I am new to matcha tea (this was my first) but I am very happy with Malden's powdered green tea. I bought it based on the other positive reviews and a little research, and was very pleased. Sixteen bucks for 1/2 a pound puts it in a league of its own. Most of the other matcha powders are much more expensive. I've been drinking it daily for over two weeks (even sharing it with others) and still have well over half of it left.
Now if the matcha quality wasn't good then it wouldn't be worth it. After the sensory overload of my very first cup, I learned to prepare it properly and have grown to really enjoy the taste and extended "lift" it provides. It might not be "ceremonial" grade, but it blends well, has a lovely green color and has a bright, fresh flavor. Some people have said it has a fishy smell but I don't detect that. It is really more akin to freshly mowed grass. The added bonus is the health benefits associated with consuming the whole tea leaf -- win win!
I highly recommend getting a bamboo whisk and proper matcha bowl, but for quick office preparation, some hot water in a mug and a small spoonful works fine. Just be sure to stir it up a lot, and re-stir if you let it sit for a minute or two. It isn't bad with a little vanilla creamer and honey/sugar in the raw either. Matcha may not be to everyone's taste, but for those that enjoy it, Malden's bulk Matcha Powder is hard to beat.
Matcha, or maccha, is powdered green tea, principally grown and manufactured in Japan. It can be part of the Japanese tea ceremony, or it may be added to certain foods to provide color and/or flavor. Soba noodles may get their green coloring from matcha, and most Americans familiar with Japanese dining have tasted matcha in the form of green tea ice cream.
Matcha is made with very specific tea leaves that have been covered a few weeks prior to harvesting, to slow growth and thus produce a greater share of amino acids. The leaves are then laid out flat on the ground to dry. Once dried, they are called tencha.
Tencha can then be made into the stone-ground matcha. Only tea that is first tencha can become matcha. Konacha is the name for other powdered teas that are not made from tencha.
Matcha varies in grades. The highest grades are very sweet and intensely flavored. This is due to the significant amounts of amino acids in the matcha. Less expensive versions may have a somewhat less intense flavor, and some have even called cheap matcha bitter.
Matcha used in a tea ceremony produces a thick drink called koicha. This is an expensive and highly prized portion of the tea ceremony. Generally matcha is mixed at a ratio of six teaspoons (about 30 cubic mm) to six ounces (.17L) of water. A thinner tea called usucha is made with a much lower matcha to water ratio. Even though matcha is considered sweet, koicha still has bitterness and may be served with a small candy to cut the ...