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.
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.