

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It is a really nice, cheffy cookbook too, with recipes from chefs from South Africa. There are neat meat dishes with ostrich and lamb, however the desserts look the best. Baklava with Rooibos syrup!!!!!

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Many thanks to the World Tea Expo again for letting this crazy tea blogger in the door. No one seemed to be phased by a stumbling gal carrying a big red DSLR and crochet owls.

World Tea Expo 2015 Day 2

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Oolong Owl invades the World Tea Expo 2015

Read – Day 1 | Day 3 | Haul

Today was the day I was going to try and visit the other half of the Expo that I didn’t see yet, as well as back track to others that were too busy the first trip. I visited lots of booths and took a lot of pictures! So many pictures!

Delicious Tea

Aiya – I had a long talk with Aiya Matcha on matcha quality and market.

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Happy to see matcha taking off but most importantly great to taste the really good matchas. They were very knowledgeable and had ceremonial iced amd line of bagged greens cut with matcha.

World Tea Expo 2015 - day 2 - Oolong Owl (2)

They had amazing rooibos powder that made an awesome latte. I actually like it and I wasn’t tea drunk yet. This is coming from someone who doesn’t like rooibos.

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Aoi – I also had a matcha session with Aoi. I couldn’t tell you who had better matcha, they were both pretty good. They had a spiffy stone grinder and Aloha Tea Owl ground his own matcha!

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Look how green this matcha is!

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Aoi has some flavored matchas too – they were all very good, but I lean on raspberry being the best.

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Both matcha sellers were entertained of my tales drinking some of the bad matchas from my 12 Amazon Matcha comparison.
CT is a tea company and farm that makes ceylon teas.

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Farmed and manufactured off the farm without a middle man. Beautiful tea! Look at that silver tips!

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Hyson Teas – they had some really fragrant blends and I was entertained by their Peter The Great line. The Strawberry Blackcurrant smelled incredibly delicious.

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Owl’s Brew – I came here for the name, turns out they do tea infusions for cocktails. Owl Cocktails. I dunno if you want my Tea Owls to make you a cocktail and I’d stick with Owl’s Brew to do it for you. I had a Darjeeling hibiscus, Pink & Black!

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Zen Tea Traders – I have reviewed their teas before and at WTE15 they had a new one – Sun Moon Lake, a Taiwanese black. Delicious! Oolong and black drinkers need to check this one out.

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Indonesia Tea Company – these guys are new on the scene, scoping out the scene. They had indonesian blacks for sample in various grades and it was a hellva smooth sip! I can’t wait to hear more from them and I can see many of us tea drinkers North America side would enjoy their tea.

World Tea Expo 2015 - day 2 - Oolong Owl (79)

World Tea Expo 2015 - day 2 - Oolong Owl (80)

LongRun Tea – I was in pursuit of pu’er. Yesterday I was sad that I had little pu’er. Some vendors who had it didn’t have it for sample as were like “huh, you like pu’er?”. I want pu’er! Being smashingly tea drunk while at the World Tea Expo sounded like a great idea. I found LongRun tea with their nice pu’er spread and sampled away. I purchased some goodies, muahahah!

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World Tea Expo 2015 - day 2 - Oolong Owl (31) World Tea Expo 2015 - day 2 - Oolong Owl (32)

Laos Tea – This was interesting and first official time trying Laos tea. They sell 2 pu’ers, green and black tea. I was there for the pu’er of course and it was very lovely and beautiful looking tea. I have samples for review for later!

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World Tea Expo 2015 - day 2 - Oolong Owl (62) World Tea Expo 2015 - day 2 - Oolong Owl (60)

The Finest Brew – They had a neat sit down section to sample private collection goodies. I had some great Yabao pu’er, best I’ve had! As well as some interesting oolong stuffed into bitter melons. Sounds pretty wild and that’s how I like it! Also the only booth where they were obviously tea drunk, haha! Even if I don’t get my paws on these teas, the experience was worth it. I’ll be back tomorrow!

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Sexy Tea ware

Bonavita – I hung around here for awhile talking about their kettle. Really attractive kettle that does single degree settings, in both F and C! Great pour and design.

World Tea Expo 2015 - day 2 - Oolong Owl (13) Tang Zhaoxia – I was given the website addy www.zishateapots.com on their flyer but it’s a dead link. Either way, these are all hand made yixing tea pots. Are you ready? DROOOL

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Which one was your favorite? I like the one with the bunny on top!

Wait, there’s more! This is a Taiwanese maker Freecer Co.

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Those cups! WHOA

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Blue Sky – You want whimsical tea pots? This is the place. THEY HAD 2 OWLS POTS OMG

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Also these beauties too.

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Libre – I stopped by Libre to admire their new colors of travel tea tumblers. I can never have enough travel tea tumblers! This pink one is coming out soon!

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North American Tea Championship

Green and Oolong teas today – lots of delicious matchas and senchas with an oolong in there.

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Tea Bloggers Round Table

Today was the Tea Bloggers Round table. Like last year it felt too short. Afterward, the tea bloggers had a toast with this expensive Scottish smoked white tea.

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Black Tea Owl also got photographed like a movie star (and drank all the tea)!

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Day 2 Sample Haul

Light haul today, which was great for my back. Carrying 2 fat Tea Owls, DSLR camera and lots of goodies is pretty tiring. I should make the Tea Owls some backpacks so they can help out!

I got more goodies from Mama-Kii and Aiya Matcha. I also got tea samples from CT, Laos Tea, Hyson and Zen Tea Traders.

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I also snagged a new Libre Tea Thermos!

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In the coolest tea swag, how about this Bonavita lego man?

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For my purchases, I just got cakes. What cakes? You’ll see after the World Tea Expo is complete!

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What is in store for day 3? More tea!

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Oolong Owl at World Tea Expo 2015 – Day 1

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Oolong Owl invades the World Tea Expo 2015

Read Day 2 | Day 3 | Haul

It was a mysteriously cool day here in Long Beach for Day 1 of the World Tea Expo. I rolled in downtown Long Beach looking for some hot tea!

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On the schedule today:

World Tea expo 2015 day 1 - Oolong owl (121)

I got just under half of all the booths checked out, which was a pretty good track record compared to last year. The catch this year is many of the booths now have scheduled tasting – either certain times of day they’ll steep up different teas to compare, or they only made certain teas today and will have the other part of their line up tomorrow. I thought that was pretty smart – it gets me to come back and I’m not standing around drinking 10 teas in a row with everyone else.

On my first day, I saw a lot of cool tea ware items. Trends I saw was lots of Matcha and lots of people looking for matcha too! There was also quite a bit of cold brews for sample, or cold brew marketed teas. It is interesting as years ago cold brewing wasn’t well known, now it is getting popular due to ease of making tea.

Samples sampled: I lost count in the first hour. Easily 50.

Bathroom trips from drinking so much tea: 7. I got real familiar with that bathroom. Damn that soap dispenser.

Cool Tea Ware!

Summus organic high mountain tea. Their main focus is Taiwanese cold brew teas but they have amazing origami-like packaging and beautiful tea ware that changes color. The cold brewed tea is delicious tea too! This was the first time I tried a cold brew black and it was so tasty that I wanted to take the whole bottle and run into the night.

World Tea expo 2015 day 1 - Oolong owl (25)

World Tea expo 2015 day 1 - Oolong owl (26)

I purchased something from here, you’ll have to wait until my World Tea Expo 2015 Haul post (coming once the World Tea Expo is done).

The Tea spot has a new travel tea thermos made out of thick glass, designed for hot teas. This tea bottle felt very durable and I love the cork accents. You can unscrew the bottom to get at the leaf too!

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Lin’s Ceramics – On quick googling, a few vendors carry their pots. GORGEOUS POTS.

LOOK AT THIS MODERN SEXYNESS

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OMG these tea pots are hot too!

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The highlight for me was their spiffy tea roaster.

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They added oolong and right away the smell was amazing, like freshly opened roasted oolong x10000000! This was one of my first stops and I had a hard time leaving as it smelled so good! The item is clay similar to yixing from what was described.

Sharp’s Tea-cere Matcha Maker!

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This gadget will grind your green tea to matcha as well as whisk it for you. You can use any tea you like too! This product already hit Japan and now coming to North America. I dunno if I should have one of these… I will get into too much trouble making weird oolong pu’er dust or more tea owl prime rib matcha.

Den’s tea – I’ve eye’d this tea pot off their website. Seeing this tea pot in person put a tea ware lust in me that I will need to stop denying. Swoooon! (They have tasty ceremonial matcha t00).

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Forlife had some really gorgeous glass tea steepware as well – I love the colors!

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More sexy tea ware from various other vendors

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Rice pattern!World Tea expo 2015 day 1 - Oolong owl (31) World Tea expo 2015 day 1 - Oolong owl (32) World Tea expo 2015 day 1 - Oolong owl (33)

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OMG owl tea set! I couldn’t buy one as it’s wholesale but apparently they are sold locally for me in LA, so yay! you Cannot escape me owl tea set, YOU WILL BE MINE OWL TEA SET. MINE.

World Tea expo 2015 day 1 - Oolong owl (78)

World Tea expo 2015 day 1 - Oolong owl (79)

Amazing Teas

Dethlefsen & Balk These guys had wild blends that were eye catchingly creative. Teas with marshmallow and peanut butter and jelly flavored green! I got samples so expect reviews!

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World Flavorz – this tea company had a huge spread of different blends. On sample was a really good tumeric tea, which was the best tumeric blend I’ve had as it wasn’t chalky weird. They blend their own and their Orchid Vanilla was very fragrant. Checking out their site they have Rice Pudding White Tea, OMG OMG! If you love fun blends, check these guys out!

World Tea expo 2015 day 1 - Oolong owl (46) World Tea expo 2015 day 1 - Oolong owl (47)

Wize monkey – I went out of my way to go to the part of the expo I was saving for the next day to say hi.

World Tea expo 2015 day 1 - Oolong owl (114)

World Tea expo 2015 day 1 - Oolong owl (119)

Turned out it was a good call as they had different flavors each day on tap. I really liked the jasmine it just worked really well with the base! The cookies made with the coffee leaf powder were fantastic!

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Tea source – Last year Tea Source had a giant 80lb+ heicha and I went questing for it for tea porn shots.

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Sadly it didn’t make it out this year and I was concerned they hacked it up for tasting Tea Source assured me it’s still intact, it is just taking this year off from being on the road for 4 years. I couldn’t be trusted with a 80lb+ log of Heicha, the Tea Owls and I will peck it to bits.

Adagio Tea – I’m a sucker for Tea Rex things.

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Harney & Sons – That ginger ale beer SO GOOD! The jasmine was a tasty surprise! I loved it and I’ll keep an eye for it in stores.

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I love the Harney & Son’s booth. They have luxurious display and the staff are fun and friendly.

North American Tea Championship – White and Black teas

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At first I thought I missed it. They must of had technical issues as I visited when the black tea tasting was supposed to be, but I guess it didn’t happen. Then I came back during the white tea tasting and they combined them! All really good teas – photos of all the teas present.

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Sample Swag

Various Tea magazines

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Tea pamphlets – actually pretty low in tree death compared to last year.

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Tea goodies – USB drives, buttons, stickers, yeah!

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This is a Tea Source bicycle bell that kinda looks like a tea pot.World Tea expo 2015 day 1 - Oolong owl (142)

Tea samples! OOH YEAH! Arum Tea, Wize Monkey, Cameron Tea, 101 Tea Plantations, The Tea Spot, Do Matcha, Dethlefsen & Balk!

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My purchases – more later!

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Sadly, I couldn’t do any after events. My haul was too heavy plus the Tealet afterparty spot was too long of a commute home.

Finally.. what the..

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Matcha Comparison – Matcha Taste Testing of 12 different Matchas!

So I was sent 12, identical packaged matcha samples to be tested and rated from Red Leaf Tea.

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Red Leaf Tea wanted a comparison of their matcha verses popular matcha sold on Amazon.com. A number of other tea drinkers and bloggers got the same treatment too. At the time of sampling, I did not know what matcha was what other than number on the package. There was a few others who posted their results ahead of me and I did not look up their reviews. I wrote my reviews by sample number and sent in my results to find out what product was what, which I edited in for this final post.

If you follow Oolong Owl, you’ll see I prefer oolongs and pu’er, with the occassional dabble into black teas. I also like a good flavored tea and willing to drink just about anything. I steep up teas gongfu style in gaiwans all structurally rigid like, or casual tea in mug steeping. Admittedly, I’m not a traditional matcha drinker – I’m more of a modern/unconventional BAM matcha smoothie type and I prefer my matchas iced over hot. I grew up on matchas being in bubble/boba tea, as milk lattes or in sweets and pastries. Time to time I do drink my matchas hot and traditional.

Testing Procedure

For all matches I used 160f and started with a 1/3cup water. I opted to weigh out the matcha – 1 gram of matcha each, rather than volume measurement.

For equipment I used a bowl and an electric frother.

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I got a bamboo whisk but in a few hours it’s my weight lifting chest day and I don’t want to gas my arms and the Tea Owls didn’t want to get messy.

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. However I’m relaxed on foam rating as I am using a frother than Owl muscle.
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 – Ranking of 1 through 11 (there was a tie for one price, that is why it’s not 1-12).
1 being the cheapest, 11 being the most expensive out of all the matchas per oz. Prices pulled from Amazon on May 4 2015, so current price may vary.

Matcha Comparison – Testing and Reviewing of 12 Different Matchas

Matcha photoshoot!

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MATCHA 1 – Matcha Organics’ 100% Pure Organic Matcha 4oz

Looking at the amazon listing this matcha is toting a ton of benefits and looks most like an infomercial (fat blocker! fights cancer!) without a mention of it tasting good. It has “dosing” instructions rather than directions. Pretty food pictures though and it’s gluten free and vegan (hahah)! Reading through the listing there is no mention where this matcha is from. Under the comments, it turns out this is a green tea, under middle grade, made in China.

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Matcha Powder Colour 2/10 Dry leaf is like pale green chalk.

Matcha Powder Scent 2/10 The scent is quite mild, like almost nothing is there.

Prepared Appearance 4/10 – dark olive green. Foamed up okay and disappeared quickly.

Bitter Sweet Scale  1/10 SO BITTER OMG!

Flavor 2/10 – Super potent and really bitter, which is all I can taste throughout the sip. At least there was a sweet finish, but overall I wouldn’t want to drink this again. I guess if you are selling something as supplement over taste, there’s an expectation for it to not taste good.

Price #8 – $24.95 for a 4oz bag.  $6.24 per oz. Matcha Organics’ 100% Pure Organic Matcha 

 

MATCHA 2 – Tradition Pure Green Tea Powder, Matcha Tea Powder, Product of Taiwan, 8.8 Oz

This matcha is the only one on this list from Taiwan. This amazon listing has the least amount of information on this product.

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Matcha Powder Colour 2/10  another pale pastel hue.

Matcha Powder Scent 5/10 This matcha has a lovely sweet scent but not too fragrant.

Prepared Appearance 4/10  Olive green, foamed okay.

Bitter Sweet Scale 5/10 Middle ground here as it starts sweet and ends bitter.

Flavor 4/10 Distinct cut grass and with a sweet herbal taste. Finishes off with a bitter finish. Not spectacular or any wow factor

Price #2 – $10.75 for a 8.8oz bag, $1.22 an oz. Tradition Pure Green Tea Powder, Matcha Tea Powder, Product of Taiwan is the 2nd cheapest on the list and not much wow factor especially with a few other matchas in this range tasting better.

 

MATCHA 3 – Doctor King 100% Organic Japanese Matcha Green Tea Powder 4oz

“This matcha is recommended by many doctors… including Dr. King.” Who’s Dr King? I googled and got Martin Luther King Jr, who obviously isn’t the one recommending this matcha. This one is a Japanese matcha, Culinary Grade, quoting that the current batch is from April 2015 harvest. I am unsure if mine is from the April harvest as I didn’t purchase this myself. Sadly, out of all the matchas here, this is the only product that mentions the harvest date and there is a vague mention of Kyoto for where in Japan it is from. The listing also mentions a battery of health benefits, but mostly stresses it being an authentic Japanese product.

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Matcha Powder Colour 3/10 very similar to matcha 1 with a pale chalk color.

Matcha Powder Scent 6/10 This matcha as a lightly sweet scent, not bad.

Prepared Appearance 8/10 vibrant green, wow! This one foamed up fairly easily too with tight bubbles.

Bitter Sweet Scale 8/10 pretty sweet and a nice level of sweetness.

Flavor 4/10 Really strong and quite vegetal, just like kale. I wasn’t digging this one as I found this matcha interestingly deceptive with the pale color, sweet scent, whisks up vibrant green, but tastes like sweetened kale. I could see this one enjoyed by health enthusiasts if they aren’t sick of the kale kick yet.

Price #10 – $24.00 per 4oz bag, $6.00 an ozDoctor King 100% Organic Japanese Matcha Green Tea Powder. This one is pricey and I’m assuming the premium on Dr. King (???) name and fresh harvest. This brand also has a 1 oz Ceremonial grade available on amazon which a big shipping cost.

 

MATCHA 4 – One Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder 8.80z – USDA Certified Organic

This matcha is another product of China and is a Culinary grade.

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Matcha Powder Colour 4/10 Darker green chalk. We are going up the paint swatches, folks!

Matcha Powder Scent 6/10 The scent is kind of weird, like minty fresh almost. I do like the scent but it’s not something I associate with matcha.

Prepared Appearance  8/10 nice color, a beautiful jade under the light foam.

Bitter Sweet Scale 5/10 in the middle, it’s not too sweet but not really bitter either.

Flavor 5/10 Really mild in flavor, kind of like green leaf lettuce. Maybe I needed to use less water on this one as the flavor was so watery and bland. I’d say this matcha is pretty easy drinker but not exciting either.

Price #5 – $19.99 per 8.8oz bag. $6.00 per ozOne Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder 8.80z – USDA Certified Organic. This matcha should be lower on the list for price point since it comes up pretty watery and probably needs more product to produce flavor.

 

MATCHA 5 – Enzo’s Private Selection Organic Green Tea Powder – 100% USDA Certified 4oz

This matcha lists some health benefits but also mention of all day energy. I feel it, I’m freaking wired right now! I did a double take on the package and listing mentioning ebola. Turns out for every bag, a $1 is donated to actionaid ebola. On the pictures, this is a Chinese matcha product, sold via Thailand.

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Matcha Powder Colour  7/10 a dark green colour and the 2nd darkest, and in 3rd or 4th place for most vibrant.

Matcha Powder Scent 8/10 The dry leaf smells really sweet and appealing, yum!

Prepared Appearance  5/10 foams up decently but with a muddy army green colour.

Bitter Sweet Scale 10/10 Really sweet! Unreal sweet, why is this so sweet? Looking at the listing, as far as we know it’s 100% matcha and not laced with sweetener. Or is it?

Flavor 7/10 At first, I like this one as it’s very sweet. Good contrast to the other matchas which were bitter. But overtime I found it too sweet, like juice mix TANG sweet. I don’t mind this one and would love this one personally for making smoothies and out of all of them, would preform best iced. This matcha would also make a great base for flavored drinks. I wouldn’t drink this traditional though, it’s just too sweet.

Price #7 – $21.99 per 4oz bag, $5.50 per oz. Enzo’s Private Selection Organic Green Tea Powder – 100% USDA Certified is unreal sweet, I wish there was nutritional information on this product.

 

MATCHA 6 – TerraVerve Matcha Green Tea Powder – Organic Certified by USDA – Culinary Grade 3.5oz /100g

This is a Japanese matcha from the Nishio region. I do like the transparency here and they cite doing radiation testing.

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Matcha Powder Colour 8/10 Best vibrant color out of the 12 Matchas, though I’ve personally seen greener. Interestingly, out of all the matchas this one was the heaviest, almost half compared to another matcha. I wonder why that is?

Matcha Powder Scent 9/10 really nice as it’s sweet and creamy.

Prepared Appearance 8/10 Jade green, wow. The color is beautiful, I’d wear this! Foamed decently too.

Bitter Sweet Scale 8/10. Great sweetness without being too crazy, a pretty good level that I like.

Flavor 8/10 Pretty good, fresh sweet and creamy. Great quality here! It was lightly vegetal and grassy, but not overpowering. I set some aside to drink later and tried cool has a light roasty flavor. I like this one, I feel the quality is here and pretty good, especially for a culinary grade.

Price #11 – $29.99 per 3.5oz bag, $8.52 per oz. TerraVerve Matcha Green Tea Powder – Organic Certified by USDA – Culinary Grade  is the most expensive out of all the matchas and is also the smallest package out of the bunch. Before I knew the price, I wrote “I would buy this depending on price point for a standard good matcha.” and wow, this one is not a great price point compared to the other matchas in this tasting, but out of all the matchas this one states the source, so you are paying a premium for that and non-bulk sizing.

 

MATCHA 7 – Kazu Foods 100% Organic Matcha, 8.8 oz

There is no mention where this matcha is from besides an image that says “Now Product of Japan”.

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Matcha Powder Colour  1/10  worst color as it’s pale pale chalky green. Interestingly, out of all the matchas, this one was the lightest. I used almost double compared to Matcha 6. I wonder what made it so light?

Matcha Powder Scent 1/10 If that couldn’t get any worse, the dry leaf has a plastic scent. YUCK!

Prepared Appearance 1/10 – whisks up muddy green with a weird yellow/green foam color.  Also the matcha was chunky and clumpy, making it difficult to break down while whisking.

Bitter Sweet Scale 7/10 Actually pretty sweet, like concentrated asparagus sweet.

Flavor  1/10 Strongly asparagus in flavor. The worst about this one is the rough gritty texture. This one is a pour out just on gritty texture and unappealing colour.

Price #4 – $16.99 per 8.8oz bag, $1.93 per oz. Kazu Foods 100% Organic Matcha. If I bought this tea I’d be disappointed in what I received.

After I drank this my stomach felt in pain. Either I had just too much caffeine at this point or Matcha 7 was just that awful. RUN!

 

MATCHA 8 – Matcha DNA Certified Organic Matcha Green Tea 10oz

Weird name for a tea brand. I would of totally ran with “MATCHA, it’s in my DNA!” RAWWRRRR TEA OWL SMASH! This matcha is a 100% organic, hand picked Chinese matcha. It is very clear that it product is not from Japan, citing this matcha will have a different taste profile, going as far as matcha was originally a Chinese drink. This matcha also lists gluten free and vegan.

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Matcha Powder Colour 3/10 pale chalky color.

Matcha Powder Scent 8/10 The scent is wonderful though, really sweet and fresh – I could smell this one all day.

Prepared Appearance 1/10 UGLY – unusual brownish green.

Bitter Sweet Scale 2/10 to 4/10  pretty bitter, though not as bitter when watered down.

Flavor 3/10 quite strong and bitter. I added more water to thin it and I got green pepper notes. Overall, not that good when you take into account the strong bitter flavor and off appearance.

Price #6 – $25.00 per 10oz bag, $2.47 per oz OR #3 $1.24 for 1lb. Matcha DNA Certified Organic Matcha Green Tea 6th cheapest matcha, but this is potently strong matcha is actually cheaper since it makes more per gram. This brand of matcha sells 1oz, 3oz, 8oz and 1lb bag sizes. Technically this one is $1.24 an oz if we get the 1lb bag (since we will enter 1lb territory shortly).

 

MATCHA 9 – Kiss Me Organics – Matcha Green Tea Powder 4oz

This matcha is the #1 best seller for Green Tea Nutritional Supplements on amazon (why is there multiple lists for matcha???). This is a Japanese matcha in the product title and description, but confusingly, in the Question & Answers the seller states this is a Chinese product, my guess is older products were Chinese origin. This is the only matcha registered with the Vegan society, unlike the others claims of being vegan. Wait, this one is gluten free too!

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Matcha Powder Colour  7/10 Darkest out of all the matchas here, though not the most vibrant as it’s got a brownish tinge to it. Tough to rate.

Matcha Powder Scent 3/10 Yuck, this smells like hay and freshly mowed lawn.

Prepared Appearance 6/10 Deep dark brownish green. The color is nice and the foam is greener than the rest.

Bitter Sweet Scale 6/10. Lightly sweet without any bitterness.

Flavor 2/10 to 5/10 This matcha is weird. At first I was like NOPE NOPE but it grew on me. The flavor has a sweet herbal and hay tinge to it. The nope reaction was mostly it tasted like how hay smelled, which normally gives me allergies, but the flavor isn’t overpowering or bitter so it wasn’t as bad once I gave it a shot.

Price #9 tie – $25.00 per 4oz bag, $6.25 per oz. Kiss Me Organics – Matcha Green Tea Powder. This vegan matcha (ha) is for sure paying the premium for being vegan. I found it comical finding out that the most hay and herbal tasting matcha is labelled vegan.

 

MATCHA 10 – uVernal Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder 4oz

This matcha is the #1 best seller for Amazon Gourmet Tea Gifts. Very nice flavor description on this matcha, the listing says that this matcha is naturally sweet and they don’t need to add sugary or honey to it.

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Matcha Powder Colour 4/10 pale chalk but this one has a bit of yellow in it, but not the lightest of the bunch.

Matcha Powder Scent 4/10 Light fresh sweet scent, but not that strong.

Prepared Appearance 4/10 This matcha whisks up a true army camo green!

Bitter Sweet Scale 3/10 Bitter in taste! I call shenanigans on the claim it’s sweet and it doesn’t need sugar!

Flavor 2/10 Another odd flavored matcha. This one has a bit of spice going on that reminds me of chai, with a thick stale grassy taste. I call shenanigans on this being matcha being old and contaminated. If this matcha wasn’t oddly spicy or stale, I could see this one ranking a bit higher as the thick grassy taste isn’t that bad.

Price #9 tie – $24.99 per 4oz bag, $6.25 per oz. uVernal Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder is #1 best seller? Must be the pretty dark packaging.

 

MATCHA 11 – Red Leaf Tea Starter Matcha 16oz

Starter Matcha

This is a Chinese matcha. The sales pages mostly describes the flavor of the matcha which I do like to see, all I care about is taste really.

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Matcha Powder Colour 4/10 grayest of the matchas, like the saturation was sucked out of it.

Matcha Powder Scent 7/10 Though it smells nice, not as potent as Matcha 6, but sweet and creamy.

Prepared Appearance 8/10 This matcha is a pretty dark jade color with cute foam.

Bitter Sweet Scale 8/10 Good level of sweetness and not overpoweringly sweet either.

Flavor 7/10 The flavor of this matcha is sweet and fruity tangy, very similar to Matcha 5 but not over the top sweet and with more interest. The flavor also has grassy and green pepper notes.

Pretty good overall. Similar to Matcha 5, but this one is much better as it tastes more real and less overpoweringly sweet.

Price – $14.99 per 16oz bag, $0.94 per oz. Red Leaf Tea Starter Matcha  DAT price! This is a hellva lot of matcha though. You will need to be able to plow through that bag to make your purchase worth while. For that price, culinary uses would be a great application as well.

 

MATCHA 12 – Red Leaf Tea Deluxe Matcha 16oz

Deluxe Matcha

Another matcha from Red Leaf tea that is from China. The description mentions different tasting notes than the Starter version, otherwise the main difference is the price.

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Matcha Powder Colour 6/10 The color here is in the middle of the pack. It’s not vibrant, but not pasty pale either.

Matcha Powder Scent 10/10 DANG it’s strong floral. This can’t be a green, this is like oolong territory.

Prepared Appearance 8/10 comes out a lovely dark jade that is nicely saturated without muddy brown. Foams okay, but we’ve established here I can’t foam matcha worth a damn. While I was whisking, the scent was strong.

Bitter Sweet Scale 7/10 Not the sweetest of all the matchas but also this one has a contrasting bitterness present.

Flavor 9/10 WHOA this is great! It’s floral, like rose and peaches with a background of grass that has a lightly bitter finish with a sweet peachy aftertaste.

However, I am unsure how conventionally tasty this matcha is, but as an oolong lover this one calls to me for the color, scent, complexity and floral taste. I would buy this one and cringe that I own a pound of it. I’ll probably chuck it into the depths of my deep freeze, next to last year’s turkey.

Price – $24.99 per 16oz bag, $1.56 per oz. 15 gram Sample size available for $2.99.  Red Leaf Tea Deluxe Matcha has an excellent price for what you are getting.

RANKING and COMMENTS

My Top 3 for Taste
Matcha 12 Red Leaf Tea Deluxe Matcha
Matcha 6 TerraVerve Matcha Green Tea Powder
Matcha 11 Red Leaf Tea Starter Matcha. These 3 were my favorites and I enjoyed drinking them the most!

Considering Price Top 2
Matcha 12 and Matcha 11 from Red Leaf Tea.
The other matchas on the cheap price point are either really terrible (Matcha 7) or watery and not actually a deal per serving (Matcha 4). I would take the prices with a grain of salt as most of the matchas are in big quantities.

Honorable Mentions
Matcha 5 Enzo’s Private Selection Organic Green Tea Powder, because it is so sweet, I believe this matcha has nice applications to be used in smoothies, blended with fruit and cooking.
Matcha 3 Doctor King 100% Organic Japanese Matcha Green Tea Powder for transparency and potential best known freshness.

Dishonorable Mention
Matcha 7 Kazu Foods 100% Organic Matcha. Just don’t, I even removed the hyperlink here so you don’t look at it. I’m tossing this one, I don’t want to inflict this matcha experience on anyone.

Comments 

First off, trying this many matchas at once was pretty wild! I’m still cleaning up the matcha mess and I keep finding piles of green.

I have never waded through matcha listings on Amazon until now, it was crazy to see it sold more as an infomercial supplement than a delicious tea drink and experience. I also disliked the amount of what listings stated as a benefit of Chinese matcha is claims on Japanese radiation, which I think should be a non-issue and neglecting to comment on pollution issues in China. All the matchas except Matcha 2 have 4.5 star ratings – I question all the reviews on amazon for these matchas as they aren’t trying them all like this, and many are purchasing for supplement reasons.

The biggest disappointment was lack of transparency out of all but one Matcha, 6 TerraVerve Matcha Green Tea Powder clearly mentions where the matcha is produced, and only Matcha 3 – Doctor King 100% Organic Japanese Matcha Green Tea Powder mentions a harvest date and expiry. If I am going to fork over cash, I want to know how fresh my tea is.

I also encourage sample sizes – and out of all of these 12 Matchas only two sell smaller or sample sizes, Matcha 12 Red Leaf Tea Deluxe Matcha and Matcha 8 – Matcha DNA Certified Organic Matcha Green Tea. If you are buying close to a pound of matcha you probably want to sample it first before dropping $30.

The take away? SO MUCH MATCHA!

(Tea provided for review from Red Leaf Tea. Amazon links are affiliate, support Oolong Owl!)