The story behind Kettl’s famous Matcha Chocolate

Posted by Zach Mangan on

We get asked all the time about our Matcha Chocolate - things like “how is this so good?”, “what matcha do you use?” and “Is this a healthy food?”. The story of our matcha chocolate is a great one and we wanted to share it along with some more information on what makes our chocolate so irresistible.

    Yame Region or where the story began

Kettl has always had a passion to seek out the finest tea and tea ware and we stumbled upon this incredible chocolate while visiting a tea producer in the Yame region of Fukuoka prefecture several years ago. The original Matcha chocolate bar was made as a marketing device for Matcha tea from this region. It was made in small batches using high quality, stone milled Matcha. We could tell from just looking at it that the deep green color and incredible sheen spoke to the quality of the tea inside the bar. But once we tasted it, it was a whole other thing...speechless. The integration of the fragrance of the tea, the texture of the chocolate and the mild sweetness all came together.

So naturally we asked to sell the chocolate and began ordering 50 or so bars at a time and shipping them from our Japan office to our storefront in Brooklyn. Once the word got out, those orders of 50 became orders of 100, 200 500 and so on. And pretty soon our supply let us know they couldn’t keep up with demand. So we thought the dream was over…


But instead, an idea was born: They said “We will share the recipe with you, We will supply you with the same Matcha, and you produce it in the USA.”. And the Kettl Matcha Chocolate bar was born.

The journey in the US: finding the best chocolate maker

We began by contacting several of the leading chocolate makers in the country and had them taste the bar and attempt to recreate it. Unfortunately, they just weren’t the same. We knew the creaminess and texture came from the Belgian white chocolate that was used in Japan. With a Cocoa count of about 28%, it was the perfect canvas to allow the nuttiness and rich umami of the Matcha to shine through. We thought we had hit the wall.

Until we met the oldest Chocolate maker in Brooklyn. He tried our sample and within 30 minutes it was done...he created an exact replica of Chocolate. Made in the USA!

Belgian chocolate and high grade matcha, a perfect synergy for a perfect chocolate

So what makes our Matcha chocolate so special? Well...we start with Belgian white chocolate that is lower in sugar as to not be cloying or overly sweet. We blend in 5g per bar of stone milled Yame Matcha - the equivalent of 2.5 bowls of Matcha. That is a lot of matcha for a 70g bar! And what is so special about stone milling you ask? Only the highest grades of matcha are ground with a stone mill. Stone milling is a slow process that grinds the tea to a very fine powder without producing excess heat. Heat will destroy the fragrance and subtly of Matcha powder. To compare, almost all Matcha sweets are made with commercial “powdered tea” - this is non shaded green tea that is milled in an electronic Jet Mill. It yields a much lighter color and a grassy, unsophisticated aroma.

Since we started producing the bars here in the States, we also released our Matcha Chocolate with Soba Cha Crunch bar. We take the same decadent Matcha Chocolate and stud it with crunchy, fragrant roasted buckwheat. It is a Nestle Crunch Bar for a new generation.

In terms of the health benefits of the bar...We have to be honest: It is a sweet. So We wouldn’t recommend treating this as a medicinal substance. That being said, 5g of Matcha per bar is a significant serving amount and even a single square (it is made up of 15 squares) contains caffeine, L-Theanine, and a host of antioxidants. Many of our customers eat a square in the morning and feel energized for the day ahead. Not a bad breakfast.

We hope you enjoy this tiny history lesson on the origins our our Matcha Chocolate bar. We are absolutely sure you are going to love. Ready to give it a try? Click Here to see order some for yourself or to gift to the chocolate/Matcha lover in your life.

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