Matcha matcha matcha. I love matcha, and I hate* white chocolate. This should be interesting.
(*Hate is too strong of a word. By hate, I mean I very much dislike white chocolate and
have a horrible tendency to turn up my nose at any consumption of such, and I personally believe in the gospel of dark chocolate. Maybe not like 85% cacao like some of you out there, but maybe I'll count myself a convert to that one day when my desire for the sweet in bittersweet ceases.)
Still trying to go in with an open mind for the sake of the matcha. Speaking of which, I was so thrilled when I got my first "don't listen to this garbage" comment on my last matcha post. For one, I have to remember that sometimes people take what I write seriously, maybe a little too seriously. What I've learned in the past 2+ years of blogging about TJ's stuff (which makes me an expert obviously. Don't take that seriously. :P) is that reviews comprise of more than just taste preferences and prior experience. I happen to factor in perceived value per dollar, perceived quality, perceived convenience, and perceived degree of life-changing-ness. Unconsciously and consciously at times. All for the sake of putting my thoughts into the internet abyss because it's cathartic for me and apparently entertaining for some of you.
Now what does this have to do with matcha. Right. Got $7? Why not plop it down on 7 teeny packets of matcha? How you want to spend your $7 is up to you. Unless you're spending my $7. If you're spending my $7, please get something else. And whatever you do, don't do drugs or buy that Thai Chicken Salad. Both are a terrible waste (and really that Thai Chicken Salad is probably the only TJ's thing I would discourage anyone from buying. It's so awful, but why do people keep buying it???? I need to write to corporate!!). :P
I have to admit the ingredient list here is pretty impressive and simple for what this product is hoping to be. And also points for the packaging. Earthy, spring-like, and similar to a shirt that I own, haha.
Can I just say with this lighting, add some Chinese characters, numbers, and circles or whatever and you've got yourself a MJ set (SHHHH DON'T TELL MY MOTHER).
It's a nice-sized chocolate bar, one I think would be Willy Wonka-approved (would have been nice to get a golden ticket out of it too). It's very sweet, which is expected from the white chocolate, but I find it to be too much. It starts off okay but I find that each bite ends with a sickeningly sweet slap in the teeth. Like I'm about to get a cavity or something. Pressing the actual bar too hard (or pressing it at all really) will cause the matcha filling to ooze out. There's not much matcha flavor in the white chocolate itself, but the filling has a decent matcha flavor, although if you're not accustomed to the bitter earthy taste of matcha you might find that unpleasant.
I wanted to like this, but honestly it's pretty underwhelming. The chocolate itself I find way too sweet, and the middle filling seems like an afterthought. I don't love chocolate bars enough to chomp down on them to begin with, but there's nothing particularly compelling about this to keep me from throwing it into my cupboard and forgetting about it. It also doesn't help that it doesn't have much of an appetizing color either.
It seems fitting to bring up the ever-so-popular Nestle Green Tea KitKats. Although it's not marketed as a "matcha" flavored chocolate, it's the closest alternative I can think of. Unlike the TJ's version, the KitKat has a more delicate, balanced flavor. It smells of vanilla, has a creamier finish (although the internet says there's a graininess from the green tea? I didn't really notice that), and isn't as sweet (but don't get me wrong. It's still sweet). It has enough of a hint of a green tea flavor where I can identify it as such but it runs on the subtle side for sure. Furthermore, that signature wafer inside adds a nice texture and transforms it into an almost-biscuit.
I wonder what a green tea chocolate might taste like with a milk or darker chocolate as the base, but perhaps a darker chocolate would clash with or overpower the already earthy matcha taste. Although the TJ's matcha white chocolate bar appears cheaper ($2.29 for 3 oz), I don't find it worth it at all. I'd rather shell out a bit more for the more interesting green tea Kitkats, which I feel like more people might find enjoyable.
TL;DR: Trader Joe's Matcha White Chocolate Bar. Really sweet cheap chocolate bar with a matcha-ish goopy center. Go for those green tea Kitkats instead. 3 out of 10.