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.
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.
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.
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.