Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Matcha Source’s Organic Morning Matcha Review

Type: Green
Origin: Japan
Price: Free sample (regular price for matcha - $33.00 for 30g; regular price for kit - $69.00)
Vendor: Matcha Source
Brewing Method: Per Instructed – 1 teaspoon of sifted matcha, 1.5 oz. of filtered water heated to 180°F, whisked vigorously
Overall Score: 4.9 out of 5

I was excited when Matcha Source asked me to review their matcha as I have never formally reviewed this particular kind of tea until now. I was even more excited and very surprised to find out that they sent an entire matcha kit for the ultimate matcha experience.

The five piece kit includes a chawan (bowl), a chasen (whisk), a chashaku (bamboo teaspoon), a sifter, and matcha. All of the pieces, including instructions, come neatly and securely packed in a box.

The instructions are easy to follow. Simple drawings are provided through each step of the process. One thing I really like about these instructions is that it tells you how much matcha should be on the chashaku by describing it as “’almond’ size scoops.” I wish I had had that description when I first made matcha with a chashaku because it is possible to make that bamboo spoon hold more than necessary which meant that I had to search online for a picture of the right amount – something that the company didn’t provide. In fact, it was only because I had read tea books which disclosed the basic procedure to making matcha that I had a clue what I was doing during that first time. Thus, Matcha Source providing great step by step instructions, along with other tips and recipes, is a huge plus.

The Organic Morning Matcha has a nice, fresh, grassy scent that is detected immediately after I open the seal on the can. The matcha powder is the perfect shade of green – it is not light green, it is not dark green, it is just green… a color that I could paint an entire room with.

After about 15 seconds of vigorous whisking, the matcha creates a layer of frothy foam on top, which is good sign. The aroma, however difficult to detect, is vegetal and very similar to steamed broccoli.

The flavor corresponds with the grassy, vegetal aromas. It is slightly sweet and not bitter. The steamed vegetable flavor lasts for a while after each sip, along with hints of astringency. The texture is great for being a normal, everyday matcha. What I mean is that it is not grainy; the powder mixes well with the water to create a smooth texture. I have had some bad experiences with other matchas that were grainy or that were bland in the beginning and too bold by the time I made it to the bottom of the cup because the powder had clumped (even after sifting) and settled. It is not the case regarding this matcha. The flavors were even throughout and when I hit bottom I wanted more.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mighty Leaf's White Orchard Review

Type: White
Origin: China
Price: Free sample (regular price - $9.95 for 15 Pouches)
Vendor: Mighty Leaf
Brewing Method: Per Instructed - 1 pouch, 1 cup of filtered water, heated to 180°F, steeped for 3 - 5 minutes
Overall Score: 4.0 out of 5

White Orchard is a white tea infused with melon and peach. The dry blend is quite aromatic and fruity. I can definitely smell the peach while the melon aroma is close behind. The white tea aroma gets taken over by the double dose of fruit.

The peach aroma is brought out more while the leaves are steeping. With a nice breezing coming through the open window it fills the whole room with this scent. The melon can be detected but it likes to stay in the background. The liquor is a greenish yellow color.

The taste is light with a lot of peach flavor up front. The melon settles in the after taste. The white tea flavor is missing amongst the fruity flavors, but the astringency from it can be noted. It also has some tartness from the peach. The tea is rather sweet and not bitter at all. The astringency comes on more and more with each sip, however.

I believe this tea would be much better when iced or chilled. I think that would be more refreshing as it would hold back some of the dryness that this tea provides. I can see now why this tea is a part of Mighty Leaf’s Sangria Collection because it has several characteristics similar to a fruity wine.