"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me."
~ C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tim Hortons Steeped Tea Now Made With Loose Leaf

A few days ago I kept noticing something reoccurring on my Facebook Newsfeed. It was an advertisement from Tim Hortons about their new Steeped Tea. I wanted to dig a big deeper and figure out what exactly was so "new" about it and noticed that their famous Steeped Tea said goodbye to tea dust from orange pekoe tea bags and is now made with loose leaf tea. 

"Over the years, the one thing we've learned about making tea, is that there's no improving on tradition. Tim Hortons is proud to introduce a new way of making tea using a time honoured tradition - loose tea leaves. Why loose tea leaves? The secret behind great tasting tea is allowing the water to flow freely, surrounding the tea leaves and coaxing out every last drop of flavor." - Tim Hortons
I was filled with excitement at the thought of a big Canadian coffee chain finally acknowledging the tea lovers out their too. I never drank a lot of the original Steeped Tea from Tim Hortons before but I have had it a few times to know that it was okay. However, I was surprised and a tad confused to find that many comments on Facebook were people expressing their dislike towards the new tea. A lot of the complaints were all over the place, too. You would read someone saying the new tea was too weak, when someone was saying it was too strong. Others expressed that the taste was just down right horrible. While many were upset at the fact that Tim Hortons fixed something that wasn't broken in the first place.

I just kept thinking: "how?" "why?" "what?" because I couldn't believe that what I was reading was actually more people in favour for the dusts in tea bags. Understandably, all Tim Hortons locations are under various management and some are slightly different from others. For instance, the new Steeped Tea is only available at select locations. But what can affect that the most is how things are made for customers. 

Tim Hortons says, "every cup of our Steeped Tea is brewed exactly the same way. This ensures you receive a high quality, consistently great tasting experience. Whenever. Wherever." In my opinion, that can not always be a guarantee. The customers that could be really loving the new flavour of their Steeped Tea could be purchasing theirs from locations that are actually preparing it properly and educating consumers on the difference whereas the ones who are not too fond of it are being served Steeped Tea that wasn't made the best way it should have been. 

Some explanations I came up with for people's dislikes are:

- Not enough tea leaves are used. For those that complain about a weak taste, a good rule to follow is to increase the amount of tea leaves you're using for a steep, not the steeping time.
- The tea is steeping for too long. As mentioned above, increase a steep time whether by accident or because you think you'll get a stronger brew can sometimes be a disaster. A stronger brew will not always be the case and can lead an unpleasant flavour. 
- Not fresh. I know Tim Hortons says they are "Always Fresh" but they are primarily a coffee place and if people aren't ordering as much tea from them as expected, the tea could be sitting in a pot for a while if no one has tended to it often.
- Preferences. Perhaps they just really, really prefer tea bags taste. I always meet someone who is never too keen on loose leaf because they don't want to change from their usual tea bag choice.
- The vessel the tea leaves are in. From friends that worked at Tim Hortons before, I was always told that the original Steeped Tea was made in its own machine that was somewhat similar to a coffee maker. Good news is that it appears for their new Steeped Tea, Tim Hortons has changed the way they are preparing it as well.

"We asked a third generation tea master to design the ideal machine for making perfectly steeped tea, cup after cup. A lifetime of tea experience went into our new tea steeper. It gently steeps Tim Hortons own unique blend of orange pekoe tea leaves for consistently full-flavored results. So tea lovers, try a fresh cup of our new steeped tea. After all, great taste has always been a tradition at Tim Hortons." - Tim Hortons

Loose leaf tea is a wonderful thing and it should be given a chance. I would hate to see Tim Hortons no longer serving their Steeped Tea from whole leaves because of a decrease in sales having them resort back to tea bags. With loose leaf, you're most likely getting better quality for the price you're paying. If you're one of those customers who are currently not enjoying the new Steeped Tea as much as you'd like, don't be afraid to ask Tim Hortons employees more about it using the reference above. Remember: how a tea is made will reflect the final product. 

Here are a bit more information I found on Tim Hortons new Steeped Tea made with whole tea leaves:

- Their tea is sourced by a member of the Ethical Tea Partnership, which is dedicated to improving the social & environmental conditions for tea workers around the world.
- Steeped Tea made with whole leaf is put through a unique steeping process that is designed to gently coax out every last drop of delicious flavour.

So, have you tried Tim Hortons New Steeped Tea yet? Were you a fan of the original? Let me know in the comments below! 

Friday, April 17, 2015

2015 World Tea Awards: Best Tea Blog & Best Social Media Reach Nominee

 The 2nd Annual World Tea Awards are coming up on May 7th, 2015 and will be taking place aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. I am so thrilled to announce that The Cup of Life has been nominated for "Best Tea Blog" and "Best Social Media Reach" for this year's award show. Fellow nominees, Nicole Martin and Alexis Siemons, were one of the first of many tea bloggers I stumbled upon in the beginning of creating The Cup of Life. It's so wonderful to see how everyone and their blog or social media accounts flourished in the industry over the years. I am truly honoured to be on the list with many other deserving individuals.
I remember finding out I was nominated for "Best Tea Blog" last year and feeling a sense of shock and happiness. It's an exciting feeling to have your work recognized again and it is really thanks to everyone that has nominated me. So a big, big thank you to each and every one of you!
I was also delighted to see so many wonderful people/companies I have connected with over the past year receive a nomination in other categories for their incredible work in the tea industry: Fresh Cup Magazine (Best Tea Publication), Tea Ave (Best Tea Industry Website), Wize Monkey (Best Tea Industry Innovator) and Shabnam Weber (Best Tea Educator, Best Tea Health Advocate) to name just a few.

Winners will be announced at the award show and voting is currently live for all registered to attend the World Tea Expo that weekend and will end on April 22. You should have received an email with a link to fill out a ballot of those you would like to win for each category as the winners will be determined that way. Don't miss out on the chance of voting for your favourites!

Happy steeping & sipping,
Lu Ann Pannunzio

Here's the official press release with the list of nominees for the 10 categories: 

2nd Annual World Tea Awards (#TeaAwards), celebrating the tea community and recognizing some of the best from the industry, will take place May 7 from 7 - 11:30 p.m. on the Queen Mary ship in Long Beach, Calif. The Awards will be held during World Tea Expo (#WorldTeaExpo or #WTE15), May 6 - 8, 2015 at the Long Beach Convention Center. The event is the leading tradeshow focused 100 percent on premium teas and related products. Advance registration and information for both World Tea Expo and the World Tea Awards is at WorldTeaExpo.com.

Expected to sell out to a room of 300+ tea industry influencers from around the globe, the World Tea Awards program includes a formal dinner and ceremony, to celebrate some of the brightest leaders from the tea community. During the event, winners will be named in several key categories. 

Nominees include:

Best Tea Publication
Best Social Media Reach
Best Tea Industry Website
Best Tea Business
Best Tea Blog
Best Tea Educator
Best Tea Health Advocate
Best Tea Marketing
Best Tea Industry Innovator
Best Tea Personality
Tickets for the World Tea Awards may be purchased at WorldTeaExpo.com or by calling 702-789-1831. Full tables of 10 may be arranged through Edie Gillette at info@worldteamedia.com. Participants do not need to be a delegate of World Tea Expo to purchase a ticket to the World Tea Awards.

*You may find the original press release here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tea Review: Curious Tea's First Flush Jun Chiyabari

First Flush Jun Chiyabari - Curious Tea
Curious Tea is a monthy tea subscription service based in the UK. "We strongly believe in supplying only high-grade premium loose tea. Since tea quality and purity is our paramount consideration, we only select teas that meet our high quality standards. Our tea is sourced from many countries around the world, but mainly comes from India, China, Japan, Taiwan and Sri Lanka."

Ingredients: Nepalese Black Tea from Jun Chiyabari

Steep Time:
5 minutes

First Sip Thought: "Where have you been all my life?"

Smell: A lasting aroma that brings me back to one of my first times having a cup of Darjeeling. Jun Chiyabari is a neighbor to the famous Darjeeling tea province and has some resemblance. Some floral notes are noticeable before and after it is steeped.

Taste: Darjeeling has always been a go-to tea for me and because I find it to be similar to this tea could be why I fell in love with it so quickly. I can't believe I have not tried tea from Jun Chiyabari before. See, this is another reason why tea blogging is awesome! Thank you Curious Tea for giving me this delicious opportunity.

This first flush is harvested in Spring and produces a mixed dark and green leaf with a tip. The soft amber liquor reminded me of a white tea, however the taste didn't disappoint for the black tea department. It is delightful and offers slightly full and woody like flavours. With no bitterness and being very smooth, I find the aftertaste to be somewhat sweet. I think this is where the floral aroma comes to play and gives off its floral undertones (orange blossoms to be exact, says Curious Tea). It is quite pleasant and I would definitely have to agree with that description. This tea was very enjoyable and should be on anyone's list of teas to try, especially if you are a Darjeeling fan already! 
Verdict: 5 out of 5 tea leaves
**If you or someone you know would like a tea reviewed, contact me.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

A Cup of Zen: Cheray Doughty from The Star Witch

A Cup of Zen is a series that began on the blog September 2014. The following is The Cup of Life's eighth post for the series featuring Cheray Doughty, from The Star Witch.  For more information and to be featured, please visit its page.
Source: Naomi Srilawong's Instagram @lightlovers
An Astrologist, Palm Reader, and Teacher of Spirit Medicine

Every morning, I religiously pour myself a generous cup of Earl Grey tea. In fact, I’ll admit to sipping on a lightly sweetened brew right in this very moment. I’m particularly fond of my local infusion for a number of reasons. It’s grown and cultivated in my home-town with mountains and rivers surrounding. Flourishing in harmony with the world heritage rainforests of the Tweed Valley. And, it reminds me of my childhood. Every warm gulp embraces the palate and uplifts the mood. It never gets old. Every sip takes me back.

I come from the land of the ‘Rainbow People’. No, no. Seriously.
There is a long dirt road between Carool and Tomewin that follows the border of New South Wales and Queensland. Even after the local council’s repeated attempts to seal the stoney lane, those who still live there after almost half a century, refuse to have the natural environment destroyed by the hands of man. It’s 2015, and every year, when I take the drive back home in my 1970 VW T3 for the annual “Drake’s Breakfast” on Boxing Day, I like to pretend I’m going back in time to a place where everybody knows your name.

The undulating adventure down the mountain-side boasts dreamy visions of the lush sub-tropics. I wind my windows down, turn off the radio – actually, forget that part (my radio doesn’t work) – and take the corners real slow. I was always taught to give a courteous “beep” of the horn upon the approach of each sharp elbow in the road to warn anyone coming from the opposite direction that you were near. One year, my Mother failed to do just that, and wound up suspended in a massive bush of lantana on the side of a cliff face. The “beep” is most certainly engrained.

I pull up outside the old pottery shed I played in as a child and the most spectacular open view of Mt. Warning the town has ever seen. The house my Father built for the family the year I was born stands another 100 metres down the road, with a sign out the front that says “Xion”. Native Tobacco and Black-eyed Susan adorn the side of the wooden pottery shed and a small rickety bridge leads to the front entrance. I fell through that once. Also engrained.

As I close the car door and begin the shoeless trek to the Drake’s house, I’m greeted by many others making the pilgrimage by foot and by bike to the annual pancake breakfast. They wear tie-dye and turquoise, amethyst and Argon oil in their hair. Wafts of patchouli and lavender dance on the breeze. They’ve all lived on the mountain before and know the road well. My energy shifts, and suddenly I feel my spirit easing back into a life I remember so well, and continue to maintain on my journey. We are one. And we are many.

From the road I can hear laughter in the distance. I follow these vocal expressions of joy down a long driveway lined with blue hydrangeas and blood red geraniums. The Drakes have lived in their little valley cottage for almost 40 years, and the gardens are a kaleidoscope of brilliant colours. I lean forward to collect a fallen frangipani and fasten it in my hair. I amble past macadamia trees, avocado’s, persimmons and wild lavender. I inhale deeply. I remember myself as a child climbing the branches surrounding, and it’s almost as if I can still see my tiny arms clinging and swinging from the boughs.

I arrive at the front door step and a collage of clogs, Crocs, sandals and thongs are spilling down 3 sets of narrow wooden steps. A few umbrellas are standing in the corner as a precautionary measure to the mountain’s unpredictable showers. And there it is. One foot in the house and the smell hits me like a giant man running across the room for a hug. Ceylon and bergamot blending together, steaming from pots of Earl Grey tea all over a crochet covered table-cloth. I hardly have time to take in the bright aromas before Janet Drake throws her arms around me and says, “Look how much you’ve grown!” The room is a shuffle and a squeeze of long-haired, light-eyed smiling humans all holding a plate loaded with a buckwheat pancake and fruit salad. I do the rounds, greeted by folk still living on the mountain and folk that moved away long ago. We all come together on this one special day to connect, to share and to eat Colin’s acclaimed buckwheat pancakes.

After waiting in line for my own pancake, I watch in awe as Colin flips and pours over a pot-belly stove. One at a time the pancakes come. Good things take time. Colin voices his philosophical perspectives on life and the cosmos and we all lean in to hear what he has to say. After many years practicing yoga and meditation, Colin has become the very generous grinning guru for many of us.

I cradle my plate and shimmy over to the tea table. A circle of happy people kiss my cheeks and express their content. I load my pancake with homemade mulberry jam, fruit salad and maple syrup. The tea pots are calling me. They have been since I walked in. And so are Janet’s English porcelain cups.
I set my plate down. I run my fingers along the table cloth and take a moment to appreciate the detail. My hand reaches out for the tea pot proudly venting the most steam. I take the handle in a tightly clenched fist and tip the spout over my vintage chalice. The golden liquor flows as openly as the love in the room and the love in my heart. A river of gratitude moves in my cup. A deluge of thanksgiving and devotion, friendship, community, and good company. In that one pour, I honour it all and it whispers, “You are home”.

So you see, every cup I sip upon is just this. Every morning, I fill my whistling kettle with mountain water and await the sound.
This action; this ceremony, is prayer and observance of all that we are thankful for. It’s not just a cup of tea. No, no. It’s far more than tea will ever be, just on its own. It has to be shared. It must be given to your heart, and given to others, for that which is shared becomes holy in its proportions. Happiness increases when it is given away. To find a place inside your self that is joy, and let tea magnify elation. This virtue, is the cup of life.

Where to find Cheray...

Instagram: www.instagram.com/tree_of_stars
Email: treeofstarshealing@gmail.com

*You're turn! Submit your #ACupofZen tea moment to me for a chance to be featured just like this next month!  

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Tea Drinkers vs. Coffee Drinkers

This post was inspired by the Wellness Teas presentation I attended at the 2015 Toronto Tea Festival the first weekend of February. The speaker, Shabnam Weber, is the owner of The Tea Emporium and the author of the Tea Sommelier program being taught at colleges across Canada.
One of the statements that Shabnam expressed has been sticking with me ever since. She compared tea drinkers to coffee drinkers. The one difference she outlined was that tea drinkers drink tea as an emotional reaction. When we pick out our beverage of choice for a moment of in the day we should be more aware of why it is being made. Why did you choose coffee over tea this time around?

To put it simply, a tea is a want when a coffee is a need. I don't relate to this because I do not drink coffee but it is safe to say that many others can. When you wake up in the morning or even just feel a loss of energy throughout the day you tend to reach for a cup of coffee. Usually your reaction is "I need a cup of coffee!" Coffee is marketed to consumers as an energy booster. A best friend to be there for you when you need a pick me up. The caffeine in coffee is much stronger than the caffeine in some teas and that is an obvious reason for your need. Tea is different in that sense. When I, and I'm sure others, reach for a cup of tea (or a pot) the reaction is "I want a cup of tea!" I want tea because I enjoy it. Tea is about comfort and soothing the soul. Coffee is about the high. Tea is about the journey. It's about every step of the process and not just the final product. It's something that, for the most part, I do not need to change anything about it to like it. One of the main reasons I don't drink coffee is because I know I would need to add copious amounts of sugar and milk to make it bearable and that certainly isn't the healthiest.
Wellness Tea Presentation at the 2015 Toronto Tea Festival
 That leads me to health benefits. While coffee is marketed as a wake up beverage, tea is almost always trying to be sold as a cure anything beverage. Shabnam mentioned an article from 2006 that immediately grabbed her attention because of the headline that read "Tea 'healthier' drink than water". Of course, water has always been known as a healthy beverage for hydration but the article chats more about why tea can be better. The extra health benefits it has is the reason for this belief and perhaps this other: tea drinkers are known to recover faster than non-tea drinkers when sick. Even with all of this information, I still find the health benefits of tea are just an added bonus. They were never the reason I started to drink tea and they are not the reason that I continue to. In the end, Shabnam states that the only way you'll truly enjoy the health benefits is to have tea become a lifestyle.

At the end of the day, what matters most is if you're happy. Whether it is tea, coffee or even water, your beverage of choice is just that: your choice. If you have to make a certain type of tea your own way for you to enjoy it then do so. If you need coffee but have to add milk or sugar in order to like it then do so. Creating something so it's your own is part of the fun and experience. Just remember to stop and enjoy what you're drinking.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

3 Items That Can Make Travelling with Tea Easier {+ giveaway!}

It may be hard to face but it can sometimes be difficult to find great tasting, high quality tea when you're on the go. In addition, grabbing a tea to go can be a lot more expensive. I have never been the type of person to go out for a tea run at a Starbucks, Tim Hortons or other fast service cafe chains. My initial reaction would be "why would I get a tea there when I have so many at home?" But as life is, we are often pulled into different directions that doesn't allow us to be home all the time where we know the best tea is. As a solution, I first started by bringing around some of my favourite teas that were in tea bag form so I could enjoy a cup I know that would be to my liking wherever I am. As my palate changed and my want for higher quality tea leaves grew, I knew there was something else that had to be done. Of course, there is the usual thermos that is great for preparing tea prior to leaving for your day but I wanted more. I needed more. Something that would eliminate the extra few minutes to wait for my tea to be perfectly made before I leave the house.

After countless products testing and many cups of teas later, I have narrowed my list of tea on the go products down to three items. I'm rating them similar to how I do for my tea reviews, out of 5 tea leaves (1 being the lowest rank, 5 being the highest). Continue reading to learn more and enter the giveaway at the end for your chance to win one of these three products!

Rating 3 Items for Tea on the Go

1. Tovolo TeaGo Tea Infuser
Suitable for this post, this product was made with the idea that no one makes tea as well as you do for yourself at home. The TeaGo is designed as a small tea press that you are able to carry around with you as it can easily fit a bag or purse. There is even a clip on the top side that allows you to clip it on to something and not lose it. The inside doubles as an airtight container that you can fill with your tea leaves for the day and it can keep your leaves fresh until you decide when to pour the leaves into the bottom half and steep your tea in a cup. The bottom has fine mesh holes to prevent leaves running away into your cup. It is also recommended to press the top half into the bottom to release all the liquid into the cup. Beside not wanting to actually squeeze my delicate tea leaves, the other con I found with this instruction was that it makes it difficult to clean out your tea leaves afterwards. The creator came up with an excellent design and certainly thought of almost everything, but I still think there is room for improvement for this product. Visit Tovolo's website to learn more about their TeaGo product.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 tea leaves

2. On-the-Go Tea Powder
I don't have a specific product when it comes to this item but I first found an on-the-go tea convenience with tea powders. However, I'm not talking about instant tea extracts. I'm talking about tea powder that come in little sachets that are actually filled with 100% pure tea leaves that are cold milled into a fine powder and nothing else added. There are many out there that are not necessarily real tea so be cautious before you make a purchase. One I can recommend is the one pictured above, Rishi Tea's Sencha On-the-Go tea powder. Real tea powder for on the go is something that is often helpful if I'm craving an iced tea that is unsweetened. I can just add one sachet to a bottle of water on hand, shake and enjoy. Since this product isn't instant some tea leaves may be present at the bottom. Always be sure to shake well before drinking. With no wait time at all, you can take this anywhere.
Rating: 4 out of 5 tea leaves

3. Libre Tea Glass
This is a tea tumbler that exceeds all of my expectations. 100% BPA-free, it is everything I want all in one and it's perfect for hot or cold beverages. I especially like that it keeps the tea hot or cold for a reasonable amount of time. The aesthetics is just a major plus but as tea is such a beautiful beverage it deserves to be shown and a clear Libre Tea Glass does just that. With a glass interior comes a durable poly exterior so that the tumbler is protected and shouldn't break. To prepare your favourite tea on the go, there is a removable stainless-steel filter that keeps the tea leaves in the glass, away from your mouth. There are 2 easy ways to enjoy your tea with a Libre Tea Glass. Watch their how-to video here to find out.
Rating: 5 out of 5 tea leaves


Based on the ratings, it is no surprise that the Libre Tea Glass is one of my favourites for tea on the go. I would love to gift a Libre Tea Large Black Brush glass to one of my readers so you may experience your own the go tea moments with it (a $26.95 value). To enter, simply follow the instructions on the widget below. We have made it so that there are many ways for you to enter, increasing your ballots and chances to win!
Please note that this giveaway is open to residents of the United States, Canada and the UK. Winners will be selected at random and announced on April 10, 2015 by email, social media & on our site. Feel free to enter as much as you can each day, and best of luck! 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Matcha Comparison: Do You Know What You're Buying/Drinking?

It seems like the biggest "trend" for 2015 thus far but matcha has been around for centuries! I'm glad people are taking notice of the incredible beverage of course but there are many grades out there that you should be aware of before you make your purchase. Today, I'm going to talk about ceremonial and culinary grade. I am in no way a professional but matcha is something I am continually educating myself about. Please feel free to share your thoughts whenever.

Ceremonial is the highest grade. If you are wanting to prepare your matcha the traditional way this is the best grade that you will want to purchase to use. 

Culinary is a lower grade and because of this it is usually less expensive. It's best used as an ingredient in food and/or beverages such as smoothies. 

Unfortunately, you may sometimes find companies selling culinary grade as ceremonial and you still have to pay the more expensive price tag. When I first started drinking matcha I ran into this problem. A lot. I thought I was getting such a great deal when I found 80 grams of matcha for around $30. After a bunch of research and a lot of chats with people in the industry I began to learn that there wasn't only one grade of matcha no matter how often a company may tell you "our matcha is best matcha out there." So how do you know what quality you are buying? Don't be afraid to ask questions before hand. Here are a few questions to ask yourself that I find work best for me. Feel free to chime in if you have anything to add.
  • Where was the matcha grown and processed?
  • How does the colour look?
  • What part of the tea plant was used to produce the matcha?
  • Is it organic and/or are there any additives?  
I happen to have four different matcha brands in my tea stash that would be perfect for a fun matcha experiment. While it is more common to prepare matcha with a "foam" on the top layer, for this purpose of exposing the entire liquid, I did not attempt that during this experiment. I have also set aside each matcha in a smaller white cup so that it is hopefully better to see the colour. I will not be sharing the brands' names in this post. This experiment is not intended to call out certain brands, rather help others decipher and understand different matcha qualities better. I am also not saying that a specific matcha is bad and you should only stick to a certain one. Everyone has their own palate. Depending on how you like your matcha and plan to consume it, you will make your own decision on what makes your taste buds sing.

Matcha #1

 Name: Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder
Origin: Somewhere in China
Harvest Date: Undisclosed
Price: $29.00 for 80 grams
Tasting Notes: At first glance, this matcha powder is not as bright as the others compared. Although it doesn't specify the grade, I would consider this one to be more of a culinary grade. One way I can gather that is that this matcha is a bit more stubborn when it comes to trying to froth it. A great rule to follow is the higher quality the more easier froth will appear. Also, the price--it seems really affordable. I do not think you can find ceremonial grade matcha for that price. This matcha is earthy and has a sweet taste. It is also a lot more grassier than the other three.

Matcha #2

 Name: Japanese Matcha Supreme
Origin: Somewhere in Japan
Harvest Date: Undisclosed
Price: $34.00 for 50 grams
Tasting Notes: While the powder from this matcha is brighter green than the first it is still a bit dull. The froth accessibility is friendlier. For the taste, I found this matcha to be rather light. It is a shame that I could not find the exact region in Japan this matcha came from to get more information.

Matcha #3

Name: Organic Ceremonial Grade Matcha Powder
Origin: Aichi, Japan
Harvest Date: Undisclosed
Price: $29.00 for 30 grams
Tasting Notes: Aichi is more north Japan which results in colder climates. I was informed that this could cause the leaves to become harder creating a more bitter taste. I think this made for a unique taste. It's quite vegetal and thankfully, stronger than the other two.

Matcha #4

Name: Ceremonial Grade Organic Matcha
Origin: Uji, Japan
Harvest Date: May 2014
Price: $25.00 for 30 grams
Tasting Notes: This matcha is the brightest of them all. The very fine powder and the vibrant green just sings to me. With a full body, this matcha had a delicious creamy texture that made me want more. I was surprised to see that it is also price very well given the high quality.

Now let's answer those questions we were asking ourselves earlier... 

  • Matcha that was grown and processed somewhere in Japan is going to be your best option for high quality because of the environment.
  • The greener and more vibrant the colour of the matcha, the higher the quality.
  • Learning what part of the Camellia Sinensis plant was used for the matcha may be harder to find out but I have been told the top leaves and bud are to be used. If your matcha has a harsher taste it could be because bigger leaves and stems were mixed into the powder. 
  • You are consuming the actual tea leaves with matcha and because of this I believe that organic should be the way to go. You do not want to be ingesting chemicals with your super drink. Also, sometimes you may find matcha that has other sugar or flavourings added to it. Stick to pure.
This experiment made me realize more how important it is to ask questions. Finding information about some of the matcha brands online was difficult. Instead of just ignoring the unanswered questions go out there and ask! It's nice when a company has all the helpful details about it's matcha outlined on it's website so consumers can research before their purchase. Kudos to those that do!

Did you find this matcha comparison helpful? Do you have anything to add? Please let me know in the comments below!
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