Attention matcha lovers: The Cuzen Matcha Maker is for you

I’ve always been a casual consumer of all things matcha. While I’m definitely not an expert — I’d never even made matcha at home until this review — I have taken it upon myself to find the best matcha latte in my city, and the results have been wildly inconsistent. Most places are too sweet while some are too watery, but the concept of making matcha at home has always been a bit intimidating, especially considering the sheer volume of matcha products available today. Add in the various tools and techniques used to make high-quality matcha beverages, and it’s clear that making matcha is an art form. 

Unfortunately, however, I’m not much of an artist. I lack the patience for crafting and refining culinary skills, which is why I jumped at the chance to test Cuzen’s Matcha Maker starter kit for myself. Designed to do it all — including storing, grinding, and whisking your matcha — the $299 Cuzen Matcha Maker brings freshly-ground matcha straight to your kitchen. The company was founded with the goal of sharing authentic matcha worldwide while creating a sustainable tea production ecosystem in Japan. Using new technology inspired by ancient techniques, Cuzen hopes to protect the tradition of Japanese tea culture while making it modern, accessible, and sustainable. 

matcha packet being poured into metal hopper
The Cuzen Matcha Maker starter kit comes with three packs of matcha leaf blends.
Credit: RJ Andersen / Mashable

How does the Cuzen Matcha Maker work? 

Immediately out of the box, I was impressed by the simplicity of the Cuzen Matcha Maker. Not only does the machine tout an eye-catching minimalist design, but the process of using it is also incredibly simple. The company includes a quick-start guide as well as a detailed instruction manual — complete with cleaning and care instructions — which meant I could get started on making the perfect cup of matcha in minutes. 

The way that the machine works is pretty straightforward. You start by pouring the loose matcha leaf into the aluminum hopper, replacing the lid, and filling the water cup to the whisking line. From there, you settle the water cup into the notches of the platform — making sure the spout faces away from you —  hit the “strength” button to select which of the three matcha strengths you want to make then press “start.” 

start and strength buttons on matcha maker machine
The Cuzen machine has a simple design with buttons for starting/pausing and strength.
Credit: RJ Andersen / Mashable

Here’s where the Cuzen Matcha Maker really shines. The machine features a ceramic mill that grinds the tea leaves into an incredibly fine powder just like the traditional stone milling process. As it’s grinding the matcha leaves, a magnetic whisk inside the water cup begins to rotate at high speeds to mimic traditional whisking methods. In less than a minute, the mill begins releasing freshly ground matcha into the water so it can be whisked to perfection, meaning you get the flavor of traditionally-prepared matcha at the push of a button. 

What is the matcha like? 

If you know anything about matcha, then you know that freshly ground definitely takes the cake. According to Cuzen, whole matcha leaves keep their freshness — and higher levels of antioxidants — longer than pre-ground matcha powder, meaning you get better-tasting matcha with a more vibrant color every single time. Thankfully, the company provides three four-gram sample packets of their premium, signature, and latte blends with each purchase of the Matcha Maker, so you can decide which you prefer before subscribing or purchasing more. 

While I wasn’t able to tell a huge difference between the three blends Cuzen sent with the Matcha Maker, the signature blend was definitely my favorite — and the resulting matcha lattes from each blend held their own compared to my favorite coffee shop matcha lattes. I did notice a difference between the three strength levels of the machine — each one slightly increases the amount of matcha released into the water — and level one wasn’t enough to make a full-bodied, flavorful matcha latte that suited my palate.

cup filling up with matcha
Using freshly-ground matcha produces that rich, green color.
Credit: RJ Andersen / Mashable

After some experimentation, I found that my perfect matcha was a level two strength poured over oat milk on ice, and if I wanted something a little bit sweeter I’d add a tablespoon of maple syrup to make it more indulgent. However, after a few days of forgoing my morning coffee for a matcha latte, I started realizing I could skip the sweetener to really savor the bold flavor of the freshly-ground matcha.

I didn’t think I would end up being a matcha convert after this experiment, but I quickly found that I preferred matcha over coffee. While matcha has less caffeine than a standard cup of coffee, it boasts several health benefits that made the switch easier — especially since matcha contains l-theanine, which means you’re less likely to experience a “crash” after drinking it when compared to coffee. 

Is it worth the price? 

The Cuzen Matcha Maker might not make sense for the casual consumer of matcha. The $299 price tag isn’t too high, especially considering you’re getting freshly ground matcha at the press of a button, but the company warns you that using other brands of whole leaf matcha (or other types of tea) in the hopper could cause the machine to break. I got around three moderately-sized matcha lattes per four-gram packet of whole leaf matcha, and — considering their cheapest blend clocks in at $17 for 20 grams — that’s not going to be affordable for everyone.

glass of iced matcha latte
Matcha lattes have replaced my morning coffee.
Credit: RJ Andersen / Mashable

However, if you’re already making matcha through traditional methods at home and want to ramp up the convenience — or you’re splurging on $5 lattes at the coffee shop on the regular — then the price of Cuzen’s matcha starts to make a lot of sense. The latte blend is approximately $1 per cup, according to my usage rate, and it’s even cheaper if you buy it in larger quantities. Plus, you can save 15% on a subscription to your favorite blend, so there are definitely ways to make the indulgence a little more affordable. 

If I could change anything about the Cuzen, it would be the size of the machine itself. I love how beautiful it is — and I’ve already gotten compliments about how it looks on my kitchen counter — but I have a larger-than-average kitchen compared to most city dwellers, and it eats up more counter space than my coffee pot. Obviously, that’s not going to be a dealbreaker for diehard matcha lovers, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind.

All in all, I really enjoyed using the Cuzen Matcha Maker to start my morning. Not only have I fallen in love with drinking matcha every day, but I also really love the simplicity of the experience. It’s a small thing that brings an ounce of luxury to my daily life, and it’s something I’d absolutely recommend to fellow matcha lovers.

Source : Attention matcha lovers: The Cuzen Matcha Maker is for you