Have you ever wondered why you can have one great matcha experience only to be followed by a terrible one? This is because not all matcha is created equal. There are different ‘grades’ of matcha and selecting the grade has a big impact on the end result. Keep reading to learn more about matcha grading.
The Importance of Grade in Matcha
The grade of matcha is determined by various factors, including the quality of tea leaves used, the cultivation methods, and the processing techniques. Good matcha is made from young tea leaves that have been carefully shaded before harvest, resulting in a vibrant green colour and a rich, umami flavour. Bad matcha on the other hand is often made from older leaves or lower-quality tea leaves, which can result in a dull colour and a bitter taste. We’ve developed this handy chart to help you sort good matcha from bad matcha.
The Characteristics of Good Matcha
Good matcha is characterized by its vibrant green colour, fine texture, and smooth taste. It has a delicate sweetness and a fresh, grassy aroma. The high-quality tea leaves used to make good matcha are hand-picked and ground into a fine powder, ensuring that all the nutrients and flavours are preserved. When prepared correctly, good matcha produces a frothy and velvety cup of tea that is a delight to the senses.
MATCHA MATCHA is produced using only the first spring flush (harvest) of tea leaves, which have been carefully shade grown to minimise light exposure (this is why we refer to our signature matcha as ‘Spring Reserve’). The leaves are carefully handpicked, steamed, dried and stone-ground on a granite mill, resulting in a bright green fine powder.
The Pitfalls of Bad Matcha
On the other end of the spectrum, bad matcha lacks the vibrant green colour and smooth taste of its higher-grade counterpart. It often has a dull appearance, coarser texture, fewer nutrients and a bitter, astringent flavour. The lower quality tea leaves used to make bad matcha may be harvested from older plants or grown without proper shading, resulting in a less desirable taste and texture. Consuming bad matcha can be a disappointing experience and may not provide the same health benefits as good matcha as the nutritional content is diminished.
You get what you pay for with matcha. If you are looking for the best possible matcha experience, it is important to choose a good quality matcha. Ceremonial-grade matcha is the highest quality matcha available, and it offers the best flavour, texture, and health benefits.