Unless you’ve been living under a rock you have probably seen or heard of some version of a bright green drink at many café’s around the world. Matcha; it’s everywhere! If you haven’t tried it what are you waiting for?
Matcha is made by a special process right from growing the leaves. Brought to Japan by Buddhists monks in 1191 it soon became “the tea” for a proper Japanese Tea Ceremony. In order to get the perfect ceremonial grade matcha the tree is covered so that the leaves are grown in shade. This longer growing process means the leaves produce higher amounts of amino acids. Mature leaves are plucked from the top of the tree, the leaves are dried flat, deveined and crushed. The finely ground powder is then known as a true Matcha. Leaves can be picked from different regions of the tree but this will change the flavor and colour; producing lower grades. The uppermost leaves are prized for their brightest colour and sweetest flavor. Lower leaves may have a dull colour and will be more on the bitter side than sweet.
This tea, like all teas can be drunk any time of day though it is preferable to consume during the morning hours as it packs a great caffeine punch 🙂
This bright green beauty is grown for much more than ceremony. The length of growing time and ways of preparation mean that this tea has the highest levels of antioxidants. Since the entire leaf is consumed, not thrown away, matcha offers us a wide range of health benefits.
- High levels of antioxidants which have proven to be great fighters in the war against cancer. In particular chlorophyll has shown a correlation with lowered rates of liver cancer.
- Has been shown to boost metabolism and help lower total cholesterol.
- Matcha contains 5 times the amount of L-Theanine as other teas. L-theanine is an amino acid that has been proven to boost mental prowess and aid in concentration while calming the mind.
- High in nutrients vitamin C, chlorophyll and fiber
I learned the hard way…sort of…that preparation is important! If the water comes to a full boil it must sit for several (6-10) minutes before using otherwise the tea will be too bitter. This is true! Poured straight from the kettle produces an undrinkable tea.
For a single serving place 1 teaspoon of matcha powder into a strainer and pour a small amount of water over this; about a ¼ cup. Whisk until frothy then add in the rest of the water. Traditional preparations tell you about ¾ of a cup water to a teaspoon of matcha powder.
After a couple tries I found that 1 cup water to 1 teaspoon powder is a good mix for me 🙂
What I Do/Don’t like
In all honesty I have tried matcha on many occasions, never liking it. I have always found it to be too bitter and when trying concoctions full of sweetener I have found them to be a mess of sweet and bitter that do not blend well. So when presented with this bag of Dream Matcha I was a bit hesitant. In order to give a fair review I also tasted 3 other easily obtainable brands in the same price range. Since this is a product I would not normally buy and do not really like…
Okay number 1: health benefits; I summarized a few above after reading several (about 20) peer reviewed journal articles. Yeah, whether I like it or not I will be adding matcha to my tea repertoire. Too many reasons not to!
Second quality does matter! Wow are there differences. So this is the reason when someone said “Matcha?” my answer would be “NO thanks”.
Third preparation matters! See above 🙂
On to the star of this post Dream Matcha Tea Co. For the money it’s a good quality matcha. Better than the others I bought it has a subtle bitterness with sweet undertones (the amino acids) that indicate a good quality tea. Since receiving this pouch I have sampled (but they were too pricey for my wallet) higher quality teas and can now appreciate the subtle differences.
In general matcha is critiqued based on a few factors:
Aroma: upon opening I noticed a fresh earthy scent; quite pleasant really. This is comparable to the other brands I choose except 1 that a pungent aroma.
Mixing quality: The tea is fine and powdery not lumpy which indicates it was properly ground and packaged. It blended into a smooth paste with little effort indicating freshness.
Dream Matcha Tea Co.
Yumm factor: 2/5 personal preference; nothing to do with company itself
Dollar value: 5/5 based on the above noted factors compared to other brands in the same price range.
Buy Again: Yes
Health Benefits: 5/5
Final Score: 4/5
This product was sent to me for review; I was not paid and all opinions are my own.
I had fun playing with this product. While it makes a nice cup of tea I enjoyed my food creations best 🙂 Check out my Tropical Matcha Parfait recipe.
Want to know about the health benefits of green tea?