Review: Matcha LOVE Matcha Colada
Covers Products: Matcha Colada
With its sharp branding and intense flavor, Matcha LOVE is one of our favorite brands that Ito En has created for the US market. In fact, it was the winner of the award for “Best Tea” as part of BevNET’s Best of 2015. Matcha Colada, which blends coconut water (70 percent), matcha, green tea, and natural flavors, is the latest line extension for the brand.
In concept, we really like the idea of blending matcha and coconut water under a product that’s marketed as a tea drink;a matcha-flavored coconut water sounds much less appealing. They’ve utilized only the natural sugars of the coconut water in the mix., Even without any added sugar there’s still enough residual sweetness to please the palate. The matcha flavor is slightly milder than what we’ve seen from Matcha LOVE in either their canned or bottled products. There’s a very subtle grassy note to it, but it quickly subsides as the coconut water and added flavoring take over.
As for the flavoring, this is really the only part of the formulation that we’re not that fond of. In particular, the added pineapple flavor takes away from, rather than enhances, the flavor of the tea and the coconut water. We’d love to see this flavor improved -- or removed (although it wouldn’t make it a “colada” anymore).
Packaging is a 16.9 oz. plastic bottle with a shrink label, which is the same format used for their other Matcha LOVE bottle-based products. The label copy is straightforward, but it seems as though both the text and the graphics could be increased in size. In addition, there are some text elements that seem unnecessary, e.g. “chill shake love” and “natural source of electrolytes,” and could be removed to make room for the graphics to be larger. Ultimately, we’d really love it if this product had the same visual pop that the cans of Matcha LOVE have.Overall, we like the idea of expanding Matcha LOVE into a coconut water blend. It seems like a nice way to help make matcha a bit more approachable to new consumers, while also creating some additional flavor profiles for the devoted. However, we’d love to see Matcha Colada get a few refinements, both in flavor and packaging.