I think my arms are sore. I have been whisking away for two days, testing matcha for it’s various quality. Red leaf tea has graciously asked me to put their matcha to the test. So, how does their matcha compare to the rest? Let’s find out! To make things as fair as I can make it, I used a consistent 1/2tsp to 1/4 c of water. The water I used was filtered and heated up to 80C/175F. Whisk and repeat.
First off, when I was doing the testing, I was unaware of the brands and the prices. I was shipped 12 little sample bags labeled simply, Sample 1, Sample 2, and so forth. It was so much fun, even if it got to be a bit overwhelming at times. Needless to say I am writing this comparison totally wired.
Price per bag: $24.95
Price per oz: $6.24
Notes: Woah. I had to shorten the name for this one because it was about 15 keywords too long. But hey, first matcha out of the gate! This one had the exact appearance as a bag of steamed asparagus color to me and was bold and grassy.
Price per bag: $10.75
Price per oz: $1.22
Notes: Much clump I sense in you, matcha sample #2! This sample is a Taiwanese product, so can it be considered true matcha? This one has much more umami going on. There was some graininess to this one, I was not very impressed.
Price per bag: $24.00
Price per oz: $6.00
Notes: This was quite good! I was glad to finally have hit a sweet spot with these matcha samples. The color was of an unripe pear, and the bright spring green was fresh and smooth in execution. The sweetness was much more prominent than the past two.
Price per bag: $19.99
Price per oz: $2.27
Notes: this one was very fluffy! Too bad the green, vegetable broth-like brew was a yawn for me.
Price per bag: $21.99
Price per oz: $5.50
Notes: the ever so grainy army drab matcha was muted, like iceberg lettuce. Very forgettable, unfortunately. The 100 keyword Amazon listing is a bit of a turn off as well.
Price per bag: $29.99
Price per oz: $8.52
Notes: The pistachio colored powder was a bit harder to whisk than the last, it had mad clumps. But where it lacked in whiskablity, it made up in the sweet, fresh and bright brew.
Price per bag: $16.99
Price per oz: $1.93
Notes: Smooth, but bitter and much more gritty than the others. I almost felt bad for this matcha, considering how this one fell short when the previous one was quite good.
Price per bag: $24.71
Price per oz: $2.47
Notes: a bit astringent and rough to drink. Not my favorite.
Price per bag: $25.00
Price per oz: $6.25
Notes: this one was not bad, but I did get a little fishy note in the body somewhere, albeit a fleeting one. This would have been great matcha if it wasn’t for that.
Price per bag: $24.99
Price per oz: $6.25
Notes: this was a mild one, it was not bitter, but the flavor fell a little flat.
Price per bag: $14.99
Price per oz: $0.94
Notes: I think I was getting a little matcha high at this point but, I remember how smooth this one was, the flavor was nothing to write home about, but there was no harshness, nor muted flavor. Just fresh greens.
Price per bag: $24.99
Price per oz: $1.56
Notes: Hands down my favorite. I was surprised at how floral this one tasted, I remember writing in my notes that it tasted like one of my favorite things, my city’s Botanic Gardens. Which is high praise coming from me! There was not bitterness to this one, only sweet, smooth goodness!
So there you have it! To break it down, here are some charts to help break down the information into more chewable bites. And who doesn’t love charts?
By looking at this one, Sample 6 and 12 were all around favorites for me. The only one that got close was Sample 3. I may have had higher expectations of the samples that came after each matcha that I really liked, cause the rating dropped a bit!
This chart definitely tells a better story. Looks like I can usually tell a good matcha when I see it! The biggest difference is the last two, in price and quality. They were smooth and whipped up really smoothly. Both of which can be obtained from Red Leaf Tea. The ratio is great, comparably. I was blown out of the water by the contrast in price vs. how much I liked it. Wowza!