Tuesday Tea - Matcha Blind Taste Test - Round 2 Mid-Grade Matcha #Sponsored

This week we're at it again, we're comparing 9 samples mid-level grade matcha in our matcha blind taste test sponsored by Red Leaf Tea. We've already given you our best picks for best budget matcha and best matcha found on Amazon, now we'll see what kind of quality you'll get when you spend a little extra money. 

Matcha Blind Taste Test - Mid Grade Matcha

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?

Our winners for this round were clear KAZUMA Organic Ceremonial Grade was my top pick because of it's silky smooth texture and sweet, fruity flavor.

Kennin Matcha from Red Leaf Tea was my second pick. It was the most expensive matcha in this group, but I loved the silky-smooth texture and nutty flavor. If it weren't so expensive I'd recommend it for baking, I think the nutty flavor would be fabulous in a wide variety of desserts, but there are other less expensive options out there for culinary purposes.

Another good choice is the DoMatcha 2nd Harvest MatchaIt had a lightly grassy flavor and slight sweetness that I found pleasant. It even comes in it's own tin, which I prefer to matcha sold in bags.

Sample 6 – Red Leaf Tea Royal Matcha 6.5/10

Origin: China
Price: $9.99 per ounce (or as low as $4.99, depending on size)
Packaging: Resealable Pouch

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

Notes: This matcha from Red Leaf Tea was middle of the road in color, but had a pleasant vegetal flavor. What kept it from scoring higher during the taste test was the fact that the flavor was almost too light, it needed a little more depth.

Sample 7 – DoMatcha 2nd Harvest Matcha 7.25/10

Origin: Japan
Price: $10.55 per ounce
Packaging: Tin

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

Notes: I was excited to find this in our mix for the blind taste test (it was one that I suggested for this round since I've heard great things about it.) The flavor was light and grassy with a good dose of sweetness. It really stood out against the competition and is one of my top picks. Added bonus: it comes in a tin for easy storage.

Origin: Kagoshima, Japan
Price: $12.51 per ounce
Packaging: Tin

Color: 6/10
Flavor: 4/10
Sweetness: 3/10
Value: 5/10

Notes: This is an organic version of the previous tea and also one of our lowest scoring for this round. It had a bitter flavor and unpleasant gritty texture, despite sifting. This is proof that paying more for organic doesn't always guarantee a better product. I'd save a few dollars and buy the standard DoMatcha 2nd Harvest instead.

Origin: Japan
Price: $12.83 per ounce
Packaging: Resealable Pouch

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

Notes: This was the clear winner for this round. It fell into the middle of the pack as far as price and is well worth spending a little extra on. It had near-perfect coloring, smooth texture, and even frothed well with my kitchen whisk (I'd award bonus points for that alone if I could.) The flavor was sweet, slightly fruity, and will appeal to a wide range of tastes.

Sample 10 – Red Leaf Tea Imperial Matcha 5.75/10

Origin: China
Price: $13.99 per ounce (or as low as $6.99, depending on size)
Packaging: Resealable Pouch

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

Notes: I found this matcha to be very middle of the road and it didn't leave much of an impression on me. It was very mellow, not too sweet or too bitter and tasted slightly of freshly cut grass. I think Red Leaf Tea has much better offerings, so I'd pass on this one.

Sample 11 – Red Leaf Tea Shokuku Matcha 2.75/10

Origin: Uji, Japan
Price: $14.99 per ounce (or as low as $7.49, depending on size)
Packaging: Resealable Pouch

Color: 4/10
Flavor: 2/10
Sweetness: 3/10
Value: 2/10

Notes:  I was not impressed with this matcha. It's color was yellow and unappealing, it did not froth well, and had an odd flavor to it that I can't quite pin-point. Not the worst of the bunch, but another I would pass on.

Sample 12 – Red Leaf Tea Tenryu Matcha 2.25/10

Origin: Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan
Price: $14.99 per ounce (or as low as $7.49, depending on size)
Packaging: Resealable Pouch

Color: 2/10
Flavor: 1/10
Sweetness: 5/10
Value: 1/10

Notes:  This matcha had the dubious distinction of being the worst I've sampled to date. It had very poor coloring and an odd paint-like flavor to it. I took two sips, then gave up entirely on it. 

Origin: China
Price: $15.99 per ounce (or as low as $7.99, depending on size)
Packaging: Resealable Pouch

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

Notes: This matcha had a nice color and flavor, but what ultimately kept it from scoring higher was the very bitter finish. It's not a bad matcha, but I'd rather spend a little more per ounce on the Kennin Matcha from Red Leaf Tea.

Sample 14 – Red Leaf Tea Kennin Matcha 8.25/10

Origin: Uji, Japan
Price: $16.99 per ounce (or as low as $8.49, depending on size)
Packaging: Resealable Pouch

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

Notes:  My second place choice happens to be the highest price matcha from this group. It had one of the nicest colors from this round, a silky-smooth texture, and even whisked well with my kitchen whisk. The bubbles were small and tight, something I seldom see since I'm not using the right tools to make my matcha. The flavor was somewhat sweet with a nutty finish.

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.