SHOGYOKUEN Ceremonial Grade Matcha, Powdered Green Tea, 40g
Genuinely top quality matcha is unparalleled by their counterparts in chain retailers, often dubbed "ceremonial" or other unempirical nomenclatures. There is no international standard as of today governing matcha grading, but price does commensurate with quality.
The best matcha is extremely difficult to obtain. Tea plants grown freely under canopy shade for at least a month are handpicked in spring. The leaves are then steamed, dried, cut and finally ground on a stone mill that produces merely 40g in an hour. To achieve the various taste profiles, the tea powders are then blended by expert blenders.
Hiroshi Kobayashi, the top man at Shogyokuen, is one of the dozen master tea blenders in Japan who hold the highest rank of tea appraisal at level 10. From year to year, he consistently produces blends that resonate to various matcha needs.
The 4 blends we chose for our customers at Gusta Supply ranks #1, #4, #7, and #8 in their line of matcha.
#1 Suisho is, perhaps, the best matcha our chef has ever tasted. It evoked an "ecstatic feeling that is beyond comprehension," according to him.
#4 Chiyomukashi is very strong in umami, sweet, and comes in an absolutely beautiful vivid green. It is suitable for both koicha (thick tea for formal occasions) and usucha (thin tea for casual tea ceremonies).
#7 Iwai no Shiro and #8 Izumi no Shiro are suitable for usucha. In our comparative tastings, both exceeds all other "ceremonial grade matcha" we tried in terms of umami, colour, and mouthfeel.