Most helpful critical review
63 of 76 people found the following review helpful
Passable as green tea, but "matcha" is misleading
on April 27, 2010
When I saw this at the store, I thought, "Wow! How did they capture the flavor of matcha in a tea bag?" The short answer is: they didn't.
This is an acceptable (not great) plain green tea. The flavor is a bit stale, but I recognize that we're talking about pre-bagged leaves. It's certainly nothing to write home about. It also brews up weak for a green tea (and I'm familiar with how green tea should brew - I'm not comparing it to a black tea).
My major issue with this tea is the same issue that the first reviewer had. It is misleading to label this as "matcha tea powder with green tea leaves", because that statement implies that it will taste like matcha mixed with green tea. The actual tea does not deliver on this promise. There is no matcha flavor whatsoever to this tea when brewed. It tastes like a straight green tea (and as I mentioned previously, not even a very good green tea). Where's the matcha???
The reality is that it was silly of me to get sucked in by their marketing, because there's simply no way that the matcha experience can be recreated in a teabag. Here's why, for those of you who are interested:
Matcha tea is prepared in a completely different manner than green tea brewed from leaves. If you're reading this review, you already know that making green tea from leaves involves pouring hot water over the dried leaves/teabag, allowing it to steep, then removing the leaves/teabag. In comparison, matcha tea is made by placing a scoopful of matcha powder in a bowl, adding hot water, and then whisking with a bamboo tea whisk until the powder is completely dissolved into the water. How can that be recreated in a teabag? It can't be. In these teabags, there's only an extremely minor amount of matcha powder, not even enough to even be noticeable in flavor. Plus, you're not whisking it to create the distinctive matcha consistency. These are just teabags that have been lightly dusted with matcha powder to create a puff of green powder when you open the tin, so you think you're getting your "matcha money's worth" for buying this flavor instead of regular green tea.
Sorry, Republic of Tea. I usually enjoy your teas, but this one fell far short. I won't be buying it again.