|"That initial, blunt foretaste transitioned to a smoother, cocoa-like middle with a mild astringency."|
Pure Matcha does exactly that but puts a different twist on it - by presenting it in powdered form. The result is something akin to regular matcha in texture but with the aroma and color of hot cocoa mix. One wouldn't think the light-brown granules could produce anything remotely like green matcha. I decided to give it a go anyway, in a typical chasen-whisked fashion.
I brought out my trusty miso soup bowl, my oft-suffering chasen (bamboo whisk), brought water to a boil, and used a little less than a teaspoon of the black powder. Whisked for forty-five seconds, the powder and water meshed then frothed up rather quickly. Bubbles appeared as early as twenty seconds in. The steam aroma from the cup was decidedly black tea-ish, almost like a Nilgiri CTC-cut black. I was a little underwhelmed by the scent but not detracted.
The finished result was something that resembled a black tea latte but without the milk. The scent settled into a chestnutty/malty lean, which I appreciated. The real joy was in the taste. The Assam contribution took point with its chew delivery, announcing in bold letters; "This ain't your old school matcha!" That initial, blunt foretaste transitioned to a smoother, cocoa-like middle with a mild astringency. The aftertaste was all granule and glory; it lingered a bit with a savory exit.
If there was any flaw to this, it was that great care needs to be taken in making sure the powder doesn't clump. I ran into larger ones in my final sip. A pre-sift would do the drinker well in helping this mix. Other than that, this is a wonderful new lean on an ancient, ceremonial tea. Once you go black...oh, you know the rest.
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