When I receive a new matcha from Red Leaf Tea, it’s become customary to tear into the package (ASAP!), removing the matcha from its gold foil packaging and emptying it into a tin. I’m always surprised at how delicious each one has smelled during this ritual. And the Brandy Matcha is no exception!
The smell of this particular offering is really fruity and sweet, very much like what Juicy Fruit gum smells like. I almost didn’t believe I got the right item, because in my mind, the alcohol tends to overwhelm the fruitiness of the brandy. (Maybe I’ve never had any great brandy?) I almost always get that spine tingle when I consume alcohol – probably because I’m such a lightweight now that I rarely ever indulge. I had to look at the packaging to make sure what I got was what I ordered: Brandy Matcha, Size: Small, Flavor: Robust ( found here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/brandy-matcha.html ) – yep, that’s it!
Onward and upward – I start with a Brandy Matcha latte. (The thought of having it straight scares me a little with it’s intense smell right now.) One teaspoon brandy matcha with three-fourths teaspoon sugar and two ounces of warmed water. Wisked to frothy perfection and added 6 ounces of icy-cold half-and-half.
The taste is very true to the smell, intensely sweetened fruit. Quite honestly, it’s too much!
So I tried again, this time with just a teaspoon of Brandy Matcha and 2 ounces of warmed water. Wisked and added another 6 ounces of cool water. No sweetener, no dairy – it’s is so much better! It’s matcha with brandy flavoring! Really, there’s no need to add sugar/sugar equivalent to this – its quite sweet already.
Initially I as I was drinking the Brandy Matcha latte I was thinking that this is probably the first matcha from Red Leaf where I would actually consider nocking the flavoring down to “distinctive” level Don’t get me wrong, it’s good at robust, but maybe a little overwhelming if you’re looking for something less fruity. But now that I’ve tried it straight with no sweetener (which is not my default way of drinking matcha), I’m finding a simpler preparation is better.
I have a soft spot for blackberry and apple brandies – I think they’re the first type of brandy I ever tried. Memories of good times! I look forward to trying this mixed with either of the apple matchas or a dark berry matcha Red Leaf offers.