Review: Red Leaf Tea Stevia Matcha – Organic

Green Tea, Matcha Tea, Red Leaf Tea, Stevia Leaf Tea Add comments
Jamie’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"The stevia seems to alter the natural bittersweet flavor of the matcha itself and give it a metallic, sharp and overly sweet taste. "
Jamie’s Teaview: 6/10
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Red Leaf teas is offering an interesting new line of matcha teas that have not just matcha but additional ingredients blended (ground) in with the matcha powder itself. It seems there are dozens of offerings in their "matcha plus" lineup that will interest any who are not strictly purists when it comes to matcha and it's well worth taking a gander at the myriad flavor combinations by checking out their site. For today, I'll be reviewing Red Leaf's organic matcha blended with stevia.

I was intrigued to try this offering because I typically do any sweetening of teas using stevia. Matcha is not a drink I typically sweeten when drinking, but I have seen sweetened matchas on the market. For myself, the addition of sugar to a matcha makes it unappealing, so a stevia sweetened matcha sounded like it would be well worth a try. For those unfamiliar with stevia leaf, it is the leaf of a shrubby herb and has an intense sweetness that makes it suitable for diabetics and those looking for a powerful sweetener without actually using sugar. While highly refined, it may appeal to those looking for an alternative to both sugar and artificial sweeteners like splenda or aspartame, etc. In its green powdered form, stevia looks quite a bit like matcha, only duller green. The stevia matcha offered by Red Leaf looks much as you would expect a matcha to, only perhaps a little less brilliant a green.

I used a heaped bamboo scoop of matcha to 4 ounces of 160 degree water and whisked it heartily. The matcha whisked up to a bright green, cheerful froth. In taste, this matcha is definitely sweet, and it is not merely tasting of matcha's natural sweet-bittersweetness. The flavor of the matcha is hard for me to put my finger on. I am used to sweetening with stevia and I find this a little much for my tastes. I made several preparations of this matcha and found that my most favorable cup was using 6 ounces of water. Even then, while my sip started off pleasant and not overpowering, a bitter tang developed to close each sip. I didn't really like that. In higher concentrations, stevia can take on an overly piquant, biting sort of sweetness and for my taste buds this particular offering is too much on that side of the fence. I think I might like this better as a thinner matcha, or as a matcha that I used to make a latte style beverage or even an iced dessert. On its own as a sipping matcha, it's too intense for me. I also find that the stevia seems to alter the natural bittersweet flavor of the matcha itself and give it a metallic, sharp and overly sweet taste.

If you are looking for an alternatively sweetened matcha, this is perhaps worth a try, particularly if you are thinking of adding milk to the matcha to make a more latte style matcha. I found the flavor a little overwhelming and think I prefer my matcha au natural! Still, in terms of innovation, this is very interesting and might well be worth checking out.

— To purchase Red Leaf Tea Stevia 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: Jamie Jamie
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