If you love matcha, you know how hard it can be to decide where to get it and which brands to trust. Drinking matcha tea can be a wonderful experience. The aroma and flavor are so specific to matcha. And the health benefits of drinking this powerful tea are numerous.
However, buying matcha can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re just starting out in the matcha world. There are so many options, it can be hard to know where to start. There are many excellent brands, but here are a few things you should know before buying matcha.
Different grades of matcha
There are three different “grades” of matcha, which essentially refers to the quality of the tea. Ceremonial, premium, and cooking matcha all have slightly different qualities. They are all used for different things and definitely have different price tags.
Ceremonial-grade matcha is the highest quality, and therefore comes with the highest price tag. It is grown and processed just for drinking, and is intended to be consumed without any additional sweeteners or ingredients. It can be very expensive however, and particularly beginning matcha drinkers may not be ready to spend the money required to invest in ceremonial-grade matcha.
Cooking matcha is much more affordable and is grown and processed knowing it may be combined with other substances in recipes. That isn’t to say you can’t drink it. Many people do make tea with cooking matcha. It just takes a little more powder. You may end up preferring it with some milk or sugar, as it can be a bit more bitter than ceremonial grade matcha.
Premium matcha tea is the middle ground between these two kinds of tea. Not all sellers and tea drinkers recognize it as a “real” kind of matcha tea. However, it can be helpful to know when looking at various matcha tea brands and kinds, a tea listed as “premium” will be between the quality of ceremonial and cooking matcha.
Marks of good matcha tea
Regardless of the grade of the match tea purchased, there are a few qualities of good matcha tea that you should know.
Most drinkers and producers of matcha tea agree that high quality matcha comes almost exclusively from Japan. Any other country’s matcha is not likely to be as good. When you’re starting to choose which matcha to buy, start by knowing where it comes from.
Color and texture
You can tell a lot about the matcha from its color and texture. A bright green, powdery tea is what you want. It’s a sign that the tea plants were healthy and the growing conditions good. It also indicates the grinding and processing was well done, and that it was shipped without compromising the tea.
Brands to try
There are so many brands of matcha tea out there. You may find you have favorites based on specific flavors, aromas, or aftertastes. Or maybe you’ll find a brand that you love because it is so easy to mix.
Here are a few of the best matcha tea brands for you to try:
Jade Leaf Organic Japanese Matcha Green Tea Powder, Ceremonial Grade
This matcha tea is excellent for anyone to enjoy. It’s sourced from a family farm in Japan, and comes with a money back guarantee. If you don’t like it you can return it! It’s high quality, and is shipped in a great container to preserve freshness and taste. This is meant to be a sipping tea, not cooking.
Kenko Matcha Green Tea Powder
This is another Japanese-sourced brand that offers a money back guarantee on your purchase. It’s organic, and grown in the Nishio region. This is is often regarded as one of the best places in the world to grow matcha because of its climate and soil. This is another great matcha for tea. It is a high quality and isn’t intended to be used in recipes.
Superior Culinary Matcha Green Tea Powder
This is a great option if you’re looking for a cooking-grade matcha tea. Perfect to put in smoothies, baking, sauces, and whatever else you’d like. They even offer to send you a matcha cookbook with your purchase to help jumpstart your matcha cooking experience. This tea is organic, grown in Japan, and very affordable compared to many other matcha teas.
They also have great discounts if you’re buying in bulk. So whether you know you’re going to be using a lot for a big cooking project, or you and your friends decide to buy matcha together, you’ve got some good options.
Matcha tea has so many health benefits. Whether you’re looking to drink it as a tea, or are looking to add it into your cooking habits, everyone can benefit from using matcha.
I hope I’ve provided you with some tips for making sure you’re buying high quality matcha that fits your needs. I suggest buying in small quantities to start and trying various brands and styles before deciding on one. There is so much variation in flavor, aftertaste, and aroma. It’s a great opportunity to explore your tea preferences and know you’re getting the most bang for your buck.
Now go out into the matcha drinking world, and enjoy!