Sep 30, 2015, 03:12
This is my first ceremonial matcha that I'm trying, so I'm still trying to get a feel for how I can best enjoy this tea to its full capacity. I've had my fair share of loose leaf tea, but keep in mind that I am very much a newbie to matcha as you read this review:
First off, I tried the standard matcha ratio that I've seen recommended online (2 scoops for 2oz) and that turned out to be very bitter tasting and not very enjoyable with this tea, but then I cut the amount of matcha in half for my second cup (2 small scoops for 4oz), and the taste had the bitterness, but it was more muted so I was able to enjoy it more. I think this has to do with personal preference more than anything.
The color of the tea isn't the bright green that I was expecting either, it's more of a deep forest green color. Picture that you're wandering through the forest, an hour past noon, and there are small shadows that cast on the leaves of the trees around you. The color of those leaves in the shadows are the color of this matcha in the container and when it's whisked. So definitely not a bright matcha green like I was expecting. I'm wondering if there was an issue with packaging or something similar since O-cha states that freshness is very important to them. Also, I work at a Starbucks and our food grade matcha powder that we use for our lattes is brighter than the matcha here (10/10 would not recommend Starbucks matcha for tea making though, just saying), which really makes me wonder. This is why I'm taking a star off.
The froth isn't as thick as I was imagining as well, though I've only whisked matcha twice now and I'm betting it's more so my technique than the quality of the tea.
I haven't noticed a creaminess to the tea, or a pleasant aftertaste. It really does taste similar to a lot of the loose leaf green teas that I've sampled in the past. The aftertaste has the expected plant-like hint (tea is made of leaves, go figure) but it's very fleeting.
Overall I wasn't as impressed with this tea as I expected myself to be. The combination of the dark color and the bitterness makes me wonder if I got a batch picked later than it should have, though I don't consider myself enough of a matcha expert to blindly assume that's the case.
I'm actually going to break one of my cardinal rules of drinking tea and try this matcha with some milk to see if that helps at all with soothing the bitterness and enhancing the "creamy" taste that's supposed to come with matcha teas.
- The container is cute and well-sealed, and the delivery was faster than I was expecting, even for Express mail.
- The tea doesn't taste bad, just the bitterness can be overwhelming at times.
- I ordered this tea with the whisk, whisk holder and bamboo spoon, and I thoroughly enjoy the process of using them when making the matcha. It makes the tea feel special.
- The bitterness. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone that's not used to steeping their tea for longer than the average person. It has a very strong flavor to it. Unless you dilute the tea so much that the taste of the tea itself is minimal then I don't think most people would enjoy this tea.
- The color. It wasn't the bright matcha green I was expecting.
Maybe I'll try ordering matcha from O-cha again, but I plan on shopping around just to get a comparison between the different companies.