tea review

Sazen Matcha Review - Homare-no-Mukashi and Organic Matcha Kin

Organic Matcha Kin and Homare-no-Mukashi from Sazen Tea

While I continue to be an advocate for organic and sustainably farmed tea, I do eagerly partake in some highly prized matcha, which is often not organic. Craving koicha before meditating on this particularly sunny spring Seattle morning, I decided to compare 2 of my 5 recently purchased matchas from Sazen, Tea Market Place from Kyoto - one organic and other other not.

Organic Matcha Kin and Homare-no-Mukashi from Sazen Tea

Matcha Homare-no-Mukashi has been touted as an award-winning, excellent choice for a thick koicha and I have to agree. I opened the tin to an enticing vegetal fresh scent, initiating my mouth to water. The color of this powder is vibrant green and sifted easily into my chawan. The tines for my chasen gently whisked it into a creamy, thick emerald body with a lovely, smooth texture with full foam.

Then came the taste… amazing!!! Smooth and rich, without a hint of bitterness, and a delicious umami finish that remained on my tongue long after my chawan was empty. According to Sazen this matcha is made from “blending 100% of tencha leaves harvested in Horii Shichimeien’s own tea gardens.”  As I paused awhile to experience the continuing ripples from Homare-no-Mukashi, I felt my entire being drop into a gentle state of calm, alert presence. What a gem! I love this matcha.

Next up was the organic Matcha Kin. On first inspection the color was slightly less vibrant, and the aroma was a bit duller in comparison. However, it sifted easily and once whisked produces a gorgeous and inviting thick, deep green elixir which I found more vibrant than the Homare-no-Mukashi koicha. While less sweet, this matcha easily hold its own, especially for an organic blend. A grassy bitterness remains after the initial wave of sweetness and umami fade. Still it is far from tart and cloying, and also invites a release and gentle exhale as you sit with experience after each swallow. For an organic tea, I would definitely consume this on a daily basis.

Doesn't the organic matcha kin look like a deeper emerald green?

I have a few more matchas to try from Sazen, and I eager to taste them. If you are interested in high quality matcha, go visit Sazen today. You won’t be disappointed.

Drink it in. Begin within.

Organic Matcha from  CAP Beauty

Organic Matcha from CAP Beauty

Well, my first gift for this Chanukah 2018 was perfect for me - a brand of matcha (and company) that was new to me - the organic The Matcha from CAP Beauty.

CAP Beauty is dedicated to the philosophy that “Beauty is Wellness. Wellness is Beauty” so the intent is that all their 150+ products create “true radiance.” The fact that their products are “100% natural” resonants with me, as does the recognition of plant based medicine on their website, which speaks about the power of the plants to heal, since they are “teeming with nutrition and life force.”

Of course, the label is the first thing to catch the eye, and I find it just plain uplifting, making me smile. The red label on the side of the tin says, “Drink it in. Begin within.” That accurately sums up my meditation and matcha practice - make matcha and meditate. Well, the meditation actually begins with the making of the matcha. How matcha goodness is contained within this tin - that would be “29 grams of High Vibrational Focus.” Who can argue with that?

Drink it in. Begin within.

Drink it in. Begin within.

29 grams of High Vibrational Focus

29 grams of High Vibrational Focus

For an organic matcha, this one is fairly good. The matcha sifts nicely, and is a lovely bright green, though not as vibrantly emerald as I have seen in many non-organic brands. My koicha whisked easily into a thick and creamy elixir, while the addition of more water to whisk an usucha produced a bowl with a thin layer of foam with sparse bubbles. The aroma was fresh and grassy. The texture was very slightly gritty, but not unpleasant at all. I did prefer the flavor profile of the koicha to the usucha, yet despite the slight bitterness common with organic matchas, this dissipated quickly to leave a umami finish that lingered for quite some time. The overall flavor was clean but not very sophisticated or complex. For an organic matcha, I readily recommend it. Once you explore their website, you might find yourself purchasing other products, as I did. I just couldn’t resist ordering their matcha coconut butter.

Sifted matcha from  CAP Beauty

Sifted matcha from CAP Beauty

Taking a Matcha Moment with Mizuba Matcha


For me, every day begins with a meditation and matcha moment (well, that is, after the cats have been fed and petted). My intent on this Thanksgiving was to do an extended gratitude meditation, giving thanks for all the people and experiences in my life. This began when I acknowledged how fortunate I am to not only be writing this blog, but to have the opportunity to meditate and drink matcha in the safety and serenity of my own home. I hope to never take that for granted.

Before sitting on my cushion to practice opening my heart, I opened my new package from Mizuba Tea Company. I discovered Mizuba through their trademark saying - Take a #matchamoment. I clicked the link to their website without a moment’s hesitation. On a quest to discover the best tasting organic matcha available, I had planned a purchase, yet landing on their chawan page, I was a goner. My whole being brighten and smile erupt on my face seeing a vibrant yellow chawan. Before I knew it, four matchas managed to make their way into my shopping cart along with that yellow bowl.

For my morning meditation session, I began with their organic ceremonial Yorokobi matcha. Their description echoes my sentiments. Most organic matchas, as I have discussed previously, tend to be bit bitter and astringent, making the overall experience less than a enjoyable. The translation for yorokobi is “joy” and as the name suggests, this matcha delights. The color was a vibrant green and whisking it lead to a think foam like froth. The aroma had a floral note. Today I whisked a thick, creamy, and velvety smooth koicha with nice umami finish. My senses awoke to the taste and I felt a soothing calm embrace as I sat down to give thanks. After appreciating my loved ones and cats, my students and patients, my colleagues and friends, my thoughts turned to all the hands that touched this matcha from the moment the seeds were planted to this very well designed package on my counter. How many hundreds, if not thousands, of people were involved? And I hadn’t yet gotten to the chawan. Thank you all for enriching my life.

Throughout the rest of day, I managed to try all the other matchas I received. Two others were also organic, the Nagomi and the House matcha. The Kokoro was not organic, but was just as smooth as the Yorokobi. It whisked quickly and to a full-bodied froth. This one was a even a bit more creamy and richer with a smooth chocolaty flavor. The organic Nagomi was delightful with a nuttier flavor and a clean umami finish that lingered on my tongue quite awhile. The description on the website for the organic house matcha talks of adding honey and pouring over ice (something I never do), and I know why. As a bowl of matcha, this was rather disappointing in its grittiness and bitterness. Most likely, I will use this for matcha lattes and cooking.

Yellow Chawan.jpg

Did I mention how this yellow chawan delighted me? The color is enticing, as I have never seen a bowl this hue. I feel sunshine looking at this bowl, and the contrast of green and yellow is energizing. The glaze has a lovely thickness to the texture, not glossy. The size is perfect - not overly large as many chawan can be, as it fits neatly into your hand. I love this bowl and may buy a few more (oh, yes, for gifts, sure).

On this Thanksgiving, I was thrilled and thankful for finding these gems. If you are looking to take a (organic) #matchamoment, visit Mizuba today, and see if you can avoid temptation of buying a new chawan.

I highly recommend the entire experience.