The Kato family has been producing premium quality matcha in Uji, Kyoto (Japan) for generations, and *spoiler alert*, it is honestly some of the very best I’ve consumed in a long time! Hands down, without a doubt. Up until this past January, I used to work at a high end specialty grocery store that carries this particular brand of ceremonial grade matcha, via local tea company, Genuine Tea. With not just one type to choose from, but three: 2018 summer harvest, spring harvest, and organic spring harvest from 2017. In the end, I opted for trying the latter/best of the best, despite of its hefty price tag.
All three “harvests” of Kato Matcha are packaged in a small, sealed black tin that holds just over an ounce worth of matcha (~25 servings). The organic spring has a white label wrapped around the outside and features various symbols, appropriately illustrated in green. I can clearly detect a plane, tea leaves, a train, music notes, matcha tools, a ‘torii’, and much more. Inside lies a fairly consistent looking matcha powder, with little to no clumps and such a lively, vibrant, almost neon shade of green. The ingredients list consists of just one thing: stone-milled Japanese Matcha green tea. As for the aroma, it is one that is all too familiar to me. Just really fresh and grass-like.
Here are the instructions listed to prepare Kato Matcha: Add 1/2 teaspoon KATO MATCHA to cup. Heat water to 80°C/175°F. Pour 1-2 oz. hot water and whisk. Top up with hot water or milk.
I sifted this matcha into my White Stroke Matcha Bowl, whisked in 1/4 cup of water and then topped it up with enough [water] to amount to a cup or 8 ounces.
The jade-like colour beneath the thick froth is absolutely mesmerizing, a sight I’ll never tire of seeing. The resulting aroma of the prepared broth is reminiscent of cooked spinach. The umami and vegetal/“grassy” flavour is certainly present, but I don’t find it to be overwhelmingly in your face. It’s quite pleasant and does a great job of combating the bitterness with subtle notes of sweetness. I’m getting vivid flashbacks to my Tencha tasting earlier this week… for obvious reasons. Matcha is basically Tencha amplified ten times over, with a flavour that really stays with you. This one in particular goes down oh so smooth, and is a great source of caffeine and antioxidants! When it comes to matcha, 9 times out of 10, I add a splash of milk or prepare it as a latte, but with this matcha, it’s really not necessary. I could just as easily drink it straight up, in its traditional form. The quality is just that good.
I‘m glad that I had the opportunity to tell David & Sarah (Genuine Tea founders) just how much I enjoy this matcha, as I was volunteering at a booth right beside theirs at this year’s past tea festival! Although I’m still currently savoring the contents of my tin, Kato’s organic spring harvest is easily a staple in my tea stash. It exceeded all my expectations, and then some.
Do you add milk to your matcha, or drink it as is? Sound off below in the comments!
Stay tuned for a St.Patrick’s Day inspired tea review!
Until we steep again…