For many years, I have felt like I should be a matcha person. I have tried to be a matcha person.
I have not succeeded. Mostly, there has been a bitter taste to matcha (see aforementioned issues with Japanese green teas) that meant I liked it with sugar and cream but didn't entirely enjoy it on its own.
This was just a straight matcha: I sifted the matcha powder, added water at 155 C, and then whisked everything together. Reasonably competent matcha makers can whisk it into a froth. I do not fall into that category mostly due to lack of experience, again mostly due to not actually liking matcha.
So (drumroll): How do I feel about matcha now that I have embarked on a months-long quest to retrain my tastebuds?
I mixed everything up and then carefully tasted it, and…
It was delicious. It's shocking how delicious it is. It's warm and nutty. I cannot detect any bitter flavor, which is extremely strange because I absolutely know that this is bitter! I have had this exact matcha before I started my tastebud bombardment campaign, and I know that a few months ago, I did not enjoy it.
Every once in a while I am reminded that brains and bodies are truly weird. It's not just that I “learned” to like the taste I did not like. I cannot taste it anymore. It is no longer present.
I know whatever chemical composition that gave me that flavor must be present, but whether it's my brain that has just turned off awareness to its existence, or if my taste buds have all given up and said “you're drinking it now, so why bother telling you about it?” it turns out that now all I taste is how great the tea is.
It kind of reminds me of flavor-tripping tablets which contain extracts from the miracle fruit. The chemical in miracle fruit binds to taste receptors and makes sour things taste sweet.
It turns out, my brain will do that on its own if I give it long enough.
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