Here it is, my first ever matcha. And what else should I choose, but the highest rated matcha here on Steepster?
Everyone raves about the fast shipping from Red Leaf Tea. Unfortunately I had a longer wait than most since I live in Australia. But to receive my order in just over a week from the other side of the world is not bad at all! I should just consider it as exercise for my patience.
First, for the details. I ordered the small 30g size in the Starter Grade and selected the Distinctive Flavor level. With that I also ordered the small tin since, as others have mentioned, the slick, gold pouch the matcha comes in is not resealable. I also took the option of ordering a bamboo whisk, spoon and scoop. I ordered a chawan (matcha bowl) and whisk keeper elsewhere since Red Leaf Tea doesn’t sell these. But it’s a great deal to get the whisk, spoon and scoop with your matcha if you’re in need of them!
Here’s where you can get it: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/caramel-matcha.html
And the moment comes: I open the pouch and a beautiful, sweet smell comes wafting up to my nose. Caramel, yes, but also a white floral scent that you find with really good sencha and gyokuro. So, we’ve got flavour and quality, nice! And that’s just with the Starter Grade matcha!
I sift 2 scoops (about 1 teaspoon) into the bowl, pour in about 60ml of water (that’s about 2oz.) and start to whisk. It comes out a deep emerald green and beautifully frothy. Now, I’m a Southern girl that’s been transplanted Down Under. I’ve been doing all of my recent tea sample tasting without any additions of milk or sugar. But I know myself. My first matcha should be as a latte to give me the best conditions for trying out something that is so very different from any other tea I would normally have to start my day. I pour a little more than 200ml of lowfat milk into my new Bodum milk frother and start pumping. Half a minute later, the contents have more than doubled. I place it in the microwave for 20 seconds and then pour it all into the bowl of whisked matcha. A sprinkle of sugar, and fold to combine. Done. Now all of that is not too much effort for something that looks marvellous. It’s this beautiful, fluffy, mint green concoction that I know is full of goodness and outstanding flavour. I mean, it does taste good, right? I haven’t actually tasted it yet, now that I think about it.
First sip, I taste the matcha. I’m surprised by how much it tastes like a good, but strong, sencha. It takes me a couple of more sips to have the caramel develop. But there it is, not taking over, just playing its part. Actually, I’m finding the matcha itself a bit strong a character this early in the day, but I’m not yet a lifetime devotee to straight Japanese green teas. I realised as I was putting the matcha into its tin originally that I probably could have gone straight to the Robust Flavor level, but I wanted to give matcha a real chance. I’m still very glad I did. After all, this is my first ever matcha, and I made a good choice. I’ll maybe try it a little sweeter next time, and I’ll probably warm the frothed milk more than I did today.
But I’ll tell you what: I feel great today. I don’t feel the least bit tired, not even running around after my two-year-old while carrying my hefty six-month-old on my hip. It’s a few hours later, and coffee would have made me crash a while ago. The matcha? Nope. I’m going strong and not the least bit let down.