Naoki Matcha’s Silver Yame Blend – Ceremonial Grade | Tea Review

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Tea provided for review

While I may not always reach for matcha daily, it is still a lovely treat and transports me back to my time in Japan!

Description: “[This blend] has a naturally sweet taste with floral notes.”

Awhile back, Hiro from Naoki Matcha reached out to me when he came across my blog and had noticed Naoki sourced some of their teas from matcha fields close to where I interned at Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms in Wazuka, Japan. The company offered to send me a matcha blend from Yame, in the Fukuoka prefecture which apparently known for Gyokuro teas!

The matcha arrived in a silver packaging, tucked inside a small tin with a tight lid. The matcha was finely grinded with a grassy, vegetal nutty smell and a bright vibrant green colour. I decided to try this matcha using two methods – the Naoki Matcha Style (using a glass bottle) and Usucha (“thin tea” and a traditional method of making matcha).

Naoki Matcha Style

Source: Naoki Matcha

Instructions: 1 teaspoon |  12 oz of water  | 80°C  

Review: The Naoki Matcha Style method is adding the matcha into a glass bottle and shaking. I used my Libre Infuser (a gift from Lu Ann from The Cup of Life) which was very handy as it was clear and I could see the liquor as I was shaking.

After 30 seconds, the powder dissolved with the water and there was a layer of foam at the top. The liquor was an opaque dark olive colour. When opening the bottle, there was a steamed vegetable smell.

The fifth step of the method was pouring the liquor into a cup. Since the Libre bottle had a strainer, it removed some of the clumps that hadn’t fully dissolved. It was hard to ensure all the power was dissolved as the liquor was opaque.

The matcha flavour was much more faint than I was use to as I normally prepare it as an Usucha. There was no bitterness to the liquor and it had a umami, grassy, and nutty flavour. At the end of the sip, there was some slight grit on the tongue. The tea had a long lingering power in the mouth.

When cooled, the liquor had a stronger vegetal and nutty flavour with some spinach notes. I left some of the matcha in the bottle and had it later and it was still hot which was nice! This is a very beginner friendly method and reminded me of the Matcha Maker I use to own from DAVIDsTEA (3/5 rating).

Usucha 

Instructions: 1 teaspoon |  6 oz of water  | 60°C  

Review: Usucha (“thin tea”) along with koicha (“thick tea”) are traditional methods of making matcha. When I make matcha, I tend to make Usucha as I have been lucky enough to learn the basics of the tea ceremony while I was in Japan. I used a chasen (“tea whisk”) and chawan (“tea bowl”) to make the tea. The chawan had a higher rim because I wanted to use a winter style bowl.

After pre-warming the chasen and chawan, I sifted the power into the bowl and added the water. The liquor was a bright olive colour and took a few seconds to get a thin layer of foam.

The liquor started off with a mild sweet vegetal taste, which transformed into grassy and nutty. The liquor was smooth but left a bit of grit on the end of the sip and some bitterness at the back of the throat (3.5/5 rating).

  • Type: Green tea
  • Origin: Japan, Yame
  • Caffeine: Unknown
  • Ingredients: Ingredients was not listed on the packaging, website, or Amazon.
  • Other: Silver Award in a National Tea Competition
  • Company: Naoki Matcha

Final Thoughts

Overall, I personally enjoy the Usucha version better as it is normally how I make matcha. I found it had more intense rich flavours. I did like that the Naoki method was beginner focused and foolproof.

Additionally, it was also nice to try this tea as I am not overly familiar with tea from Yame and have only had a handful. Also, most of them were during a Chakabuki Event so the teas were over brewed!

The question of the post: How do you like making matcha?

For more information, Naoki Matcha has a guide on how to prepare matcha a few different ways, as well as Usucha and Koicha!

Edit: Nicole from Tea for me Please kindly featured my post in her weekly round up! Make sure to check out all the other neat posts from that week!

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