Review: Aiya Organic Ceremonial Grade Matcha

Aiya America, Green Tea, Matcha Tea, Organic Tea Add comments
Geoff’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"While the texture is wonderful - the bubbles fantastic - I can't say it's the best I've had from the region."
Geoff’s Teaview: 8.9/10
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At first, I was disappointed that the review samples I received were maybe the size of sugar packets, but I got over that bit of gift-horse mouth-gazing when I actually cut it open. This was the last of the three types I received from them - the organic variant of their Ceremonial Grade Matcha. The powder was beautiful to behold. I think this is my favorite part of trying a new matcha - the initial reveal. While not as bright or bold as some others I've encountered, the consistency was what I was hoping for. It didn't look like machine-ground sencha or kitchen grade veggie granules. This was a good-looking matcha, alright.

Since I didn't have very much to experiment with, I decided to opt for an usucha ("thin tea") preparation. That called for two chashaku spoonfuls of powder. The first thing I did was the usual pre-sift to get rid of clumps. My preferred method was to take the amount of powder I was going to use, put it in the bowl, and run a drop or two of cold water over it. Then I thinned it out into a paste with a chasen (bamboo whisk). Afterwards, I added about 4oz. of 165F water to the bowl and whisked thoroughly. This method rarely steered me wrong with good quality matcha.

After a vigorous forty-five-second whisk, the powder-'n-water ballet frothed up splendidly. Velvety thick foam formed with each move of the chasen. By the end, it was enough froth to rival some dark beers - an even layer of dazzling spring green. The smell was all grass and sweetness, pretty much what I was expecting. It didn't deviate from the norm too much, but it held fast to the high-grade trappings. On first slurp, I was introduced to its soft texture - thanks to the froth - which was quickly followed up by a nutty and vegetal prologue. That in turn transitioned to a sweet top note, then tapered off into an oddly earthy loveliness. It was a bizarre roller-coaster compared to most other matchas I've had from Nishio.

While the texture is wonderful - the bubbles fantastic - I can't say it's the best I've had from the region. The nutty effect on intro had a lot in common with some Izu mid-grade matchas I've sampled. That isn't to say it's not splendid; it just came across as a little courser than the norm. However, it is one I will happily return to.

— To purchase Aiya Organic Ceremonial Grade 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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