Monday, March 25, 2013

Nestle Ujimatcha Latte KitKat

Back when I did my Regional KitKats post, I mentioned that there was no need to despair over not being able to get these supposedly limited options because many of them have been released or will be released as regular flavors. Ujimatcha is a type of green tea grown in the Uji area and is known for being intense and sweet because the amino acids are kept intact when it is prepared. I don't know if this is true, or exactly what it means, but it's supposed to be vibrantly green and more finely milled than more pedestrian types of green tea. Uji is an area in Kyoto, and this is sold as a regional flavor KitKat.

The package you're seeing pictured here is a consumer level bag of minis sold pretty much anywhere that sells them. So, you see, no matter where you live, you can get this supposedly regional flavor. So there! Okay, this isn't exactly the same as the regional one since this has a semi-sweet chocolate base paired with the white chocolate ujimatcha top and is a "latte" flavor and the regional one is all green tea.

I found this as Nijiya Japanese market for $2.19 (206 yen). It's a pack of 7 single finger mini bars that look like a fat version of half a mini bar. For the quantity, it's slightly pricey, but not ridiculous. The strange thing about this KitKat was that I couldn't locate it on Nestle Japan's web site. That doesn't mean it's not there, but it is strange that it is not featured prominently somewhere. I do check the site regularly, and the expiration date on the bag is September 2013, so it can't be so old that it is outdated. This is the sort of thing that you think about when you're me.

As for the bar itself, it is actually quite different from the regular green tea KitKat. This has a creamy flavor which balances out both the semisweet base and bitter green tea very nicely. I generally don't care for green tea mixed with fairly present chocolate flavors, but it all came together really well in this tiny little bar. It has depth of flavor, but it doesn't come across as lacking in flavor harmony. It's neither too sweet nor lacking in sweetness. I was surprised at how nice it is.

I think this is absolutely one of the nicer consumer-level chocolates you can buy and well worth a sampling if none of the component flavors are something you're averse to. I could see this particular flavor profile with a better quality chocolate being produced by a more prestigious chocolatier. That being said, I still like the adult sweetness green tea bar better, but not by a huge margin.


Hirayuki said...

I found some Japanese reviews of this product posted back in November and December of last year, so it's probably way too old (in marketing terms) to take up room on the Website, while still being perfectly lovely to eat.

That said, this is probably not a regional product; Uji tea has such a fine reputation that I'm willing to bet every nationally available foodstuff made with Uji tea will brag about it on the packaging. The same goes for, say, chips made with Hokkaido potatoes or juice made with Aomori apples. I just checked the box of (non-regional) Maxim "Stick Menu" instant matcha latte mix in my cupboard, and it says "Made with Uji Matcha".

I'm a sucker for matcha flavor, and it's a popular one around this time of year (along with cherry blossom). I'm lucky that my husband's birthday is in April--my Japanese sister usually sends him a metric ton of matcha stuff he's happy to share. (When my October birthday rolls around, I get to revel in sweet potato and chestnut sweets.)

kfc said...

we definitely just got these here in the States, at least West Coast, about 2 weeks ago and then that was about it, but so glad i got pick some up!