First taste of matcha


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First taste of matcha

Postby GuyWan » Aug 14th, '14, 14:13

So I decided to try matcha tea for the first time. I did some research, found a tea (DoMatcha Organic) that had very good reviews. I watched a bunch of Youtube video to try and prepare it right. Everything looked good. Dark green liquid, lustrous froth with tiny bubbles, no lumps. But I can barely detect any taste at all. I keep reading that matcha is supposed to have a strong vegetal taste. I certainly did not get that. It was very subtle and not very long lasting. The tea looks fresh (expiration date is May 2016). I used about 1/2 tsp of matcha for 70ml of water. What could be the problem?
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Re: First taste of matcha

Postby daidokorocha » Aug 14th, '14, 15:40

What water temperature are you using? You could try upping to a teaspoon per 60 ml. How dark was your matcha even with the froth?
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Re: First taste of matcha

Postby GuyWan » Aug 14th, '14, 16:35

daidokorocha wrote:What water temperature are you using? You could try upping to a teaspoon per 60 ml. How dark was your matcha even with the froth?


I use 80C water.

I made another one, using once again 1/2 spoon of matcha, 60ml of 80C water (pretty much following the instructions on the package) and it looks like this (and it still tastes bland):
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Re: First taste of matcha

Postby entropyembrace » Aug 14th, '14, 16:56

The tea looks ok though a May 2016 expiration date isn't accurate, it will definitely degrade before then. It looks fresh for now though. You can try using more to make it stronger.

Probably what the issue is is that the tea plants didn't get enough nitrogen while they were growing resulting in a bland taste. This is a common problem with organic green tea, though there are definitely some farmers that have figured it out and produce high quality organic tea.

I suggest trying another matcha

http://maiko.ne.jp/english/
http://www.o-cha.com/
http://www.zencha.net/

are where I usually buy my Japanese green tea. there's other websites worth checking out especially http://www.ippodo-tea.co.jp/en/

If you want a solid strong tasting matcha I think one of the best for beginners is this one: http://www.o-cha.com/uji-matcha-kiri.html it's still one of my favourites :)

It's not organic though, I don't know how important that is to you.
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Re: First taste of matcha

Postby daidokorocha » Aug 14th, '14, 17:01

Wow, yeah. You could try doing the 1 tsp per 60 oz and if that doesn't work you could try upping the temperature. If none of that works then... that is strange. I've never had a matcha that was bland in my home, but I have had matcha that was bland from a shop. So much so that I was wondering if they even really used matcha or just some random green tea powder that they called matcha ... thoroughly disappointing experience, I must say. Perhaps it was just bland matcha after all. Didn't even know there was such a thing!
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Re: First taste of matcha

Postby GuyWan » Aug 14th, '14, 17:33

Thanks for the advice. I'll try to use a bit more matcha and perhaps a higher water temperature. If it does not help, I'll get matcha from another source (it does not have to be organic).
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Re: First taste of matcha

Postby blairswhitaker » Aug 15th, '14, 06:13

Iv'e had this matcha many times and never had any problem with the flavor, it's not the top of the line by any means but very drinkable. I don't think your'e using enough tea at all, this tea should be prepared with two chashaku of matcha, or about 2grams. I read somewhere that if you have no choice but using a tea spoon it should be one heaping teaspoon, one that is mounded over with tea. I would try that amount in 60ml of water.
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Re: First taste of matcha

Postby blairswhitaker » Aug 15th, '14, 06:18

also if you don't have chashaku i would really recommend getting one, and how are you whisking it, are you using a bamboo chasen or one of those electric things, it is actually possible to over whisk matcha and greatly reduce the flavor.
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Re: First taste of matcha

Postby GuyWan » Aug 15th, '14, 12:54

I don't have a chashaku. But I prepared a new bowl of matcha this morning using 2 grams of tea (I used a scale). I also used 60ml of 82C water. I whisked using a bamboo chasen for less than 30 seconds. Nice froth and good but faint vegetal smell. Taste-wise, it was very bitter. The vegetal taste was underwhelming. No sweetness at all.

I am going to buy a new matcha today to see if the problem is with me or the tea.
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Re: First taste of matcha

Postby Fuut » Sep 21st, '14, 09:31

Wow, i don't feel I'm the only one saying this is something i never experienced.

From what i know, the balance between sweet and bitterness becomes better when the pricetags go up. I got a pretty large bag for around 65usd, and its a lovely dark green, sweet powder.

If this is the only sort of matcha you tried, please give it another try, perhaps ask for some samples from a teashop. That strong taste should leave you stunned.. :x
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Re: First taste of matcha

Postby SlientSipper » Oct 9th, '14, 11:51

It seems so simple yet its so hard.
There's so much for it to make the taste go awry.
I hope these suggestions work for you and do remember that this is very temperature sensitive. Its so easy to ruin it by overheating the water.

I wish I were in Uji right now.
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