I'm sure I'm not the only one who has been overwhelmed by the recent holidays (and influx of junk food that comes with it) so for our final Tuesday Tea post of 2015 I wanted to share something a bit more healthy than usual—a Ceremonial Grade Matcha from Midori Spring. I mentioned this particular matcha briefly during the Matcha Blind Taste Test earlier this year and the company was kind enough to provide me with a full tin of their latest harvest to share with you today.
I've been a tea lover for years, but 2015 was the year I decided to learn more about matcha. It's been a hot topic as of late—some even go so far as to call it a super food. If you've heard anything about this tea before, then you've likely read about the variety of health claims ranging from increased focus to cancer prevention associated with it. I don't normally pay much attention to claims like these when selecting a new tea, I prefer to enjoy it based on flavor alone, but as I've begun to incorporate it into my diet on a regular basis I've noticed it does live up to some of the hype (although most of the claims are impossible for the average person to prove.)
Unlike many teas matcha is highly caffeinated, which helps contribute to increased focus and mental clarity (two of the claims I hear most often associated with it.) Yet unlike coffee, which many people consume for the same reasons, it doesn't have the tendency to leave people feeling jittery. Although I highly recommend eating something before you drink it, it packs a caffeinated punch, especially on an empty stomach.
As far as preparation goes, it's relatively simple. You can use the more traditional method involving a specialized bowl, scoop, and whisk or a more modern method—it's entirely up to you. I've found that the quickest way to prepare matcha is to use a large bowl or cup and water that is around 165ºF. Add a little bit of water to the bowl to warm it up, add ½ teaspoon of matcha, then use a whisk or milk frother to form a thick paste. Once all of the lumps have been removed you can continue to add water until the tea has reached the proper consistency and whisk until there is a layer of foam on top. Generally you'll use ½ teaspoon of matcha per 2-3 ounces of water, but you can always play around with the ratios, as long as you keep in mind it will subtly alter the flavor and texture.
If you're trying matcha for the first time you'll notice the flavor is unlike the green teas you're already familiar with. Midori Spring matcha is slightly sweet, tastes of fresh-cut grass, and has a hint of astringency, or bitterness, at the end. I'll fully admit the flavor isn't for everyone, but I'll encourage you not to give up on it if you aren't immediately a fan. You can always try adding a little bit into a smoothie or yogurt, then increase the amount a little at a time to allow your taste buds to adjust. The good news is that each matcha is a little bit different, so if you try one and aren't immediately a fan, you can always try again until you find one with the perfect combination of flavor and texture that appeals to you.
Would I order this again? Possibly. This matcha comes from Japan, is organic, has a pleasant flavor and texture, and a brilliant green color (which is associated with high-quality matcha.) It's not a bad place to start if you're looking at trying matcha for the first time, especially if you don't mind (or really enjoy) a hint of bitterness. There are other brands that I prefer more, but I prefer my matcha without that hint of astringency.
Where to Purchase
Midori Spring's Ceremonial Gold Matcha is rich, smooth and creamy with a hint of sweetness when brewed traditionally. This premium product is Ceremonial Grade and is Organic (USDA, JAS), Vegan and Kosher (OU) Certified. We only select the best raw material from our tea gardens mostly from Aichi and Kagoshima in Japan and maintain the highest standards in production.
Our Matcha has a fresh, sweet, green-vegetable-like aroma. The color is a vibrant emerald green. Only high quality Ceremonial Grade Matcha encompass these features. You can enjoy Midori Spring's Ceremonial Gold Matcha the traditional way by brewing or you can create your own Matcha inspired recipe. Whichever style you choose to have your Matcha, you can experience the many health benefits it has to offer.
In an effort to be open with my readers I want to let you know that this sample was provided to me free of charge by Midori Spring. As always, all opinions are my own.