I may have mentioned on here before that my first experience with matcha was not a positive one. We had bought a pouch of matcha from a tea store that shall not be named, and Missy spent some time looking around on the internet figuring out exactly how much matcha to use for a cup of tea. Needless to say, it didn’t go terribly well. I took one sip, looked at Missy, and said “Are you serious, you actually want to drink this?”. Except it also involved swearing.
I put my interest in matcha on a back burner at that point. Maybe it was something a future, more refined me would enjoy, but definitely not today.
Then, Red Leaf Tea started showing up and making a huge effort to bring in new customers from Steepster. Reviews started popping up about their fantastic matcha, and the awesome flavors that they have. When the Belgium Chocolate Matcha went on sale, I knew it was time to give matcha another try. I figured, if I can’t enjoy half-priced, chocolate flavored matcha from what appears to be the best matcha vendor around, there was probably no hope.
My order options were:
Size : Small
Matcha Quality: Royal (Premium Grade)
A side note: I involved two variables here, which breaks my little scientist heart. However, I thought that the best chance to succeed here would be if I used a better grade matcha, and a more prominent level of flavoring.
For preparing this one, Missy used her battery-powered frother, as opposed to the traditional matcha tools. It may be bucking convention, but it really seems to create a nice, smooth evenly distributed cup of matcha. This resulted in a smooth, but murky jade green drink, which is significantly darker than the matcha-that-shall-not-be-named. This makes it obvious that there is true cocoa powder in here, as opposed to just a flavoring (unless there was a flavoring and a coloring, then all bets are off).
It definitely smells very chocolatey, very sweet without any sugar added. It reminds me of a chocolate cake batter, or possibly muffin batter. There’s the chocolately sweetness to it, but the hint of background… well, I suppose it’s the smell of the matcha itself. Anyway, the matcha smell in the background elevates it a little bit to a baked-good smell, at least for me.
The taste is very smooth. At first, it has a warm hot cocoa flavor to it, absolutely delicious. It is inviting, and comforting, with a subtle sweetness on your tongue (much more subtle in taste than in smell). To me, the first drink was overwhelmingly cocoa flavored, with no vegetal taste to betray the matcha lurking below. Each successive drink makes that matcha flavor come out a little bit more. There is a strangely beneficial aspect to this, and that is that the matcha flavor itself slowly builds on you. It’s very crisp and clean, lightly foresty but without that swampy, seaweed taste that some green tea comes with.
As you get to the end of the drink, there is some matcha that has settled towards the bottom. This is likely because I’m a little bit of a slow drinker, sensitive to hot liquids and such. Or, we really have no clue what we’re doing. Always a possibility.
All in all, I would definitely recommend this matcha, especially if you’re new to the world of matcha. It has renewed my faith in matcha as a viable beverage choice.
You can get it here: http://www.redleaftea.com/matcha-tea/belgium-chocolate-matcha.html
Now… to mix it in with a protein shake in the morning…