Happy matcha Monday from me and The Zen Tea Co.! This week, I’ve got my hands on their emerald ceremonial grade matcha to review, and I’m very excited about it. I’ve heard really wonderful things about this matcha on Instagram and couldn’t wait to test it out.
In this review, I’ll be preparing usucha with their matcha (thin matcha, the kind most people start with) but make sure you’re following me on Instagram @izzysden because I certainly plan to share some of the recipes I create with this matcha as well.
I was gifted this matcha, but the following review is not sponsored or endorsed by the company. All opinions are my own.
The Zen Tea Co. Ceremonial Matcha at a Glance
- Origins: Uji, in the Kyoto Prefecture of Japan
- Flavour: Mellow, umami, grassy, and notes of peas
This is a really pleasant and vibrant matcha, with mellow umami notes. I found it to be smooth and grassy, with notes of garden peas throughout. It whisks up a great froth very quickly!
Full Review – Zen Tea Company Emerald Matcha
- Type: Ceremonial grade powder
- Tea: Matcha
- Origin: Uji, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
- Flavour Notes: Mellow, umami, grassy, peas
- Aroma: Grass, bright, fresh, sweet, mange tout
- Milk or Lemon: Neither
- Where to Buy: The Zen Tea Co.
What a wonderful aroma! From the moment you pop open the tin and cut open the inner bag, this matcha has a very fresh and vibrant aroma. It’s sweet in a grassy way, but there’s also some depth to the smell which hints at more complex flavours at play.
This matcha is also vibrant in colour, which I’m told is very important for judging the freshness and quality of matcha. It’s hard to capture colours accurately with my camera set up, so make sure you take a look at the photos on The Zen Tea Co.’s official site for a better idea.
I whisked this matcha up in my favourite matcha bowl and used a bamboo chasen (whisk), the traditional way. You can create a long-lasting and thick froth on your matcha very quickly, which is another sign of quality. Sometimes I like to use an electric frother for matcha, if I’m in a rush, but you wouldn’t even need it with this emerald matcha. You can get a great froth in seconds by hand-whisking it.
The flavour of this matcha is best described as intensely mellow which doesn’t sound possible, yet somehow it is. The grassiness and umami flavour is not quite bitter, but it’s heading that way, with only subtle relief from smooth sweeter notes. There’s complexity here too, with little hints of steamed vegetables – peas and maybe even asparagus.
Of all the matcha teas I’ve tried, this is one of the best even though it doesn’t quite satiate my sweet tooth – Naoki’s Fragrant Yame blend is still best for that.
How to Make Zen Tea Matcha
You can use either a bamboo whisk or an electric whisk to make this tea, and The Zen Tea Co. state that it’s great for drinking traditionally or as a latte. Personally, I like to hand-whisk matcha if I want to sip it “plain” as it’s more like a tea ceremony. When I’m planning to add milk and create a latte, I don’t feel so bad about using an electric whisk!
The Zen Tea Co. recommend sifting 2g of matcha powder into your matcha bowl and whisking with 80ml of 80°C water in the iconic W motion. This is good, but I’d recommend taking the time to soak your whisk and bowl in warm water for a few minutes at the start. You’d be surprised at how much this helps the whisking process and keeps your matcha warm for longer.
If you are new to matcha, I also recommend eating a few biscuits or small snack alongside it. The intense umami flavour and high caffeine content of matcha can unsettle an empty stomach.
Why The Zen Tea Co?
The Zen Tea Co. reached out to me via Instagram, and I eagerly agreed to try out whatever they would send me! I’d seen several reviews from other tea influencers praising this matcha and I have to concur with their thoughts.
The quality is exceptional – it’s ceremonial grade, very fresh-flavoured, brightly coloured, and has an intense aroma. These are all the signs of a top-notch matcha.
Sourced from Uji, south of the Kyoto city in Japan, this matcha is made from tea plants cultivated on family-owned organic tea land. I really love when tea comes with an organic certification, and I’m impressed with the storage of it too. The tea tin has an inner bag to keep the matcha sealed airtight, locking in the antioxidants and nutrients as well as the flavour.
All in all, this is a fabulous matcha that’s easy to whisk because it’s such a great quality! The flavours are smooth yet intense, and not too sweet. I can see both matcha beginners and aficionados loving this tea in equal measures.
You can buy this tea directly from The Zen Tea Co. in the UK.
Teas that are from a specific region (or are simply inspired by one) are usually pretty great. They are a sensual glimpse into nature, in a way. This reminds me of the time I reviewed Janat Muscat Tea – check that out next!