I've only visited Japan once, but one of the things I would like to do one day is witness and take part in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. With some ridiculously awesome, ceremonial grade matcha for an out-of-body experience. Or at least out-of-body in my head.
I'm tired y'all. Worked last night and couldn't sleep much. #nightshiftproblems. Hence the need for matcha. I've been gravitating toward tea and kombucha lately for my energy boost, mainly because of the added health benefits besides the indispensable caffeine.
By no means do I claim, nor have I ever claimed, to be a matcha expert. You don't become an expert by reading articles on the internet or watching youtube videos no matter what anyone says. I'm just an ordinary baby-faced grandma (figuratively not literally :P) out to get the best value for my dollar. After all, the only thing better than spending money is saving it. Anyhoo, this is another product of Japan, which means I set my expectations quite high.
I know I poo-pooed the more expensive, powdered matcha for price reasons, not taste. But I'm unsure how this can stand up to that product. I shook the can as recommended. But can we just acknowledge that this color has my stomach churning already? Granted the color reminds me of mung bean soup, a dessert I enjoy in the summer months. But this...as a tea? Not particularly appealing.
I'll agree that this tea has a bold flavor but only because it tastes like tea that has been over-steeped for several hours. It's earthy, yes, but it lacks the delicate nature I normally enjoy with matcha. It also has a bit of a chalky texture, like there's undissolved powder swirling about. If you do not like tea to begin with, I'm fairly certain you will spit this out. I suppose the good news is that at $0.99 per 8 oz. can, it's not a buy that you'll regret price-wise, but for only $0.20 more you could get the much better golden oolong tea.
Not that I would personally shell out $6.99 for 7 teeny matcha packets, but from a taste perspective, if you're that desperate to buy matcha from TJ's, I'd go for that before I go for this. This is not matcha. If we're calling this matcha, then I suppose we have to call TJ's sushi sushi (It is not. I refuse to post a sushi review. It requires plopping down money for a sushi that is one of the worst tasting sushis I've ever had).
TL;DR: Trader Joe's Matcha Green Tea Unsweetened. Alternative matcha. Super alternative. Skip. 4 out of 10.