Not all matcha is created equal. In fact, some green tea powders are not prepared using the special techniques that make matcha… matcha! Use these quick tips to make sure you are buying only the best quality matcha:
Vibrant green colour
The first thing you will notice about the highest quality matcha is its bright, vibrant green colour. Matcha is packed with phytonutrients (plant nutrients) and contains higher levels of chlorophyll than regular green tea. Lower-grade, cheaper green tea powders are duller in colour, often with a tinge of yellow or brown.
Matcha originated in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, so ceremonial grade quality means the best of the best. The regions of Aichi and Kyoto in Japan are considered the world’s best tea growing areas, and are famous for producing the highest quality matcha. Green tea powder that comes from other regions or countries will naturally be lower grade.
Smell and texture
High quality matcha smells sweet and earthy, while lower quality matcha smells dull, dusty and more like green tea leaves used in teabags. When you gently rub the powder between your fingers, the texture should be fine and silky smooth, similar to a mineral powder foundation.
High quality matcha tastes smooth, mellow and earthy, with a delicate sweetness. Bitterness comes from using lower-grade green tea powder.
That foam though…
You can only achieve the best, creamiest foam with your chasen (bamboo whisk) by using high quality matcha.