Matcha Latte Battle Royale

No better excuse for preparing a warm beverage than the cold and drizzling days brought by fall.  One could go for the traditional cup of coffee, or a Hot Chocolate maybe. But I have another idea that might catch your attention 😉

Yes it is time to get yourselves acquainted with a really good alternative: the Matcha Latte! And by good I mean better. Far better.

Because something magical happens when you combine  Matcha and Milk!

You won’t be surprised then that  I stocked up for an entire year of the just-add–water Matcha Latte powders during my visit to Japan in may, allowing me  to give  some guidance in the different brands that bring Matcha Latte to the masses. I will compare them based on a couple of parameters  and wrap up by disclosing my favorite one, so you will know which one to buy! 🙂

The contestants
Matcha Latte Products

From left to right we have:

  • Matcha Milk powder by ItoEn, a Japanese Multinational specializing in Tea production. I drank a lot of their ready-in-a-bottle Green Tea with no added sugars like this one here. Something very obvious in Japan, but a lot harder to get in Belgium…
  • The little box is in  fact pure matcha powder from Kyoto by Marukyu Koyamaen. This way I can show you what undiluted matcha powder looks like in comparison
  • Blendy Stick must be one of the most popular Japanese brands specialised in all sorts of powdered drinks. No way they could miss out on the Matcha flavour!
  • GreenMax Matcha Milk is the odd duck in the lot. It’s a Taiwanese product that I added so we can compare this “foreign” product with the quality we get from the Japanese ones
  • Nestlé, known mostly from their Kit-Kats, also has a stick based Matcha Latte offering
  • Last, but certainly not least, we have Matcha Milk powder brought to us by Kataoka, another big tea name that distributes western teas like Twinnings in Japan. They have Matcha Milk powder with Matcha from the famous Tsujiri tea house. Is it worthy of using that name?

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Only in Japan: Matcha KitKats

Back when the name KitKat was registered in the 1930s no one thought the 4-finger snack would take the world by storm. Today everyone  recognises the red and white logo from miles away and most of you would be able to state their slogan  by heart.

There’s only one place where KitKats get to be really special though. Yes, you guessed it right, its Japan! 🙂 There must be something like 200 different tastes, different from region to region. They often get pretty weird as well, like KitKats with wasabi or baked potato taste.

Japanese KitKat store

The reason why? KitKat pronounced in Japanese sounds very close to Kitto Katsu (きっとかつ) which roughly translates to “you will surely win!”.  Today,  KitKats are commonly given to students during exams as a symbol of good luck. And as you can see, sometimes a bit of good luck is all you need. 🙂

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Hello Kitty Matcha Chocolates

After konnichiwa and sayonara, kawaii must be one of the first Japanese words anyone gets to learn. “Cute”ness is very important in Japan. It is to be found everywhere from characters in animation series and mascots in commercials to the way girls dress up, resulting in an abundance of Lolita like characters all over the place.

No wonder that “Hello Kitty” stemmed from Japanese minds as well. This cute girl (yes she seems to be a girl after all!) has taken the world by storm. For those of you who have missed her somehow, this is she:

Hello Kitty was invented by Sanrio, who made it into a really succesful merchandise. You can even find Hello Kitty themed restaurants like this one in Kyoto for example:

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