Monday, September 28, 2015

Encha: A Trilogy of Matcha, a Matcha Monday Tea Review

Last night was amazing! Not only did I get to photograph the eclipse, I got to share tea and not very tasty (what I get for getting the cheap ones) Mooncakes with Ben (yay for him getting off work at a decent hour) and I got to share this experience with many friends via the internet and phone apps. It was great, lots of moon photos with 'I am drinking this tea' posts, and it gave this wonderful feeling of togetherness, and for the people who were unable to see it, they got to live vicariously through all the photos. Usually I tend not to get all squishy about the epic tea family I am part of, but after the epicness of last night, and the way everyone has been so wonderful to me with my recent bout of health woes, how can I not get the warm fuzzies?

So, it is Monday, meaning time for a Matcha Monday! We are looking at three different Matcha from Encha, specifically their three different grades of Matcha. Before I get into the Matcha, I want to point out the excellent amount of information present on the website, not only do they say where it is from, they also say when it was harvested and ground, how to make it, the mg of caffeine, theanine, and catechins, and while there are some listed health benefits, this is not one of those companies that shoves Matcha being a panacea down my throat. Encha, for that pile of information and transparency, you have my gratitude!

Ok, time to delve into the green! Starting with the Ceremonial Grade Matcha, first thing I notice is the beautiful color and fluffy texture, I barely had to sift it! The aroma is nutty and sweet, with notes of honey and chestnut, this moves to freshly cut bell peppers, and a finish of slightly sweet hay and yeast. Once whisked into a very lovely foam, the aroma is much more green, strong notes of bell pepper and a hint of kelp with an undertone of sweet nuttiness.

Underneath the foam, the color is a rich algae green, like my beloved Marimo (moss balls) that I used to have in my planted aquarium. The mouth is thick and creamy, no graininess (I really hate grainy Matcha) and it starts with a strong umami note, like a mouth full of steamed spinach and kelp, it is not at all bitter, just robustly green. This moves to gentle notes of grass and a touch of lettuce, and the finish is a subtle sweetness that lingers. I find there are two types of Matcha that knock my socks off, ones that are naturally very sweet and ones that are like drinking pure, undiluted chlorophyll, like I am becoming one with the green growing things of the world.

The next Matcha to try is the Vegan Latte-Grade Pure Organic Matcha I was told by the creator of Encha, to give this one a try as a regular Matcha rather than a latte, it is a first harvest and high quality, but much more robust than the Ceremonial Grade. The aroma if the very fluffy Matcha is sweet with a strong brisk green note, a blend of fresh grass and bell peppers, it has a sharpness that reminds me of a summer day where everything is lush and green. 


The whisked up Matcha is still very green with its aroma, mostly green with just a hint of sweetness like honey. The taste is robust indeed! Strong notes of kelp and spinach with a strong umami middle that borders on bitterness but is quickly brought back with a finish of sweetness. I could see this being a fantastic latte, even as a traditional Matcha it is a robust wake up call to the senses.
Lastly is the Culinary-Grade Pure Organic Matcha and this one is destined to be a latte. I decided to make it in my chawan because I did not feel like messing around with my blender, there is a trick, if you want a latte but don't want to blend, make a very thick paste with a bit of hot water and the Matcha, it will remove lumps and make it mixable. Anyway, the aroma of the Matcha is super strong and green, like fresh grass and vegetation, a slight vegetal note as well. 


Once I have mixed it with some milk for a nice creamy latte, the aroma is unexpectedly milky while still retaining its green notes, but with an added bonus of nuttiness. See, this is what I like to see in a latte, a strong, robust Matcha taste, because if I am drinking a latte I want to taste the Matcha, not just the milk. I added a touch of sugar because I like mine sweet, but even without the taste is great. Strong notes of green, mixing bell pepper and grass with a nutty finish, adding a touch of sugar brings out the nuttiness even more. I really enjoyed being able to compare all three grades, I thought the Ceremonial grade was fantastic, but the other two were also very enjoyable, but oh man, that Ceremonial grade, so good!

3 comments:

  1. Love your descriptions, I was describing to my mom that Matcha is like drinking a clorophylle shot. I just got from Samovar a Matcha but to my surprise it already has sugar on it which I'm not happy about. I would love to try the ones you got, happy sipping!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! Happy Sipping to you as well! I certainly think this is a great Matcha if you are wanting a really green one, especially one that is just Matcha. No added sugar, just pure ground up leaves :D

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  2. First of all let me tell you, you have got a great blog .I am interested in looking for more of such topics and would like to have further information. Hope to see the next blog soon.matcha ceremonial tea

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