Matcha Match 1’s sweet was a raspberry muffin from Muffin Break.
Brand: ITO EN
Product: Matcha Gold
Region: Shizuoka, Japan
Price: $50/500g (wholesale)
Brand: MEIYO CO
Product: Asahina Maccha Grade 4
Region: Shizuoka, Japan
Price: $5.50/20g (Unyso)
Matcha 1: ITO EN Matcha Gold
This is ITO EN’s basic matcha, which it sells to cafes etc to make lattes and include in other dishes. It’s a step above other ‘cooking grade’ matchas and makes an affordable everyday matcha fix.
Matcha Gold frothed well early in the whisking process and the bubbles lasted until the last sip. After an initial touch of green tea astringency the umami flavour slipped into the middle note, rounding out the mouth with a full and creamy texture.
Matcha 2: MEIYO Asahina Maccha
File this matcha purchase as a curious impulse buy at a Unyso store. Grade 4 is the lowest of the Asahina drinking range and the price reflects that.
Asahina Maccha 4 stubbornly refused to froth and I held very low expectations of the drinking experience. However, the flavour was earthy and green, surprisingly not too far off Matcha Gold. Although it had a bite of bitterness at the finish it was much less painful than I anticipated. The liquor was quite thin, though, on account of its lack of frothability.
ITO EN’s Matcha Gold wins this match for its all-round superiority in froth, taste and texture. Although Asahina Maccha didn’t froth as well, its flavour was almost equivalent to Matcha Gold, so don’t let frothability deceive you on taste.
What’s Matcha Match?
I make two bowls of matcha from different brands and see which one is the best. ‘Best’ is defined by frothability, taste and texture. However it is, of course, ultimately subjective.
- 2g of each matcha powder
- 2 x 1/3 cup of filtered 70°C water
- 1 sweet of at least two bites eg mochi
- 2 identical bowls (A and B)
- 1 matcha whisk
- Place Matcha 1 into Bowl A and Matcha 2 into Bowl B.
- Pour hot water into Bowl A. Using ‘keep warm’ function, ensure kettle keeps the water at the same temperature. Whisk matcha in 30 strokes. Clean whisk of residue.
- Pour hot water into Bowl B. Whisk matcha in 30 strokes.
- Nibble sweet and take two sips of Matcha 1.
- Nibble sweet and take two sips of Matcha 2.
- Drink remainder of Matcha 1.
- Drink remainder of Matcha 2.
- Declare winner.
I’m not a matcha expert and as such all opinions expressed herein are that of a regular consumer. I have no affinity or stake in any of the brands mentioned in these Matcha Matches. All products have been purchased.