Thursday, August 31, 2006

Kit Kat Matcha

imageGreen Tea (Matcha) KitKats from Japan have been around for a while, but it took me this long to get my hands on some. I couldn’t even find a single-serving bar so I had to buy this bag of miniatures. At over $6, it’s not something I’m likely to repeat for a mass produced consumer candy.

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These little wafer sticks are covered in a white mockolate flavored with real green tea. The color of the coating is real, it’s a pretty shade of creamy green. It smells of sugar and the delicate scent of matcha. The layers are flaky and crisp, just like a KitKat ought to be. The mockolate coating is very sweet though, so the matcha nuances are lost until you reach a saturation point ... at about the second stick.

A little about matcha. Matcha is a style of preparing green tea that starts with preparing the tea leaves before harvest, where they are covered from the sun for a few weeks before they are picked. After drying they are ground into a fine powder to create the matcha. This powder is used to prepare the tea and unlike regular brewed teas, the hot water is added to the powder and it is not strained out. Think of it as the difference between coffee and cocoa. With coffee we brew the beans by passing hot water through the grounds. With cocoa we grind the beans very finely and add them to hot milk. You get more complex flavors when you consume the whole leaf.

While I found these enjoyable, they were a tad sweet, which covered up much of the green tea flavors. The white mockolate had more of a greasy consistency, since the ingredients go: sugar, vegetable oil, lactose, wheat flour, milk powder and the cocoa butter. The American label on the package may or may not be correct, as I found a huge discrepancy in the reported calories for them and I had to puzzle my way through the Japanese listing. Luckily numbers are universal.

I think these are limited edition, as they’re no longer on the Breaktown.com site, maybe someone can read that label and let me know. (Dont’ worry, these weren’t expired candies or anything, the freshness date said 01/2007 on it.)

Name: KitKat Mini Uji Matcha
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: Mitsuwa Marketplace (Little Tokyo - LA)
Price: $6.29
Size: 8.09 ounces
Calories per ounce: 160
Categories: White Chocolate, Japan, Nestle, KitKat, Limited Edition

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:31 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. Wow, I really want some

    Comment by Mariana on 8/31/06 at 7:12 am #
  2. Halloween candy is here!! And I say thank goodness for that. While I was perusing the Halloween aisle (yes, really) at Longs Drugs yesterday I found a bag of KitKat minis in milk chocolate, white chocolate, and (bless the Great Pumpkin) dark chocolate! I’d been wanting to try a dark chocolate KitKat for ages. Of course they were fabulous, but I’m currently trying to give away the white chocolate ones (gross) to anyone who passes by my desk!

    Comment by Lesley on 8/31/06 at 10:45 am #
  3. Doesn’t sound up my alley.  The dark ones were pretty good.

    Comment by Dave on 8/31/06 at 10:59 am #
  4. I’ve been hearing about these for a while now, but haven’t been able to locate them at any of the Asian stores around here.
    Halloween’s arrived here as well - Target has a new line of gourmet candy corn that I’ve bought but yet to try (green apple, cherry and tangerine).  Target also carries mixed bags of dark, white and milk chocolate KitKats year-round, they’re usually on the bottom shelf and are easy to miss.
    Rebecca

    Comment by Rebecca on 8/31/06 at 12:14 pm #
  5. I’ve heard about these kit kats on many many places, i was surprised they seem so popular with non-japanese people. Anyway, i thought they were a permanent japanese flavour, but i just searched on Wikipedia and apparently the kit kat matcha is a Japan Limited edition.

    Comment by reez on 8/31/06 at 1:25 pm #
  6. Sounds interesting.  I’d give it a spin.  My daughter LOVES the white chocolate KitKat - she didn’t get that from me…. 

    Walked into World Market/Cost Plus today - they have CHRISTMAS CANDY out already!  That is just sick and wrong!

    Comment by April on 8/31/06 at 2:31 pm #
  7. Oh, I loved these! Not my favorite Japanese KitKat flavor, but I enjoyed them alot. I agree with the “greasy” feel of the coating, I notcied that right away too. I’m glad you finally found some to try. The Maple White Chocolate remains my all time fav.

    Oh, as for the calorie readings, here’s a quick breakdown, you can just match the kana and kanji:

    http://img152.imageshack.us/img152/7623/tsubukitkat28zl.jpg

    These matcha bars were 76cal for each two stick packet.

    Comment by Sera on 8/31/06 at 5:04 pm #
  8. Just a quick nit about what you said about matcha. It’s not a “style of preparing tea”. It’s a kind of tea prepared in the style you mention.

    I’ve tried a lot of green tea sweets in Japan over the years and the green tea aspect is usually pretty weak. The exception to this seems to be some varieties of ice cream bars. The problem with infusing sweets too strongly with green tea flavor is that it makes them bitter.

    Comment by Orchid on 8/31/06 at 6:22 pm #
  9. Cybele's avatar

    Orchid - Thanks for the clarification on my wording ... I knew I wasn’t quite getting it right.

    Mariana - they didn’t go over well at work, but I think folks just needed to give it a try.

    Lesley - Halloween at Target? They wouldn’t even touch the Easter stuff two months out!

    Dave - yeah, and I thought it would be totally up mine ... oh well.

    Rebecca - gourmet candy corn? flavors? candy corn is supposed to be bland and sweet and cute.

    reez - I wouldn’t be surprised if they come back every once in a while, but I don’t know if they’re doing “Seasonal"KitKats in Japan.

    April - that is wrong! They have to at least wait for Halloween. Who wants to buy the candy now?

    Sera - thanks for the translation on the package!

    Comment by Cybele on 8/31/06 at 6:38 pm #
  10. The little gold banner in the left-hand corner of the bag means “limited time” or “limited edition” in Japanese.

    If you have any left over, you should try freezing them! It greatly improved the Uji-kintoki KitKats I bought, which are also coated in too-sweet matcha mockolate.

    Comment by Anjali on 8/31/06 at 10:11 pm #
  11. Ah I love kitkat variants I’ve tried and liked the cappuccino one (do they still have those?). I heard they also had a Japanese condensed milk kitkat, do you know if this is true? If so i’d love to try that! I also heard of a red bean one, but i’d be less inclinded to try that one.

    Comment by leigh on 9/02/06 at 3:19 pm #
  12. Cybele's avatar

    Anjali - thanks for the translation! I did freeze ate one in the car on the way to work. Much better. They’re also good with some very strong coffee.

    Leigh - I’ve only tried the American coffee one, which I liked (but it got mixed reviews from the public). I saw a photo for the condensed milk ones online, but I haven’t seen them in person yet. I know Sera (who commented above) has tried the red bean.

    Comment by Cybele on 9/06/06 at 6:45 am #
  13. mmm…i’ve never seem those in the states before!

    Comment by carol on 9/06/06 at 9:06 am #
  14. My wife got some at the airport in Japan and they are sooooooooooooooooo good! wish I could get some more.

    Comment by Dave on 9/10/06 at 10:37 am #
  15. My friend just returned from japan. He got me two boxes of the Green tea and the Red bean.
    These flavors are great!

    Comment by chris on 11/22/06 at 10:50 am #
  16. I have been buying matcha kitkat from Japan for a few years now.  I buy it through a web site called J-List.  The green tea flavor is seasonal and only available in the winter. With the addition of a professional chef to the flavor devlopment staff Kitkat has released gourmet flavors in Japan, one of which has green tea in it combined with other flavors like sweet red bean so the green tea gourmet version might be available longer than the winter season, but I’m not sure. I’m beginning a campaign to harrass Nestle and Hershey until they begin to release the exotic flavors here.  Flavors such as blueberry, strawberry, lemon, and green tea are really quite refreshing and tasty in the crispy format Kitkat offers, not to mention way more interesting than plain milk chocolate.  I totally love exotic Kitkat.

    Comment by S?ri on 11/28/06 at 4:22 pm #
  17. bust out the banana creme!

    Comment by fdsa on 2/02/07 at 5:42 pm #
  18. Been buying Japanese candy and especially the Japanese Kit Kats for about 6 years. Flavors that have really blown me away are the Lemon Cheesecake (Japanese, not the Thai/Malay version which is pretty awful), the cantaloupe/cantaloupe ones from Hokkaido, and Kit Kat Noir (w/ red wine). There were also two Kit Kats from the UK that are equally fabulous, the Mango-Passion Fruit Kit Kat bars (1 large bar w/ a layer of fruit filling inside) and the Christmas Pudding Kit Kats. Sadly, I cannot find any of these any more, in Japan or elsewhere.

    Comment by karl ziellenbach on 2/02/07 at 6:07 pm #
  19. I tried a bunch of Japanese KitKats a few days ago and I felt the same way about the Green Tea one. It was such a confused mix of sweet and bitter they didn’t bind too well in taste.

    Though the flavours are still more interesting than the ones we produce.

    Comment by Chiyo on 2/05/07 at 11:37 am #
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