Tempo’s “Umami” Sparkling Matcha Tea

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By Melissa Hutsell

Photo by Melissa Hutsell


It’s finally starting to feel like springtime. That means it’s time to swap my warm cozy teas for cool, chilled brews that make the season more tolerable. Enter Tempo’s Sparkling Matcha, a crisp, carbonated bevy that’s chock-full of natural ingredients.

Sustainable Fuel for the Body

Tempo teas were created as a form of sustainable fuel for the body. 

The company was founded by Ryan Crane, who, while studying neuroscience at Princeton University, sought a less artificial, more natural form of energy and focus. He found it by combining two super-foods—green tea and cannabis.

According to Time, matcha is packed full of antioxidants, called catechin, “which is believed to have cancer-fighting effects on the body.” Research also suggests green tea can help prevent heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and encourage weight loss. Add CBD to the mix, and its one healthful bevy. 

The first warm weekend in April called for hours of yard work. My partner and I spent the afternoon in the sun mowing, planting, pulling weeds, and creating trellises in our garden. When we awoke the next day to even nicer weather, we were excited to get back outside…but we were unmotivated by our achy-ness. 

So, we kicked off our morning with a can of Tempo’s chilled Sparkling Matcha tea. Soon, we were back in the garden, and ready for another day of labor.

The “Tea” on the Tea

The 12-ounce cans of carbonated tea are brewed with Japanese matcha, and flavored with raspberry and a splash of lime. Each can comes infused with 25mg of hemp-derived CBD, and zero THC, a fact confirmed by the company’s certificate of analysis (COA). 

A third party lab, Pro Verde Labs, tests all Tempo products. The COAs are readily available on the company’s website.

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The sparking tea was exceptionally refreshing. Crisp and cool when chilled, it’s fruity, earthy and slightly tangy.

The sweetness from the berries and earthiness of the matcha were most apparent at first, followed by a hint of lime. But then, I picked up on a salty, almost smoky aftertaste (which my partner did not taste). 

Umami, the Fifth Taste

Turns out, that salty flavor wasn’t just in my mind. The Japanese call it umami, which means “a pleasant savory taste,” according to Healthline. Umami is said to have a meaty flavor, and is considered the fifth taste alongside sweet, bitter, salty and sour. 

I was less of a fan of the umami undertones, and more of a fan of the effects of the beverage, which set in within minutes of my first sip. I felt an immediate burst of energy—mostly from the matcha. The effects lasted for roughly two hours. And there was no intense crash, which I credit to the CBD. 

Overall, Tempo’s tea stayed true to their promise: they were quick acting, and improved energy and focus. At $20 for a four-pack, the price point is fairly reasonable, albeit a little high. The taste profile, while interesting, was somewhat polarizing. But, we think this makes a great pick-me-up for spring afternoons—especially if you’re a matcha lover!

Altogether, the Sparkling Matcha earns 4.5 stars from the Emerald.

Emerald contributor since February 2016


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