The thought of making a matcha tea from a tea bag is an odd one. In case you weren’t already aware, matcha green tea is made by whisking powdered green tea into hot water. You literally drink the tea leaves instead of infusing it to create a creamier, thicker, fuller and sweeter flavour. The process for growing tea leaves to be made into matcha is different too, although I won’t go into that now.
Could Pukka, a humble tea bag and herbal tea brand, recreate the flavour of delicious matcha in a tea bag?
I reviewed it with an open mind to find out, researching the health benefits of Pukka Supreme Matcha green tea along the way.
Supreme Matcha Green Tea at a Glance
- Blend: Multiple green teas and a minuscule dusting of matcha
- Flavour: Rather plain! A nice, simple green tea that’s nowhere close to matcha
This tea wasn’t bad, it’s comparable to other simple green teas you can find a few shelves away in the supermarket. Naming this tea after matcha is very misleading so don’t go in expecting matcha flavours!
Full Review - Pukka Matcha Green Tea
- Type: Tagged paper filter tea bag
- Teas: Sencha from China’s Dazhang Mountain (34%), Oothu from India’s Western Ghats (32%), Suoi Gang from Vietnam’s Yen Bai (32%), matcha powder from South Korea’s Jeju Island (2%)
- Health Benefits: Potential to burn fat, prevent cancer, and improve brain function
- Flavour Notes: Smooth, lifeless, dull and simple green tea
- Aroma: Subtle musty green tea with an herbal edge
- Milk or Lemon: Lemon would be nice
- Where to Buy: Amazon
I had one packet of this so I made it count!
The initial aroma after ripping it open was a tad herby – this could be from the weeks spent crammed next to herbal blends in the Pukka collection box, or it could be the tea.
One thing I noted was how musty and dull it was. I purchased it recently and the use-by date is still far away, yet the tea smelt dull and lifeless. The opposite of the verdant bright and green notes that are the sign of a fresh green tea.
The flavour was much better in comparison. A basic green tea, very smooth and easy to drink. Having tried some higher quality whole loose leaf green teas, I can tell that it lacks a certain complexity and brightness that would make it great.
Nonetheless, it wasn’t a disaster and I happily sipped down the cup while contemplating how to describe it with more than just “it tastes like green tea”.
How to Brew Pukka Supreme Matcha Green Tea
Brewing recommendations on the sachet indicated using boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes. Crazy! The trick to brewing green tea is water at 80°C as super-hot temperatures turn it bitter.
I weighed this up with the stale aroma, then settled on 85°C for 3 minutes.
If I had more of this tea I’d stick with this method as the result was smooth and gentle.
I reviewed this on an empty stomach and didn’t experience any of the stomach grumbles you can get when drinking an astringent green tea without food.
A squeeze of lemon would be pleasant in this. The nice thing about simple teas like this is that they make great bases to create your own blends. Add some dried rose petals or fruit pieces to create new flavours. Peaches would go well – I’m addicted to peaches.
Pukka Supreme Matcha Green Tea Nutrition
I quite like Pukka. Sometimes.
You must admit, their tea-naming team are a sly bunch. Pukka Supreme Matcha green tea contains 2% matcha powder because apparently “Matcha is naturally bitter in flavour and 2% matcha provides just the right balance of taste.”
I’m calling them out on this.
If the perfect matcha flavour could be achieved with 2% matcha and 98% other green teas, no one would be drinking pure matcha teas.
Furthermore, a lot of green teas are at least slightly bitter even when brewed at low temperatures.
Ceremonial matcha, the highest grade and the only one you should drink (in theory), is naturally bitter-free, sweet, smooth and earthy.
Putting all this matcha business aside, the tea quality was ok but again a bit misleading. Pukka state that it’s made with whole leaf green tea. Which, technically, it is. Except those whole leaves have been chopped and crushed until they’re not whole. It’s like labelling sliced ham as roasted pork leg because technically, it is. Pukka isn’t incorrect in saying that the tea is made from whole green tea leaves… but it’s not entirely correct either and it leads you to believe this tea is something it’s not.
In the tea industry, the wholeness of tea leaves and how finely they’re chopped isn’t a superficial thing. It’s a good indicator of quality. That’s why this misleading description really bugs me.
One thing that I did really admire was the Soil Association Organic certification. This tea is made with 100% organically grown and ethically sourced ingredients.
Pukka Supreme Matcha Green Tea Benefits
There are plenty of green tea health benefits that you can read about in thousands of articles online. As someone who works in the online content production business, I can tell you for nothing that most of them repeat the same thing just using different words. To save you some time, here’s a quick summary:
- Caffeine increases physical performance and green tea might boost your metabolism.
- Reduce the risks of developing certain types of cancer.
- Reduce the risks of developing cardiovascular disease (it keeps your heart healthy).
All these benefits are backed up with studies. Read more about all that in this Healthline article.
Summary - It's Not Matcha!
It’s a nice, plain green tea that I’d recommend for beginners. Feel free to completely ignore the matcha part of this tea, it’s utter nonsense. Check it out on Amazon to see for yourself. The price is usually deliciously low, unlike true matcha.
I don’t rip into every tea I try, honestly! For some teas that you’ll absolutely adore for both the flavour and price tag, start browsing through my tea blog. Use the tags below to navigate or head to the Tea Review Index.
Personally, I’d recommend checking out Basilur Love Story Volume II which is a smooth blend of green tea, roses and almonds.