When KaiMatcha first appeared on Steepster with a win-free-matcha promotion, I was quite harsh on them. Not because I am out to be a mean person, but because I prefer to give criticism to any tea companies that may be genuinely trying rather than simply let them do something I do not like – I want as many tea companies to be successful as possible. I think that helps the tea-drinking community.
I did not like their website. I still don’t. In fact, I hate their website. I do not object to a focus on health benefits so much – I think tea should sell itself on taste alone, but I also really believe in the health value of tea, and I know some people have been put off by bad experiences with tea – but I do not get a welcoming feel from the site. When I look at it, I feel like I ought to be ordering a StairMaster and getting some free knock-off Tupperware because I ordered NOW!
Am I wrong about that? Am I wrong to think the general public will feel the same way? Perhaps. Maybe they will look at it differently. I don’t know. I did not offer criticism to KaiMatcha on the basis of, “you suck,” but on the basis of, “I am suspicious that you might suck; this looks sketchy to me.”
But I did see KaiMatcha say in the tea vendor’s thread that they felt they have a very quality product and were disappointed no one was interested in trying it yet. Their confidence in their product was interesting. I ultimately felt that I would wait to see what Steepster said about this company and its product. I kept the review page for KaiMatcha Premium open in a saved tab, and refreshed it every day to be there for the first reviews.
When they rolled in and were highly positive, I immediately ordered a can to see for myself. (The one good thing about their website: they take Paypal, hah.)
It arrived today. I shouldn’t drink any THIS late, but I am really upset about some drama at work I will have to deal with, and I having been wanting to know for myself what it is like. So I decided to whisk up a quarter-teaspoon to try it straight and then just dump half of it.
The can is nice. It is sealed much like the Teavana matcha I’m already used to, with a pop top and a screw cap. When I opened it, wow! What a fantastic, fresh, sweet smell. I mean, really sweet.
It didn’t foam up that great, but I’m 100% sure that this is because I’m not whisking it in wide enough bowls. I really want a good stoneware matcha bowl! With a spout, preferably. I can’t seem to get a darn thing to foam at home, even when I get beautiful foam at work (so it’s not my technique). So “low foam covering 70% of the surface” is actually doing better than all the other matcha I’ve tried so far.
I had this straight, no sweetener at all, and…
It’s totally drinkable. Now I finally understand what people mean when they say that good matcha should not be bitter. This must be good matcha, because it’s not bitter in the slightest and it’s very smooth. A bit sweet, a bit creamy. It tastes like green veggies and not like bitter grass drenched in dog urine. It’s not my thing in the sense that I will never be a big green drinker; but I can tell that it is a very good green even though it does not personally excite me. The very fact that I can drink it straight immediately pushes it above a 90. That it is this good at its price point puts it at least on par with Jade Dragon (one of my few actual green tea loves). This is only a few sips worth, so I will give it some more experimental time and report back if I am adjusting the rating or have more to say about it.
…Oh wait. It’s gone stone cold now (haha, so much typing) and I managed to slurp it (which you can’t do when it’s hot) and discovered an intense creamy sweetness at the back. I’m tired, so I just realized that I was not trying to really aerate my sips for the best taste. Of course, I never remember to do that 100% of the time; but if I drank it more thoughtfully, this would be a very rich and drinkable green. Also, this tells me that this matcha would also be good iced.
I think that’s enough for 100.