We’re back here to rave about one of my newest flavorful obsessions, Green Tea Matcha.
Matcha is a certain way tea is served in Japan. Whereas usual green tea is just plain “hot leaf juice” (Prince Zuko, from Avatar the Legend of Aang), green tea matcha is a preparation method where finely milled or traditionally stone ground green tea leaves are in the drink as well. Thereby, the drinker consumes the leaves completely, maximizing the anti-oxidants and flavors of the tea.
And this is exactly what I love about Matcha. It’s richer in flavor and deeper in texture. Taking it hot is a truly relaxing experience, putting more focus on the texture. Taking it cold focuses more on the flavor. It still is green tea though, so nothing new or scary there. But it’s also a somewhat different experience, elevated in many ways, than drinking any regular green tea.
Though I won’t be able to tell you how to prepare Matcha on your own, I will give you a current list of the top five best Green Tea Matcha drinks I’ve had around.
5. Green and White Matcha Mousse — Moonleaf Tea Shop
I know I said drinks but let’s start of with food. I know there are a number of good cakes that incorporate Matcha, but this is something different. Mousse.
Moon Leaf Tea Shop’s Green and White Matcha Mousse has two layers, one consisting of the usual ivory-white creamy traditional mousse. The second layer topping the first is that of a pastel green mousse, lightly flavored with Matcha, making sure it doesn’t disappear, but doesn’t overwhelm the entire dessert with its distinct flavor.The mousse is of slightly firm pudding consistency, but still has that melt-in-your-mouth feel. Sweetness? Moderate.
Not exactly the best in the world, but it’s one of the most enjoyable treats I’ve had in the past few months!
4. Green Tea Latte / Cremé Frappuccino — Starbucks’ Coffee
A perfect start for Matcha first-tasters, the Green Tea Cremé Frappuccino. For one, it’s a frappuccino–generally a crowd favorite. It’s light, sweet and fun. For those who take their drinks a tad more seriously, the Green Tea Latte is just as good (and in my preference, better) and having it iced but not blended is possible.The consistency of the Matcha is thick, mostly with cream, but the taste isn’t overwhelming. You can still taste it, but it doesn’t grow bitter to the tongue.
3. Crunchy Cocoa Matcha with Brown Sugar Jelly — Happy Lemon
If I had to award ‘most interesting way of serving matcha’ to any of these, number three would absolutely win it.
Who would’ve thought of a creamy Matcha-based Milk Tea mixed with crunchy bits of chocolate with brown sugar jelly resting at the bottom of every cup? It’s absolutely genius, and goes at the top of my list of faves when it comes to Happy Lemon drinks. This drink is not as thick and creamy as your Starbucks frappé, but holds the consistency of the regular milk tea. Despite the cocoa and brown sugar, instead of over-powering the drink, they compliment the taste of the Matcha and make it even more rich and flavorful without making it bitter.
If only there wasn’t a Metro-wide black out when I went to Happy Lemon, I’d have a fully charged camera to snap a shot for you guys.
2. Matcha Mousse ( with Adzuki Red Bean ) — ChaTime
The first time I tried out ChaTime, I couldn’t decide on what to get myself. As a personal rule, when sampling something new, buy what seems familiar, and compare to your usual favorite from a different brand. So I did.
ChaTime’s Matcha Mousse had a distinct layer of mousse on top, sprinkled with a bit of what seems like Matcha powder, and beneath it is a dark green sea of lovely water-based Matcha tea. Iced of course. But unlike the previous few items, it wasn’t blended in with the milk or the cream or the mousse. Your first sip will be of pure Matcha goodness. Strong with a hint of sweetness.
If you try to taste the mousse before mixing it in, it is thick. It is only lightly sweetened, and there seems to be a pinch of salt (which I had first suspected to be . . . cheese? Hmm . . . ) which, like most good dessert chefs now, helps to bring out the taste of things.
Knowing Matcha Tea, I paired it with an additional topping, Adzuki Red Bean. It’s saccharine, but with a deep, earthy taste to it. Also, the beans give a little thicker texture to the drink. It’s a perfect combination that deserves a try.
1. Green Tea Matcha Latte — Blenz Coffee
And to cap of my list, we go back to the basics: a Green Tea Matcha Latte blended by Blenz Coffee. This is actually where I started my mini-obsession with Matcha. The right kind of creaminess of the latte perfectly highlights the rich and intense Matcha flavor. But not to shock the drinker, there’s a calming kind of moderate sweetness that envelopes every sip. It is truly relaxing, and nothing short of a wonderfully uplifting tea experience.