Country of Origin: Japan
Leaf Appearance: bright green, fine powder
Water Temperature: 170 degrees
Preparation Method: traditional whisking
Liquor: bright green foam
I previously reviewed and enjoyed Naoki Matcha’s Fragrant Yame Ceremonial Blend. When they offered a sample of their newest offering, Ujitawara Special Blend, I just had to give it a try. It is a blended matcha that heavily features tencha made from the Uji Hikari and Samidori cultivars. The estates that produced the tea were based in Ujitawara and Wazuka, and it was then stone-ground in Kyoto.
Ujitawara Special Blend came packaged in a matte black pouch with a resealable top. I honestly prefer this type of packaging to tins in many cases because I feel like it keeps the tea fresher. The zipper lets me push all of the air out before sealing it back up after use. It also takes up a bit less space in my matcha mini-fridge.
The powder was bright, vibrant green in color with a good texture. There was a noticeable and alluringly fresh aroma the moment that I opened the pouch. For this review, I prepared this matcha in the traditional usucha style, using 2g of tea and about 4oz of 170℉ water. This little black chawan is one of my oldest. It’s simple and plain, but I love how it really shows the tea color.
Ujitawara Special Blend whisked well and created a nice layer of foam. It had a bright green color similar to the powder. The taste was creamy with sweet grassy notes. It also had a nice amount of umami. There was some astringency, but it was balanced. It never crossed over into bitter or unpleasant. The aftertaste lingered on my palate long after finishing my bowl of tea.
Overall I enjoyed this matcha quite a bit. In comparison to the Fragrant Yame, it was very creamy with good umami. It also frothed more easily. I would recommend it to both beginners and matcha fanatics alike. It does have limited availability, so it is a bit more expensive than some of Naoki’s other selections. Thankfully they offer a wide range of matcha choices, so it is easier to find one that suits your needs best.
Have you tried the Ujitawara Special Blend from Naoki Matcha? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!