It’s 3:50am. I can’t sleep so I write. I’ve got a cup of hot green tea to keep me company (and to keep me going), and a Green Tea Crisp cookie to sweeten my reluctant wakefulness.
On nights like this when slumber is but a dream, tea is my usual companion. I’m a coffee girl at heart but tea is my comfort. Tonight, I brew some genmaicha that I bought during my recent trip to Japan. Genmaicha is a green tea with popped rice, its addition adds a toasty-ness to a tea that soothes and mellows.
The green tea crisp is given to me by Chris Chan, a man who is automobile manufacturing executive by day who then delves into the nuances of green tea by night. An unassuming gift of his homemade green tea crisps to his girlfriendÂ led him to ponder the possibilities of, as he explains it, “…green tea pastries being something [a lot] of people would want to try out but would have a difficult time looking for.”
Chris’s baking background proved useful in his green tea trials. He learned that people were very particular about the bitterness of green tea. “They would rather have it as an undertone to the main flavor of a treat,” he recalls. Not surprising this, since green tea’s delicate, unfermented character most closely resembles the tea leaf’s natural state which is sweet and herbaceous; some are even quite malt-like and mouth-drying. Bearing this new knowledge in mind, Chris’s experiments focused on using green tea as a supporting player to other (sweet) ingredients. The strategy didn’t always work, “… [so] we like to add more layers of what our customers have known as “wild bite,” incidentally, the name of Chris’s green tea enterprise. He says, “We chose ”˜Wildbite‘ to communicate our passion to bring strong and unique flavors to the sea of chocolate chip and red velvet in the market today.”
The green tea flavor is truly subtle, as it was intended to be, in the White Chocolate Chip Chewies, that Chris dubs, “Our introductory cookie to the taste of green tea.” Enchantingly colored though it is and truly chewy too, I fancy the Green Tea Crisps (second photo from the top) more. They’re endowed with a slightly more dominant green tea flavor that I expect in a green tea sweet.
I also like the Green Tea Clusters, mini bonbons of cornflakes embraced in white chocolate. It’s this white chocolate theme that’s at the core of the Green Tea Chocolates (below), dainty rectangles with grooves that seem to undulate when viewed from above. What a pleasure it is for me to be introduced to the pairing of green tea and white chocolate! Subdued but sexy.
As an ingredient, green tea is quite complex. It isn’t as “amiable” as say, chocolate, so care and execution are paramount when incorporating it into desserts (or even savories, for that matter). Conversely, too little green tea can imbue products with nothing but its color, a weak statement of what could’ve been.
- a few of my green teas (L-R): Emperor’s Blend (a mix of green tea and fruit); matcha; loose leaf green tea in a bag
Chris uses a premium grade matcha green tea in his recipes. Highly prized because only the tender, top buds are picked, it’s dried and then ground. Vivid, almost chartreuse in color, it makes a hot or cold beverage that’s sweet, mild, and bitter all at once.
I appreciate Wildbite’sÂ green tea sweets for what they are, simple and straightforward. Still, I wish that in the future, Chris would use better quality (white) chocolate for the clusters and bonbons . And I’m waiting for Chris to make good on his word to “…work on a mix basically intended for those who really understand and enjoy the bitterness of the matcha which brings forth a stronger taste and bite.”
For product prices, visit Wildbite’s website. Order through +63917 327.6559