Three top tea companies debuted innovative matcha blends at the World Tea Expo in Las Vegas June 12 to 14.
ITO EN showcased the newest addition to its ready-to-drink Matcha LOVE line: Organic Ice-Steeped Cold Brew Unsweetened Cucumber + Mint + Matcha + Green Tea. With a light, smooth, refreshing flavor and no bitter aftertaste, this grab-and-sip beverage is made with finely milled organic Japanese matcha and whole-leaf green tea. Both are steeped in ice to cut the caffeine content and boost amino acids, specifically L-theanine, which promotes calm and mental sharpness. And like all Matcha Love flavors, this cold brew provides ample electrolytes and the antioxidant EGCG.
“We were thrilled with the response to our new Matcha LOVE Cold Brew Cucumber + Mint tea, which really exceeded our expectations,” says Rona Tison, executive vice president of corporate and public relations. “The fresh and soothing taste really transports you to a spa-like experience with a moment of relaxation.”
Next, Sugimoto America displayed its Organic Hibiscus Matcha, officially released in November 2017. This energizing and refreshing summer beverage provides the EGCG from matcha along with vitamin C and other antioxidants from real hibiscus flowers. “We try to keep everything very natural,” says Noli Ergas, account manager at Sugimoto America and developer of the blend. “I really wanted to make matcha accessible to people to might not otherwise find it palatable.” This beverage will also appeal to established hibiscus tea drinkers.
The Organic Hibiscus Matcha powder can be mixed with water and enjoyed on its own or blended into smoothies and protein shakes. Originally created for healthy mainstream food service, an 8-ounce bag makes approximately 110 cups of tea.
Finally, Aoi Tea Co. bolstered its flavored matcha collection with a new flavor debut: Matcha Coconut Milk. The line’s other tasty varieties include Matcha Blueberry, Matcha Vanilla and Matcha Raspberry.
“We’d been experimenting with different flavors for a while, and this one blended well,” says Eric Anderson, account manager. “The creamy coconut blended nicely with the richness of the matcha.” He adds that flavored matchas are an excellent way to introduce the American market to this type of tea.