I got in on the 52teas/Red Leaf promo (really, a promo Red Leaf was offering to help out 52teas), and the coupon I got for it was tremendously generous; I ended up getting a lot of matcha. More to review! This one was added the day I was planning to make my order, and it was on sale that day, so it was fortuitous because I love black currant. I ordered this with the Basic matcha base and with robust flavoring, from here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/black-currant-matcha.html
Black currant is one of those European things you just don’t find in the states much, but I love it. When I opened the pouch of this matcha it smelled dead on like black currant candies, like the kind that you find in Europe instead of grape. I love how the purple candies in a mix of fruit chewy candies (like starburst) are black currant in Europe! That’s what this matcha smelled like in dry form.
I prepared it how I have been usually, which is to say 1 tsp of matcha sifted into a bowl, making sure to dump out the “flavor crystals” that collect at the bottom of my very fine sieve. I take a little ~180°F water just to loosen up the powder and make sure there are no clumps, then another couple ounces. Whisk very hard (I use a standard metal kitchen whisk) for 30 seconds, then add enough water so that the total amount of water added is 8oz (I measure out 8oz before I start the process and go from there).
I have to say, at first the aroma of the prepared matcha was a little funky to me, but I think I am still getting used to matcha. It did continue to smell like black currant candy, but with greenish matcha-y undertones. I sipped it while still pretty hot and decided to add about a teaspoon of sugar, which I find helps bring out the flavors a bit for me (though not entirely necessary). This is definitely a black currant candy flavor. I occasionally drink black currant juice, and other black currant teas, and the flavor is often darker and richer, in a way that is difficult to explain. This doesn’t taste like other black currant teas, it tastes like black currant candy (with some matcha of course)! Which while a little disappointing is not that disappointing because, as I said, I love black currant candy. If you do too, you’ll love this.