What every avid matcha drinker knows is that there's only one original matcha – from Japan. In the world of tea, all matcha teas from other origins are usually considered being copies that have little resemblance to the authentic tea. What if this was not true anymore? This Korean Matcha from Hadong may prove to you just that.
What is the Authentic Matcha?
Until recently, the only authentic matcha came from Japan. In fact, it still does, if by authentic we mean using original techniques and special tea plants. Japanese tea producers are using very specific methods and tea cultivars that result in a unique colour, texture and flavour profile of matcha tea. Other tea powders are usually simply grounded green teas, with less intense colour and flavour, unlike the real matcha. More often than not, they are quite bitter too, grey instead of green and often not as pleasant to drink as real matcha.
But recently, all this has changed. It's no longer possible to make assumptions about matcha tea quality based purely on the country of origin. As tea drinkers are becoming more demanding, the rules about quality are becoming stricter, and about the terroir looser. Ultimately, new proper matcha teas from other countries are becoming available too.
These days, there are teas that deserve the name matcha even though they are not coming from Japan. They will taste slightly different from the Japanese powdered green teas, but that's anything but a disadvantage. In fact, it's bringing novelty and new excitement into the world of powdered teas.
Korean matcha is one of those teas that definitely deserves more attention.
What is Korean Matcha?
Korean Hadong matcha from SEEIN is matcha powder grown and produced in Hadong from naturally shaded tea leaves. It's an organic, GMO free, ceremonial grade single origin tea.
Japanese matcha is usually made from special Japanese tea cultivars and tea leaves shaded under bamboo covers for ¾ weeks before harvesting.
And that's the first difference.
Ceremonial grade doesn't mean the tea will have a certain flavour. Among others, it means it will be harvested from younger leaves than culinary grade matcha and is best for preparing with water. However, it does not define the flavour of the tea.
The second difference is the actual terroir. If you were to make two teas of the exact same type growing in two different locations, you would get two teas with a very different flavour. The flavour of Korean matcha is closer to the flavour of other Korean green teas than to the favour of Japanese matcha. And the same is true for Japanese matcha.
This Hadong matcha has a deep, intense green colour, which may be slightly darker than most Japanese matcha teas. It has a strong and intense fresh green scent that's incredibly inviting.
What Does Hadong Korean Matcha Taste Like?
To make this matcha powder, use the same method as you would for making Japanese matcha. You'll need 2 chashaku of tea powder, 70-90 ml of water, chasen and a chawan.
Hadong Korean Matcha is a beautiful matcha to prepare, with a wonderful layer of foam and a lot of depth.
It has a slightly nuttier and warmer flavour than a “regular” Japanese matcha. This tea has a very light astringency, and light sweetness and grassiness. This matcha is slightly deeper than a common Japanese matcha, but nevertheless, delicious. If you've ever tried some Korean green teas, you will immediately recognize the same flavour notes, somewhere between daejak and sejak teas. It has a unique Korean green tea character.
It's very easy to prepare. This tea is amazing for drinking both hot and cold. It's great for cooking as well because it gives a wonderful deep green colour without the need to use too much powder. SEEIN states it has 29 mg of caffeine per gram, so you can easily adjust the amount to suit your preferences.
And then, there's the price. Most matcha powders usually come with a hefty price tag. It's quite rare to find a good and affordable green tea powder, which makes this one absolutely amazing for cooking or making iced matcha drinks.
Water or milk? Water or milk.
Day or night? Day.
Hot or iced? Hot or iced.
Sweetened or Pure? Pure or with a teaspoon of sugar or honey.
What's the price? Starting from 5.50 GBP.
Where to buy? Get it from Amazon.