Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Grace & Green: Japanese Matcha Start-up Delivers Worldwide

For those who are looking for the premium, authentic Matcha and Houjicha powder straight from Japan without going to any local suppliers here, Grace and Green is the ideal online platform where you can order your products and have them delivered right to your doorstep. This Chiba-based Japanese start-up was established in 2015 by Ritsuko Takahashi san, who wanted to educate more people  and bring the finest quality of Japanese tea powder to the masses. She sourced the matcha from Marukyu-Koyamaen, a highly renowned Kyoto tea producer which has won the top position in All Japan tea contest nineteen times. 

There are basically 4 types of matcha available at Grace and Green. Ceremonial Matcha is the highest grade and most flavorful tea that is best suited for special occasions, usually tea ceremonies, and for those who are familiar with the fundamentals of making a good matcha brew. Not just stirring them in hot water. The Luxury matcha is the organic tea powder that is good for everyday consumption. The Healthy Green Tea Powder (SGD19.35 /40g) in black packaging is the most affordable pack. And if you use them more in baking/cooking like me, the Regular Matcha (SGD29/40g) will fit the bill. 

However, don't mistake this for the usual cooking grade matcha just because of the word "regular" as this is not. Those in supermarkets or baking stores are relatively cheaper but they are often the powder of low grade of sencha. It is difficult to judge by just staring at the display shelves but I usually check by the source and the price per gram since we can't possibly open the goods and examine every single product. 

Very often for the case of matcha, you pay for what you get just like the chinese old saying, 一分钱一分货。Once you open the tin, you can straight away tell the difference between this and those sold from baking shops or supermarkets. The colour is a fresh vibrant green and the taste is medium-bodied without any hints of grassiness. For instance, the tiramisu cake above is dusted with Grace & Green's matcha but the sponge is made with normal supermarket matcha brand. The difference is very obvious. 

I have often been asked which is my favourite, Matcha or Houjicha? I really don't have an answer as I crave for Houjicha more than matcha on some days. Houjicha (SGD11.75/30g) gives out extremely pleasant whiffs of milk tea naturally even though no sugar was added in the first place. The aroma is much more intense than matcha, with a long-lasting smoothness that rounds the palate. 
Another hot-selling items is the Yuzu Citrus Powder (SGD10/30g). It is light yellowish color and is neither acidic nor sourish, contrary to common perceptions. In fact, it has a mild bitterness like pomelo. G&G's yuzu powder is made from the peel section of organic yuzu fruits and added with dextrin, a processed food starch, to maintain the aroma and freshness of the powder. Otherwise, it tends to turn stale as the essential oils will gradually dissipates after coming into contact with air. 
When I tried to use the powder to make a light yuzu chantily cream for my honey sponge roll, they did not give me any problems at all; they are highly soluble without forming any clumps. You can also control the sweetness by adding the amount of sugar to your liking since this is not sweet in the first place. 

All deliveries will come with a delivery tracking code and the delivery process was reguarly updated via emails. In other words, the transaction was pretty safe and secure as I was informed when the goods left Japan's post office and reach Singapore. International delivery via EMS option is chargeable at USD5 but it is free for orders above USD36.

I am not a tea expert but still, I highly recommend this as I have been experimenting with different brands of Japanese matcha powder in my bakes and the products from Grace & Green really yields excellent results. One thing which I appreciate about Grace & Green is the detailed description given to each product and a step-by-step guide to help customers identify the best kind that caters to their needs. This is especially helpful for non-frequent online shoppers as it reduces the uncertainty and reassures that I am getting the most value from my purchases. 

This is definitely a good brand to invest in for those who is looking to create not Japanese -style desserts but also for cooking in savoury dishes. 

Now I guess you don't have to find out which brand of matcha powder I use in my kitchen ;)

For more details and online purchase, visit https://gracematcha.com 

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