Thinktea’s Matcha Set

Matcha Set by Thinktea
Ceramic, Bamboo, and Oak
$29.99

First Impressions

Last year, I was wanting to branch out and start preparing and reviewing matcha at home, which is the primary reason why I purchased this set from Thinktea (a brand available via Stokes Stores). This four piece matcha set consists of a matcha bowl (ceramic), whisk (100 bamboo prongs), a long handled bamboo scoop, and a Japanese oak spoon (where 1 spoon = ½ teaspoon). The one piece that I would say it probably missing is something to sift the powder to break up any clumps prior to whisking.

All the pieces seem pretty solid, the bowl has a lovely floral design on the inside and outside of the bowl. I’m not that familiar with what the difference is between the scoop and the spoon, so I’m not sure why both would needed.

Preparation

I gave everything a quick rinse under hot tap water prior to usage, you just never know how long everything’s been sitting in storage for or how many people handled it.

First Use

I am not a matcha expert, nor do I play one on television. The first time I used this matcha set, I used the scoop to transfer the matcha to the bowl and I wound up spilling some on my counter. I found the oak spoon a lot easier to use (and less spillage!), so my novice self thinks that the reason why both are included is that one is for novice matcha makers and one is for more experienced tea ceremony masters.

I whisked the matcha in an M (or W) motion until it seems well mixed and has some bubbles on top. You do have to whisk quite vigorously to get some foam action happening, so it’s both an exercise in making matcha and a small arm workout. I learned about preparing matcha from Kimmy of Whisk Matcha (when I met her at the 2017 Vancouver Tea Festival) so I’m somewhat confident that I’m doing it somewhat properly.

Overall Impression

I loved Thinktea’s Matcha Set. I kind of wish it came with some instructions for the very novice beginner, but I think for $29.99, it makes for a great beginner set. If you’re new to matcha, you don’t necessarily want to be spending a lot of money in your teaware right away because what if you decide that you don’t like matcha or you decide that your preferred way to prepare matcha is in smoothie.

For $29.99, you get a bowl, spoon, and scoop that’ll last you for quite a while (possibly forever if you don’t drop or break anything), and a whisk that’ll be decent for whisking up some ceremonial matcha. You could easily spend that much on a fancy matcha bowl alone (or a lot more). Of the four piece set, the only item that I can see having to be repeatedly replace would be the whisk, since it’s not meant to last forever, which makes this Matcha Set a modest investment in my matcha journey.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.

DavidsTea’s Matcha Miso

Matcha Miso by DavidsTea
Green Tea (Matcha) / Flavoured
$12.00 for 100g

First Impressions

A tea is a tea is a tea is a soup? DavidsTea recently released Matcha Miso, which is their latest tea soup mix offering. Described as being an “umami bomb”, I was curious enough to try it out even though you have to buy it in prepacked 100g pouches. The pouch itself has a kraft paper outside with a silver foil lining, with a see-through bottom so you can see the green powder of the soup mix. The aroma of this tea soup mix reminds me a lot of miso soup, which I love having when I’m out for sushi so I do have high hopes for this.

Matcha Miso consists of: matcha green tea, white miso powder, seaweed extract. For those with allergens, it does contain soy (in the miso powder). The aroma of the powder is mostly that of the miso with a hint of vegetal goodness from the matcha itself.

Preparation

DavidsTea recommends using 1-2 spoonfuls of Matcha Miso and mixing it with hot water, which is described as “near boiling” on their product page, which is 90-95°C (194-203°F). 1 cup is said to have 390mg of salt, which is 16% of your daily recommended intake. I opted to use a small spoonful of the Matcha Miso powder.

First Taste

Matcha Miso stirs up to be a very greeny-yellow looking colour, it’s not as bright as you would expect a matcha to be which is fair considering that’s not the only ingredient. If you’re familiar to miso soup, you know if you let it sit it starts to separate, which is the same thing that happens here so you do have to stir it to keep the powder suspended throughout. The aroma reminds me a lot of miso soup, and has a nice vegetal fragrance to it.

The taste of Matcha Miso is very much a flavour bomb. I would say the miso is on the forefront, while the matcha plays understudy very well in terms of the balance of flavours. It’s tasty, and I really enjoyed it. I did use less powder and more water to dilute it a fair bit though, and still found it to be quite flavourful. I think using two spoonfuls of the powder would be incredibly salty – but to each their own!

A Second Cup?

Because Matcha Miso is a powder that gets mixed up and then drunk, there are no second steepings!

My Overall Impression

I loved DavidsTea’s Matcha Miso. I was pleasantly surprised by this tea soup mix, I think it’s incredibly flavourful. I think it would be a great soup base for ramen (think noodles, cubed up tofu, bean sprouts, maybe an egg on top) or for some miso soup at home (adding some cubed tofu, seaweed on top) to go on the side of your rolled-at-home sushi. I could see this tea soup mix being versatile in how you could change it up every time to get a different type of soup. The matcha adds such a nice vegetal flavour that it sort of adds an extra level of flavour experience.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.

DavidsTea’s Ceremonial Matcha

Ceremonial Matcha by DavidsTea
Green Tea (Matcha) / Straight
$34.00 for 50g

20180207-davidsteaceremonialmatcha

First Impressions

Ceremonial Matcha from DavidsTea came to me in one of their standard resealable silver foil bags. The matcha itself is a bright green, and I can see some clumps of powder in the bag and after I scooped it out – who knows how long it’s been in there for?

20180207-davidsteaceremonialmatcha1

Ceremonial Matcha is made up of matcha green tea from Nishio, Japan. The aroma from this matcha powder is primarily that of grassy notes to me. The description suggests that this matcha is creamy, sweet, and delicate.

20180207-davidsteaceremonialmatcha2

Preparation

The packaging for Ceremonial Matcha is of their older label style – this one includes an actual temperature guide (74°C/165°F). On the product page online, the temperatures suggested are 167-176°F (75-80°C). Both packaging and online page suggests preparing Ceremonial Matcha with a whisk (their online page also suggests their travel-friendly matcha maker if that is more your style).

When preparing Ceremonial Matcha, I sifted the powder into my bowl and then whisked it with a small amount of water that had been heated to 165°F until the powder was mixed in, then added more water until it was thin enough.

First Taste

Ceremonial Matcha whisks to a beautiful bright green that’s on the darker side – it reminds me of emerald green. There’s a slight layer of foam on top from the whisking action. At first sniff, I can smell grassy notes, and a very familiar seaweed smell. On first taste, the first thing that hits my tastebuds in the umami notes from this matcha. It has a very strong grassy flavour, mixed with the seaweed flavours. I don’t get any sweetness from this matcha, nor do I found it creamy.

20180207-davidsteaceremonialmatcha3

I wound up adding a bit of agave syrup to it, to help tone down the umami notes, which helped to make to more palatable. Also, turning it into a matcha latte helped a lot as well.

My Overall Impression

1cup-2

I didn’t like DavidsTea’s Ceremonial Matcha. I really wanted to like this one, but found it was just too strong of the grass and seaweed flavours for me to be enjoyable. In order to finish the cup that I had made, I needed to add a sweetener to it to make it more palatable to my taste buds. I’ve had better matchas before, and since this one is so expensive per gram, I can’t see myself wanting to buy more of it.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.