This. Is. Awesome. It’s everything I love about green tea — that seemingly disparate flavors and scents harmonize. Here, a the vegetal quality gets smoothed out by both a velvet mouthfeel and the “sweetness” that good matchas are purported to have. It’s really its own variety of green — lush, wet grass and moss, a hint of seaweed, faint butterscotch, and what I imagine to be dewy tea leaves on the branch. For reference, Aiya says that its Premium Matcha is made from the same gyokuro. The result of processing the tea into matcha powder brings out robust spinach-like aspects, while retaining the sweetness. (I do a “thin” unfroth-y preparation.)
I love both, depending on my mood, but the whole leaves yield such an amazing, bright green liquor and silky smoothness that I reach for this more. It’s expensive, but well worth it. I brew it according to the instructions, which uses a very low temperature and 4 minutes brewing time. I no longer have the tin, so I can’t remember which temp it is, so I recommend following Aiya’s instructions. Hotter temps (165˚F +) ruin this tea with bitterness. And shorter brewing times (1.5-2 mins, as with Aiya’s sencha and genmaitcha) do not bring out the qualities of this precious leaf.
Flavors: Butterscotch, Freshly Cut Grass, Seaweed, Sweet