One of the more fascinating tea experiences I’ve had, most regular readers of The Tea Review blog know that I have a soft spot in my heart for Matcha. It’s tradition and cultural history is captivating, and it’s flavor – somewhat of a ‘you either like it or you don’t’ strongly vegetal flavor – is delicious to me.
Even though I’ve written over 400 individual tea reviews on this blog alone, I had never heard of this product until approximately 2 weeks ago when my co-worker at the Animal Shelter asked me if I had heard of it. It’s very rare that I find a tea – especially a more mainstream brand tea – that I’ve never heard of. A Matcha Honeydew latté concentrate from Tazo?! I had to have it! So I gave my co-worker the money to pick some up for me since she was getting some for herself. And when it finally came yesterday, I was so very excited to taste it!
I’ve come to think of Tazo as a quality tea company. Many of their teas are bagged, but that doesn’t stop the tea inside the bags from being absolutely delicious and of a superior quality – especially amongst other bagged tea brands. In this yummy latté they continue their quest for superiority, and instead of a bag…they brought us a liquid concentrate which is so much more convenient!
Tazo Tea describes this tea as:
A delicious blend of lightly sweetened Matcha green tea from Japan, accented with hints of melon and ripe tropical fruits. With one sip, you reincarnate the original spirit of enlightenment that may have inspired the Japanese tea ceremony.
Matcha, the ceremonial green tea of Japan, is made from freshly picked green tea leaves ground into a fine powder and mixed with water in the traditional fashion. With guidance from ancient scrolls and a haiku or two, Tazo® adds hints of honeydew melon and tropical fruits to create a combination that, when mixed with milk, is equally inspiring served hot or over ice.
Ingredients: An infusion of (water, matcha and other green teas), organic cane sugar, honeydew juice concentrate, natural fruit flavors, gum, Arabic, xanthan gum, guar gum and citric acid.
I prepared this tea the way that they suggest on the box, using equal amounts of the tea concentrate and soy milk poured over iced. I mention this because my co-worker surprised me by telling me she had prepared it with water instead of milk. Evidently it is tasty using that method as well if you don’t like milk. I did not add any additional sweetener as this tea definitely doesn’t need it – it is sweet enough on it’s own, and the ingredients of the concentrate include organic cane sugar as the second ingredient!
The fragrance is alluring…light and refreshing as a spring morning, with overt tones of honeydew melon and a sweet botanical scent that I fell in love with.
The flavor is also delicate, in fact, the only downside of this tea that I found was that the flavor of the Matcha is not very pronounced. That along with the fact that in this latté, the Matcha is blended with “other green teas”, makes it taste MUCH more like a Green Tea Latté than a Matcha Latté. This doesn’t make it bad necessarily, I just feel like the tea is misrepresented by the name…I think the overall amount of Matcha in this concentrate mix is fairly negligible, although there is a definite “Matcha” flavor in this blend. If you are like me and truly enjoy Matcha, you can enhance the natural good taste of this tea by adding a little extra Matcha to your cup!
The honeydew melon flavor is sweet and nectar-like. Honeydew melons taste sweeter than many other melons, with a flavor reminiscent of honey. For this reason, when mixed with green tea and Matcha, it develops into a very smooth, sweet and tender drink that is great served iced! I’m sure the hot version is delicious as well, but I assure you that the iced version is even more delectable, and perfect for these hot summer days!
The description mentions hints of tropical fruits, the only one I can perhaps taste is a hint of coconut. However I didn’t pick out any other truly tropical notes here, just the honeydew melon which is perfect enough in this blend!
Overall, I liked this concentrated tea blend. I think it is a unique tea, and I’ve not tasted any other tea that even resembles it, and for that it’s definitely worth a try! The flavor is a bit soft for me, but still a tasty treat!