What does matcha taste like? Is it bitter as some people say? In this article we will discuss about matcha features and which matcha deserves to be on your shelf. There are different matcha powders selling but not all are the same quality.
Matcha teas come with different green shades, taste and texture. I will give you some advices for an easy decision when getting your Japanese specialty. Let’s dive into.
Which Matcha Tea is Best?
You might think that Matcha tea with the Ceremonial Grade inscription ensures that you have bought a good Matcha. However, not all matcha are made in the same way.
So, what is the difference? In the taste and other green tea features. Higher quality matcha tea brings you a softer taste, which is a pleasure to drink and is less bitter. Conversely, low quality matcha tea has a powdery and granular taste. Therefore, make sure you have the best quality before preparing matcha tea.
What Does Matcha Taste Like?
The taste of matcha surprises everyone. It has a nutty, slightly bitter taste. The darker the green shade of the tea is, the stronger its aroma is. A matcha taste depends on the production quality and the region from which it comes.
Some prefer a bit sweeter matcha, while others swear on more rich taste of matcha. No matter which sort you choose, you can enjoy your matcha cup, which is a simple and easy choice to add positive ingredients to your everyday ritual.
If you’ve ever tasted a good matcha, you’ve certainly tasted a sweet and green aroma. This is due to an amino acid called L-theanine, which also occurs in shadow growth. L-teanine gives the matcha pure taste of green tea. Given that low quality matcha is lacking this amino acid, it has a bitter taste that is neither tasty nor sweet. A good quality matcha has the excellent taste, which is slightly acidic, but not bitter, creamy and sometimes even nutty or fruity.
How to Recognize a Quality Matcha?
As you already know, not all matcha green tea powders are the same quality. Regarding taste you have two options. You can drink sweeter or a little bit bitter matcha. How about other qualities of this healthy powder? What do you need to consider also when you want to experience the rich taste of this amazing tea?
First you should look at the country or region origin of the specific matcha. It is generally accepted that higher quality matcha come from Japan. Two Japan regions are particularly regarded as the best matcha producers. These are the city of Nichio in the Aichi province and the city of Uji in the Kyoto region, which produce around 80% of all matcha in Japan. China and Taiwan also produce matcha, but enthusiasts still prefer Japanese matcha tea.
When it comes to color, choose truly shiny green. The more green the matcha powder is, the better. Matcha grows in shade, so leaves of tea tree are forced to produce more chlorophyll, giving Matcha a strong green color.
Low quality matcha contains leaves that have not been appropriately shaded; they may be older or have been harvested lower from the plant’s stalks. Thus, the color may be more yellow or brown.
Matcha looks more like a fine powder than a typical spicy tea. The texture and touch of the powder can reveal the true quality of matcha. High quality matcha is very fine and silky. It is reminiscent of eyeshadows, because the size of the particles is only 5-10 microns, which means that it is so finely ground as baby powder. Low quality matcha has larger particles, making it rougher on the touch.
The Lead Quantity
The organic green tea also contains lead, especially green teas grown mainly in China. When ordinary green tea is soaked, about 90% of the lead remains in the leaves that we throw away. Ecologically produced Japan matcha contains very little lead, so there is no fear of ingesting too much of lead with this type of tea.
Proper Storage for Optimum Taste
If green tea powder is not stored correctly, it will not last long. The biggest enemy of matcha is oxygen. It is therefore recommended that you store it in a refrigerator in an airtight packing. It will slow down the oxidation processes and prolongs the life span of the tea.
Ceremonial Grade vs Culinary Matcha
Ceremonial matcha is the finest quality matcha powder that is meant for drinking matcha tea. It has a vibrant green color with a fine graded texture. This is the kind of matcha powder tea that you should drink immediately after making it. It is the best practice to drink it without any additives as sugar.
Culinary matcha is used for cooking and baking. Some culinary matcha powders have lower quality than ceremonial grade but this is not a rule. People love to mix their matcha in cakes, muffins, soups, smoothies and other delicious meals. What does this matcha taste like? This sort of matcha is not so sweet, so it is perfect to combine it in your favorite meals. Often it has a less bright green color than a ceremonial grade matcha.
Drink Sweeter or Bitterish Matcha
Now it is on you which matcha green tea powder will you choose regards your personal taste. If you aren’t used to sugar in your teas then you might choose ceremonial grade matcha and drink it pure without additives. But if you are used to sweet drinks, then you could try matcha with more softer taste.
There are differences in matcha teas from Japan and Chinese. Meanwhile matcha originates from China; it is still used in Japanese tea ceremony today and is more appreciated by matcha drinkers. Some Chinese matcha teas are bitterer than Japanese matcha. Be careful when choosing your matcha tea. If you want the best quality matcha then you should consider features of matcha that we mentioned. Choose the best and don’t take compromises when choosing high quality matcha that will satisfy your taste.