Matcha vs. Matcha!

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I was fortunate enough to be one of several bloggers who participated in a matcha blind taste test sponsored by Red Leaf Tea. RLT sent twelve samples of matcha, all from different companies, and packaged them in numbered envelopes.

I had no idea which was theirs, or who any of them belonged to. I have had matcha in the past, but only the flavored kind - so this was all new to me.

I started out looking for cups that I could mix the matcha in, and found that I had six that matched. I had a total of twelve, but some of them were different colors. Since I was asked to evaluate the matcha on the basis of color, sweetness and flavor, I didn’t want to taint the color by using a different color cup. I ended up doing two batches of six. The cups have little fish in the bottom, so that's the orange you see peeking through.
A little matcha goes a long way! Initially I used 1/4 t, but quickly decided that was too much and mixed each sample with 1/8 t matcha and about 3T of water. I was surprised at how much the color varied - from a lovely jade green to sort of a sickly yellow. The sweetness varied a lot too. A couple of the samples were so bitter that I immediately made a face. My results are below.
It was really interesting to do the tasting blind and then see the results.  Some of the matchas I liked the least cost the most, and vice-versa.  

Sample 1: Price per bag: $24.95  Price per oz: $6.24

Sample 2: Price per bag: $10.75 Price per oz: $1.22

Sample 3: Price per bag: $24.00 Price per oz: $6.00

Sample 4: Price per bag: $19.99 Price per oz: $2.27

Sample 5: Price per bag: $21.99 Price per oz: $5.50

Sample 6: Price per bag: $29.99 Price per oz: $8.52

Sample 7: Price per bag: $16.99 Price per oz: $1.93

Sample 8: Price per bag: $24.71 Price per oz: $2.47

Sample 9: Price per bag: $25.00 Price per oz: $6.25

Sample 10: Price per bag: $24.99 Price per oz: $6.25

Sample 11: Price per bag: $14.99 Price per oz: $0.94

Sample 12: Price per bag: $24.99 Price per oz: $1.56

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