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.

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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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