Genmaicha (Australia) from Blue Hour Tea. . . .

I steeped this at 190 degrees with 1stp tea and 1 cup water for about one minute. (The recommendation was 1-3 minutes, but after one minute it smelled super toasty even from across the room so I figured I’d better drink it before it got strong enough to knock me over.)

This tea does interestingly include a bit of matcha in the ingredients despite being a genmaicha, which is a great addition as far as I’m concerned. Also, I’ve never had a tea from Australia before (that I know of), so I was quite excited by this opportunity!

Once steeped, the tea was hazy and a bit cloudy, possibly from the dissolved matcha, and had a grassy but very light green color. Even in the fragrance I could definitely find the green-tea-flavor melding with the toasted-rice flavor. The liquid was a little thicker than expected, and as I took my first sip I found that it doesn’t taste quite as toasty as it smells. There was a bit more of the buttery, savory green tea flavor than I’d expected based on the fragrance, especially at the beginning of the sip. However, the overall flavor profile was nicely blended with most of the strength of the nutty, toasty flavor coming more at the end of the sip. This tea was smooth, not bitter at all, and it was somewhat astringent but not too astringent.

With sugar it was really great, and yes, I tried it with milk as well, although I know that’s kind of weird. The flavor was actually unexpectedly wonderful–like eating a bowl of matcha-flavored rice cereal for breakfast. (I don’t know if that’s actually a thing, but it should be.)


So the verdict altogether is that if you like genmaicha, you’ll like this tea, and if you like matcha-flavored cereal, you should try it with milk and sugar. In addition to being delicious it should also be really great for you (unless your doctor has told you not to drink caffeine, of course), since green tea and matcha both have plentiful health benefits. The only downside is that, although you can steep it multiple times, the second steeping isn’t quite the same because the match gets mostly used up in the first steeping.

I really enjoyed drinking this tea and would happily drink lots more of it if given the opportunity.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green Tea
Where to Buy:   Blue Hour Tea

Our Genmaicha is a combination of the fresh flavour of green tea with the undertones of roasted rice and the added richness of matcha tea. This premium Genmaicha is grown in the Acheron Valley in Victoria, Australia. There are only a handful of farms growing tea in Australia and this is one of our favourites.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Sangria Matcha from Red Leaf Tea

Sangria-MatchaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green/Matcha

Where to Buy: Red Leaf Tea

Tea Description:

Sangria Matcha is the perfect answer for those adults looking for a fruity platter treat that has a dash of exotic Matcha and tastes of refreshing spices. This delectable treat is a perfect after hours drink that brings its well rounded charm into the palate. It can be taken with a fine assortment of many snacks and meals to add to their overall flavor and also make things more exciting. This fine treat is great for adults who love the tangy tasty combination of many fruits on their palates.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I’m adding Sangria matcha to the many flavours under my belt because I thought it would make for a really great summer flavour to have stock up; and obviously it’s not a flavour that screams “try me in milk” like how I normally prepare my matcha so I made it as a Matcha Soda instead.

This is the ‘recipe’ I used:

– 1 tsp of matcha whisked into approx. 2 ounce of hot water

– Dissolve approx. 1 tbsp. of sugar into the concentrated matcha to create a ‘matcha syrup’

– Cool down the syrup, and add a can of Club Soda

Just being perfectly honest, as soon as I took my first sip I knew that I didn’t like this flavour of matcha. There was a lot that I personally felt was wrong/off about it – for one the fruit flavours are incredibly muddled on top of tasting really artificial. I know Sangria is a combination of different fruits but I couldn’t pinpoint any of the individual fruits that traditionally make up Sangria. In addition, the vegetal/grassy notes of the matcha were far too pronounced for my liking (despite this being Distinctive flavour level) and took on a ‘swampy’ kind of flavour when compared with the weird/chemical tasting fruit notes.

I’m definitely disappointed by this flavour; it’s nothing like I’d hoped it would be and if you’re looking for an accurate Sangria flavour I think you’re best off looking elsewhere. The worst part is that I’m almost certain that Robust flavouring would taste even more chemical/artificial since that’s the way fruit flavoured matcha tends to go but, while delicate level flavouring might reduce the fake fruit flavour, I think it’d make the Sangria flavour even less distinct than it already is.

Using the rest of this will certainly be a challenge for me.

Raspberry Leaf Tisane from Mountain Rose Herbs

raspberry_leafTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Tisane

Where to Buy: Mountain Rose Herbs

Tea Description:

Raspberry leaves are among the most pleasant-tasting of all the herbal remedies, with a taste much like black tea, without the caffeine. Raspberries were said to have been discovered by the Olympian gods themselves while searching for berries on Mount Ida. Raspberries are indigenous to Asia Minor and North America, with the first real records of domestication coming from the writings of Palladius, a Roman agriculturist. By Medieval times it had a great many uses, including the juices which were used in paintings and illuminated manuscripts. King Edward the 1st (1272-1307) was said to be the first to call for mass cultivation of raspberries, whose popularity spread quickly throughout Europe. Teas of raspberry leaves were given to women of the Cherokee, Iroquois, and Mohawk nations in North America, and have earned approval of the authoritative British Herbal Compendium.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Raspberry leaves are pretty cool things; they’re great during pregnancy and a girl’s best friend during ‘that time of the month’. Plus, it’s just so fluffy and aesthetically pleasing to look at – like marshmallow leaf! I’ve enjoyed them mixed into a few different tisanes, but this is my first time trying them straight.

he description from this company likens raspberry leaf to black tea, but I found the taste quite a bit similar to green tea; very herbaceous and grassy with an almost chlorophyll-like note and the taste of fresh cut lawn trimmings. It was smooth and pleasant while it was hot, but as it cooled it almost took on an unpleasant bitter flavour. Such a drag.

Also, a big downside, for whatever reason this left a ghastly oily green film all along the entire inside of my mug. It was actually quite thick, and really unattractive to look at. Not sure what caused the film; I’ve honestly never had that issue with any other blend that used raspberry leaf but it really detracted from my overall experience.

Yerba Mate from Chi Whole Leaf

YerbaMateChiTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Yerba Mate

Where to Buy:  Chi Whole Leaf

Tea Description:

A perfect addition to your morning routine, Yerba Mate is beginning to catch on as a extremely healthy substitute to coffee.  This tea has a sweet, earthy taste that will keep you coming back for more!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

The last of five samples from Chi Whole Leaf!

I’ve been on a bit of a Yerba Mate kick these last few weeks, so I’m both very excited to try this blend but also kind of feeling like I’ve overdosed on yerba mate and need to take a break from it for a few weeks. What’s better than a powdered caffeine buzz though? Hell that’s half of why I love matcha so much – so I’m ignoring those feelings of being all yerba-d out, and excitedly trying this!

The dry leaf doesn’t smell anywhere near as fragrant as the other four samples have been; just subtly grassy. My observation thus far is that the blends from Chi Whole Leaf fall on one side of a spectrum, either “very intense” or “surprisingly muted”. I’ve yet to really find a blend offered by them that rides the middle, and if I had to guess I’d wager this is going to be a bit more muted.

Like anticipated, this is pretty mild as far as Yerba Mate tastes; it’s grassy and earthy with a touch of natural sweetness. However, the licorice root and ginseng are definitely stronger – actually, they do a great job of finding a happy medium between tasting mild or robust. The combined sweetness of both begin to creep in at the end of the sip in a typical licorice root fashion. It almost has a honeycomb taste to it. However, if someone dislikes licorice root, ginseng or both they’re really going to be turned off by that taste.

Interestingly, I found that of all five samples I had the biggest issue with the dry powder for this one. It was really, really clumping together but it wasn’t as sludgy at the bottom of the cup as I was drinking it.

Again, I have to really thank Will from Chi Whole Leaf for the samples! I had a really fun time exploring them, and while I definitely didn’t love them all I was surprised by a few which I thought I’d dislike but where really, really good. Namely Floral Herb!

Oh, and just an FYI; right now you can check out the Chi Whole Leaf website and click the “free samples” button there, fill in your address and you can receive a free sampler to try out as well! Since you’re not even paying for shipping it’s definitely worth checking out!

Getting Lei’d Green Tea by Luhse Tea

GettingLeidTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Luhse Tea

Tea Description:


Tommy Gunns and Lulu’s first island trip was unforgettable. After too many cocktails and too little sun screen, ego shattering surf lessons, and a severe lei allergic reaction, the sparks were still flying. Life doesn’t always go as planned. The couple’s advice is to take the road less travelled, laugh in the face of adversity, and drink tea.  


A party on the palate, pineapple, mango, and papaya make the perfect threesome.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I ordered a bunch of samples from Luhse a while back, because I’d long been curious about the company and their tea. Their branding is fairly unique – I like the 20s, prohibition theme, and the use of characters to give their teas a backstory. It’s definitely different! The samples contain enough tea for 2-3 cups, depending on leaf type, and are packaged in square foli-lined pouches with a brown, Kraft paper exterior. They’re not resealable, but as they’re so tiny that’s not really a problem.

Getting Lei’d is a green blend with pineapple flavouring. I love pineapple, so I pretty much had to give this one a try. The tea leaves are a fairly uniform dark green, folded and flat, but fairly small. I’d say Sencha, as an educated guess. There are blue cornflower and red safflower petals scattered throughout, which gives this blend a really pretty appearance, and one or two chunks of freeze-dried pineapple. The scent is beautifully tropical, with strong notes of pineapple. I have high hopes for this one!

As per the recommended parameters, I used 1 tsp of leaf and gave it 2 minutes in water cooled to around 175 degrees. The resulting liquor is a medium yellow-green, and the scent is faintly tropical. Unfortunately, faint is probably the operative word as far as this tea is concerned. The pineapple flavouring is just about discernible, but sadly nowhere near as strong as I’d like. Saying that, I can taste it throughout the sip, and it’s obvious what it is, so they’re both points in its favour. I can also taste the green tea base, which is a touch floral and a touch grassy – it suits the image of the Lei in that respect! There’s no bitterness or astringency here, which are also favourable points. I’m just left feeling that I’d like a lot more punchiness, and I’m a little underwhelmed by this one as a whole. This is a pleasant tea, and while I wouldn’t turn down the occasional cup, it’s not one I’d look to repurchase in quantity.