Tuesday Tea - Blind Taste Test Part 2, 6 More Varieties of Matcha Compared #Sponsored

You might remember a few months back, I did a round up of 12 popular varieties of Matcha that could be purchased on Amazon. This month, we're kicking off a comparison of 34 more types of Matcha, sent to me by my sponsor Red Leaf Tea. We're going to get to the bottom of which Matcha on the market reins supreme and which is the most affordable.

Matcha Blind Taste Test Round 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?

The last round of the Matcha Blind Taste Test ended in a tie for first place, but I'm happy to announce we have a clear winner with this round: KIWAMI Supreme Ceremonial Grade Matcha. I loved the silky smooth texture!

Red Leaf Tea Classic Matcha came in at a close second place and is my choice for matcha that won't break the bank. If you're looking to place a larger order, you'll pay as little as $3.99 per ounce depending on the size ordered.
There is nothing I hate more than spending time on a fabulous dessert and having the matcha give it a dingy color.

Of the culinary grade matcha I've tested so far Yunomi Excellent Kitchen Grade Matcha has had the most vibrant color. In fact, it was nearly indistinguishable from our first place winner.

Tea Review: Starter Matcha - Red Leaf Tea

Origin: China
Price: $0.94 per ounce
Packaging: Resealable Pouch

Color: 3/10
Flavor: 4/10
Sweetness: 6/10
Value: 7/10

Notes: Having recently sampled this during the last round I had a fairly good idea which one it was. It was slightly sweet, with a somewhat nutty flavor and grainy texture. It ended up being the least expensive of our samples.

Tea Review: Deluxe Matcha - Red Leaf Tea

Sample 2 – Red Leaf Tea Deluxe Matcha 6.125/10

Origin: China
Price: $1.56 per ounce
Packaging: Resealable Pouch

Color: 5/10
Flavor: 5/10
Sweetness: 7/10
Value: 7.5/10

Notes: I've never tasted another matcha quite like this one. Its distinct floral flavor easily gave it away as one of our first place winners from the last round. You may have noticed it didn't fair as well this round. It's yellow-green coloring wasn't nearly as brilliant as some of our other samples and it lacked the depth of flavor that our winner had. 

Tea Review: Ceremony Grade - JK Tea Shop

Origin: Hangzhou, China
Price: $5.28 per ounce
Packaging: Foil Pouch

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

Notes: I found the strong, vegetal flavor of this matcha very unappealing. It had a bitter after taste and gritty texture that kept me from fully enjoying it. I was very surprised to find out it was a ceremonial grade matcha, due to it's washed out color it more closely resembled culinary grade. I strongly suspect it may be old matcha because I've never seen a ceremonial grade look so dingy or give me so much trouble when I whisk.

Tea Review: Classic Matcha - Red Leaf Tea

Sample 4 – Red Leaf Tea Classic Matcha 7.5/10

Origin: China
Price: $7.99 per ounce (or as low as 3.99, depending on size)
Packaging: Resealable Pouch

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

Notes: This matcha had a vegetal flavor that was quite similar to spinach. The hint of sweetness made it more appealing, but if you're not a fan of vegetal flavors this might not be the best matcha to start with. This was our second place winner and pick for best budget matcha.

Tea Review: Supreme Ceremonial Grade Matcha - KIWAMI

Origin: China
Price: $8.54 per ounce
Packaging: Resealable Pouch

Color: 9.5/10
Flavor: 8/10
Sweetness: 6/10
Value: 7/10

Notes: The brilliant green color of this matcha made it stand out from the rest, I wasn't surprised to find out this was ceremonial grade. The silky smooth texture, pleasant fresh-cut grass scent, and savory flavor made it the clear winner for this round of the taste test. If you're looking for a matcha that is less sweet, this is a good choice.

Tea Review: Excellent Kitchen Grade Matcha - Yunomi

Origin: Nishio, Japan
Price: $9.25 per ounce
Packaging: Resealable Pouch

Color: 9/10
Flavor: 5/10
Sweetness: 5/10
Value: 5/10

Notes:  The brilliant green color of this sample and it's ability to froth well (despite my use of a kitchen whisk) immediately made me suspect it was a more expensive matcha. Turns out it was the sample with the highest cost per ounce. Sadly the taste and texture didn't appeal to me. It was strongly flavored, tasting of seaweed, with a very bitter aftertaste. I feel like it would be better suited to cooking where added sugar could compensate for the bitterness.

 

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.