Red Leaf Tea Matcha - Bitterness help?

Hey everyone,

I jut got a huge shipment from Red Leaf Tea with all kinds of flavoured matchas that are very highly rated. I prepared it the traditional way with the bamboo scoop, whisk and matcha bowl, but it came out extremely bitter. It had a lovely froth on top, but the bitter aftertaste is really getting to me. I’ve had other matchas before (just straight ones) and I never had this issue with bitterness. What am I doing wrong? I used 80C water, I pre-heated the bowl, I did everything the way I normally would with straight matcha, but the results with the red leaf tea was quite disappointing… I don’t think it’s an issue with the tea itself, but rather something I’m doing… any help would be greatly appreciated.

26 Replies
Serenity said

Disappointing! Did you notice anything different about the appearance of the matcha? I am assuming not, since you would have mentioned that, I will guess. How about the fragrance of the matcha, any ‘off’ scent?
I would suggest using slightly cooler water and see if that makes a difference, and use slightly less matcha per serving, and waiting for a while to give your palate a rest.
::fingers Xed::

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maybe you need to top off your cup with more hot water after whisking, or yeah, use less matcha.

I find I often use 1/4 teaspoon or no more than 1/2 teaspoon per serving for my RLT Matcha

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DaisyChubb said

To be honest I save my other straight matchas for drinking straight and save RLT for lattes, popsicles, smoothies, baking, etc :) Worst case scenario you could make some killer shortbread

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If you’re using 80 degree water, it’s not you, it’s the tea. No amount of elaborate prep style is going to prevent bitterness if the water temp is right. I’ve never tried that brand, but know that most — almost all — matcha on the market in the US are very, very bitter.

harney.com matcha is 12$/30g and is not bitter at all.

your teas look sooo lucious, Breakaway Matcha!

yappy, how does it compare with Matcha Matsu from David’s?

Haven’t ordered that yet. Will be ordering that next order from Davids.

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ashmanra said

I use only 1/4 tsp. for four to six ounces and don’t have a problem with bitterness. Maybe it was the amount?

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Lala said

Do you think the bitterness is from the matcha, or from the flavouring?

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It might be the grade of matcha used in the base. I know RLT offers several grades of matcha, if you order individually (not the buy x amount get a few more free deals).
The grade of matcha can greatly influence bitterness/sweetness.

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If you get bitterness, whisk it some more. Whisk until your hand is jelly. Seriously, I heard that is the trick! lol
Well, that and reduce the amount a little if it doesn’t work

that and I’ve never had that issue with RL, so either I whisk enough OR I have no bitter taste buds heh

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i dont heat the water at all. and just shake matcha in a bottle ^^ coz im terrible at steeping greens. super matcha noob >.<

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Honestly I was wondering the same thing now that I’ve had more matcha I find their matcha kind of bitter.

Dustin said

Have you tried all the grades? Any difference between them?

Just the normal standard grade with caramel and pumpkin pie.

Dustin said

Okay, that’s the grade I tried. It seemed a touch bitter, but I added sugar and wasn’t bothered by it after that.

@yappy
all 4 grades of RLT you find bitter?
(Starter,Classic,Royal,Imperial )
curious, as I’m hoping to order the others in my search for a sweeter matcha. (I will be looking at other companies later as well)

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