DavidsTea’s Chai Matcha

Chai Matcha by DavidsTea
Green Tea (Matcha) / Flavoured
$16.00 for 80g

First Impressions

Chai Matcha from DavidsTea comes in a prepackaged format both online and in stores. While some of their blended matcha products are accessible via smaller increments from the wall of tea in their retail stores, they made the decision to release Chai Matcha only in a prepackaged format of 80g bags. It comes sealed and the bag is resealable, which is always a nice touch. The preprinted bags have stickers on the front and the back to showcase which tea it is inside.

The aroma of the dry green powder is mostly that of the spices, and just sweetness. It does smell sweet, which is no wonder considering the first ingredient listed for this matcha blend… Chai Matcha consists of: cane sugar, green tea, and natural chai flavourings. I’m really disappointed that sugar is the first listed ingredient in this product, but there is only 6g of sugar per serving which isn’t nearly as bad as some other products I’ve tried previously. The chai spices that I can smell include cinnamon and cardamom, ad maybe a bit of ginger? Whatever is in the “flavouring”, it does smell like a chai spice mix.

Preparation

DavidsTea recommends whisking 4-5 perfect matcha spoonfuls in 120mL (4oz) of water (85°C/185°F) and then topping up with warm milk or water to make a drink that is 475mL (16oz). I don’t own a perfect matcha spoon, so I used 1 spoon from the Perfect Spoon into my matcha bowl and whisked, and then transferred to a larger cup.

First Taste

I whisked 1 perfect spoonful of the Chai Matcha, which is equal to 2½ teaspoons. I used my Thinktea Matcha Set for this step since it’s the only matcha bowl and whisk that I own. The whisking process didn’t take very long. In full disclosure, I did not sift the matcha into my bowl – this is a step that I will often do for more “fancier” matcha varieties, but I don’t usually do it for blends.

When having the Chai Matcha straight (topped up with water and not milk), I found that there was more spice flavour than matcha flavour. I’m not overly surprised since spices can be a bit overwhelming compared to the delicate nature of matcha. It is quite sweet, but I don’t really like it all too much straight because I’d rather be able to taste the matcha.

I did whisk another bowl of Chai Matcha, and then added it to heated soy milk (I use organic, unsweetened soy milk). I found that the flavour was greatly improved as a latte. The spices weren’t as strong, but the matcha flavour did seem better balanced as a latte.

A Second Cup?

No second steeps with Chai Matcha since all of the powder is suspended and mixed into the first preparation.

My Overall Impression

&

I both didn’t like and loved DavidsTea’s Chai Matcha. As a straight tea (made with only water), I thought Chai Matcha was really nothing to write home about. However, when made as a latte, the flavours were really much better balanced and it honestly tasted a lot better. I like the idea of a straight Chai Matcha, but the taste wasn’t delicious (to me!). Since determining that I do love Chai Matcha as a tea latte, I finished my original bag and bought more (Chai Matcha is a limited edition product, unfortunately, and is already sold out in some stores and online).

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

Trader Joe’s Matcha Green Tea Latte Mix

Matcha Green Tea Latte Mix by Trader Joe’s
Green Tea (Matcha) / Flavoured
$3.99USD for 8oz (227g)

First Impressions

Matcha Green Tea Latte Mix was one of those things that I spotted on the shelf at the Trader Joe’s in Bellingham, WA and just had to try it. I do know how to make a matcha latte at home (and have even shared a recipe here before for my Rose Matcha Latte!), but the idea of an easy way to make it at home (albeit not entirely from scratch) was appealing. Which is exactly how the tin ended up in my shopping cart.

Matcha Green Tea Latte Mix comes in a carton with a plastic lid, and a silver foil seal underneath for the freshness. There’s a light green powder inside, and no scoop (unlike the Spicy Chai Tea Latte Mix that I shared last week!). There’s no strong smells from this mix, it smells like a very light green tea. Matcha Green Tea Latte Mix consists of: cane sugar, coconut oil, maltodextrin, matcha green tea, whole milk powder, non fat milk powder, malted milk powder, natural flavours, sodium caseinate, tricalcium phosphate, guar gum, mono and diglycerides, silicon dioxide, and salt.

Just for your information, each serving consists of 13g of sugar, and there’s 8 servings per carton.

Preparation

Trader Joe’s recommends preparing Matcha Green Tea Latte Mix with 3 tablespoons of mix with 6oz of hot water, and to stir to dissolve.

If you want to have a cold Matcha Green Tea Latte, they recommend 3 tablespoons of mix with 3oz of hot water, stir to dissolve, and pour over 1 cup of ice.

I opted to do my initial taste of Matcha Green Tea Latte Mix as a hot matcha latte, mixing it with 100°C (212°F) water.

First Taste

Matcha Green Tea Latte Mix dissolves completely in hot water and quite easily after stirring it with a spoon directly in my teacup. The colour is very similar to the powder, a light pistachio green. There’s a very mild aroma to the Matcha Green Tea Latte, it’s a very light green tea aroma and I can smell the milk as well. The flavour is very milky, with a nice sweetness to it. I do taste the matcha, I do wish it was a bit stronger (although I don’t know how much of the matcha flavour is being masked by the dairy in the ingredients list). This does remind me a lot of a matcha latte that I might be able to find at a cafe, and it’s not overwhelmingly sweet, which is greatly appreciated by me.

A Second Cup?

No second cups here, since the Matcha Green Tea Latte Mix completely dissolves in the water.

My Overall Impression

I loved Trader Joe’s Matcha Green Tea Latte Mix. This was a very easy product to use at home – no sifting or whisking required for a morning cup of matcha latte. I do wish that the matcha flavour was a bit heavier, but I also understand that for the demographic this is probably targeted at, the flavour is probably pretty much on point. The dairy content has a nice creaminess to it, which lends itself well to the latte aspect. For the cost of what ends up being $0.50USD/serving, it’s really not that bad – especially when comparing to a $6 cup at the local coffee shop. It’s not as sweet as I was expecting it to be, given that it is a latte mix, so that was a nice and pleasant surprise.

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

Tea Side’s Wild Jungle Green, Grade A

Wild Jungle Green Tea, Grade A by Tea Side
Green Tea / Straight
$12.00USD for 50g

Tea Side has provided me with Wild Jungle Green Tea, Grade A for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

Wild Jungle Green Tea, Grade A came to me in a shiny green packet. Inside the tea leaves are long, wiry – in varying shades of brown from a light green to a dark, almost black brown. I learned from the Tea Side website that there are three grades of this Wild Jungle Green Tea – from A to C where A is the most expensive. The grades are decided on based on which tea has the tips (A) and which tea is made up of the second or third leaves on the plant (C). Grade A is considered to be premium grade because it has the two leaves and a bud leaf selection present.

Wild Jungle Green Tea, Grade A, is a straight green tea from the forests of Thailand, where the tea grow wild there (unlike from a tea plantation or farm). Tea Side describes this forest has having trees between 200 and 500 years old. This tea was harvested in August 2017 at 1300m above sea level. The aroma from the dry leaf reminds me of the fragrance of plums and berries.

Preparation

I couldn’t find steeping recommendations for Wild Jungle Green Tea, Grade A. My initial steep was at 175°F (80°C) for 2 minutes.

First Taste

Wild Jungle Green Tea, Grade A steeps to a lovely light yellow. There’s a sweet, fruity aroma from the steeped tea. The tea itself has a sweetness to it, some plum notes, and a slight grassy flavour throughout the whole sip. I found at the tail end of each sip, I noted a little bit of saltiness – just a little bit of umami throughout.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Wild Jungle Green, Grade A a total of three times, adding an extra 30 seconds for each steep. I found with each steep, the saltiness grew while the sweet fruity flavours faded.

My Overall Impression

I liked Tea Side’s Wild Jungle Green Tea, Grade A. I really enjoyed the initial steep, and think it would be fun to get the other two teas to compare the different grades in terms of being able to compare and contrast the differences in flavour and quality. I found the initial steep to be the best, as I really enjoyed the sweet, fruity notes that were primarily present in the initial steep. If you’re a fan of the saltiness that umami flavours bring, you might be a fan of the subsequent steeps (more so than me, at least!).

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