I probably should have tasted this matcha on its own first but it was an older tin so I wasn’t sure if the flavor had degraded at all and I was in the mood for a latte. And I’m generally skeptical of “ceremonial grade” grocery store matcha since it seems like almost every ground tea, no matter how low the quality or if it’s even actual matcha, is labeled ceremonial grade matcha in the US. My skepticism didn’t stop me from rescuing several tins of Aiya ceremonial grade when a local store discontinued it, though.
After going through a pouch of the Jade Lead culinary grade that I probably should have used for baking or something instead of lattes, the Aiya was super smooth. Both in flavor and texture. At least until I got to the lumps in the bottom because I forgot to sift the tea and my milk frother didn’t manage to break up all the clumps. Aside from the lumpy bits in the bottom of my cup, it felt smooth enough to make me think Aiya might grind their matchas finer than some of the other grocery store or budget-friendly brands. There wasn’t really much powder that settled to the bottom of my cup, which also makes me think it’s ground more finely (maybe? I dunno. Chemistry and physics were never my favorite things…but it seems like larger particles would be heavier and more prone to settling out). I made my latte with quite a lot of matcha and no sweetener and there was no harsh bite. I wouldn’t say it’s award-winning top quality but based on my latte experience I think I could probably stand to drink this one straight as “thin tea”. And if not, it’s pretty good as a latte.