Matcha, a stone-ground green tea well known for its amazing health benefits, has a very unique and distinct flavor. But what exactly is good matcha supposed to taste like?
First thing's first, make sure you have high quality matcha. Low quality matcha that looks yellow-green or yellow-brown and has a stale aroma is usually only used for cooking or baking because it's cheap, and the other ingredients in your recipe mask the harsh, bitter flavor. This type of matcha when used in a drink tastes bitter, earthy and sometimes, fishy.
High quality matcha has a remarkable taste profile that sets it apart from other teas. The initial sip reveals a vegetal, creamy note, often accompanied by a slight umami that adds depth to its flavor. The vegetal quality is reminiscent of fresh, green vegetables, which contributes to matcha's distinct identity.
Unlike traditional steeped green tea, matcha is made from shade-grown tea leaves, resulting in an increased concentration of amino acids, particularly L-theanine. This amino acid not only contributes to matcha's umami taste but also imparts a pleasant, creamy mouthfeel, offering a velvety and smooth texture.
The flavor of matcha is further enhanced by the method of preparation. Whisking the finely ground powder with warm water creates a harmonious blend of tastes. When properly whisked, matcha develops a frothy layer known as "tea foam" or "matcha crema." Sipping this emerald elixir provides a multidimensional experience as the flavors unfold on your palate.
Additionally, matcha can be enjoyed in various forms, such as in lattes, smoothies, or even incorporated into culinary delights like ice cream and baked goods. Each preparation method offers a unique taste, allowing you to explore the versatility of matcha and tailor it to your preferences.
With its harmonious blend of bitterness, sweetness, and umami, matcha delivers a satisfying experience for tea enthusiasts. Its vibrant green hue and velvety texture further enhance its appeal. So go ahead, indulge in a cup of matcha and savor its unique flavors!