What does Japanese(powdered tea) taste like?


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What does Japanese(powdered tea) taste like?

Postby teanovice78 » Nov 1st, '12, 14:09

Everytime I go to my tea shop or look at online stores I see matcha/powdered tea and the regalia that goes with it and I get curious.
What does this tea taste like? Is it hard to make? What kinds are good to buy? If anyone has had experience with this I'd be curious to learn more. Thanks in advance!
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Re: What does Japanese(powdered tea) taste like?

Postby MacGuffin » Nov 2nd, '12, 00:19

Matcha and powdered sencha are two different animals (I've never, to my knowledge, had powdered sencha). I can tell you that matcha is very different to any tea you've probably drunk and there are a number of ways to enjoy it, from the traditional (quite intense) to the contemporary (e.g. as lattes or in smoothies). Do you like Japanese green tea? Have you ever had genmaicha, i.e. green tea with puffed brown rice? There's a variation of it called "matcha-iri" that also contains matcha. If you know how to brew Japanese green tea, that's all you need and it can give you an idea of what matcha might be like on its own. It might be a good starting place for you.
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Re: What does Japanese(powdered tea) taste like?

Postby teanovice78 » Nov 2nd, '12, 10:29

Sounds good, thanks for your advice. I have tried some japanese green teas so I think I will look into them a bit more and go from there. Thanks
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Re: What does Japanese(powdered tea) taste like?

Postby MacGuffin » Nov 2nd, '12, 15:32

Some vendors follow. I've actually had Hibiki-an's and can vouch that it's very good (or at least it was when I had it) but I doubt anything O-Cha sells is less than good.

http://www.o-cha.com/organic-genmaicha.html

http://www.hibiki-an.com/product_info.p ... cts_id/407

http://www.yuuki-cha.com/organic-genmai ... -genmaicha (Sorry, Chip. :( )
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Re: What does Japanese(powdered tea) taste like?

Postby teanovice78 » Nov 2nd, '12, 16:20

I have a question, is the rice and everything powdered together? So there is no rice literally floating in it? Sorry, I have never tried it! :)
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Re: What does Japanese(powdered tea) taste like?

Postby Chip » Nov 2nd, '12, 16:25

Matcha Iri Genmaicha is simply genmaicha with matcha added. Matcha tends to cling like crazy to anything.

So these teas have actual green tea leaves, whole genmai (the actual roasted rice) to which the matcha adheres. You infuse this tea like tea. The tea and rice are infused while the matcha is released in suspension.

BTW, here is a fun and extensive topic focused on Chawan-s and straight-up Matcha together. http://www.teachat.com/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=11424
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Re: What does Japanese(powdered tea) taste like?

Postby JBaymore » Nov 2nd, '12, 17:18

Be careful how you "try" matcha.

As you "test the waters" the tendency is to say to yourself, "Well, I'll just order a bit of the cheap stuff to see if I like it. That way if I don't, I haven't wasted a lot of money." That can be a bad move.

The reason is that any comparison between truly cheap matcha and good matcha is purely coincidental.

It is completely possible to hate cheap matcha and love good matcha.

If you are going to try it, make sure that you geet a chance to try a decent matcha. Try to find someone sho has some good stuff to make you a bowl.

Unfortunately like lots of the good things in life.... good matcha is a tad expensive.

best,

..................john
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Re: What does Japanese(powdered tea) taste like?

Postby MacGuffin » Nov 2nd, '12, 22:14

Chip wrote:Matcha Iri Genmaicha is simply genmaicha with matcha added. Matcha tends to cling like crazy to anything.

So these teas have actual green tea leaves, whole genmai (the actual roasted rice) to which the matcha adheres. You infuse this tea like tea. The tea and rice are infused while the matcha is released in suspension.

Matcha-iri is brewed like pretty much any sencha. The rice stays behind with the leaves when you strain the tea and the matcha doesn't because, as Chip notes, it's in suspension with the infusion of tea leaves and rice. Good genmaicha matcha-iri is very nice stuff. A friend of mine who loves genmaicha accidentally ordered matcha-iri and thought he'd hate it; he fell in love at first sip and hasn't looked back.
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Re: What does Japanese(powdered tea) taste like?

Postby Teacup1980 » Nov 6th, '12, 18:30

teanovice78 wrote:What does this tea taste like? Is it hard to make? What kinds are good to buy? If anyone has had experience with this I'd be curious to learn more.


I don't recommend to try Genmaicha with Matcha first because it tastes completely different from Matcha itself. I'd like you to try pure Matcha first so you'll get an idea how Matcha tastes like.

Matcha is traditionally used for Japanese tea ceremony, which is just like "art" in Japan. In other words, Matcha is not for daily drinking. However, here in the U.S. people start drinking Matcha just like other teas and it's becoming unique culture. If you would like to try the authentic way of Matcha, you can google "Japanese tea ceremony" and get some information.

There are many companies you can buy Matcha in U.S.
AIYA is the biggest Matcha supplier in the world: http://aiya-america.com/
AOI is another supplier of Matcha: http://www.aoimatcha.com/
Den's has Matcha too: http://www.denstea.com/
SA also has some Matcha: www.sugimotousa.com
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Re: What does Japanese(powdered tea) taste like?

Postby zeto » Dec 12th, '12, 00:13

Having matcha changed the way I drink green tea. Matcha can be extremely strong... extremely vegetal and bitter in some cases. I grew to enjoy it so much, to the point where going back to lesser teas was hard, and caused me to brew them MUCH stronger than I did before.
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Re: What does Japanese(powdered tea) taste like?

Postby ole » Dec 12th, '12, 05:51

The first time I got served matcha it was more the consistency, rather than the taste that took me complete by surprise. Almost more like drinking a thick hot chocolate instead of tea.

Also, as JBaymore said, try to avoid the cheap stuff. When I first started making it myself I experimented with different grades, and vendors, some not so good. It is really not a very pleasant experience drinking something closer to a cooking grade matcha.

My guess is if you like the taste of green teas, and perhaps particularity gyokuro you'll love matcha.
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