As the first part of a Japanese caramel mini-series, I've got some Morinaga matcha caramels. These were provided by Tsunami.hk, but I'm a longtime fan of Morinaga's caramels. Unlike some other products I remember liking, these held up to my review scrutiny. On a side note, is it just me, or does the cupid logo on the box look like a scary clown at first glance?
Morinaga makes a large variety of caramels, and along with the standard milk caramel and black sugar caramels, I believe matcha is a permanent flavor. I've also seen azuki (red bean), black sesame, strawberry, and other limited edition flavors. Morinaga also makes Hi-chew, so they seem to have cornered the market for chewy candies in Japan.
The caramels are just under 2 cm long, and they smell like butter and tea leaves. The matcha flavor is moderately strong and more grassy than milky. As I chewed, it seemed to alternate between richness and bitterness.
In terms of texture, the caramels don't get too gritty, but they do become quite sticky and soften quickly. They aren't overly sweet (the bitterness keeps it in check), and they do knock out my matcha cravings. My only issue is with the stickiness (which is why I don't usually go for caramels in general), but I keep coming back for the great flavor. Those not keen on green tea may find them too strong.