Also known as “Cafe Grade”, the leaves of our Spring matcha are located toward the middle of the tea plant. They have slightly less sweetness and a stronger flavor when compared to the Ceremonial Grades. This makes them perfect for use as an everyday tea, latte, and/or smoothie. Best of all, they contain just as much EGCg (antioxidants) & L-theanine compared to the ceremonial grade teas which can cost twice as much!
Harvested in June (the second harvest period), Cafe Grade matcha is an excellent everyday matcha for drinking.
Sample provided by BeMatcha
Today we will be looking at the second or spring harvest matcha from BeMatcha. Last month I reviewed the culinary grade third harvest and found it to actually be drinkable on its own, though it is intended for baking or use in latte type drinks.
The cafe grade matcha is intended as an everyday tea to be used in lattes and blended drinks. It is considered a step up in quality from the culinary grade. This tea is grown in Japan and certified organic.
I opened the 10g sample and gave it the sniff test. I get a smooth malty scent. Looking at the powder it is nicely green. No brown or yellow tint here. Just fresh and green.
As before, to keep all things as equal as possible, I used a rounded 1/4 tsp. I heated 4 oz of clean filtered water to 165F and mixed in a bowl with a hand held frother. I use old weak batteries so I don't paint the room green.
It foamed easily with many tiny bubbles. The foam is long lasting and held up as I poured the bowl into a clear mug to better photograph the tea. As you can see the tea is a deep green.
The straight taste is very crisp and clean. Initially I notice a mild bite but by the end of the cup it passes from my noticing. It is lightly sweet. The taste is creamy and vegetal with a slightly grassy aftertaste.
Now let's see what happens when we use this as intended in a latte. You fix how you like it, as for me, I prefer mine cold, made with 2% milk and a single packet of sweetener.
I used 2 tsp of powder along with my one packet of sweetener and a couple ounces of milk. With the frother the mixture was turned into nearly a tumbler full of foam. To this I added more milk and stirred.
As you can see the result is a dark green tumbler of green tea latte.
Definitely a different taste experience from the third harvest culinary grade reviewed previously. This has a deeper, richer taste with a nice umami flavor that seems almost dry. There is only a light sweetness. It feels very creamy. Not at all grassy. It is more a dark vegetal/meaty taste.
You can find BeMatcha Cafe Grade matcha here.