Leaf Type: Green (Matcha)
Where to Buy: Red Leaf Tea
Sea buckthorn has its origins in the high Eastern hills of India, Russia and China. This hardy plant can also be credited for checking the soil erosion within the mountainous climate it is grown on. It also grows in great abundance and provides a steady source of revenue for its local farmers. Sea buckthorn has been well documented in Eastern folklore as having very many remedial benefits from past times as long ago as the 18th century.
Learn more about this flavored matcha here.
If you’re like me, you’re wondering what a Sea Buckthorn is. Apparently it’s a berry that’s loaded with health benefits. I ordered this Sea Buckthorn Flavored Matcha from Red Leaf Tea out of curiosity, though, not because it was going to be healthy. That’s never my motivation for my tea orders … I drink tea because I like the taste, not because it’s healthy. That it IS healthy – that’s a bonus!
So I went into this experience not knowing what to expect from it. After preparing it traditionally: scooping out the matcha with a chashaku into a fine mesh strainer that I use to sift the matcha, then I sift it directly into the chawan and pour hot water over the matcha while whisking with my chasen. The matcha had very little froth, much less than I usually have with a matcha and what little froth was present dissipated within moments after I finished whisking.
My first sip: hmm, I taste a tart, tangy berry taste and a citrus-y taste that is especially noticeable in the aftertaste. It’s as if a berry, a lemon and a lime have somehow had a lovechild. That’s what I taste from this Sea Buckthorn flavored Matcha. It tastes lemon-lime-ish with a distinctive berry-like note. It’s very bright and flavorful, tart with whispers of sweetness. There is a “slickness” to the texture that melds in a harmonious way with the natural creamy texture of the matcha. There is a tangy astringency toward the tail that I rarely experience with a bowl of matcha.
The “usual” matcha flavors are not real obvious to the palate with this bowl of matcha. I do taste a light buttery taste and I think more than anything, what the matcha does is soften and sweeten the fruit. From what I can learn of this berry, it is quite a tart berry and I think that the sweetness of the matcha is helping to curb some of that tartness because this isn’t an overly tart tasting drink. It is tart … but not as tart as I think it might be if there was more sea buckthorn flavoring.
As it is, I have selected the “distinctive” level of flavoring with the classic grade of Matcha. I think that this was a good choice, because I’m getting a pretty good idea of what sea buckthorn tastes like. A stronger level of flavoring would have likely been too tart for my palate. However, if I were to purchase this in the future, I might choose a delicate level of flavoring because I would like to taste more of the Matcha. The distinctive level is just right to learn more about what this fruit tastes like … but I think that for future use, I’d rather have more matcha flavor and less fruit.
This is a tasty matcha. Not my favorite from Red Leaf Tea, but, they can’t all be my favorite, now can they? But I like it and am happy I had the opportunity to try it.