Review: Pure Matcha Black Matcha

Assam Tea, Black Tea, Darjeeling Tea, Matcha Tea Add comments
Geoff’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"That initial, blunt foretaste transitioned to a smoother, cocoa-like middle with a mild astringency."
Geoff’s Teaview: 9.5/10
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Black tea and India are almost synonymous, mainly for two of its major growing regions - Darjeeling and Assam. Darjeeling teas are known for a light, muscatel and spicy characteristics differing only by growing season. The leaves they utilize were imported from China 150 years ago. The Assam region is a different beast, being a land where tea plants grew naturally. While cultivation didn't begin until around the mid-1800s, the "assamica" varietal of tea plant had been used in Ayurvedic practices. Teas made from this cultivar have a burly, robust and malty profile. Combining them seems like some stoned Buddhist's zany idea of creating liquid yin and yang.

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.

— To purchase Pure Matcha Black Matcha, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Geoff Geoff
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2 Responses to “Review: Pure Matcha Black Matcha”

  1. Lynn Says:

    Wow! Great review of what sounds like a must-have tea. Re: lumps. If you don’t want to spring for a sifter, place the matcha in the bowl, add a little water and whisk it into a paste. Then add the rest of the water. Problem solved!

  2. Geoff Says:

    Yep, I did do that for future steeps. Just forgot to the first time ’round. Glad ya liked. :-)

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