Trader Joe’s Tropical Sweetened Matcha Green Tea Mix

Trader Joe's Tropical Sweetened Matcha

I picked this up and went, “Whaaa?” audibly and entirely involuntarily.

You never know what’s going to sound bizarre but be surprisingly good tasting at TJ’s. Trader Joe’s Tropical Sweetened Matcha Green Tea Mix is not one of those cases. I should have known better, I actually had forewarning – this isn’t the first powdered green tea with mango flavoring I’ve had. My first experience was with Crystal Light brand Green Tea with Mango, that purveyor of powdered drink mixes. Granted, it had no passion fruit, but the concept was the same – a powdered tea mix with certain tropical fruits mixed in. The Crystal Light product, ordinarily a satisfactory brand, was all but undrinkable in this case – a revoltingly heavy mango flavor having its way with an otherwise okay powdered green tea.

Perhaps by including passion fruit TJ’s had hoped to avoid the same fate. Unfortunately, their efforts were in vain. Trader Joe’s Tropical Sweetened Matcha is every bit as repugnant – a terribly mismatched set of flavors putting the nail in the coffin of a perplexing offering.

I think the first question has to be, who in the world’s been asking for this – a big tin of loose, powdered green tea mixed with arbitrary fruit flavoring? It’s the same question I ask myself whenever I order the green tea at Starbucks. “Oh yeah,” I grimace, “They mix mint in with mint.”

Look, green tea is delicious on it’s own, sophisticated and relaxing when served hot, refreshing and invigorating when served over ice, we don’t have to go and mix it with all sorts of other flavors just because we can. It’s a facet of the same madness that compels every sushi place to offer spicy tuna rolls. Guys, straight up fatty tuna is as good as sushi gets – so why is your sushi menu dominated by a dozen variations on minced spicy tuna? Are you all crazy?!

And okay, I’ll grant you that the Starbucks mint and matcha isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the world, it’s just not my cup of tea. If, however, you’re dead set on adding fruit to green tea for some reason, why are we dabbling in such total non-sequitors as mango and passion fruit? Let’s all just be frothright and admit that no one has ever made a good-tasting mango flavor additive. Whether it’s been distilled from the juices or ginned up in a lab, mango flavoring has never worked well as a flavoring for other foods. Just let mango be mango. Muddling the mix, TJ’s throws some in passion fruit flavoring, a fruit that, in a blind taste test, I wouldn’t be able to identify in it’s natural state.

This is a classic example of less being more. Green tea is a great, nuanced, clean taste in it’s own right. It needs to be given room to express itself. Throw in a bunch of flavorings and you end up with a beverage that is passable at best, but never excellent. If you must add a fruit to it, and I recommend against this, then keep it to something equally simple a clean. A hit of strawberry or something, not just a bunch of tropical fruit.

I could go on forever about this product, it perplexes me so. Instead, I’ll just briefly nit-pick a couple more things. One, it comes in a giant tin of loose powder. This is sloppy, lends itself to big messes and benefits no one. I would guess it’s packaged this way because Two, the serving size is a hefty 4 teaspoons per 7 oz cup. That’s not a ridiculous number until you notice that Three, the prime ingredient is sugar, which means this is no health drink lady. They also misuse the word matcha on the package, but really at this point I’m just pooped out.


The Breakdown:

Would I Recommend It: No, it’s just not very good tasting.

Would I Buy It Again: Man, are you clownin’ me?

Final Synopsis: Basing a sweet tea mix around green tea and tropical fruit is a mistake, and people should stop doing it.

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17 Comments on “Trader Joe’s Tropical Sweetened Matcha Green Tea Mix”

  1. Cheryl says:

    I had this in my hand to buy last week. I got very excited when I saw “matcha” but the tropical turned me off, and your review confirms what I thought it would taste like. One good thing to know is Trader Joe takes returns on ANYTHING.

    • Chris says:

      A matter of personal taste. The tea is excellent. I mix it with organic green tea and it slightly sweetens it. It does have a turn for the exotic and you have to be open to and appreciate tropical flavors. We had a party recently and added pure lemon aid ice and everyone raved.
      I have been a professional chef for 15 years. It’s all a matter of taste and preference. I would give it a try you can always take it back, Traders is great with its customer satisfaction addenda.
      Cheers,
      Chris

  2. Angie M. says:

    I’m a big fan of tea (the high quality loose leaf kind, not the sugary processed kind). I never knew sweetened matcha tea existed; it seems counterproductive. I encourage you to try the Mighty Leaf Tropical Green Tea. I don’t know what the “tropical” consists of as it only lists the ingredients as flower petals, pineapple bits and “natural tropical flavors,” but it’s delicious and high quality tea, in my opinion. I love it hot or iced.

  3. […] Trader Joe's Tropical Sweetened Matcha Green Tea Mix | Eat At Joes http://eatingatjoes.wordpress.com/The Trader Joe's Taste Testing Blog – Done by a Regular Joe. […]

  4. Stacy-Ann says:

    This is so funny! I saw Matcha Tea Mix at Trader Joe’s and thought I just had to try it and today I picked up a can. I just made my forst glass and I love it!! I would prefer it unsweetened but, for now, this will do. I happen to love mago, passion fruit and green tea separately and enjoy them as a group.

  5. Andi says:

    I kind of like it. It’s more tropical fruit than matcha flavored, to me, and a little on the sweet side, but I like the unusual combination. Regardless of my feelings on the matter, I appreciate your thoughtful assessment and will come check out your blog more often!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hi! Today when I saw the tropical sweetened Match Green Tea at TJ’s I got really excited. You see I have been ordering Stash green tea with pomegrabte and raspberry from Amazon.com. It is a drink mix that is lightly sweetend. It comes in a tin foil packet, about 6 to a box, but I think you get six Boxes in one order. I mention this for anyone who wants to try a nice alternative. But getting back to the TJ’S tropical version…. well, I like it too!! I have to disagree with Profoundjester. It is not repugnant, quite refreshing. I admit that I use 4 teaspoons of the mix with 16 oz of cold water instead of 7 oz . Maybe that’s why Profoundjester found it gross. TJ’S just wants you to use up the can faster.

  7. Nimsaj says:

    Hi! Today when I saw the tropical sweetened Match Green Tea at TJ’s I got really excited. You see I have been ordering Stash green tea with pomegrabte and raspberry from Amazon.com. It is a drink mix that is lightly sweetend. It comes in a tin foil packet, about 6 to a box, but I think you get six Boxes in one order. I mention this for anyone who wants to try a nice alternative. But getting back to the TJ’S tropical version…. well, I like it too!! I have to disagree with Profoundjester. It is not repugnant, quite refreshing. I admit that I use 4 teaspoons of the mix with 16 oz of cold water instead of 7 oz . Maybe that’s why Profoundjester found it gross. TJ’S just wants you to use up the can faster.

  8. Anonymous says:

    After discovering green tea ice cream a few years ago.. and matcha green tea yogurt more recently.. and even more recently the matcha green tea latte, etc.. I have been a big matcha fan recently.. but only seem to be able to find it at asian food markets.. unless of course you want to pay double at Whole Foods.. When I came upon it at TJ’s I was so excited! Long story short, it was not my cup of tea either. Apparently, I am sort of a matcha purest and just want to taste matcha – not all of the other fruity flavors.. It’s bad enough that I can only find matcha powders with sugar, but then to discover this one so excited and then to discover the number one ingredient is sugar and then to not even taste much of a matcha flavor..!? I’m sure it may good for some..

  9. Erica says:

    I was just googling this tea for caffeine information, but I found your review. I have to strongly disagree. This tea was a super sweet and delicious treat. I tried it tonight in a smoothie – I did a tablespoon of the tea, with 2 cups spinach, 1/2 cup each pineapple and blueberries with ice and water and it was so good.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I totally agree with your review! It tastes so artificial and cloyingly sweet.

  11. Tori says:

    I completely agreed with your post when I tried this drink with water–as it suggests on the tin. HOWEVER, I tried it with Joe’s Low Fat Soy Milk, and it was actually DELICIOUS! If you still have that tin sitting lonelily in your pantry, I would highly recommend giving that a try. I’m sure it would work with good ol’ regular milk as well. Now I’m hooked!!!

  12. I LOVE this (drinking it now)…but I mix it with all milk over ice

  13. A. M. K. says:

    I like it. I really do. It’s matcha, but with a subtly sweet tropical flavor. Tasty! I will have to try it with milk, because with water it is.. well, watery.
    Try it.

  14. […] 4 tsp tropical fruit matcha (by Trader Joe’s) […]

  15. helesetalks says:

    Matcha’s too expensive on it’s own so they added crap to make it affordable. I was so disappointed. I didn’t realize it was tropical when I bought it. I would have been shoveling spoonfuls of matcha dry. But…to no avail.

  16. Tim Sprotte says:

    I bought it for the sole purpose that it is hard to find matcha in normal stores at the low price trader joes had it. I actually liked it and mixed it in with my protein shake. I would rather have a plain no sugar version, however


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