Naoki Matcha’s Wazuka Hilltop

Wazuka Hilltop by Naoki Matcha
Green Tea (Matcha) / Straight
$50.00USD for 60g

Wazuka Hilltop is part of Naoki Matcha’s Masters Collection Matcha Set, a collection of three different ceremonial grade matcha. Wazuka Hilltop makes up 20g of the 60g set. Naoki Matcha has provided me with Wazuka Hilltop for the purposes of writing an honest review.

First Impressions

Being asked if I was interested in trying out a new collection of ceremonial grade matcha was a pretty easy question to answer. Naoki Matcha reached out to me and I wholeheartedly said yes. This is part of a collection called the Masters Collection Matcha Set, and I’ll be splitting up the reviews individually because that’s just how I’m rolling these days – plus it just allows me the opportunity to focus on each one individually.

To start off with, this is Wazuka Hilltop – the name comes from the location of origin (the village of Wazuka in the Kyoto Prefecture in Japan). The packaging is an almost plastic-feeling pouch that is sealed and resealable. The front mentions the collection and weight, while the back has the name of the tea hand written with a reference to the website for information how to prepare the matcha itself.

The vibrancy in this matcha is pretty outstanding. If I had to name the colour, I’d be tempted to call it chartreuse or even lime. It’s fluorescent in some lighting, and screams spring to me. Wazuka Hilltop smells grassy and very lightly sweet to me.

Preparation

I decided to check out Naoki Matcha’s website to see how they recommended to prepare their matcha – and there were quite a few methods mentioned!

The method that I opted to use for Wazuka Matcha was the cold brew method. Simply put, I mixed the matcha with cold water into a shaker bottle and shook it up until it was fully suspended into water and then drank it. So I used room temperature water and matcha together. I’ll use different methods of preparation for the other two ceremonial matcha in this set.

First Taste

Wazuka Hilltop mixes up to a pretty vibrant green. Because I didn’t opt to use a whisk, there isn’t that traditional layer of foam over the top – just a thin layer of micro bubbles across the top. The vibrancy in the colour is beautiful – I would describe it as a similar green to say petite peas or edamame. Just a very familiar green colour, that’s not quite as bright as the dry powder. The aroma is grassy, lightly vegetal.  The flavour is a bit different. I found it had a crispness to it that blended with umami notes, strong grassy notes, and then it lingered on the tongue with a nutty finish that reminded me a lot of hemlock needles. There’s just something about it that reminds me of the hemlock needles that I used to nibble on during camping trips.

A Second Cup?

Like other matcha, Wazuka Hilltop cannot be resteeped since it’s a suspension. But here’s another photo of that bright green powder for further appreciation:

My Overall Impression

I loved Naoki Matcha’s Wazuka Hilltop. I think it has a beautiful flavour to it, and it really makes me nostalgic for simpler times. I had a fun time shaking up the bottle to get this cold brew method going, and found that the flavour was just really fun. I appreciate the experience from start to finish, and found that the colour was just really enticing and inviting that made me want to try this matcha. Of course, I do have to touch on the price a bit – right now this is only available on the Naoki Matcha website as part of the trio set so it’s a bit of an investment if you don’t end up liking one of the three – but it’s also a typical pricing for a single origin or premium matcha (approximately $1 per gram), but it’s also a bit of a want type of tea pricing, versus a need.

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

Lavender Matcha Lemonade

When life provides you with lemonades in the form of a sale at the grocery store, you buy them and then decide what to do with them! There’s just something bright and refreshing about the scent of lemons, or any citrus really, and while I greatly enjoy lemonade plainly, I have been known to couple it with tea in the past. That and the surplus of lavender buds that I have in my possession in the form of a lavender simple syrup, I decide to combine the two together… plus some matcha.

Lavender Matcha Lemonade – Serves 2

Lemonade
2 tablespoons Lavender Simple Syrup (see recipe below)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 cups water

4 teaspoons matcha
½ cup water
Ice cubes
Lemon wedge for garnish
Lavender buds for garnish

Mix Lavender Simple Syrup, water, and lemon juice.
Sift matcha and prepare with water (use a whisk & bowl, shaker bottle, mason jar, etc.)
Add ice cubes to each glass.
Add half the lavender lemonade to each glass.
Add half the prepared matcha to each glass.
Garnish with lemon wedge and lavender buds, as desired.

Lavender Simple Syrup Recipe & Directions

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons lavender buds

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat.
Allow mixture to come to a simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Turn off heat and allow the simple syrup to cool.
Pour simple syrup into a jar or container, use a sieve to strain out lavender buds.

Store Lavender Simple Syrup in your fridge for up to 2 weeks.

 

If you make this Lavender Matcha Lemonade, I’d love to see your photos! Be sure to tag me on Instagram (@onemoresteep #onemoresteep) or comment below with a link to the photo!

Pin this recipe for later!

Iced Lavender Matcha Latte

There’s just something nice about having a nice cup of iced tea in the summer time, especially when it’s sweltering hot outside and you’re trying to find some relief in the shade. I’m all for pairing some matcha with something floral, especially if it winds up tasting good and the lavender and matcha combination did not disappoint!

Iced Lavender Matcha Latte – Serves 1

2 teaspoons matcha
100ml warm water
1 tablespoon Lavender Simple Syrup (see recipe below)
200ml milk
Ice

In the matcha preparing vessel of your choice, prepare the matcha powder with water.
Once mixed, stir in Lavender Simple Syrup.
In a glass, add ice cubes, followed by sweetened matcha.
Top with milk product of your choice (I use unsweetened organic soy milk).
Garnish with lavender buds.

It takes a bit of effort to make that Lavender Simple Syrup – but it’s so worth it to get that floral flavour into your drinks! I use the same Lavender Simple Syrup in my London Fog (Earl Grey Latte) recipe.

Lavender Simple Syrup Recipe & Directions

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons lavender buds

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat.
Allow mixture to come to a simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Turn off heat and allow the simple syrup to cool.
Pour simple syrup into a jar or container, use a sieve to strain out lavender buds.

Store Lavender Simple Syrup in your fridge for up to 2 weeks.

If you make this Iced Lavender Matcha Latte, I’d love to see your photos! Be sure to tag me on Instagram (@onemoresteep #onemoresteep) or comment below with a link to the photo!