Tuesday Tea - Blind Taste Test - Ceremonial Grade Matcha Part 2 #Sponsored

We're finally at the end of the Matcha Blind Taste Test and I have to say that it's been a real learning experience. The chance to compare the different brands side-by-side gave me the perfect opportunity to see where the best value was and if spending a little more would give me a better quality matcha. With this round I discovered that the most expensive matcha was not necessarily the best quality and in fact some of the less expensive brands were the ones who had the highest rating.

Matcha Blind Taste Test - Ceremonial Grade Part 2

Judging Criteria


I was asked to rate the samples based on four criteria: color, flavor, sweetness and value. These four scores were added up, then divided by 4 to give an overall score. Only once I had finalized my scores would I be sent the information on which brands I was rating.
 

Process


3 ounces of water at 175°F, 1 teaspoon of matcha (sifted with a Mini Sifter,) served in a stoneware matcha bowl, and whisked with a small kitchen whisk (I don't have a traditional matcha whisk.) I opted not to take notes on how well the samples frothed when whisked because a kitchen whisk doesn't work nearly as well as a traditional matcha whisk or Milk Frother. All samples were consumed immediately without any additions such as sugar or milk. 
 

Which Matcha Would I Choose?

Although truthfully I'd be happy drinking any of the matcha that scored 7.5 or higher.

I decided to split up the Ceremonial Grade Matcha test into two parts because we had so many samples. If you missed part 1 you can find it here. Keep on reading below for the complete results of the taste test.

Tea Review - Ito En Matcha LOVE Classic

Sample 25 – Ito En Matcha LOVE™ Classic 7.75/10

Origin: Uji, Japan
Price: $24.29 per ounce
Packaging: Tin

Color: 9/10
Flavor: 6/10
Sweetness: 8/10
Value: 8/10

Notes: This is a matcha that I think will appeal to a wide audience. It's flavor is somewhat toasty and doesn't taste overly vegetal. It's more sweet that many of the samples we've tested and doesn't have much of a bitter note. The price falls square in the middle of the pack, so I think it's an excellent value.

Tea Review - Yunomi Gokou Matcha

Sample B – Yunomi Gokou Matcha 8/10

Origin: Kyoto, Japan
Price: $24.43 per ounce
Packaging: Resealable Pouch

Color: 9/10
Flavor: 9/10
Sweetness: 6/10
Value: 8/10

Notes: This matcha has a scent and flavor similar to fresh cut grass. It falls mid-way between sweet and bitter, giving it a good balance. If you prefer your matcha thin with a light flavor, then this is a great pick. Added Bonus: it barely needed any sifting at all (always a plus if you don't have a sifter!)

Tea Review - Ito En Koto No Tsuki Matcha

Sample 26 – Ito En Koto No Tsuki Matcha 7.5/10

Origin: Uji, Japan
Price: $27.86 per ounce
Packaging: Tin

Color: 9/10
Flavor: 8/10
Sweetness: 6/10
Value: 7/10

Notes: This matcha had a great color and a flavor similar to seaweed. The flavor leaned slightly more towards sweet, but it did have a bitter finish to it. It's not one of my top picks, but is one I'd definitely consider purchasing in the future.

Tea Review - Epic Matcha

Sample 27 – Epic Matcha 4.75/10

Origin: Japan
Price: $28.27 per ounce
Packaging: Tin

Color: 6/10
Flavor: 3/10
Sweetness: 5/10
Value: 5/10

Notes: My least favorite of the bunch. The color was yellow and dingy, not at all what I expected from a ceremonial grade matcha with such a high price tag. The flavor was mildly sweet, but it had an off almost burnt plastic taste to it. 

Tea Review - Yunomi Uji Hikari Matcha

Sample C – Yunomi Uji Hikari Matcha 8.25/10

Origin: Kyoto, Japan
Price: $28.30 per ounce
Packaging: Resealable Pouch

Color: 10/10
Flavor: 8/10
Sweetness: 7/10
Value: 8/10

Notes: One of our top picks! This matcha had the most vibrant color of the bunch and whisked up well (even with my crummy kitchen whisk.) The flavor was light, with sweet fruity notes. I definitely see an order of this in my future, it's delicious!

Tea Review - Aiya Ceremonial Organic Matcha

Sample 28 – Aiya Ceremonial Organic 6.5/10

Origin: Nishio, Japan
Price: $29.60 per ounce
Packaging: Tin

Color: 7/10
Flavor: 7/10
Sweetness: 6/10
Value: 6/10

Notes: The color and flavor of this matcha were nice, but it had a bitter finish that I didn't care for. Overall the flavor was light and grassy. It's not one I'm likely to order again, but I really don't care for bitter matcha.

Tea Review - KENKO Matcha Ceremonial Grade

Origin: Nishio, Japan
Price: $30.16 per ounce
Packaging: Tin

Color: 8/10
Flavor: 8/10
Sweetness: 8/10
Value: 8/10

Notes: Overall this was a solid matcha. The color was bright green, the flavor light and fruity, and it was more sweet than bitter. It is one of the more expensive samples, but one I'd be happy to order again.

Tea Review - Red Leaf Tea Tanabata Matcha

Origin: Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan
Price: $34.99 per ounce
Packaging: Resealable Pouch

Color: 8/10
Flavor: 4/10
Sweetness: 3/10
Value: 5/10

Notes: I had question marks next to samples 30 and 31 when I conducted the test. They tasted very similar and I thought they may have been the same matcha, just from different vendors. It turns out I was right, but sample 30 had an off flavor to it as if it was either old or hadn't been stored properly. It also failed to give any sort of froth when whisked.

Tea Review - Aiya Premium Matcha

Sample 31 – Aiya Premium 6.5/10

Origin: Nishio, Japan
Price: $48.00 per ounce
Packaging: Tin

Color: 8/10
Flavor: 7/10
Sweetness: 5/10
Value: 6/10

Notes: While the color and flavor of this matcha were nice it's one that I'm very likely to pass on. At $48 per ounce I don't feel it's worth the price, there are a number of other brands that cost significantly less and deliver a tastier product.

 

Disclosure

 

In an effort to be open with my readers I want to let you know that Red Leaf Tea has sponsored this post. I was provided with 34 samples of matcha. Upon completion I will be compensated for this series of posts. As always, all opinions are my own. 

This post contains my Amazon affiliate links. I try to keep advertising unobtrusive and to a minimum in order to provide you with the best experience possible. Purchases made through these links ensure I can continue providing you with quality content.