House Matcha (80g/2.82oz)


Author Karen Kletter   (United States)
Review I had three reasons for ordering House Matcha: I wanted a matcha that was both affordable and delicious that I could use for recipes; I was curious to learn whether or not it was good for everyday consumption; and I wanted to compare it to the koicha a friend brought me from Tokyo (and which I assume was very expensive).
First, I'm guessing that this tea will be wonderful for recipes. I've so far only tried it in hot cocoa (I add it at the end of cooking), but it's a delicious complement. I intend to try some of the recipes listed; in addition, I think this would be excellent mixed with hot milk and the honey-sweetened ginger "tea" available in Asian groceries. At this price, I can afford to get creative. :)
Despite its reasonable price, this really is a very drinkable matcha. No, it's not as fine as my koicha (which I prepare as usucha, BTW) but again, considering its price, it holds up very well--so well, in fact, that I have no qualms about planning to order a higher, more expensive grade in the future. This doesn't have the complexity, pleasant mouthtfeel, or lingering aftertaste of a higher grade, but so what? You get the health benefits of the whole leaf in a delicious and affordable way. It's intensely green, not bitter, and tastes better than what was served to me at an Urasenke tea ceremony demonstration. What's not to like?
Incidentally, House Matcha froths up beautifully (better than my koicha, in fact). Here are my tips for preparing frothy matcha. It's a little more work, but the payoff carries considerable rewards.
First, invest in real matcha utensils (inexpensive ones are fine)--a bowl, a bamboo whisk (the 80-tine type sold by Hibiki-an works fine), and a chashaku. Make sure that your matcha powder is sifted--I've tried it both ways and it really does make a difference. Boil some water, pour it into your empty matcha bowl, and soak the tines of your whisk in the hot water. After a minute or so, empty the water into another container, continue soaking the whisk, dry the bowl, and add the matcha powder. Add the recommended amount of hot water and whisk until foamy, using the technique suggested by Mr. Yasui. Use the hot water to rinse the tea from the whisk to help keep it in good shape (make sure to pat it dry with a towel). Just a little practice makes perfect--no lumps and lots of froth!
Very bad...Bad...Very bad...Ordinary...Good... 5 of 5 Stars!
Date December 19, 2007

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