From their tea to their approach to the environment, Hearthy Matcha is on a ‘greener journey’. Their products are shipped from Japan, so they take steps to balance the carbon debt by supporting reforestation projects across the globe. This ceremonial grade matcha is made from the first harvest of the young green tea leaves. Nutrient-rich and milder in flavour, this is the highest quality you can get.
Each recyclable packet contains 30g of matcha powder, which for me, made about ten cups of tea. It produces a revitalizing drink which is caffeine-rich, vibrant in colour and unique in flavour. It’s suitable for vegans and is 100% carbon neutral.
My first thought when I received my Hearthy Matcha was how bright the colour was. I immediately compared it to other matcha I had in my house and confirmed that it was a much more intense, vivid green than the other brands I’d tried. This got me really excited to try it, so I quickly made my first cup. I like the simple packaging but found I was able to scoop it out more easily once I’d emptied the powder into a jar.
Shortly after the tea arrived, I received an email from Tree-Nation telling me that Hearthy Matcha had arranged for two trees to be planted as a result of my purchase. Their priorities are the quality of the tea and giving back to the environment as much as possible.
Who is Hearthy Matcha?
Hearthy Matcha began in 2015 when its founder first tried matcha and became entranced by its flavour and history. Now they’re proud to provide organic matcha in each of the three grades; ceremonial, premium and everyday.
The matcha is made from green tea that’s been grown in Japan using traditional methods. This ensures that it has an abundance of antioxidants and beneficial nutrients. Two to four weeks before the first harvest, the tea plants are placed under shade to stimulate the concentration of chloroplasts. This produces the incredible colour and gives it many of its incredible positive qualities.
After each harvest, the leaves are steamed, dried and then stone ground. The result is a simple yet supremely effective product that can be drunk simply as a tea, made into rich, milky lattes or added to recipes.
Awards and certifications
All of Hearthy Matcha’s matcha powders have been grown organically and have been awarded organic certifications from organic authorities in the EU, Canada, USA and Japan.
Although they may be conducted, there are no publicly available results of third-party analysis. This would demonstrate to customers that there are no contaminants and provide a detailed breakdown of which beneficial substances it contains. It’s not common to find third-party analysis in the matcha industry. Still, it’s something that I would be interested to see and is useful to have with any product that is expected to convey some form of health benefit.
Update 25/08/20: Hearthy Matcha has sent me a copy of the third-party lab tests. They show that a sample of their ceremonial matcha reached all required EU standards. (I’ve updated my score to reflect this.)
My score: 10
Ease of use
The packaging is a foil-lined paper packet that can be resealed and recycled. It’s been designed to be eco friendly and while also protecting the contents from humidity and sunlight. It does the job, but I found it quite tricky to get the powder out without spilling some successfully, so I decanted it into another container.
Update 25/08/20: Since publishing this review, Hearthy Matcha now offers a choice of two attractive canisters. Now you can decant the eco-friendly packet to make it much easier to use. (The score’s been updated to reflect this.)
The directions of use are clear and easy to follow. Although I use matcha reasonably regularly, I don’t have matcha bowl or bamboo whisk. I do have a small battery whisk which I used in a standard mug. Unfortunately, even when whisking thoroughly, I was never able to get a smooth brew. This is a general issue with matcha and precisely the reason its usually made in a bowl or wide bowl-shaped mug.
To get the best results its best to get a small matcha bowl or any cup without corners. Also, I’ve found that a bamboo whisk is more effective than a battery-powered one and if used vigorously will give you completely smooth results.
My score: 8
I would’ve awarded more points if: the packaging was easier to use.
Matcha has a polarizing flavour, some people love it, but others can’t stand it. I really enjoy it, but it’s a taste that I’ve got used to rather than one I found pleasant immediately. It is reminiscent of black tea drunk without milk but with a touch of something like the taste of spring greens.
Usually, I’m quite keen to use matcha powder in a latte and drown it in milk and sugar, but with this ceremonial matcha, I followed the directions and only used hot water. The flavour was richer and much more enjoyable than anything I’d tried previously. It’s still quite a bitter taste and won’t be for everyone, but Hearthy Match had layers of flavour that others don’t.
My score: 9
I would’ve awarded more points if: I could taste the sweetness mentioned in the product description.
How effective is it?
Just one cup delivered a powerful caffeine kick. I tend to steer clear of coffee because I’m not keen on the buzz that it usually gives me, but matcha does it differently. It’s a noticeable sensation but much smoother, and it helped me to focus on my work. So much so that a couple of times, I even had a cup in the evening when I needed to get more work done.
Each time I was able to get done what I needed to and then still got to sleep with no problems. Any longer-term health effects are harder to notice, but on a day to day basis, I found this to be a highly effective powder.
My score: 9
I would have scored it more if: other longer-term health benefits were more noticeable.
Value for money
30g of ceremonial matcha will cost you £16.95, which is quite a lot of money for about ten servings. However, the quality of the product matches the price. Because so much goes into producing matcha, it’s often one of the most expensive beverages you can get.
Compared to other similar products, Hearthy matcha is well priced. I also found that the flavour, colour and effect were so good that I think it’s worth every penny.
My score: 9
I would have awarded a higher score if: you could buy a larger packet with a slightly reduced price.