88
drank Ceremonial Grade DoMatcha by DoMatcha
92 tasting notes

My package finally arrived! Included was a 1.06 tin of ceremonial grade matcha and a bamboo whisk (chasen). Thank you to DoMatcha for holding this contest! I decided to go ahead and prepare this thick style right off the bat. For those who are unfamiliar with matcha, there are two ways matcha is usually prepared: thick style (koicha) and thin style (usucha). Koicha is prepared using more matcha and less water, and thus requires very high grade matcha; using a lower grade matcha to make koicha will result in a bitter, undrinkable mess. Generally speaking, the higher the grade of matcha, the sweeter and less bitter it will be. I’m using the directions a friend of mine told me about preparing koicha, as well as the instructions listed at http://www.yuuki-cha.com/matcha_green_tea_powder.php. Note: These directions are for koicha (thick) matcha, and not usucha.

1. Sift 3.5 chashaku scoops of matcha into pre-heated, dry bowl.
The chashaku is a bamboo scoop that comes with many matcha sets. I read on a blog that the amount of matcha in a single chashaku scoop should be about the size of an almond—if anyone has learned tea ceremony, please let me know if this is accurate.
2. Heat 40-50mL of water to a temperature between 70°C and 80°C (158°F and 176°F).
I went with just under 50 mL of 165°F water which probably cooled down a little before I had a chance to add it to the matcha powder.
3. Add a small amount of the water to the sifted matcha to create a thick paste. Using the chasen (bamboo whisk), knead (don’t whisk!) the water and matcha powder together using up/down and left/right motions, or a calm 360° rotating motion.
The water and matcha paste actually was fairly smooth from what I could see, probably thanks to the sifting. It almost looked like green paint.
4. Add the rest of the water to the matcha powder. Continue kneading, not whisking, the matcha. Koicha is not supposed to be frothy, and the kneading should produce a tea that is thick, smooth, and without froth.

The resulting tea was thick and smooth. I was shocked because there was absolutely no bitterness. None. Whatsoever. Maybe my taste buds are off because I’m used to drinking very concentrated matcha using crappy quality powder, but really: I didn’t taste any bitterness or astringency. The flavor of the matcha was a little more on the savory side than sweet. It was vegetal and just lightly sweet, similar to steamed green beans, and oh so creamy…mmm. There wasn’t much of a sea or seaweedy taste. There was no grittiness or left-over clumps, and there was such a small amount of tea (50 ml) that there was no opportunity for settling. The temperature was a bit cool for me, probably because I sifted the powder after the water was done heating up, instead of before, so it just sat on my counter losing heat. Oops.

I prepared a bowl of my really low grade matcha from Mighty Leaf in the same way, and the result was a very bitter and had a thinner mouthfeel, for some reason. So, another plus of the DoMatcha ceremonial grade: the mouthfeel was really smooth, thick, and creamy. The Mighty Leaf was also gritty and didn’t mix as well as the DoMatcha, but that might have been because of error in preparation.

Unfortunately, this is the first ceremonial grade matcha I’ve ever tried, so I don’t have anything to compare it to. However, this is a really delicious matcha, and the lack of bitterness, the sweetness and savoriness, and the creamy and thick mouthfeel all make this one a winner for me.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C
LiberTEAS

Best tasting note on Matcha Ever! :)

RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

I know it truly is great and btw great note.

__Morgana__

Terrific instructional note. This is a great how-to for me as I’ve never made matcha before and my chawan just arrived in the mail yesterday so now I feel like I am ready! Or I did, until I realized I had neglected to get a scoop. Hmm. Do I need a scoop before I can do this? Or alternatively, any idea how much a scoop translates into in teaspoons?

LiberTEAS

Morgana: I now have a chashaku scoop, but until about 2 weeks ago, I have been drinking Matcha (for years!) without one, a teaspoon works just fine, and using the “almond size” guideline as suggested in this tasting note would be a good starting point… and know that everyone’s tastes are quite different, so experiment a little to find what works best for you. Best of luck with it! Matcha is awesome!

S

Hmm, I’m not sure how much one scoop is in teaspoons, but if you can visualize an almond, that’s about the size of a scoop. A heaping scoop would be about 1 1/2 almonds, I suppose. :)

Also, if anyone is wondering how to make thin-style usucha, you use 1 1/2 to 2 scoops of matcha, and 70 mL of water. Whisk the matcha using a “W” or zigzag motion, and voila!

__Morgana__

Almond with or without the shell?

LiberTEAS

Oh… you also don’t need a fancy sifter (a tea strainer works as does a simple, small strainer that I picked up in the grocery store for a buck fifty). You don’t even need a chawan… you can use a smallish cereal bowl. I used to use a fork to whisk my matcha until I finally broke down and bought a chasen… and that is the one tool that I would say is probably the most essential… but it could probably be replaced with a small wire whisk…

S

One more thing: definitely start out with usucha if this is your first time making matcha! Koicha can be kind of off-putting if you’re not used to making matcha, and even usucha can seem strong sometimes. I like to do 3 to 4 ounces of water and 3 to 4 scoops of matcha.

Another thing to keep in mind: koicha requires very high grade matcha, so I wouldn’t necessarily use 52teas or Might Leaf matcha to make koicha :) but of course, that’s what experimentation is for :)

S

Almond without the shell (I’m not sure how big they are with the shell), but I tend to do a little bit bigger than almost sized scoops since a lot of websites say “heaping” scoops…so yeah, I’m not totally sure about the size.

LiberTEAS

Yes, I totally agree with Shanti. I made that very mistake of making Koicha once with a lower grade of Matcha and it was not a good thing (but it is a mistake that can be easily remedied if you add more water to thin it out a bit…) This is one reason why I usually buy high grade Matcha now, unless I find a interesting flavor (Frank’s flavored Matchas have been amazing) or latte mix that intrigues me (I’m loving Domo’s chocolate and I love Pirate’s Chai). But for unflavored Matcha, I go with Ceremonial grade because I do prefer mine slightly thicker.

LiberTEAS

Just visualize a large, roasted almond without the shell… that will give you a nice starting point… and then experiment from there to find the “just right” scoop for you. Even with the chashaku scoop I still go by “eye” than I do by “scoop” because I’ve sort of trained myself to the amount that looks right.

S

I agree with LiberTEAS…the scoop isn’t precise (you can google chashaku for an image) and it really does come down to just eyeballing the amount you like.

Rabs

Shanti: I wanted to add another thank you! for the wonderfully detailed note! I have yet to try (non-Starbucks) Matcha, but I know when I finally do that I’ll track this note down :D

SoccerMom

Great tasting note very informative! Thanks Shanti!

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Comments

LiberTEAS

Best tasting note on Matcha Ever! :)

RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

I know it truly is great and btw great note.

__Morgana__

Terrific instructional note. This is a great how-to for me as I’ve never made matcha before and my chawan just arrived in the mail yesterday so now I feel like I am ready! Or I did, until I realized I had neglected to get a scoop. Hmm. Do I need a scoop before I can do this? Or alternatively, any idea how much a scoop translates into in teaspoons?

LiberTEAS

Morgana: I now have a chashaku scoop, but until about 2 weeks ago, I have been drinking Matcha (for years!) without one, a teaspoon works just fine, and using the “almond size” guideline as suggested in this tasting note would be a good starting point… and know that everyone’s tastes are quite different, so experiment a little to find what works best for you. Best of luck with it! Matcha is awesome!

S

Hmm, I’m not sure how much one scoop is in teaspoons, but if you can visualize an almond, that’s about the size of a scoop. A heaping scoop would be about 1 1/2 almonds, I suppose. :)

Also, if anyone is wondering how to make thin-style usucha, you use 1 1/2 to 2 scoops of matcha, and 70 mL of water. Whisk the matcha using a “W” or zigzag motion, and voila!

__Morgana__

Almond with or without the shell?

LiberTEAS

Oh… you also don’t need a fancy sifter (a tea strainer works as does a simple, small strainer that I picked up in the grocery store for a buck fifty). You don’t even need a chawan… you can use a smallish cereal bowl. I used to use a fork to whisk my matcha until I finally broke down and bought a chasen… and that is the one tool that I would say is probably the most essential… but it could probably be replaced with a small wire whisk…

S

One more thing: definitely start out with usucha if this is your first time making matcha! Koicha can be kind of off-putting if you’re not used to making matcha, and even usucha can seem strong sometimes. I like to do 3 to 4 ounces of water and 3 to 4 scoops of matcha.

Another thing to keep in mind: koicha requires very high grade matcha, so I wouldn’t necessarily use 52teas or Might Leaf matcha to make koicha :) but of course, that’s what experimentation is for :)

S

Almond without the shell (I’m not sure how big they are with the shell), but I tend to do a little bit bigger than almost sized scoops since a lot of websites say “heaping” scoops…so yeah, I’m not totally sure about the size.

LiberTEAS

Yes, I totally agree with Shanti. I made that very mistake of making Koicha once with a lower grade of Matcha and it was not a good thing (but it is a mistake that can be easily remedied if you add more water to thin it out a bit…) This is one reason why I usually buy high grade Matcha now, unless I find a interesting flavor (Frank’s flavored Matchas have been amazing) or latte mix that intrigues me (I’m loving Domo’s chocolate and I love Pirate’s Chai). But for unflavored Matcha, I go with Ceremonial grade because I do prefer mine slightly thicker.

LiberTEAS

Just visualize a large, roasted almond without the shell… that will give you a nice starting point… and then experiment from there to find the “just right” scoop for you. Even with the chashaku scoop I still go by “eye” than I do by “scoop” because I’ve sort of trained myself to the amount that looks right.

S

I agree with LiberTEAS…the scoop isn’t precise (you can google chashaku for an image) and it really does come down to just eyeballing the amount you like.

Rabs

Shanti: I wanted to add another thank you! for the wonderfully detailed note! I have yet to try (non-Starbucks) Matcha, but I know when I finally do that I’ll track this note down :D

SoccerMom

Great tasting note very informative! Thanks Shanti!

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Busy college student; 20 years old; tea-novice. Grew up on homemade chai and black tea with milk and sugar.

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