Reviews

Matcha Super Premium Refill (120g/4.23oz)

US$85.00

Author Sarah Longo   (United States)
Review I am a SERIOUS Matcha FANATIC!! No joking I LOVE IT THE BEST and this refill is super awesome since you get a great amount at a great price and the quality of it, which would include color, silky powder texture + very fine, a beautifully balanced taste without bitterness and still sweetly mellow even if thick (which I often and I now fins myself doing more and more!) is really great and it's STILL not their highest grade! I HATE to have my Matcha even waste one teeny-tiny speck and it actually horrifies me so much that they have to package this in a ziplock (but that is better to keep costs down for us all so...) because it sticks to the inside of the bag. I treat this Tea like Platinum! I'm basically crazy about it!!! When I recieve my superfast shipped order I am quite hesitant to open it since I know that obviously once it has been opened it will go bad because it must be fresh to be great but Honestly, I use mine up so much and fast that is less and less of a worry now. I NEVER tear open the bag, I always use very sharp scissors so the bags edge is very cleanly and smoothly cut (because I SO do not want to waste all that Matcha still in the bag since I seriously pour cold water into the bag to flush it out plus I get a once or twice and I definitely get a nice yunomi of Chilled Matcha that otherwise would have been wasted, it's True!) then I immediately fill up my original 40g canister of Super Premium plus another larger canister I have and ALWAYS IMMEDIATELY make me a nice lovely and somewhat thick bowl to celebrate it's definite freshness all due to the hardworking people here at Hibiki-an, they are just wonderful yet so humble. I really Hope they know how much all they do is Truly appreciated :D
I have some tips on how to get a seriously lovely froth that is really almost like you are drinking a cream it is so fine! Here they are:
Hibiki-an says to use boiling or iced to really get the foam and at first, although I was getting a nice top I was reluctant to use so high of a temperature on a Green Tea but they are correct. So, make sure your water IS boiling hot, because remember, as you work to get the foam even if it just takes 5 seconds for me your water is cooling quickly once off the stove. So, this is what I do-
1. Put the Matcha Bowl in the freezer and immediately turn my (electric) stove top on the HIGHEST right away. (I read somewhere to put the bowl in there or to cool it first so PLEASE, CORRECT ME IF I AM WRONG! THANKS!)
2. It is also True to have a nice softened whisk so do as they instruct here to keep yours in good condition. (I Honestly have had mine going on 2 years now w/o problem and w/o knowing all these details plus it was bought elsewhere but I think I'm kinda OCD about my Tea things so its still nice shape.) Anyhow, I at least run it under the faucet before use but what is even better is to run it under the faucet until that water is the hottest it gets and then fill a little cup with water and let the whisk stand in it as you move to the next step quickly. (I happen to already have the pair of Whispering Water Yunomi sold here and I realized they work great because of their bottom interior shape being like that of a nice whisk so I fill One of those up with super hot water and set my whisk to stand up in it and it works out perfectly!)
3. You REALLY NEED to SIFT your Matcha! It REALLY DOES make a difference! I did not at first but once I tried it I realized it was just a tiny step with huge benefits so why not? (You must move fast, unless you have your stove set to a lower temperature so the water takes longer to boil but I just have done this so many Times I can get it all finished by the Time my water is boiling, but everyone just take your own Time if you Truly want that dreamy Cream-like topping.) I personally already had a "sifter" in the form of one of those little metal strainers that come with some teapots, you know what I mean? So if you have got one of those just use that! Easy and fast! Sifting is fun! :)
4. WHISKING! :D THIS is the Important part! Add your water in 2 parts. Someone suggested this to me somewhere saying it worked better for them and it does! Also they say to use like a "W" motion but I realized a way that works well and fast and consistently everytime: Add about half of your water or a bit more then kinda drag the whisk across the bottom of the bowl first horizontally then vertically a few Times to mix then hold the whisk at an angle and start whisking in somewhat large circles with the tips of the whisk still touching the bowl so you are sure your Matcha is Truly absorbed thoroughly plus this will start it foaming up. Then try this: (it'll probably sound so silly and wrong written down here but I promise it so works for me so I really hope it works for others who say they have trouble getting a nice topping) First use your whisk at about 8 or 9 o'clock right up against the bowl and do super fast little circles and a foam will easily begin to build with this Matcha and just keep at that until it is grown larger to cover the top more and also the bubbles are getting smaller and smaller too until they get tiny and it looks almost like a cream. You may try turning the bowl a little also after doing this for a bit but keep in the 8-9 o'clock position. When doing this have your whisk about 1/2inch deep in your Tea, it's OK for it to be deeper at this point but once you see that lovely lighter green froth and luscious texture (and you will know when you see!) quickly move the whisk over to about 4 0'clock and keep with the small superfast circles a bit more but raise the whisk up so it is kinda just submerged at the tips and by this Time you will have to just move your whisk gently to the center then lift straight up and your entire top of Matcha will be super creamy foam BUT THIS IS ONLY BECAUSE YOU'VE MADE IT SO THICK SO FAR REMEMBER, so next pour the rest of your water (I pour mine over the whisk to rinse any Matcha that may be on it) BUT the Important Thing is to try to just pour it down the middle and do not just pour it all around your bowl because that will mess up/destroy your top.
5. Finally this last step is to ensure your Matcha is evenly blended and your dreamy creamfoam topping stays lovely. If you did the "foaming process" or whisking correctly and the remaining water is still very hot (but don't stress, go at your own pace, Tea Time is no Time for drama or stress and you will definitely get it after a few tries if you don't the first try) you won't have much to do except gently submerge your whisk as deep as your Tea is nearly to the bottom and then gently kinda sway it to mix the Tea mixture and newly added water so you get a consisent blend and if you have to do some more whisking or "fix up" your froth remember to just use the whisk TIPS to sort of flick it around ending in the bowl's center and lift whisk straight up from the center of the bowl.
OK, super sorry for 5 long sounding steps and I am not a Tea Master or Student or anything like that, I just drink Matcha alot because I love everything about it. So, just do what you find works for you and I really Hope this helps at least One Person, because I feel funny having gone through all of that but I promise it works for me. If anything, the water in 2parts was the best thing I started doing and just using the whisk tips. Sometimes you have to get crazy with your Matcha, I guess people have "mad Tea parties" everywhere, not just in Wonderland...
The freezing/iced Matcha experience for me went this way: I never wanted my Matcha Iced but Hibiki-an encouraged me to give it a try at least once and I thought why not? Because I like it cold. (Besides, I DO LOVE to sift a bit of Matcha in with my Gyokuro Karigane after I have cold brewed the same Tea leaves a few Times and it is not as strong anymore, thin, and anemic so I sift the Matcha in, horizontally shake using the Seasonal Iced Tea Pitcher sold here with the green top and let it cold brew inside the refrigerater at least 3 hours, overnight is even better, and it's super yummy plus it helps me not go through my Gyokuro Karigane Premium or Superior so extremely fast in the hot weather of Summer. Both are delicious but Premium stands up to more steepings. Cold Brewed Gyokuro Karigane Tea is literally all I drink all day now so it goes really fast but Matcha extends it 2-3 more Times.)
So, one day I dumped some water out of my new water bottle so it would not explode accidentally in the freezer just incase I happened to forget about having put the bottle in there, and let it freeze lieing on it's side until half of the water was frozen. Then I had to play chemist and used this weird old metal funnel we have (but it works!) and keep everything as dry as possible as I put the strainer in the funnel and the funnel in the bottle and sifted the Matcha into the bottle of water with half of it being like a verticle ice cube going up one side of the bottle. This sounds funny and weird and troublesome but it was shockingly EASY!! Then I shook it super hard and it was like a science experiment, wow,, the foam topping on that was awesome! Then I let it melt slowly in the same manner as when you fill your kyusu with ice and let it slowly melt on your Tea, except this was in a plastic bottle and I'd say "not so noble" looking BUT you can either take it with you and it stays cold for a long Time (you can throw a straw in the bottle so it is easy to drink with that solid ice still present) or easily pour your iced Matcha into a pretty yunomi like the Grape multi-cup here once it melts down to your desired strength/thickness. Of course, that waiting to melt may take some Patience but it will serve as a reminder that everything you do should not constantly be in haste and always so severe and demanding to our Feelings and Lives- we all deserve some Peace. After the atmosphere is clear and the ice took it's Time you are rewarded with a lovely Ice Cold Matcha which I thought I would not enjoy but I definitely did, thanks to some encouragement from Hibiki-an. I Hope I have helped.
Anyhow, thank you, Hibiki-an!!
And Everyone else who read my waaaaay long review:)
Rating
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Date August 13, 2012

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