Opinion about dirt-cheap organic matcha ?


Made from leaves that have not been oxidized.

Opinion about dirt-cheap organic matcha ?

Postby skilfautdire » Nov 17th, '10, 19:53

Such as this one sold by DTH:

(shortened link to Dragon Tea House page)

http://minilien.fr/a0lun1

$24 for 1/2 kg of organic matcha.

Now, it'd be very, very easy to say this is no good matcha based on what the prices are elsewhere. But, I am not sure things are such black and white. Also, I do not think it'd be fair to compare this matcha with a high-end one, which would be much like comparing apples and oranges, I think.

The colour is certainly on the yellow side. It is said to be vintage 2010. This is almost certainly not first flush leaves. This being said, I'd be tempted to try it, considering these parameters, as a daily no-frills matcha.

Anyone tried it ? Opinions welcomed.
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Re: Opinion about dirt-cheap organic matcha ?

Postby iannon » Nov 17th, '10, 20:57

wow..500g...like 1 pound of matcha for 25 bucks!?
really..I havent had that one..BUT...i have found so far, that you really do get what you pay for when it comes to matcha in general.
so..if you want to go for it and dont mind say..having a pound of matcha you wouldnt mind making smoothies or cooking with then why not.
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Re: Opinion about dirt-cheap organic matcha ?

Postby David R. » Nov 17th, '10, 21:25

iannon wrote:..having a pound of matcha you wouldnt mind making smoothies or cooking with then why not.


This is actually really cheaper than cooking matcha, where I leave at least. I'd say go for it ! ;-) Worst case scenario, you will be able to cook with it.

Salt+matcha is very good with fish. Matcha tiramisu is wonderful ! :mrgreen:
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Re: Opinion about dirt-cheap organic matcha ?

Postby skilfautdire » Nov 17th, '10, 22:13

Matcha tiramisu ... now that sounds quite interesting !!
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Re: Opinion about dirt-cheap organic matcha ?

Postby entropyembrace » Nov 17th, '10, 23:17

500g of matcha is likely to go quite stale before you can use it up...assuming it´s not yucky and brown to begin with...at this price I wouldnt really expect it to be as green as in the photo.

Lower grades of matcha have stronger flavours and can be really good...but that´s more in the $15 per 30g range...at the price you´re pointing to I´m really questioning if the tea is really edible. :roll:

Also cooking with bad matcha isn´t the best idea...to get the best flavours you want to cook with good quality ingredients...
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Re: Opinion about dirt-cheap organic matcha ?

Postby Chip » Nov 17th, '10, 23:42

That is actually pretty weird IMHO. JAS cert which is a Japanese certification. Is this Japanese grown/made?

My matcha senses are tingling ... wondering if this is old crap dumped on a foreign market, in this case China's. I have seen this in Japanese teas for years, long before we could get the good stuff. Old sencha had to be cleared out of cold storage warehouses to make room for new harvest tea, and it would be sold off to brokers for pennies on the dollar. They would sell it to domestic USA vendors who knew nada about Japanese tea, freshness, quality, etc. And voila, crappy Japanese tea for all Americans.

So, maybe the American market is getting smarter because of places like TeaChat? So they dump it on China.

Interesting also, it is more common for Chinese matcha to be covertly imported to Japan and blended and used in Japanese markets for export.

I don't know, this offering confuses me.
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Re: Opinion about dirt-cheap organic matcha ?

Postby iannon » Nov 18th, '10, 00:32

entropyembrace wrote:Also cooking with bad matcha isn´t the best idea...to get the best flavours you want to cook with good quality ingredients...

COmpletely agree..we dont *know* its bad..was just saying if he wants to take a chance on such cheap Matcha it might be good enough for cooking if nothing else.. *shrug*
personally..I would stay away
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Re: Opinion about dirt-cheap organic matcha ?

Postby skilfautdire » Nov 18th, '10, 08:57

Chip, there is something a bit unsettling with your comment. Have you read the full text describing that matcha ? They (DTH) say that they made contacts in Japan and all that:

"We at have gone to great lengths to locate only the finest teas
available and have hand picked and personally chosen our teas
after directly visiting the tea farms and speaking with the
owners. Dragon Tea House' top grade matcha use fresh leaves
plucked in organic tea garden in early spring, it is then ground
by stone other than machine. The product reaches 1600 mesh
untrafine which represents top quality on the market. We deal
directly with the farmers so that our green tea goes straight
from the farm to your doorstep."

It is unsettling because then it casts a general doubt over the vendor. OK, vendors do not have to tell the absolute truth, no law preventing them to invent nice stories. Although in this case it could (I am not saying it is since I haven't sampled the product yet) be more like mis-representation. And if it is done with this product, then what about the others ?

I'm expressing my current doubt about this now. This being said I am still considering ordering from this vendor (not only matcha, but other teas).
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Re: Opinion about dirt-cheap organic matcha ?

Postby edkrueger » Nov 18th, '10, 10:10

entropyembrace wrote:Lower grades of matcha have stronger flavours and can be really good...but that´s more in the $15 per 30g range...


If you pay Japanese market prices, you can get descent koicha sutable matcha for as little as 600 yen for 20g. That said, it will be pretty boring.
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Re: Opinion about dirt-cheap organic matcha ?

Postby Chip » Nov 18th, '10, 11:34

As a general rule, I would not buy Japanese teas from China, or most any other country for that matter. And the fact it is so cheap, welll, seals the deal for me.

Nothing wrong with DTH at all, just makes no sense to buy Japanese teas from China given everything I am seeing here and everything I know from 12 years experience. I would not buy it from any of my fave Chinese vendors.

Besides, if something sounds to good to be true, it likely is not.
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Re: Opinion about dirt-cheap organic matcha ?

Postby entropyembrace » Nov 18th, '10, 15:17

edkrueger wrote:
entropyembrace wrote:Lower grades of matcha have stronger flavours and can be really good...but that´s more in the $15 per 30g range...


If you pay Japanese market prices, you can get descent koicha sutable matcha for as little as 600 yen for 20g. That said, it will be pretty boring.


Can you get Japanese market prices without traveling to Japan (which is much more expensive than paying the markups)?
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Re: Opinion about dirt-cheap organic matcha ?

Postby gingkoseto » Nov 18th, '10, 15:23

There are some matcha producers in China, mainly targeting on Japanese market. The price of DTH is normal and wouldn't be considered cheap in China, where there is no comparison with expensive Japanese matcha. Even matcha made in China is rarely seen in Chinese market. It's funny that most of the few times I saw it in China, it was advertised as either healthy drink or precious ingredient for home-made facial mask :lol:
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Re: Opinion about dirt-cheap organic matcha ?

Postby gingkoseto » Nov 18th, '10, 15:33

About whether or not the vendor is telling the truth, I personally believe DTH tells all truth about this product. I appreciate that they present the JAP certification. Sometimes a product is called "organic" by a vendor without any certification information. A vendor can go by their own definition of organic and a buyer usually assumes "organic" means "officially organic". When a vendor specifies the certification agency, it means their "organic" goes by the official definition of the certification agency, and they carry legal liability pertaining to it. In such case, the vendor is not likely to lie about it.
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Re: Opinion about dirt-cheap organic matcha ?

Postby iannon » Nov 18th, '10, 15:34

gingkoseto wrote:There are some matcha producers in China, mainly targeting on Japanese market. The price of DTH is normal and wouldn't be considered cheap in China, where there is no comparison with expensive Japanese matcha. Even matcha made in China is rarely seen in Chinese market. It's funny that most of the few times I saw it in China, it was advertised as either healthy drink or precious ingredient for home-made facial mask :lol:

ok.."facial mask" that made me smile
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Re: Opinion about dirt-cheap organic matcha ?

Postby edkrueger » Nov 18th, '10, 19:46

entropyembrace wrote:
edkrueger wrote:
entropyembrace wrote:Lower grades of matcha have stronger flavours and can be really good...but that´s more in the $15 per 30g range...


If you pay Japanese market prices, you can get descent koicha sutable matcha for as little as 600 yen for 20g. That said, it will be pretty boring.


Can you get Japanese market prices without traveling to Japan (which is much more expensive than paying the markups)?


Yep. Just order from a Japanese vendor. Ippodo, Horaido or Koyama-en will work. The shipping is still WAY less than the markups. Markups are about 300% where shipping+price is about 150%
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