Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Learning to Love Matcha

I am very much a novice when it comes to matcha; I haven't really had much experience with it since I wrote this post quite some time ago. I have wanted to try it but felt a bit overwhelmed at the range of choices available from O-Cha.com and unsure of whether anything of reasonable quality is available in Australia... You can get matcha from T2, but they only have one kind (clearly I am not the type of person to be easily satisfied am I? Too many... too few... so high maintenance, I know).

Recently, however, I discovered a company which I had not previously come across - Obubu Tea. Obubu has been given a good rap on RateTea.net as an ethical company producing high quality teas. And they offer two drinking grades of matcha (as well as some culinary matcha products) - not too many to choose from! I ordered some of each: the Gokou and the Uji.

I was not at first sure how much to use; one website I looked at suggested 1/4 teaspoon in 1/2 cup of hot water. I tried this but it seemed very weak and tasteless to me, despite some creamy sweetness. So I contacted Ian from Obubu via Twitter (so handy, Twitter is!) and asked about his recommendation, and he pointed me in this direction.

Just under a teaspoon in 1/4 cup of hot water, okay. So I tried that just before with some of the Uji matcha (my whisk and whisking skills are sub-par, I fear, so I was not able to produce the very nice creamy looking froth on the top)... and whoa. It's powerful stuff. Quite bitter and very, very 'green' to my taste buds; some sweetness in the aftertaste. It does not taste anything like a sencha; there is no brothiness, no 'seaweedy' taste. I feel like saying 'grassy' but that's not quite the right word either. I'm not sure how to describe it. 'Green' is the best I can do - and not even a specific kind of 'green' either. Just quintessential greenness!

I think matcha will be an acquired taste for me.  I am definitely willing to acquire it though! And I feel ever so awake and alert and calm. Heh!

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