by Somatcha

Review: Somatcha Sparkling Matcha

Posted: May 20, 2019 at 1:58 PM (Last Updated: May 21, 2019 at 3:25 PM)

Covers Products: Original Sparkling Matcha, Zero Calorie Sparkling Matcha

Somatcha is a line of sparkling matcha beverages that comes in two varieties, both of which are packaged in slim 12 oz. cans and feature a sleeve wrap label.

The two varieties, which include sugar-sweetened Original and monk fruit sweetened Zero Calorie, are made with a list of ingredients that includes water, liquid chlorophyll, green tea matcha powder, green tea, ascorbic acid, and grey sea salt. The only difference between the two is the choice of sweetener and the resulting caloric and sugar content (Original has 50 calories and 12 grams of sugar; Zero Calorie has zero sugar/calories).

From a taste perspective, both of these drinks are light, crisp and refreshing. The matcha flavor is pretty mellow and has only a slight grassy note to it. The carbonation and the sweetness seem pretty spot on in the Original and we liked the finishing notes of salt and acid that help round it out. As for the Zero Calorie, it’s good, but there’s a slight tang that you won’t find in the Original.

In the end, both of the sweetened and unsweetened varieties are good, but we’re not sure that having just a single, unflavored choice is the best one. Committing to one of these sweetener approaches -- and perhaps offering flavored varieties -- might be something to consider.

As for the branding and packaging, Somatcha’s aesthetic is minimalist and somewhat matter of fact. The name states what the product is and there’s an additional callout for “sparkling matcha” in case you miss it (there’s a callout for the SKU name that is placed under the brand name). Finally, there’s a green background -- the obvious and logical color for a matcha brand.

On the back of the can you’ll find a copy about the brand’s story, a somewhat small Nutrition Facts panel, and an almost unreadable list of ingredients that runs vertically on the can. This portion of the can definitely needs some work.

Beyond that, we think there’s some work left to do to help make this brand more appealing and inviting. Right now, it just doesn’t have a lot of personality and the branding doesn’t feel like it speaks to you.

Overall, this is a good first effort but, in the absence of improved packaging and additional SKUs, the brand feels like it lacks the depth required to be a strong competitor.

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