Ever since I got into matcha lattes, my matcha consumption has went up dramatically. This also led to increased spending and because good Uji matcha isn’t cheap, I started looking for frugal alternatives a step above culinary grade. That’s how I discovered this powdered kamairicha at Yuuki-Cha.
Kamairicha, for the uninitiated, is Japanese tea that is processed like Chinese green tea, where the leaves are pan fired instead of steamed. The resultant tea is a Japanese-Chinese hybrid of sorts – fruity, nutty, and sometimes floral – and absolutely delicious. I’ve tried and enjoyed a number of different kamairichas and was intrigued to find it in powdered form .
Appearance wise, it has a paler green color than regular matcha powder. While the prepared tea does have an attractive emerald green color, it doesn’t froth as nicely and lacks the creamy mouthfeel of good matcha. There’s a noticeable chalkiness in the aftertaste. Taste wise, the grassiness and vegetal notes are a lot tamer which might appeal to people that don’t care for the aggressive taste of matcha. Holds up quite well to hotter water temperatures without becoming astringent.
For me, the real test was how it held up to milk and sugar. Unfortunately, it was quite underwhelming as the mild flavor gets further muted when prepared as a latte. It tastes like a pale shadow of a real matcha latte with the barest hint of greenness and lots of chalkiness. So it’s rather disappointing in this regard. I’ll have to experiment further with this tea, but for now I’m going back to my Organic Yame matcha for lattes. It’s more expensive then this one, but it’s the most affordable of the traditional matcha powders.