Matcha latte by Korean brands has a distinctly different flavour to those by Japanese and Taiwanese brands. The flavour is mellower and sweeter with almost none of the vegetal notes that define matcha. I subconsciously knew this from my taste at Hello Happy, Strathfield, but conveniently forgot about it when I decided to try the Nokchawon Green Tea Latte to compare with the Taiwanese Greenmax Matcha Au Lait.
Dissolving one 13 g stick in 80 ml of hot water yields an opaque yellow green liquor that smells faintly of matcha. On drinking, there is none of the vegetal notes of matcha at all, with the only trace of matcha coming through as a bitterness in the background to the sickeningly sweet and prominent dairy flavour and a powdery mouthfeel that is sustained from the first sip right through to the aftertaste. Indeed, the sweet milky aftertaste is so unpleasant that it begs to be chased by a big gulp of water.
Honestly, after the first stick — there are 10 in each box — I wasn’t sure I could finish the rest and that happens rarely to me. Even when a tea doesn’t taste amazing or great, it’s almost never been as offensive to my palate as this one. I can even stomach soft drinks flavoured with wintergreen that recall liniments like Tiger Balm or Voltaren. But not this; this is disgusting.
This box of Nokchawon Green Tea Latte contained 10 sticks of 13 g. It was produced in Korea and purchased in Sydney, Australia in 2017.