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Product Review: Trying Out the "Unkaku" Matcha from Marukyu Koyamaen

Product Review: Trying Out the "Unkaku" Matcha from Marukyu Koyamaen

Posted by Yuki on 22nd Aug 2020

What a lucky day!

So the news is, as a part of the Tealife blog, there is going to be a new series of contents covering the tasting of different types of tea. Some may be from the Tealife online shop, some may not. Some may be done by me, others by somebody else.

Tea Tasting and Review

  • To unveil and share great Japanese tea
  • Both tea from and not from Tealife online shop is tasted

Sounds good so far, right?

Well - It get's better. (for me)

So the first one will be done by me. And for the first tea of the series, Tealife chose to cover this tea over here.

"Unkaku" Matcha from Marukyu Koyamaen

Tadaa!

Yes, It's the "Unkaku" Matcha by Marukou Taniguchien! Ha! Lucky me!

So for those of you who aren't familiar, this is a premium Matcha tea that really can't go wrong. All Matcha lovers know this manufacturer, and would use "Unkaku" for special occasions because of it's quality.

I already know how good this tea is, but of course I'll accept this opportunity anyways! What a fortunate day for me.

Before we go into the tasting, let's go over the tea.


Product Review: Trying Out the "Unkaku" Matcha from Marukyu Koyamaen


Firstly, it's a Matcha

What's a Matcha

Matcha is the highest grade of powdered tea. They are made from shaded tea leaves called "Tencha". Shading from the sun results in a great rich umami and a seaweed-like smell called "Ooika".

Learn more about Matcha here.

The great thing about this tea is that it can be used for "Koicha" or thick tea as well. Yes, that's how high a quality this is.

Usucha and Koicha?

These are 2 different ways of making Matcha.

Usucha Koicha

"Thin Tea". It's the common way of drinking Matcha. If you're not into traditional tea ceremony, this is the one you're looking for. It is whisked to mix and produce bubbles. Suitable for all Matcha leaves.

"Thick Tea". A much thicker way of drinking Matcha. Only exceptional quality Matcha leaves are suitable, as it will be too bitter if low-grade Matcha powder is used. Whisk is used to mix but no bubbles.

However, today we'll try this as "Usucha" or thin tea.


About the Manufacturer

The manufacturer of this tea is Marukyu Koyamaen. This is a really authentic and established Matcha producer in Kyoto, Japan. A Matcha lover in Japan will know this brand.

Just adding additional social proof - Even looking at NUS's SADO Club's homepage, it seems like Marukyu Koyamaen's Matcha is one of their favorites as well.

Marukyu Koyamaen


Preparing the Tea

So here's the tea. "Unkaku" by Marukyu Koyamaen.

20g can of Unkaku

The moment you open the can, you can easily tell the difference in quality. The rich and mellow aroma, the scent, the great "Ooika" - it bursts and floods the air.

It's really, really rich.

What's an Ooika?

The seaweed-like distinct aroma of shaded tea leaves. This can be enjoyed in Matcha, Gyokuro, and Kabuse-cha.

Let's use the Chashaku to take a scoop.

Scoop of Unkaku

It's a really nice green.

For Matcha powder, the color is important. You want a deep green like this. If it's a yellowish green, the quality may be lower.

This one is nice.

The powder is fine. I feel that it almost may not require a strainer to remove the lumps.

But, of course we'll use a strainer anyways.

The powder easily goes through the strainer. Proves the quality of the powder here as well.

Now let's pour some hot water into the Matcha-chawan (or the Matcha cup)

And then the next step would be to whisk the Matcha by using a Chasen, or a bamboo whisk.

For Japanese Matcha, there really is so many different types of tools. However, I think most of it is replaceable with something in your kitchen.

Everything except for this Chasen.

You really need a Chasen to have great Matcha, and so far I haven't been able to come up with a nice replacement. So try to find one if you don't have one.

It's a bit of a pity Tealife doesn't sell them in their online shop either.

But anyways, let's whisk some Matcha!

looking good.

It's an amazing aroma.

Rich. Creamy. Mellow.

The taste instantly delights.

Couldn't help but widen my eyes as it bursts with umami.

The astringency is very low.

It's not difficult at all to finish this cup of Matcha.


Summary

It's a great tea, period.

If you haven't had too much experience with authentic Matcha, this will instantly become one of your best, if not the best Matcha encounter of your life.

If you have bitter memory with bitter Matcha in the past (pun intended), this will really overhaul your views on Matcha.

It's a must try.

You can find this in Tealife's shop. Find the link below.


About the Author: Yuki

Yuki is a Japanese tea enthusiast living in Singapore. He takes a few hours each week sharing about his passion to locals and also helping Tealife SG. Still a beginner in writing, it requires him about 10 cups of tea before finishing a post. His day job is in the healthcare IT domain.


Dive deeper into the world of Matcha!