Kataoka’s Koicha Matcha Milk

Koicha Matcha Milk by Kataoka
Green Tea (Matcha) / Flavoured
$9.99 for 160g

First Impressions

Koicha Matcha Milk was an impulse purchase at a grocery store. It comes in a sealed, resealable pouch. The seal rips off easily and contains a mid-green powder, with a light sparkle to it because it has sugar in it. There’s text on the back of the packaging, but it’s primarily in Japanese with very minimal English.

The matcha powder itself has a light grassy aroma to it. Koicha Matcha Milk consists of: sugars, dextrin, tea powder, palm oil, skimmed milk powder, condensed skim milk, sodium caseinate, sodium lactate, glycerin fatty esters, and artificial flavouring.

Preparation

Kataoka recommends preparing Koicha Matcha Milk in hot water by mixing 17g of powder with 140mL of water, and then stirring well.

I opted to use water that was heated to 175°F (80°C). I find that matcha mixes tend to do well when stirred, so I didn’t sift the powder in the process of preparing the cup.

First Taste

Koicha Matcha Milk mixes up easily in the cup, and has a nice green colour in it with a very thin layer of foam across the top. The aroma is grassy and milky, the flavour of Koicha Matcha Milk is sweet, creamy, and grassy. Koicha Matcha Milk has enough of a creaminess from the milk that’s in it to make me think it’s a latte.

A Second Cup?

As Koicha Matcha Milk is a mix product, there are no second steeps.

My Overall Impression

I liked Kataoka’s Koicha Matcha Milk. I found it easy to prepare and easy to drink. It does have a decent amount of sugar in it (like most prepared drink mixes), but I found Koicha Matcha Milk to have a nice flavour. It requires an extra step compared to other matcha drink mixes, but I appreciated the lack of excess packaging since Koicha Matcha Milk doesn’t come with individually packaged servings.

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

Teakan’s Lu Shan Yun Wu

Lu Shan Yun Wu by Teakan
Green Tea / Straight
$38.00 for 61g

Lu Shan Yun Wu is part of Teakan’s Volume 6 Exploration Kit, a collection of five single origin teas. Lu Shan Yun Wu makes up 15g of the 61g kit.

First Impressions

As part of Volume 6 Exploration Kit from Teakan, Lu Shan Yun Yu is a Chinese green tea that came to me in a very familiar sealed (and resealable) kraft paper pouch that has a black and white label on the from and the back with details regarding this single origin tea. Lu Shan Yun Wu is from Lu Shan, Jiangxi, China. This is a green tea that was harvested during spring of 2021.

The leaves of Lu Shan Yun Wu is wiry, with a mix of cream to deep green colours. The aroma is grassy, with just a light bit of floral in the background. It’s pleasant and inviting, to say the least. It’s a pretty dry leaf to look at, which is always agreeable to me.

Preparation

Teakan has steeping instructions for both western and gongfu styles of steeping.

For western steeping, Teakan recommends using 80°C (176°F) water and steeping for 1 minute.

For gongfu steeping, Teakan recommends using 80°C (176°F) water and steeping for 20 seconds.

I opted to do an initial steep of Lu Shan Yun Wu in the western steeping style, and steeped for 1 minute.

First Taste

Lu Shan Yun Wu steeps to a lovely clear yellow that’s quite pale in colour. There isn’t a lot of tea dust present at the bottom of the cup. The aroma is lightly grassy. The flavour of Lu Shan Yun Wu is interesting – it has a lightness throughout the sip, and is thin in texture. The flavour is lightly grassy, mildly vegetal. It reminds me a bit of dark green leafy vegetables, it just has the savoury quality about it. Lu Shan Yun Wu has a sweet aftertaste to it, that isn’t off-putting and enjoyable.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Lu Shan Yun Wu four times (five steeps total with the same leaves), and added an additional 30 seconds for each steep. The flavour of Lu Shan Yun Wu got more vegetal and less grassy, as I steeped the leaves again and again. Lu Shan Yun Wu did get milder in flavour by the second resteep, and continued to get weaker in flavour after that.

My Overall Impression

I loved Teakan’s Lu Shan Yun Wu. There’s just something very pleasant about this green tea that was a joyful experience for the senses from the dry leaf, to steeping, to drinking. I would highly recommend resteeping Lu Shan Yun Wu, since it just does so well. It has a pleasant flavour, it’s not overwhelming strong in any which way, and I would follow the steeping recommendations because I feel that a 2 minute initial steep would be far too long for this delicate tea.

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

Everspring Tea’s Alishan High Mountain Tea

Alishan High Mountain Tea by Everspring Tea
Oolong Tea / Straight
$19.99 for 100g

First Impressions

Alishan High Mountain Tea was one of those impulse grocery store purchases (yet again). The golden tin on the shelf just called to me (and it didn’t hurt that it was also on sale). It’s a metal tin with a plastic bottom to it. Beneath the shrink wrap and under the lid, there’s a plastic seal that peels out. Inside of that, however, is the vacuum-sealed gold foil pouch of tea.

There isn’t a lot of informtion on the packaging – just that it’s oolong tea and it is a product of Taiwan. Alishan is a mountain in Taiwan, so that also checks out. The leaves themselves are tightly bunched up leaves, with the colouration varying from a bright green to a dark green that’s almost brown. The aroma is lightly floral with a touch of grassy aroma in the background.

Preparation

Everspring Tea recommends steeping Alishan High Mountain Tea in “hot water”.

I opted to use 195°F (90°C) water and did an initial steep for 2 minutes.

First Taste

Alishan High Mountain Tea steeps to a pale yellow. It has a sweet floral aroma to it. The flavour to Alishan High Mountain Tea is grassy, floral, with a honey sweetness to it. There’s a thin texture to it, but the flavour coats the mouth well. I like the sweetness to Alishan High Mountain Tea, because it’s at the tail end of each sip.

A Second Cup?

I resteeped Alishan High Mountain Tea five times, six steeps total with the same leaves. The flavour of Alishan High Mountain Tea got more grassy and less floral, while the sweetness lingered and then slowly waned. The colour of Alishan High Mountain Tea became a darker yellow with the subsequent steeps before it started to fade in colour again.

My Overall Impression

I loved Everspring Tea’s Alishan High Mountain Tea. The flavour is enjoyable, and the pricing was decent for the amount of tea you get in the tin (100g). The tea has a nice aroma, resteeps well, and the leaves look beautiful! Not a bad grocery store purchase on a whim.

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