After a lot of tasting (and gaining some pounds along the way 🙂 ) it’s time to focus on what this blog is all about: the world of Matcha noms!
This means I’m going to be writing reviews of every Japanese Matcha item I can get my hands on, hoping to become a reference for everyone with an interest in the topic. Whether you are just curious or an addict looking for the best new Matcha treat in town, you should feel right at home 🙂
I will try to be as objective as possible, keeping into account parameters such as the packaging, the impression the product leaves on me and the actual taste of course. Information about the manufacturer etc. will be included as well.
Let’s get started!
Contestant number one: Oreo Bits Sandwiches Matcha
You might be wondering why an all American brand like Oreo is in this list, but make no mistake: they have a whole variety of treats available in Japan too!
In fact, the Japanese company Nabisco is licensed to use the (very strong) Oreo brand and bring a whole range of localised snacks of which the Matcha sandwiches are just one.
When opening the bag my first impression wasn’t that great. The Matcha cookies are really small and lacking in visual details. As they are not individually wrapped, they also contaminated each other a “bit”. Admittedly, the Matcha cookies went through a lot during my travels and who knows what happened to them before in the infamous Don Quijote store, but I still have the impression quality could just be better.
Taste wise I can be really short: If you like the taste of Oreo cookies and don’t mind a slight Matcha aftertaste (the Oreo cookie overpowers a bit to say the least) you’re good to go! Everyone knows Oreos, so it’s an ideal snack to introduce Matcha taste and share while nomming away. Just don’t expect anything refined and fancy.
Contestant number two: Maison de Kukkia Matcha Wafer
Time to move over to the French Quarter! Or at least as far as the name goes 🙂
When I was in Japan I saw a lot of English or French words popping up on t-shirts, shops, bars, etc. Not necessarily making any sense, it is mostly used to add some class to the object in question marketing wise. It works well for these Matcha Cookies if you ask me!
Although the image above is not that representative (I was nomming away when it struck me I didn’t have a picture yet 🙂 ), you can still get the idea: 12 separately packaged cookies, positioned 6 by 6 in a nice container. For me, this immediately set the expectation of a higher quality product than the Oreo’s. And right I was!
This cookie is made up of 2 very light wafers, tasting somewhat like ice cream cones. It has “Maison de Kukkia” printed on top to add some flair and it has a very sweet filling. It’s supposed to be a mix of matcha and chocolate, but to be honest…it’s hard to taste the matcha and I didn’t notice any of the chocolate at all. If you don’t really concentrate, all you get is a Matcha smell and a sugary taste.
Nevertheless I still really enjoyed them and would definitely buy them again for someone who prefers a stylish cookie with a Matcha taste that isn’t too pronounced.
And last but not least: Meiji Rich Matcha Biscuits
Despite their unmistakable focus, the previous Matcha cookies stay on the safe side as to the amount of Matcha you can actually taste. I’m not sure if it has to do with the fact that it’s an expensive ingredient, or if it’s it something they decided after a lot of market research, but I find it a bit disappointing.
I like a strong Matcha taste. Even when there’s a little bitterness to it as a result, I don’t mind at all.
Maybe the Meiji Rich Matcha Biscuits will deliver on their promise?
Yes they do! The front promises 51% of Matcha (had some help from Google Translate there 🙂 ) which results in a much stronger Matcha taste, just the way I imagined it. And it doesn’t stop there.
The splendid Matcha filling sits between two neatly detailed cookies which can be compared to a crispier, more refined Oreo. The result is a really well balanced taste that is neither to sugary or to weak Matcha wise.
For me it’s really easy: the Meiji Rich Matcha Biscuits are the clear winner by combining the best features of the Matcha Oreo’s and the Kukkia Waffers, with the added bliss of a Matcha filling that keeps you wanting more and more!
There you have it! My second review is a wrap! Next up is a review on several Matcha Pocky’s I brought home to Belgium.
In the meantime: if you like this article, please share and/or leave a comment below. I would love to know what my readers are thinking 🙂