Private Reserve Matcha A23 — Red Leaf Tea

Vendor: Red Leaf Tea

Tea: Private Reserve Matcha A23 

Parameters: 1/2 tsp powder / 3oz water / 180*

Damn, Brian — back at it aga…  nope.

I ran off to San Francisco for a conference a few weeks ago, lost my groove… alas, I dropped off for a bit. But here we go — the weather has been stupid nice and inspired me to go outside to enjoy the glorious sunshine… just long enough to take some natural light tea photos and retreat back to the safety of the insides.

Also, with the time change I guess I’ll have more light at the end of the day after the ol’ day job is done. Not bad.

Hokay — tea time.

Today, I’ve got some matcha from Red Leaf Tea, provided as part of their review program. I love free… and I love trying new things.

I’ve never had matcha outside of that green tea fluff stuff at Starbucks (which I will unashamedly admit that I like. YOLO), so was excited to give this a try.

They sent a sample of their A23 Reserve Matcha and French Vanilla Matcha (review for another day). Photo below, comparing greenessity.

Red Leaf Tea Matcha

As mentioned, I’ve never really done the matcha thing before but it’s all good.

I’ve read things on the Internet. My technique is flawless after practically uncountable minutes of studying.

I know how to do it right.

I was able to employ some very fancy equipment to take care of business.

Here’s my amazing sifting device:

Sifting matcha

ENHANCE! Look at that fine-sifted goodness.

sifted matcha closeup

Here’s a photo of some very ancient tea wares, handed down for generations or something.

my matcha wares

Don’t be jealous of my matcha chawan.

Next up, I added my hot water and whisked and whisked away with my chasen.

Don’t be fooled. I am told it is crafted with the finest of rare, silver bamboo, complete with micropulsating tines.

And those bubbles? Niiiiiice.

Matcha chawan matcha chasen

So with all that nonsense out of the way, let’s talk about the drinking part.

Remember, I’m just a simple dood with an unrefined matcha palate.

The most obvious thing that jumped out at me was the vegetal/seaweedy aroma. Nothing too shocking there but I was more so surprised by it not being nearly as strong as I had expected.

I think I was waiting to be hit with stewed veggie notes but was surprised by how light this was.

The first sip seemed to mimic the aroma experience — light vegetal, and not overwhelming. The flavor was not very strong, which perhaps is due to this being on the lower end of the matcha scale or my lack of… couth.

So not too strong, a bit simple, but not bad either.

After a few sips, I mostly noticed the viscous mouthfeel and a lingering but subtle bitterness that coated my mouth and the back of my throat.

Overall, it was a pleasant experience — a nice and gentle introduction to matcha.

I’m certainly looking forward to further exploring this corner of the tea world.

Brian Steele | The Uncouth Palate

Green Rooibos — Adagio Teas

Vendor: Adagio Teas

Tea: Green Rooibos

Parameters: 1 heaping tsp / 8oz water / 212* & boiling / 5 min

Cabinet stash review time — this time, some green rooibos.

I like rooibos. It’s not bad, so figured I’d give green rooibos a shot.

It’s quite different from its red brethren — like green tea is to black tea I suppose. None of that oxidation business, which lends to a much lighter, gentler overall rooibosness.

Natural sweetness,  lighter body, grassy fruit something another .

Adagio teas green rooibos

Dry bits definitely have a grassy, hay kind of smell.

And as I usually do with my rooibos, I figured I’d see what happens when I boil it real good.

Adagio teas green rooibos

Looks kind of neat bubbling away in my sauce pan.

Here’s the result of the regular steeped and the boiled:

Adagio teas green rooibos

There’s certainly a noticeable difference of color richness — to be expected. So about that taste?

Regular was very light. I guess a little sweet and tastes like it smells — grassy hay stuffs. I don’t feel like I under steeped or didn’t have enough rooibos. But just really flat tasting.

The boiled?

Oh crap, do not want.

Insta dry mouth. It’s pretty crazy actually, can’t recall experiencing such an intense drying effect with any tea.

And the flavor? Nope.

Lots of char. Can’t drink.

No fault of the poor ol green rooibos, I need to say. I abused it. I thought I could get away with my standard rooibos treatment.

Oh well.

The end.

Brian Steele | The Uncouth Palate


White2Tea Puerh Tea Unboxing Video

I got somes new tea and I made a video. I’m not sure if this is something I’ll (try to) do regularly but figured I’d at least give it a shot.

Apologies my fine readers for assaulting your minds with the errors that are waiting for you in this video.


Brian Steele | The Uncouth Palate