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Field Test - Tenzo Tea

Author:Britt Maughan R.D.
545   412 
Tenzo Matcha

Matcha is an increasingly popular health drink as we continue to learn all the benefits it offers. It also serves as a great alternative to coffee or other caffeinated drinks. Matcha is a finely ground form of green tea. It is uniquely produced by green tea plants that are shade-grown, then the leaves are steamed, then air dried. These dried leaves are then finely ground and mixed directly with hot water. This process allows for more chlorophyll to develop, giving matcha its rich green color, and increases the concentration of theanine and caffeine. 

With matcha,  you’re drinking the actual ground leaves, instead of steeping a tea bag. This process allows more of the great benefits to become available, since you aren’t just throwing away the leaves. The benefits of matcha include caffeine (about 35mg per ½ tsp of powder), a high level of antioxidants (15 times the amount in pomegranates and blueberries), vitamins C and A, fiber and iron. It also has the calming effects of L-theanine (an amino acid - read more below), and has shown the ability to fight bacteria, viruses and fungi. (1)

Tenzo Tea makes a variety of organic Matcha teas, both flavored and unflavored. I gave the Tenzo Tea Blueberry Matcha, Matcha Latte, and Premium Matcha a try, and simply drank the tea as a substitute to my regular morning latte. I simply mixed the powder with 6-8oz of hot water and whisked it for about 1 minute.

Tenzo Tea Directions

Blueberry Matcha 


THE GOOD

Mixing – This tea is so convenient compared to regular tea. Since it’s in powder form, you simply mix it with hot water, and voila! You have an amazing, warm, relaxing, tasty cup of matcha tea. The powder mixes very well with hot water, and leaves little to no residue at the bottom. You could easily mix more or less depending on your flavor preference. 
Taste – The Blueberry Matcha was exceptionally good! I usually prefer my coffee or tea with cream,Tenzo Tea but the powder and hot water was perfect. Adding cream or milk tasted amazing as well, but I was surprised by how complete the flavor was, and that it required no additional ingredients. The sweetness is just perfect as well - it was balanced and was just the right amount to compliment the matcha and blueberry flavor. I was worried it’d be bitter, and it wasn’t at all. Lastly – the blueberry flavor was very mild and not overpowering. It’s a great mix of flavor, sweetness, and matcha. 
Ingredients - The ingredients are super simple, and for how tasty it was, I was surprised that it only had three ingredients – Green Tea Matcha, Natural Blueberry Flavor, and Pure Cane Sugar. I also appreciated the use of pure cane sugar – I like sugar alternatives, like stevia, but sometimes it can alter the flavor of something as delicate as matcha, and the cane sure was the perfect sweetness and compliment to the matcha. 
Matcha Quality - As the label states, this matcha is grown in Japan and is 100% organic and stone ground to preserve quality and taste. 
L-theanine - This amino acid is found almost exclusively in tea (in the species of the evergreen shrub Camellia sinensis). It is found to promote relaxation without sedation. It's also effective at reducing stress at standard dosages. A combination of L-theanine and caffeine is noted to be synergistic in promoting cognition and attention (2). That being said, matcha makes a great afternoon tea when you don't want the buzz from coffee (or worry about it keeping you up at night), and need an attention booster between lunch and dinner.

KEEP IN MIND
Caffeine - This particular matcha contains 20mg of caffeine per serving. The typical cup of coffee contains about 95mg of caffeine. If you’re looking for the same “buzz’’ in matcha, you may not find it due to the lower caffeine content. However, with the L-theanine, which gives matcha its flavor and increases alpha waives in the brain, some drinkers get a slight buzz that lasts longer than coffee, and can cause a calming effect by relaxing the mind without inducing drowsiness (as said in detail above). 

Matcha Latte

THE GOOD

Taste - The matcha taste is mild and not bitter or grassy. Again, similar to the blueberry, the sweetness level is just right, and is balanced nicely with the powdered milk. 
Mixing - Just like the blueberry, the latte is easily mixed with hot water. I mixed one sample packet (one heaping teaspoon – see picture) with 8-9 oz of hot water. You could easily mix with less water to get a stronger matcha flavor. I prefer mine mild.
Tenzo TeaMultiple uses - Matcha latte is a great flavor for anyone who wants to simply mix with water and head out the door. The sweetness and the powdered milk make for a quick latte - not as rich as mixing with foamed milk or cream, but still works nicely for those that love to add milk. Its mild flavor would be great for hot tea, iced tea, or shakes.  
Ingredients - Again, super simple ingredients here – Green Tea Matcha, Powdered Milk and Pure Can Sugar. Just like the blueberry – all ingredients compliment the matcha nicely, and the sugar isn’t too sweet or overpowering. 

KEEP IN MIND

Latte – While the ingredients list powdered milk, (and when mixed it does make a cloudier, milkier cup than regular matcha), it’s not the typical latte you might be used to. If you enjoy a cup with 2/3 milk, and 1/3 espresso or green tea, this will not be the same. The taste is amazing, and you do get the feeling you are drinking a latte – but it isn’t as rich as a traditional latte with foamed milk. It’s similar to a cup (6-8oz) of matcha mixed with a little cream – just enough to make it cloudy. You could easily add more cream or add foamed milk if you’re craving a richer cup. But if you’re traveling, on-the-go, or at work, this is a perfect cup of matcha without all the fuss of bringing cream, milk, or sugar. 

Premium Matcha


THE GOOD

Taste - This tea is pure matcha, no added sugar, flavors, or powdered milk. This is great for the true matcha lovers who simply want the pure and clean taste of matcha without all the fuss. This can also be mixed with your own combinations of milk and sugar, for a richer cup. The flavor of this matcha is stronger, and more on the ''grassy' and slightly bitter side. This is the distinct flavor that matcha is known for, and Tenzo does a great job of producing a nice flavor. 
Benefits - As listed with both flavors above, matcha provides a ton of great benefits. Premium Matcha simply lets the drinker get the best ingredient at it's purest form, the matcha! And just like the other flavors, you can dress it up, drink it hot, drink it cold, or use it in a shake. 

KEEP IN MIND

Mixing - Because this tea is 100% matcha, it leaves some matcha at the bottom of the cup, so you need to stir regularly before sipping. We recommend using a whisk for best results. We also add more hot water for another cup, if enough matcha is left over. 

BOTTOM LINE
I am a huge fan of all three of the flavors I tried, Premium Matcha, Blueberry Matcha and Matcha latte. Both Blueberry and the Latte offer a well-balanced, smooth, and mild matcha flavor that could be used in hot teas, iced teas, and smoothies. The Premium Matcha is an amazing product, that is great for the purist that simply wants matcha without the added sugar or flavors. I liked matcha before having these teas, and now I LOVE matcha. I’m used to overpowering teas with a chalky and bitter taste – but Tenzo really delivers a solid, smooth, and flavorful cup that leaves you wanting more. I am definitely excited to try all the flavors they have to offer, and encourage you to do the same! 

1. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/07/18/matcha-green-tea-benefits.aspx
2. http://examine.com/supplements/Theanine/

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