Origin: Japan (prefecture unknown)
Year: 2008 (?)
Vendor: Ippodo (Product page)
Price: $14.14 / 1500 yen (20g can)
I recently ordered some Wakamatsu-no-Mukashi matcha to accompany my new chawan. I know they say not to judge a book by it's cover, but seriously, take a look at how fantastically this can is packaged! I am very pleased with Ippodo's style; the two other items I purchased in this order, a matcha furui (sifter) and a chasen (whisk), were also elegantly wrapped.
Ugh, sifting is a pain. I'm not entirely sure it matters, either, but what the hell. Also, I've heard from certain people (Brandon, for one) that infuser baskets work better than the special sifters. Thanks for the late advice, Brandon! ;)
This is a really nice matcha. It has an almost gummy mouth-feel; this is a really meaty (uh, not flavor-wise, don't worry) tea. It has a muted sweetness, in contrast with O-Cha's Kiri-no-Mori, and has a little kick of astringency. There isn't much to taste, really, but there is a lot to feel; between the mouth-feel and the buzz afterward (hmm, I wonder if this would fall under the qi umbrella?), drinking this tea is a somatic experience.
Here you can see what violent whisking does to a chasen. It took me a long time to learn not to scrape it so hard against the bottom of the chawan! It's hard to see in the photo, but there are several broken tines.