A jammy-like smoothness with a very satisfying full cup. Luxury grade style Japanese green tea and Gyokuro gives a light astringent finish.
There is perhaps no tea on the market today that is as celebrated or as famous as Japanese Matcha. The powdered green tea has been used in the Japanese tea ceremony for centuries and as such is normally associated with the beautifully complex, and rigid procedure. It was believed by the ancient Japanese that tea was a gift of the heavens and as such held great restorative and spiritual power here on earth. In fact, an ancient Japanese poet named Sen no Rikyu, considered to be the most important influence on the development of the tea ceremony, or Chanoyu, penned this line during the 1500's, Though many people drink tea, if you do not know the Way of Tea (Chanoyu), tea will drink you up. The development of the Chanoyu, began as a way for human beings to appreciate and show reverence to this power.
Well, these days, although the Japanese tea ceremony still holds a significant place in Japanese culture, the rules around drinking Matcha have loosened. The ancients were right about something though, Matcha is special, and because of the way it is produced, it is also powerful. Consider these numbers: 2 cups of brewed matcha contains 7 times the antioxidants of orange juice, 20 times that of apple juice, and nearly 20 g of calcium - and that_s just the short list! On a gram per gram basis, Matcha also contains approximately 10 times the polyphenols of regular teas*. The healthy qualities of the tea have led to the its break from tradition - Matcha can now be found served cold, as an ingredient in health shakes, ice creams, and even baked goods.
So what is it about Matcha that makes it so good for you? The answer can be found in the way it is produced and consumed. Firstly, Matcha is made using pure luxury grade Japanese green tea and Gyokuro leaves, a Japanese tea variety that is shaded beneath special shade covers for 3 weeks before plucking. The shading forces the plants to produce a higher than normal chlorophyll content which gives the leaves a rich green color. Once plucked, the leaves are steamed and dried. Tea at this stage of the process is known as Aracha. Next, the Aracha is stripped of all stems and veins resulting in a pure leaf known as Tencha. Tencha is then stone ground into its finely powdered form. Since it is powdered, no matter how you prepare Matcha, you are actually consuming the leaves - which contain high nutritional value - there is no other tea in the world consumed in this manner. It is said in Japan that because of this characteristic, Matcha is the healthiest natural beverage in the world to this day!
How to Brew
Hot Tea: Use 1/2 teaspoon per 8 oz (225 mL) serving. Add 1/2 teaspoon to base of cup and add 2 oz of hot water and mix vigorously to make a smooth paste-like liquid. Top with freshly steamed milk (or substitute) and sweeten to taste (try maple syrup or honey). Iced Tea: Makes 8 oz serving: Add 1/2 teaspoon of matcha and 2 oz of hot water. Mix vigorously to make a smooth paste. Top with freshly steamed milk and sweeten to taste. Cool for 30-60 minutes. Pour over ice.
You get what you pay for
For those who know Matcha, you know that this is a very low price. Unfortunately the taste matches that price. This is not a "luxury" Matcha. I would not even consider this a good quality culinary matcha. It is low grade and I believe the price reflects this. Color -- light green with a hint of brown. Good Matcha is bright green. Smell is okay. Texture is almost too fine. Taste ... bitter. It is a taste that cannot really be masked by sweetener ... and I tried. FYI - Instructions say to mix with 180 degree water. I would suggest that is a bit high and possibly would make the flavour even more bitter. 170 would be more appropriate for Matcha.
I recently purchased matcha green tea powder from ECS. This is my first time having it. It tastes smooth and the recipes provided online are really helpful. Let's not forget that the price is amazing!