I am actually not a big eater of plain pistachios, but I love their nut-paste based desserts, like gelato or various truffles. Yum. So I really wanted to try this matcha, especially after trying the almond matcha in all its nutty glory. I ordered this one in the robust flavoring level, with the basic grade matcha, from here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/pistachio-matcha.html
As I opened the pouch, the matcha definitely smelled like pistachio essence, by which I don’t mean it smelled like a bag of pistachios, but more like pistachio gelato or pistachio marizpan (marzipan made with pistachios instead of almonds!). I prepared this matcha as usual, with 1/2tsp of matcha for 8oz of water, and a little sugar added part way through the bowl.
When I first smelled the prepared bowl of matcha, I was surprised and confused that it smelled kind of spicy, like nutmeg and cloves. Wha? It wasn’t unpleasant, just totally unexpected. The smell carries over to just the beginning part of the taste, where it initially seems a bit spicy but then morphs into a nutty, rich pistachio flavor. The matcha underneath definitely takes on an earthy flavor, and I can’t help but wonder if the spiciness isn’t at least in part from the matcha that the pistachio flavoring is just bringing to the foreground.
This is a really tasty matcha, though not precisely what I was looking for with the pistachio flavoring. The pistachio is definitely there and delicious, but the spiciness is kind of throwing me off a bit. My score may change as I try it more times and attempt to figure out all of its flavors.