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.

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