Matcha in a tea bag is a bit confusing to me as matcha is a powder that’s consumed as part of the tea. But, wanting to try an exotic mangosteen tea, this is Stash Tea Company Mangosteen Green Tea. To add to the confusion, the description for the tea describes it as a mangosteen and pear flavoured tea.
On opening the tea bag, I confirm my suspicions that this is not a flavoured matcha. There are crushed green tea leaves — like the kind you find in cheap tea bags of green tea — but definitely not the bright green ground tea leaf you expect from matcha. Looking at the ingredients, matcha sits at the end of the list so its presence is tokenistic. Indeed, even the loose leaf is dominated by lemongrass and orange peel.
First impressions aside, steeping one tea bag in 200 ml of 90°C water for 90 seconds yields a brown liquor with an overly sweet bubblegum-like smell. Thankfully, this smell does not translate to the taste, with sweet notes of cooked pear coming through in the head before slightly acidic dried peach notes recalling mangosteen emerge in the body and lingers into the finish with slight earthy notes of pan-fried Chinese green tea and the cooked pear flavour that dominates the tea. There’s no bitterness from the green tea, but an astringency lingers in the aftertaste. As the tea has more the characteristics of a fruit infusion, the tea develops more flavour when brewed at a higher temperature as the green tea notes extracted balance the overwhelming sweetness of the fruit flavours.
Overall, I’d be less disappointed if this was called a ‘pear and mangosteen fruit infusion’.
This box of Stash Tea Company Mangosteen Green Tea contained 18 tea bags. It was packed in the United States of America and purchased online from the United States of America in 2016.