drank Strawberry Matcha by 52teas
31 tasting notes

Disclaimer: This was my first matcha experience. Because of this and other factors I am not rating this tea because well, it would be entirely unfair to grade this poor tea based on what I did to it.

I got this matcha a little while ago but held off making it because well, I was intimidated. The whole process sounded so complicated, and I don’t own a single proper matcha-making utensil. So I was planning on doing a little research, figuring out the exact specifications of water, tea and temperature, and maybe running down to the Asian grocery in search of one of those little whisk thingies. In essence trying to make it “properly”. Instead I made this at midnight, in a *#$f&! mood after hours of studying, and based on some vague memory of seeing “1 tsp matcha to 8 oz. of water” somewhere. So much for research.

I went with a flat 1/2 teaspoon of matcha to 3/4 cup of hot-ish water. As I also don’t own a thermometer I poured the water when it was steaming but before I saw any bubbles in hopes that might be somewhere around the proper temperature. I just dumped in the powder, no sifting, and attacked it with my electric frother. It didn’t froth much, just producing a little pile of loose bubbles that disappeared quite quickly but it did suspend the powder decently.

As for taste…I was disappointed. But then I don’t know what I expected, for it to taste like green tea ice cream? It was a little bit bitter, but I imagine that’s because the water was too hot, and a little weak tasting, either because my unrealistic expectations or because I should make it thicker next time. It tasted like a sort of fuller green tea, or maybe a green tea with creamy notes?

At first I didn’t taste the strawberry at all, though as it cooled I caught hints of strawberry randomly, though when I really tried to pin them down they vanished. I found I enjoyed it more as it cooled (more indication that I started waaay too hot), and I think I’d actually like it better if it was thicker, as towards the bottom of the cup I was picking up more creaminess (I think how I perceive the “matcha taste”), and strawberry notes.

So…good? I think? At least I’m definitely inspired to do it properly next time. Oh, and I apologize to 52teas and matcha lovers everywhere for butchering this ancient and honored elixir.

Cofftea

From my own research and personal experience, getting your own prefered matcha/water ratio is quite a science/art form, but the one thing that you don’t have to be concerned w/ is water temp. If you want it hot, my main rule of thumb is only heat the water to a temp that you’re comfortable drinking… remember that matcha requires no steeping (i.e. water cooling) time. As soon as you give it a quick whisk it’s ready to drink. Having to wait til the water cools causes the matcha to have time to separate and will require rewhisking. Don’t get me wrong, I love slowly sipping my bowla and savoring it even if it means a quick rewhisk- I just don’t want to do it cuz it’s too hot to drink.

Feisty

I read this a one of those little cartoon light bulbs popped into existence over my head and my brain said “DUH!” I definitely had to wait a bit for this to cool to non-tongue-scalding temperatures, and I re-frothed two times actually before I was able to drink it comfortably. Cooler water makes so much more sense (thank you Cofftea!).

Would using cooler water help with the bitterness, or is that more a function of the amount of powder to water?

Cofftea

I’m not sure about the water temp factor so I can’t say either way… I don’t have a problem w/ bitterness either, normally when I have too much matcha for the amount of water it’s more that the texure is like eating wet chalk paste or sand. Matcha is supposed to be bitter at least to a small degree to prevent it from being overly sweet. Also, every person’s bitterness tolerance is different… sorry I’m of no help… :(

Feisty

No need to apologize, I guess I’ll just have to figure it out the “hard” way…by drinking more matcha! Somehow this seems like a task I’m up for :).

Cofftea

I’ve only had 2 tea fails (using too much matcha)… if you end up using too much just add more hot water.

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

I also think there’s definitely an art to getting matcha the way you like it. Keep experimenting, enjoy the experiments, and post them here for us read.

Cofftea

Chrine I agree- matcha can’t really get wasted while you’re ratio experimenting. Too little? Add more. Too much? Add more water. It’s when you do flavoring/cooking experiments where you risk possibly wasting it.

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Cofftea

From my own research and personal experience, getting your own prefered matcha/water ratio is quite a science/art form, but the one thing that you don’t have to be concerned w/ is water temp. If you want it hot, my main rule of thumb is only heat the water to a temp that you’re comfortable drinking… remember that matcha requires no steeping (i.e. water cooling) time. As soon as you give it a quick whisk it’s ready to drink. Having to wait til the water cools causes the matcha to have time to separate and will require rewhisking. Don’t get me wrong, I love slowly sipping my bowla and savoring it even if it means a quick rewhisk- I just don’t want to do it cuz it’s too hot to drink.

Feisty

I read this a one of those little cartoon light bulbs popped into existence over my head and my brain said “DUH!” I definitely had to wait a bit for this to cool to non-tongue-scalding temperatures, and I re-frothed two times actually before I was able to drink it comfortably. Cooler water makes so much more sense (thank you Cofftea!).

Would using cooler water help with the bitterness, or is that more a function of the amount of powder to water?

Cofftea

I’m not sure about the water temp factor so I can’t say either way… I don’t have a problem w/ bitterness either, normally when I have too much matcha for the amount of water it’s more that the texure is like eating wet chalk paste or sand. Matcha is supposed to be bitter at least to a small degree to prevent it from being overly sweet. Also, every person’s bitterness tolerance is different… sorry I’m of no help… :(

Feisty

No need to apologize, I guess I’ll just have to figure it out the “hard” way…by drinking more matcha! Somehow this seems like a task I’m up for :).

Cofftea

I’ve only had 2 tea fails (using too much matcha)… if you end up using too much just add more hot water.

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

I also think there’s definitely an art to getting matcha the way you like it. Keep experimenting, enjoy the experiments, and post them here for us read.

Cofftea

Chrine I agree- matcha can’t really get wasted while you’re ratio experimenting. Too little? Add more. Too much? Add more water. It’s when you do flavoring/cooking experiments where you risk possibly wasting it.

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In hopes of standardizing my ratings a bit more I’ve devised my own scale:

1 – 19: (F-) Ugh. Given to Mr. Sink Drain to enjoy after a couple sips. Never again. Would only give away with a strong warning (or to someone I didn’t like).

20 – 29: (F) Ick. Managed to finish the cup out of stubbornness, but tasted bad the whole time. Will throw out/give away any I have left.

30 – 49: (F+) Meh. I didn’t warrant an “ugh” or “ick” it but I can’t say I enjoyed it. Will throw out/give away any I have left.

40 – 59: (D) Okay. Not a truly bad tea but just personally not my thing. Will (try) to finish but won’t reorder.

60 – 69: © Decent. Drinkable and getting towards good but just falls a little short. Will finish but won’t reorder.

70 – 79: (B) Good. Enjoyed this tea. Will likely reorder at some point but probably won’t be a tea shelf regular.

80 – 89: (B+) Very good. Would definitely put on my “reorder” list when I run out.

90 – 99: (A) YUM! A favourite. Would go on my “pre-order before I run out list” to keep it on hand.

100! (A+) OMG! Mind blowingly-good. The tried-and-true favourites that I MUST ALWAYS HAVE.

I am an acknowledged book addict, intrepid snowboarder, amateur teaite, crafter-creator, eager debater, ICU nurse, reluctant runner, animal lover, tree hugger + future world traveler.

With a palate ruined by years of hot-sauce-on-everything, espresso-based lattes and university student cooking I prefer bold teas and often miss nuances unless they are the gustatory equivalent of a two-by four. I don’t enjoy bitterness and love chais.

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