Royal Matcha’s color is a beautiful contrast, it manages to be vibrantly green yet slightly pale, similar to the way new growth leaves look in early spring. The aroma is also very reminiscent of spring time with notes of fresh vegetation, leafy vegetables, and just a touch of creamy sweetness at the finish. Adding the powdered green tea to water and giving it a vigorous whisking will bring out a yeasty sweetness that highlights the strong green aroma. It is a wonderful blend of sweet notes and grass.
The taste of this Matcha starts off a bit bitter green, like fresh kale, but that quickly fades to a sweetness that has notes of yeasty sweet bread and honeysuckle nectar. The sweetness is quite intense, almost surprisingly so after such a vegetal beginning.
If you prefer a more nontraditional take on Matcha, a latte might be right up your alley. Mixing with milk and sweetener you are greeted with a drink that rich and sweet with notes of fresh grass, hay, and chestnuts. There is a bit of a bitter green at the finish, adding an interesting depth.
- Immune System
Pure Matcha powder from green leaves.
Most people think that making Matcha the traditional way is not easy. However, this is far from the truth if you know the simple secret and techniques of making Matcha. Preparing and whisking Matcha to make it frothy on the surface can be a fun and wonderful experience when serving Matcha to yourself and a visual treat when serving it to your guests.
Here is the basic way to prepare a bowl of Matcha. Be sure to view the video as well to further assist you in whisking the perfect froth for your Matcha green tea. You may need a couple tries in the beginning to make a nice creamy froth but once you get the hang of it, the satisfaction of attaining perfection will bring you joy as you relax to enjoy a nice healthy and wholesome bowl of Matcha made just by you.
- Before adding hot water to Matcha, it is recommended that Matcha is sifted using a tea strainer or a sifter to avoid clumps of Matcha from forming in the tea.
- Place about two bamboo tea scoops (1/2 to 1 tsp.) of Matcha powder in the bowl.
- Add 2 to 3 oz. of pre-boiling water to the bowl (~180F / ~80C). Boiling water may not be the most suitable for Matcha because it does not bring out the best flavor and the natural mild sweetness of the tea.
- Using the bamboo whisk: whisk briskly with the motion of making the letter "M" or "W." Simply an up and down motion will do as well. The whisking brings oxygen into the tea to create a nice frothy layer on the surface with many air bubbles. (Optional) To remove the air bubbles, simply lift the whisk slightly and lightly stroke the surface of the froth a few times until air bubbles have completely disappeared. Using soft water is best for Matcha green tea and any other Japanese green teas.
- Depending on personal preference, add more water to adjust for desired taste.
Remember to add more water only AFTER whisking.
Three Key Points
- Amount of Matcha (two scoops or 1/2 to 1 tsp)
- Amount of water (starting with 2~3oz. water)
- Temperature of water (not boiling, approx. 180F/80C)
How to Maintain Freshness of Matcha
- Keep in the refrigerator or freezer
- Keep away from any moisture and direct contact to light
- Keep away from items with strong odor
This is the third matcha I've tried from Red Leaf Tea, and I'm not even close to scratching the surface of what they have to offer. On last count, they were up to twenty-nine different matcha types - mostly blends. The morning I reached for the matcha, however, I was in the mood for something more orthodox. It was as fitting a time as any to dip into their flagship Royal Matcha and to see if it earned so illustrious a title.
The tea profile bore an elaborate explanation of what matcha was. To the powdered tea newbie, this was very beneficial. While not an old hand at matcha, I was anything but a beginner. The information I hoped to find - origin, growing region, etc. - was not present. Not a huge problem since most people don't care, but given the detail provided thus far, I expected a little more.
Rule o' thumb when judging a matcha by sight - the greener/brigher it is, the better it is. The consistency of the powder is also a good indicator. On the "palette" front, Red Leaf's Royal got a pass; not the most vibrant I've seen but still bold and forest green enough to be appetizing. I'd hoped for a sweet, kelpy fragrance, but it didn't possess that. Instead, it provided an aroma of a fresh-cut lawn, green nuts, and a bit of butter. Still welcoming.
I actually brewed this on two different occasions. The first time, I did a pre-sift of 4 chashaku (bamboo) spoonfuls in a miso soup bowl with a splash of cold water. I slowly whisked the powder to a nice, even paste with a chasen then added 4oz of 165F water. A final, vigorous whisk produced some froth but not a lot. A second go-around without the pre-sift turned up more bubbly foam. Not as much as the greener stuff yet still noticeable.
The result produced a bold green liquor both times, ringed with foam. The aroma was grassy, slightly metallic, mildly sweet with a positive earthy note. A nuanced flavor emerged on first sip; it wasn't quite as seaweed-like as some other ceremonial/ koicha grade matchas. And that wasn't necessarily a bad thing. A couple of mid-grades from Izu I've tried held a similar, less refined palate. Their more mineral profiles were a welcome change from the sweet/vegetal norm - closer to actual green tea. Red Leaf's Royal Matcha - by some stroke of luck or leisure - found a way to combine the kelpy upper-class with the less-nuanced middle. I rather enjoyed the hybrid experience.
Red Leaf Tea has a new line of Matcha teas that might be a little different than you are familiar with. In short, they've taken a traditional organic Matcha (Japanese stone ground green tea) and blended into it a variety of other ground teas (ranging from white tea to pu'ehr), fruits (from cherry to strawberry), and other goodies (including chocolate, stevia, espresso and even wheatgrass). I was definitely intrigued by these offerings and am fortunate to get to take a sneak preview of several offerings. I'm starting out with the most straightforward offering in this line - Royal Matcha. Red Leaf's Royal Matcha is a plain matcha tea - no extra additions included.
The tea is a darker mellow jade color - not especially light or bright in color, but very richly jade. I have sampled drinking this matcha using a few different strengths in brewing, and varying the amount of water I used as well. For all of my brewings, I used water heated to just under 160. My favorite preparation, which became standard for me with this matcha was to use a little bamboo teaspoon, lightly rounded (not an actual measuring teaspoon) and about 4 ounces of water. I whisked the matcha dry in my bowl to start to break up any lumps (there weren't many but I like to smooth things out) and added 2 ounces of hot water to start. I was able to whisk this easily to a cheery bright green froth on top. I then added the other two ounces of water and continued whisking to keep my froth. The froth is easy to achieve provided you don't over heat your water and I had better luck frothing this matcha using a thinner rather than thicker preparation. The flavor is bright and bittersweet, not particularly vegetal at all and pleasantly astringent. The bittersweet aspect was delicious and retained a separate quality from astringent tastes. I enjoyed this very much. My sips came across as sweet and bright to start and closed with more bitter chocolate flavors. A sweet, fresh taste lingers in the mouth.
I found this tea very enjoyable. It was very pleasantly bittersweet - never too far in either direction. It is easy to prepare, seems of a good, consistent quality that could be enjoyed daily. The one drawback I found with this tea, regardless of how I prepared it, was a consistently chalky residue to the final couple of sips. Even if I drank the tea very quickly, I found this thicker, chalkier aspect to be present and it somewhat inhibited my full enjoyment of this matcha. However, I would still suggest that this is a decent and enjoyable matcha that could be enjoyed daily, especially given the reasonable pricing parameters offered by Red Leaf. That the matcha is organic is an added bonus.
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