Review: Single Origin Mame – Naoki Matcha

Cultivars: Saeakari

Origin: Shizuoka

Vintage: unknown


This matcha is a single origin matcha from Shizuoka. Single origin means that the leaves for this tea were grown in a single tea field. While not listed on Naoki’s website, I reached out to ask about the cultivar. I was excited to learn that this is a single cultivar: Saeakari.

 This new-to-me cultivar, Saeakari, was originally derived from the more common cultivar Saemidori  in 2011. Saeakari is appropriately named because ”Sae” comes from Saemidori and “akari” means light due to its visually appealing bright green color.


Upon opening Mame, you notice its brilliant green color. The dry power has a very rich and surprisingly complex smell. I got some very fruity notes (banana), sweet notes (sweet corn), as well as asparagus and edamame. Adding water reveals a more tosty, hiire like fragrance. Hiire is an optional light roasting sometimes done as a final step in matcha production.

The taste is quite unique and unlike any other matcha I’ve had before. Prepared as usucha, I get a vegetable sweetness on the tip of my tongue that rolls back to become a light astringency/bitterness. I definitely agree with Naoki’s claim of a “crisp finish”, however it’s not too sharp or offensive. I also get a bit of a toasted taste which I suspect is from the potential hiire roasting. There’s definitely some umami but it’s not the star of the show.

This matcha foams very well and the after taste is pleasant and sweet.


Overall I really did enjoy this matcha. I feel like I’m always drinking the same handful of cultivars so it’s super refreshing and exciting to try something new. For those of you looking for a new matcha experience I recommend giving Mame Matcha a try!

Pick some up for yourself:  Single Origin Mame – Naoki Matcha

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