Ok, so I clearly enjoyed my first matcha from Red Leaf Tea, the Madagascar Vanilla. But vanilla is not a terribly adventurous flavour, so for my second, I decided to branch out a little, and bought this one (found at http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/green-apple-matcha.html)! I was spurred to pick this one mostly because of aisling of tea’s idea (& successful attempt) at making a caramel apple blend, which sounds heavenly to me. Of course, I don’t have the caramel yet, but it’s next on the list!
Anyways, sniffing the bag’s contents, I got pretty excited because there was a distinct green apple aroma coming from the bag. Unmistakeable. I can’t tell you whether it was a “real” green apple or green apple flavouring sort of aroma because I enjoy both, but it was delicious. So I heated up some milk, dumped some matcha in… and whisked it. Yes, that’s right! I actually did it properly this time, thanks to Azzrian’s immense generosity in sending off her travel whisk to me! (So, this was by far the highest quality latte with the fewest chunks of matcha I have ever consumed!) Anyways, I didn’t really measure out the matcha (I was going for “strong”, since it was midnight and I was headed to the lab to do some things I neglected earlier, thanks to an ill-placed nap), but had thought I’d used at least a good teaspoon or so. However, when I mixed it with the almond milk, I literally could not taste the green apple – it was completely overpowered by the almond. Easy fix – heat up a bit more milk and mix a bunch more matcha into it! This time: success!! And by success, I mean I created one of the most delicious drinks EVER! I swear they accidentally gave me the “there’s matcha in this?!” grade of flavouring… because that is exactly what I was thinking the entire time I was drinking my latte! All I could taste was delicious green apple, and creamy almondy sweetness. Zero matcha. Zero bitterness. (I did taste the matcha-mixed milk prior to mixing with the almond milk, and it tasted bitter, so clearly there was some flavour masking going on.) And… did I mention that I didn’t add a single drop of sweetener? So my delicious latte was only about 120 calories worth of amazing, assuming matcha is essentially calorie-free.
The only somewhat concern I have is the amount of matcha I felt I had to use to get a drink that tasted like green apple. I didn’t measure it (I will next time) but it felt like more than I had to use with the other matcha I’ve tried. I could be wrong though. Another thing as well (ok, I guess I have two concerns) – I do almost get the impression that because of the flavouring in this matcha, there is less actual matcha, and that’s contributing to the fact that I can’t taste “matcha” in spite of how much powder I felt I used. I don’t know how it’s flavoured, or what the matcha:flavouring ratio might be if the flavouring comes in powder form, but I have to wonder about that. But all that said…. this was absolutely delicious and gave me a much needed treat (and presumably caffeine boost) to get through my work this evening!