Country of Origin: Japan
Leaf Appearance: bright green, find powder
Preparation Method: traditional whisking
Liquor: bright green, foamy
I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for beautiful packaging. That is why I couldn’t resist when I kept seeing Saihoji’s matcha canisters popping up on my Instagram feed. Raku Paradise is their base-level matcha but not inexpensive, clocking in at $32 for 20g. It is 100% Okumidori from a single tea garden in Uji. Single estate matcha is quite hard to find, especially with a less common cultivar.
The tea itself came packaged in a typical silver bag. I was surprised to find that the outer container was cardboard. That isn’t a deal-breaker, but I really prefer non-porous materials since I refrigerate my matcha. The lid was beautifully made out of wood. I would not quite consider it airtight. That is not as big of a deal with matcha (as long as you store it properly) because it is intended for you to consume quickly once it is opened.
Color and texture are your biggest indicators of the quality of matcha green tea. Raku Paradise was finely powdered with a vibrant, bright green color. There was a fresh and clean aroma the moment that I cut open the inner bag. It sifted well and cleanly without any clumps or larger particles. I prepared this tea in a chawan in the usucha style. It created a dense foam almost instantly. Various factors determine this, but it’s always oddly satisfying when matcha froths up without much effort at all.
Raku Paradise whisked up a bright green color. The taste was milky and sweet with a distinct note of hazelnuts. It was not heavy in umami, and the vegetal notes leaned more towards fresh peas. There was no bitterness or astringency. I found it to be energizing but in a balanced way. Overall I was happy with the quality of Raku Paradise, and I would be interested in trying their other offerings. This would be a great matcha for beginners because it is fairly mild without too much intensity or heavy taste.
Have you ever tried Raku Paradise? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!