Matcha Pudding Surprise

Last weekend we were invited for diner at a¬†friend’s place. This usually means I bring a bottle or wine, or help with the dishes afterwards. Anything but me getting involved in the actual making of the food generally ends up OK ūüôā

To everyone’s surprise, I made the following bold announcement: I will make dessert today! And I’m going to do it all by myself!

It’s a good thing everyone was seated, as nobody was expecting this. The resulting silent stares also showed a ¬†painful lack of faith.

It was time to bring out…the box!

It’s easy to see where I got my confidence. Making the desert isn’t exactly a huge challenge, as conveniently displayed (in English!) on the back:

  1. Put a stick of pudding mix into the cup.
  2. Add 60ml of hot water (90¬į or higher) and stir well about 1 minute
  3. Cool it down in the refrigerator over 3 hours

Continue reading

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 ūüėČ

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! ūüôā

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
  • Nestl√©, 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?

Continue reading

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! ūüôā 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 („Āć„Ā£„Ā®„Āč„Ā§) 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. ūüôā

Continue reading