Country of Origin: Japan
Leaf Appearance: fine powder, deep green
Water Temperature: 160 degrees
Preparation Method: bamboo whisk and bowl
Liquor: frothy, deep green
I receive more inquiries for reviews of matcha than any other type of tea. Unfortunately, I wind up turning most of them down. Nothing is a bigger turn off than "matcha" that is marketed with hype, filled with artificial sweeteners, or that isn't even from Japan. My interest was piqued when Luciana from 3 Leaf Tea reached out to let me know that she's rebranded to focus only on the green stuff. I am ever the skeptic but she had me at Uj.
The first thing I look at when evaluating matcha is the color of the powder. This one was a vibrant, deep green. No tinge of brown or yellow here (please excuse my poor lighting and photography skills)! Another big indicator of quality is the texture of the powder. The leaf particles have a tendency to clump together thanks to static cling but it should be smooth and consistent otherwise. 3 Leaf's matcha gets a check mark there as well.
There is no right or wrong way to drink tea but I have to say that there is nothing quite like matcha that was whisked with a traditional bamboo whisk. It has such a dramatic effect on the taste and texture of the tea. I wouldn't make mine any other way. 3 Leaf's matcha whisked well without clumping, creating a nice layer of microfoam in my chawan.
The taste was bright and vegetal yet smooth a lot of natural sweetness. It's hard to put my finger on it but there was a softness that lent an almost creamy mouthfeel. Lingering umami in the finish ended each sip on a satisfying note. Some of my favorite matchas pack quite a bit more punch but that doesn't mean this one was boring. This would be an excellent starter matcha for those just getting your feet wet. Start off with the good stuff so that you can spoil your palate early on!
Ceremonial Grade Matcha provided for review by 3 Leaf Tea.