Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Persimmon Tree, Matcha Grade A

The Persimmon Tree Description:
True to its name, this Matcha is Grade A. The Tencha leaves have been handled with the utmost care and preparation to create this fine, powdered Matcha tea. Frothy and rich, the Matcha powder creates a sensuous, eye-opening mixture that powdered Matcha tea is famous for.
Preparation: 1/4 teaspoon per 6-8oz of water. Best enjoyed when frothed by fully whisking.

Sample provided by The Persimmon Tree

My Review:
I have a Starbucks Green Tea Frappuccino addiction. The problem is a Grande size (16 oz) has 380 calories. They are loaded with milk and sugar and whipped cream and tea - the 4 basic food groups right? They are not good for you on a regular basis but they are so good.

I know nothing about matcha beyond Starbucks claims to be using it in their Frappuccino but I have been experimenting trying to duplicate it at home in a slightly healthier version. What I am getting at is this will not really be a review of matcha so far as a review of how close it comes to the Starbucks version.

I could not find a source for the powder listed on The Persimmon Tree's website. It simply calls it tencha which leads me to believe it is from Japan. Teavivre sells a similar appearing powdered green tea that is Chinese sourced as such it is processed differently than Japanese matcha. In fairness they clearly state so on the website.

Be careful when you open the tin or bag of matcha. A little green cloud is pretty hard to avoid and it can make a real mess if you aren't prepared. This is an extremely fine powder.

Here is how I prepared this: I used 8 oz of cold 2% milk, 8 oz of shaved ice, 2 packets of Splenda, and about 1/2 tsp of matcha. I placed all the ingredients in a blender and mixed thoroughly.

So? Well, it isn't Starbucks but I really enjoyed it.

When I was thinking about preparing this one today I decided to change my expectations. I've done this before. Once upon a time I loved Earl Grey black tea but it did not like me, or rather my stomach did not tolerate it in the quantities I desired to drink. I decided to try Earl Grey green tea but before doing so I acknowledged it was not black tea and would never taste like black tea. I loved it for what it was - different, and so my stomach and Earl Grey green tea lived happily ever after. This is not Starbucks and it will taste different.

The way I prepared this today was rich and creamy. I had the sweetness level about right for my tastes and believe it or not my way is a lot less sweet than Starbucks. The only calories were basically just the 2% milk so it is a lot closer to healthy.

The matcha had a good flavor that did not irritate my stomach. If you are sensitive be careful how much powder you use - it goes a long way. I pretty much drank it straight down and was ready for more. I really do not have words to explain the difference between this and Starbucks. The best I can do is offer that to me this was a little more subdued and more brown tasting rather than bright and green. If someone can translate it better I would love to hear it.

You can find Matcha Grade A here.

About The Persimmon Tree:
(From their website) The Persimmon Tree® offers our customers some of the world's finest organic teas and botanicals. Not only are most of our fresh high quality teas from around the globe hand-blended and organically grown, some of our teas are also fair trade, ensuring fair working conditions, fair wages, and a better life for tea workers from countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

At The Persimmon Tree®, our mission is simple: to enrich people's lives through the pleasure of tea.

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