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Matcha ... where to buy?

ipsedixit May 25, 2012 08:10 PM

Other than Mitsuwa and/or Murakai, where else can I find quality Matcha?

(And, yes, I did a search already.)

Thanks.

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  1. h
    happybaker RE: ipsedixit May 25, 2012 08:17 PM

    Mail order or brick and mortar?

    1 Reply
    1. re: happybaker
      ipsedixit RE: happybaker May 25, 2012 08:40 PM

      Brick

    2. Servorg RE: ipsedixit May 25, 2012 08:37 PM

      http://www.birdpick.com/store/all

      1. A5 KOBE RE: ipsedixit May 25, 2012 10:31 PM

        Matcha Source in WeHo

        1 Reply
        1. re: A5 KOBE
          Peripatetic RE: A5 KOBE May 25, 2012 11:09 PM

          Interesting . . . looks precious but serious. URL: http://www.matchasource.com/matcha-so...

        2. Azizeh RE: ipsedixit May 26, 2012 10:48 AM

          Whole Foods has a pretty good variety, especially if you go to a larger one. I buy DoMatcha brand there, and they have the regular, an organic one, and the ceremonial quality. Some of the specialty tea stores have it, but it's even pricier than WF.

          1. h
            happybaker RE: ipsedixit May 26, 2012 12:13 PM

            Ten Ren is pretty serious about their tea - and they do have the powder.

            Here's their online listing, to give you an idea of price (I don't know what the norm is!).

            They have a nice big store on Broadway, in the Ocean Seafood complex.

            http://www.tenren.com/greenteapowder....

            12 Replies
            1. re: happybaker
              Peripatetic RE: happybaker May 26, 2012 12:57 PM

              FWIW that may or may not be matcha. Not all powdered green tea is matcha. The OP was specific about wanting "quality matcha".

              OTOH, I wouldn't be surprised if the Ten Ren at Focus Plaza doesn't have true matcha.

              1. re: Peripatetic
                h
                happybaker RE: Peripatetic May 26, 2012 01:21 PM

                When I visited, I saw that Ten Ren has everything from "normal" grocery store level stuff - to stuff that is hundreds of dollars. So.... dunno.

                But you are right, that is listed as powdered green tea and not officially matcha.

                1. re: happybaker
                  Peripatetic RE: happybaker May 26, 2012 01:41 PM

                  As you said, Ten Ren is very serious about tea. As I understand it, we see only the tip of the iceberg here in the US. So it's definitely worth checking with them, even if they're not a Japanese tea specialist.

                2. re: Peripatetic
                  ipsedixit RE: Peripatetic May 27, 2012 12:52 PM

                  None of the Ten Ren in SGV have authentic Matcha powder.

                  I've asked.

                  1. re: ipsedixit
                    Servorg RE: ipsedixit May 27, 2012 12:57 PM

                    Did you check out the Pasadena location of Bird Pick? I see that their website has this listed: http://www.birdpick.com/our-teas/loos...

                    1. re: Servorg
                      ipsedixit RE: Servorg May 27, 2012 01:02 PM

                      No, not yet.

                    2. re: ipsedixit
                      breakaway cook RE: ipsedixit May 27, 2012 12:57 PM

                      Yes, if it doesn't say matcha, it's not matcha -- it's ground up sencha, if you're lucky. Very different beasts.

                      1. re: breakaway cook
                        ipsedixit RE: breakaway cook May 27, 2012 01:02 PM

                        Yup.

                        1. re: breakaway cook
                          Peripatetic RE: breakaway cook May 27, 2012 01:06 PM

                          breakaway cook, maybe an unfair question, but do you know anything about Matcha Source (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8510...) and, if so, do you have any opinion about their matcha? NB: I haven't been there and didn't know anything about them before this thread. It just seems to be the most promising _local_ supplier mentioned so far.

                          1. re: Peripatetic
                            ipsedixit RE: Peripatetic May 27, 2012 01:09 PM

                            I love it when a post starts to refer to itself.

                            It's like a self-sentient post!

                            1. re: ipsedixit
                              Peripatetic RE: ipsedixit May 27, 2012 01:21 PM

                              Heh. I was tempted just to put "q.v.", but no one seems to know what that means anymore.

                            2. re: Peripatetic
                              s
                              sablouwho RE: Peripatetic Jun 4, 2012 08:26 AM

                              Just looked this place up online. Hadn't heard about them either prior to this thread. I'd be interested in checking them out now, though I gotta say, the website is a bit heavy handed and breathless in it's description of the owner and her history/how she founded the company, etc. Prices look to be very high--I realize matcha isn't an inexpensive tea but even with all the various grades she's offering it still seems expensive.

                              All that said, I can't help but want to check this place out despite their indulgent self-hype.

                    3. a
                      AlkieGourmand RE: ipsedixit May 27, 2012 01:25 PM

                      I suggest buying all tea online, e.g., at Upton, Teavana, etc. Oh...brick and mortar. Hmmm....

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: AlkieGourmand
                        s
                        sablouwho RE: AlkieGourmand Jun 4, 2012 08:04 AM

                        Oooo...respectfully disagree with Teavana. Good place for overpriced tea ware but for tea, definitely not. Have had multiple horrible experiences in their store in Century City. The teenagers who work there know very little about tea.

                        As for the tea itself, I wouldn't call it quality. It's tea for soda-drinkers!

                        I don't pretend to be an expert on tea, but I have been a steady drinker for 30+ years, and I have a real big problem with Teavana.

                      2. s
                        sablouwho RE: ipsedixit Jun 4, 2012 08:13 AM

                        For a brick and mortar tea store here in the LA area, I recommend that you go to Lupicia at Westfield Century City mall. Call in advance and ask for Charles and find out when he will be there--he's the manager and he is a wealth of information about tea. They definitely sell Matcha and Charles knows his stuff.

                        For non-brick and mortar, I've recently found a new online source for some of my favorite teas. It's a small family owned outfit in Oregon. They have some of the same hard-to-find teas I'd been (until recently) getting from a local tea emporium for much MUCH better prices. I've only ordered from them a few times but customer service so far has been excellent and because they are small you can deal with the same small handful of people and not feel like "just another number." I haven't bought Matcha there--this is just a general recommendation because I really like Strand so far for great tea and customer service and good prices on a few hard-to-find teas that aren't available just anywhere.

                        Strand Tea Company
                        888 718-6358
                        www.strandtea.com

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