As the founder of T Ching, I am in the delightful position of being solicited to review countless tea products. When it’s tea, however, I have one critical question that must be answered in the affirmative; is your tea organic? Some might find my insistence questionable; I consider it a health necessity. Although I believe tea is the healthiest beverage on the planet – if I consumed conventionally grown tea at the rate of 6-8 cups a day, my pesticide load would eventually negate all of the healthful polyphenols and catechins tea has to offer. When I was approached by Imogti’s owner, Dr. David Helmick, to review their organic matcha, I jumped at the chance.
Remember that when you drink matcha, unlike other types of green tea, you are consuming the entire leaf. A painfully slow grinding process pulverizes the tea leaf and produces a fine, neon green powder. It looks almost artificial if you didn’t know better. You can read more about matcha on the excellent web site that Imogti has developed.
My first impression of any product always begins with the packaging. I found the pink packaging to be attractive, even whimsical, and the tin is just perfect. Although I traditionally think of matcha as being a Japanese product, this matcha is from China. Recently I discovered that many matcha companies encourage the use of an aerolatte battery powered whisk. For the busy consumer, this is an easy consideration. There’s no learning curve and you get great foam.
Being a traditional girl at heart, I thought it might be interesting to try both methods of whisking; the bamboo whisk, or chasen, and the areolatte. I was curious to see if the old-fashioned method was superior to the electric. I must confess to being out of practice with my bamboo whisk since my matcha supply dried up a few months ago.
I started with the aerolatte and, true to form, the foam was excellent. My first sip brought back the enjoyment of this delicious brew. Why didn’t I take the time to order more matcha when I ran out? What a great way to start the day! The taste was sweet and vegetal, which I’ve grown to thoroughly enjoy. I can honestly say that the Japanese have nothing over this Chinese matcha.
Now it’s my turn to whisk the matcha and I must admit, I so love the ritual of using the ancient tools. The bamboo spoon, as well as a hand crafted chasen, makes it very special to create a delicious bowl of matcha tea in my hand thrown matcha bowl. As I bring the matcha bowl up to my lips, I savor the aroma of this ancient brew and feel a connection to others from hundreds of years before me, doing the very same thing. Ultimately, I think I achieved about the same quality of foam. But on the other hand, using the traditional tools brought a richer connection to the experience.
I encourage everyone to experiment with matcha. It can be an acquired taste but once you get it, you really get it. So treat yourself to some matcha. Start a daily ritual with this amazing tea. Imogti happens to being having a sale of their bamboo spoon and chasen set. Think of it as a health expense. You won’t regret it.
Images courtesy of the contributor.