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I’ve been meaning to try Matcha again for quite a long time and this is my first foray back into it… it was well worth it. I traveled to Japan in 2009 and unknowingly had Matcha several times at random sushi restaurants, etc. It was interesting there but I just figured it was a normal green tea, nothing special right? Oh man, was I wrong! This stuff really is something to pay attention to, and the different flavor and health benefits possible with matcha are well beyond any standard green tea. This is really a fascinating beverage and I am excited to get back into it.
Before this, I had never tried a flavoured matcha, in fact I had no idea such a thing could exist! Red Leaf pulls off the flavoured matcha with grace and skill, and offers a wild and impressive set of expected (vanilla bean, caramel, etc.) flavours and some wildly crazy and epic sounding ones (Coca Cola Matcha?!!!!) I am gonna have to try that one.
I bought the Red Leaf Starter (Basic Grade), Delicate flavouring of Caramel Matcha. This is available on their site here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/caramel-matcha.html
Since I am a bit of a matcha newbie, I had to read their site about how to prepare it. It was very helpful. I got a whisk from Japantown and used a Chashaku (Bamboo Scoop) to measure out the matcha. I used 2 scoops and my first cup used the suggested amount, 3 oz of 80C water. I whisked it, poured it from the bowl to a mug and drank it from a mug, no extra water added. This was my previous experience with matcha in general, quite thick and vegetal. It was good.
In fact it was so good, I found myself going back to the kitchen to make a 2nd cup of it not 1 hr later!! This time I decided to change it up a bit, using only 1 scoop of matcha this time and a little less water, and then after whisking, adding a fair bit more water to reduce the thickness and make a larger drink. I think I actually enjoyed this better, it was a little sweeter this way and also allowed for a more tea-like experience (rather than a sort of “tea shot” like I had earlier). This was very tasty!
These are the only ways I have prepared it so far but I think it might be wiser (for my unrefined palate!) to buy the “Distinctive” flavouring next time so that I can get a stronger flavor. This one is subtle, but I tend to enjoy stronger more bold flavourings in my tea, so I think the next one I get from Red Leaf I will pay just a little extra to get more flavouring. Excited to follow this new tasty and healthy habit!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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Bio

Hello fellow tea nerds!

I’m Canadian and my parents are South African, plus I lived in England and Australia as a kid… so I’m rockin some pretty mad British Empire vibe and thus I’ve been a tea fan for quite some time. I am now totally hooked on loose-leaf. It’s super fun to try a bazillion new kinds of tea and choose the right one for a given moment in a day.

My favourite teas are well balanced, mild, maybe fruity/citrusy or with interesting flavours (eg: silk oolongs, grapefruit green rooibos, jasmine silver needle white tea, melon white tea). I also like a solid malty British or other bold style black teas with some oomph (eg: Yunnan Golden Tips, PG Tips).

Let’s nerd out together about why tea is so friggin’ epic!

Location

San Francisco, California

Website

http://www.mikejutan.com

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