World Tea Expo is always a venue in which tea companies introduce their new and creative products. This year, one tea product that appeared repeatedly in different formats was matcha—a trend demonstrated by Asian and American tea companies. Inventive products such as matcha chocolate and matcha spread can broaden the demographics of the matcha market.
CC Fine Teas exhibited organic ceremonial grade matcha sourced from Zhejiang, China in 3-ounce Japanese-style canisters. This matcha format honors tradition as it is meant to be prepared in the customary method of whisking 2.5 grams with water at a temperature of 155 degrees Fahrenheit – 175 degrees Fahrenheit in an 8-ounce bowl.
Yum Matcha made matcha convenient for the active customer by presenting it in two easy to consume formats: ready-to-drink, and single serving packets. The ready-to-drink matcha tea is packaged in 16 fluid ounce glass bottles and is available in five flavors: Original, Mint Mojito, Peach Lavender, Citron Lemongrass, and Strawberry Basil. The blends offer flavor flexibility to those who are not familiar with matcha or want to try a new way of enjoying it. The single serving packets are available in the same flavors and sold in groups of eight. Yum Matcha uses the highest grade of organic ceremonial matcha in its products. “Yum” translates to “to drink” in Japanese.
IllUMINATEA produces a premium matcha spread by combining nut butter with matcha and vanilla crème in its Matcha Pistachio Crème Spread. The flavor is delicate yet distinctive and still compatible with crackers, croissants, ice cream and more. The spread is free of artificial colors and preservatives. According to the company’s website, “Each tablespoon of matcha spread contains the same amount of matcha as ¾ serving of prepared matcha tea.”
ICREST International, a subsidiary of ITOCU International, one of Japan’s oldest trading houses, and a wholesaler and distributor showcased innovative Taiwanese and Japanese matcha products at the expo. Pre-made ready-to-drink matcha lattes by Taiwanese company Chia Meei were displayed and sampled. Japanese company Meiyo offered matcha powder in Ready-to-Go Packets, and matcha chocolate with seven different proportions of matcha content. Meiyo is a green tea manufacturer that manages every stage of production of green tea-based products from the cultivation of tea leaves to product development. Both Meiyo products are distributed by Mishima Foods USA.