Review: Red Leaf Tea Royal Matcha – Organic

Green Tea, Matcha Tea, Organic Tea, Red Leaf Tea Add comments
Geoff’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"A nuanced flavor emerged on first sip; it wasn't quite as seaweed-like as some other ceremonial/koicha grade matchas. And that wasn't necessarily a bad thing."
Geoff’s Teaview: 9/10
Other Teaviews: Katie gave it 7.0/10, Jamie gave it 7.5/10
Your Reviews:Add your review »
This is the third matcha I've tried from Red Leaf Tea, and I'm not even close to scratching the surface of what they have to offer. On last count, they were up to twenty-nine different matcha types - mostly blends. The morning I reached for the matcha, however, I was in the mood for something more orthodox. It was as fitting a time as any to dip into their flagship Royal Matcha and to see if it earned so illustrious a title.

The tea profile bore an elaborate explanation of what matcha was. To the powdered tea newbie, this was very beneficial. While not an old hand at matcha, I was anything but a beginner. The information I hoped to find - origin, growing region, etc. - was not present. Not a huge problem since most people don't care, but given the detail provided thus far, I expected a little more.

Rule o' thumb when judging a matcha by sight - the greener/brigher it is, the better it is. The consistency of the powder is also a good indicator. On the "palette" front, Red Leaf's Royal got a pass; not the most vibrant I've seen but still bold and forest green enough to be appetizing. I'd hoped for a sweet, kelpy fragrance, but it didn't possess that. Instead, it provided an aroma of a fresh-cut lawn, green nuts, and a bit of butter. Still welcoming.

I actually brewed this on two different occasions. The first time, I did a pre-sift of 4 chashaku (bamboo) spoonfuls in a miso soup bowl with a splash of cold water. I slowly whisked the powder to a nice, even paste with a chasen then added 4oz of 165F water. A final, vigorous whisk produced some froth but not a lot. A second go-around without the pre-sift turned up more bubbly foam. Not as much as the greener stuff yet still noticeable.

The result produced a bold green liquor both times, ringed with foam. The aroma was grassy, slightly metallic, mildly sweet with a positive earthy note. A nuanced flavor emerged on first sip; it wasn't quite as seaweed-like as some other ceremonial/koicha grade matchas. And that wasn't necessarily a bad thing. A couple of mid-grades from Izu I've tried held a similar, less refined palate. Their more mineral profiles were a welcome change from the sweet/vegetal norm - closer to actual green tea. Red Leaf's Royal Matcha - by some stroke of luck or leisure - found a way to combine the kelpy upper-class with the less-nuanced middle. I rather enjoyed the hybrid experience.

— To purchase Red Leaf Tea Royal Matcha – Organic, 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 Reviewer
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