Matcha craze is real. We have matcha flavored lattes, milk tea, donuts, cakes, Kit Kat bars… you name it!
Of course, I tried a variety of matcha sweets and drinks. Well, I’ll be focusing on the drinks, since that is the #Throwback topic for this post. But first, what is matcha and how it is processed.
The Green Powder That Everybody Loves
Matcha is a finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves.^ It is generally processed by grinding the leaves into a fine green powder, but the preparation is quite tedious. It is classified into three grades: the ceremonial grade (most expensive), the premium grade, and the culinary/cooking grade (least expensive). The ceremonial grade is mainly used in tea ceremonies and Buddhist temples, and are of the highest quality. The premium grade is for daily consumption and contains the full nutritional content. The culinary/cooking grade is suitable for cooking purposes and is slightly bitter than the others.^
Matcha is processed by carefully selecting growing tea buds, which are shaded for 20 days. The harvested fresh tea leaves are steamed at a very high temperature and then cooled. The leaves are then sorted according to grade, removing the stems and veins, and then grinding the leaves into a fine powder.^
Now that I explained what matcha is and how it is processed, then it’s time for some throwback memories about the matcha drinks I’ve had during those times.
The first matcha drink I had is a bottled one. It had a milky root crop taste (similar to taro) and it was really good. The moment I want to have one, I can’t find it in some supermarkets. Turns out that it was only available in select convenience store branches and it’s more of a limited edition item.
I must have bought the bottled drink twice or thrice, and I really enjoyed it so much that I wanted to pair it with a matcha flavored donut or Kit Kat. Well, I tried pairing it with a matcha donut, but the donut itself is incredibly too sweet to consume along with the bottled matcha drink that I felt jittery after that. I guess that was the last time I had that bottled matcha drink. Since then, I can no longer find that particular bottled matcha drink anywhere as of this writing.
I always order fruit tea or fruit-flavored milk teas whenever I passed by a milk tea shop. But that time, I just noticed something written on a small blackboard beside the counter. Yup, there’s a matcha drink available at the milk tea shop I frequented. I asked the person at the counter if it’s still available, and she said yes.
Before long, I already sat down in one of the tables, with a matcha drink in hand. I enjoyed an entire afternoon sipping the matcha milk tea and marvel at its mild flavor… absolutely not too bitter.
I was hoping to have another sip of the matcha milk tea again, but they always ran out of stock, therefore, they’re not always available. Oh well, I’ll try to have one when I got the chance.
Of course, these are not the only times when I had some of the matcha drinks.
Sure, it was kind of a premium (and at times, expensive) treat, but this shouldn’t stop me from having a cup (or a bottle) of it. After all, matcha drinks are something worth enjoying, don’t you agree?