If you’re a health enthusiast like us, you’re well aware of the many benefits of matcha. This superfood’s popularity has exploded recently, with everyone from celebrities, medical practitioners to working professionals proclaiming it’s positive effects for mood, energy, and all being. However, as matcha becomes more and more prevalent, buyer beware, not all matcha is created equal.
We know how quickly things get confusing from a quick online search for matcha. There are hundreds of options for sale, from many different brands, and all offered at varying price points.
This guide will give you the clarity you need to choose the best quality matcha with peace of mind that you’re only spending money on the “good stuff.”
Avoid these matcha mistakes
As they say, mistakes are our best teachers. Even if the first time you tasted matcha, you swore it would be your last, you’ll be relieved to know that it was likely a problem of poor quality matcha. You won’t have to miss out on this elixir for health, wellbeing and cognitive performance any longer.
The unfortunate fact is that not everyone uses quality matcha. The secret ingredient of the best chefs and restaurants in the world is that they start with the highest quality ingredients. Matcha is no exception. Anything less, and the experience will leave you with a bad taste in your mouth, literally!
With matcha, you’re consuming the whole leaf. It’s not brewed and then discarded like most other teas. The often off-putting and bitter after-taste of a low quality matcha can’t be hidden, so it’s critical that you use the absolute best quality matcha to begin with.
The right matcha will give you a savory umami experience. Known as the “fifth flavor,” umami is often described as a “pleasant savory taste” and part of what gives top grade matcha its “earthy sweet” flavor notes.
Why Ceremonial Grade matters?
Much like fine wines have a rating system, matcha is also graded based on benchmarks of quality. The highest quality matcha in the world is ceremonial grade and it’s superior to all other types for several reasons. It mixes the best, it’s ideal for drinking, and has a delicious flavor profile.
Below this, you have culinary grade matcha. As the name suggests, it’s great for baking projects and it’s also much more cost effective. Culinary matcha is not as finely ground as ceremonial grade, which means it’s more difficult to mix. It doesn’t have the same bright green color. It can also lack some of the savory umami flavor notes that pure ceremonial grade matcha is prized for.
How to assess the quality of your matcha
Size: Matcha is processed in a delicate and time-consuming way that removes all the stems and veins from the leaves. After the stems and veins are removed from the leaves, the remaining leaf is stone ground into a fine powder.
High quality matcha is extremely fine and resembles the consistency of baby powder! This super fine powder prevents clumping and allows it to dissolve in water - hot or cold, quickly and easily.
Lower quality matcha is much harder to blend and nobody wants a big clump of powder in their drink.
Color: High quality matcha has a vibrant bright green color. Just before harvesting, the tea plants are shrouded with large shade cloths to limit their exposure to sunlight. This forces the plants to concentrate nutrients and energy into the top leaves for photosynthesis.
This centuries old growing process for matcha is unique in that it packs the top leaves with more antioxidants and nutrients. It also ramps up chlorophyll production in the plant.
These antioxidants, chlorophyll and beneficial nutrients are known as phytonutrients, or plant compounds, and give top quality matcha leaves their distinctly vibrant and bright green color.
Smell: A high quality matcha should smell sweet and fresh thanks to the naturally occurring L-theanine that has been ramped up from the special growing process. Other teas lose this characteristic as they’re exposed to sunlight and they don’t undergo the critical shade-grown method.
Why it’s important to know where your matcha comes from
Origin: Traditionally, the highest quality matcha has originated from Japan where the process of growing and processing the very best matcha has been refined over centuries.
Just like special wine growing regions in France, the unique growing conditions, processes, and soil are impossible to replicate. Both China and Taiwan produce matcha, but among true matcha fans, Japanese matcha is still the best.
At Moontower Matcha, we’re the first pure ceremonial grade matcha canned and ready to drink. Before we started Moontower Matcha, we loved the taste and health promoting benefits of ceremonial grade matcha and we wanted to make sure that everyone would have an opportunity to enjoy the very best matcha in a convenient and portable way.
We never cut our drinks with culinary grade matcha, or green or black teas. We believe that using the very best matcha available, in its purest form, sourced directly from family farms in Japan produces the ultimate taste experience.
Each can of Moontower Matcha helps us spread the word about the benefits of quality matcha while helping our customers boost their daily productivity and mental clarity from pure, clean energy.
Head on over to our home page where you can try our pure unsweetened ceremonial grade matcha. Or try one of our other 4 flavors today.