Review: Red Leaf Tea Emperor’s Matcha Tea – Organic

Green Tea, Matcha Tea, Organic Tea, Red Leaf Tea Add comments
Geoff’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"My nostrils whiffed harmony."
Geoff’s Teaview: 10/10
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This was the last of my Red Leaf Tea matcha samples and – according to its title and price tag – it was supposed to be the best. Clocking in at almost $80 a 30-gram tin, it was supposed to be the finest of the fine. I was elated to see that - unlike some of the other matcha profiles on the Red Leaf page – this one gave information on the growing region. Their Emperor’s Matcha hailed from the Nishio region of Aichi prefecture, Japan - purported to be the territory for premium, ceremonial grade matcha. (I’m sure there are some Uji growers that’d dispute that claim, but no matter.) I’ve had Nishio-produced matcha before, and it was a perfect sipping experience.

The powder didn’t seem as dark green as Red Leaf’s other lovely contenders – their Imperial and Connoisseurs Matchas, respectively – but it wasn’t subdued either. It was a wonderful shade of spring forest green with an aroma that was well-balanced between grassy and sweet. My nostrils whiffed harmony, in other words.

Preparation was easy enough. I went with my usual koicha (“thick tea") approach – 4 bamboo spoonfuls in a miso soup bowl. Before adding hot water, I did a pre-sift with a chasen (bamboo whisk) in cold water to remove any unnecessary clumps (and there were quite a few). Once ground to a fine paste, I added roughly 3-4oz. of 165F water and whisked vigorously for forty-five seconds.

The green tea soup frothed up thickly and beautifully after whisking. The foamy head covered everything and didn’t dissipate. I love that effect, always have. As to taste, well, that’s difficult to describe. It was sweet, but not too sweet; it was grassy, but not too grassy. There was somewhat of a vegetal front, but not alarmingly so. A kelpy lean was present in the finish, but it complimented the sip. In short, this was pure Zen. I have never partaken of the Japanese tea ceremony, nor can I make a claim to its spiritually restorative importance. What I do know is that I would want this served at said ritual. It is balance personified in liquid form.

— To purchase Red Leaf Tea Emperor’s Matcha Tea – 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.

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