Recognising good quality matcha tea is easier than you think! It is just a matter of learning how to do it. That is why we have compiled this 9 tip guide on how to buy good quality matcha green tea, to help you buy the best matcha tea powder.
Recognising good quality matcha tea was one of the things that overwhelmed me the most when buying matcha tea, like a matcha green tea consumer I did not know how to recognise good quality matcha tea and was often confused with so many options!
Sometimes I even encountered flavored matcha or even worst, matcha with fillers such as sugar or powdered milk. However, it gets worse, some cafes even use a syrup matcha… gross. If you identify yourself with this struggle, hang in there! Learning how to recognise good quality matcha tea is very easy and here are the tips on how you can buy the best matcha tea powder from now on.
HOW TO RECOGNISE GOOD QUALITY MATCHA GREEN TEA
The matcha fever has hit hard, that is why many establishments offer matcha nowadays. However, not all matcha tea is created equal. The processing, the origin, the packaging, are just a few of the factors that will determine the quality of matcha tea. Here is what you should look for when you buy Matcha.
HOW TO BUY GOOD QUALITY MATCHA GREEN TEA
Want the best quality of Matcha tea? It is simpler than you can imagine. Our tip guide helps you ensure you get the best Matcha green tea.
You need to know where the powder is sourced from. Is it pure? Is it refined? Is it blended with other teas from different places?
Our Matcha tea is sourced from the lush green southern highlands, Japan where the conditions are perfect for the growing of tea bushes with high quality produce. Our farm has also had soil tests and gets a lot of rain to make sure you always get the cleanest matcha possible.
The greener the tea, the better.
Good quality matcha tea is bright in colour. This is because of the shading of the tree crop as well as the harvest and position of the leaves in the crop. The first harvest, usually entails just the top leaves and the bud, make the best shaded matcha tea.
Avoid matcha tea that has yellowish or brownish colour. These could even have a bitter taste, and would usually not be from the best harvest. Good matcha tea is never light green or brown.
Texture of matcha green tea powder = smooth and silky
The smoother and silkier it is, the better. Fine and silky matcha tea dissolves easily, leaving little or no lumps.
Authentic and good quality matcha tea is produced through a rigorous stone milling process that ensures that the end product is smooth and silky when rubbed with fingers.
A simple test of texture involves smearing a little matcha tea on a plain piece of paper. Well-milled matcha tea will leave a long and clean line. This is a mark of quality. Rough forms will not break up easily and will leave uneven or unclear traces on the paper. This is indicative of low quality. This also illustrates that the tea powder could have been obtained from leaves from the lower plant of the tea bushes, which are thicker and therefore less likely to become fine when milled.
Just like wine, the smell will indicate if the matcha you are buying is good quality matcha tea or not. A high-grade matcha tea draws you in with its strong and vivid aroma. You must get the bitterness of the antioxidants but what must be the highlight is its sweetness, given by the amino acids in its shading process. So, look for a strong and sweeter aroma. And, definitely stay away if you see a flavored version.
Good quality matcha tea is a blend of both bitterness and sweetness. If the tea is only bitter, that is indicative of poor quality. You can tell a good miller and producer of matcha tea from the taste of the tea. A good miller is able to ensure that they achieve a sweetness from ensuring a buildup of amino acids while shading the tea leaves, while still maintaining the bitterness of the antioxidants.
If the aftertaste is just bitter, that is obviously bad quality matcha tea.
The creamier and foamier, the better.
We all desire a cup of smooth and foamy matcha. That is what good quality matcha tea powder will give you. Not just another cup of matcha with a thin layer of bubbles, but a creamy and foamy drink.
Origin of matcha green tea powder = Kagoshima, Japan
The most important characteristic of good quality matcha green tea is its origin, where does the matcha come from? Is it from one place only – single-origin matcha, or different places? Where is the matcha tea farm located?
Once, when I was a matcha amateur consumer I was sure I was getting the best matcha green tea powder ever, I felt like I had just discovered the crème de la crème, and guess what? When I got the poorly sealed bag, I realized that what I thought was authentic Japanese matcha, was actually from Korea! I felt so disappointed… Authentic matcha must always, always and always be from Japan, as this is where the Japanese tea ceremony was invented in the 16th Century. Even if Korea, China or Taiwan can grow and process matcha it will never achieve the quality of Japanese matcha tea.
But, hang on… does that mean that all regions in Japan are fine? Well, no… Japan is a very diverse territory, so not all of its soil nor geographical conditions allow for the best matcha powder to be produced. Actually, the birthplace of matcha tea is Kyoto. The geographical conditions of Kagoshima, its rich-nutrient soil, its altitude, just to mention a few, make Kagoshima the place of excellence to produce the best matcha tea powder that you can taste!
It is like having Champagne that is not from Champagne… Kagoshima Matcha has a special terroir and it’s the true birthplace of Matcha.
So, the next time you buy good quality matcha tea, make sure it is sourced from Kagoshima Japan!
Packaging = airtight and in a can or resalable bag
Good quality matcha tea should always be packaged and sealed correctly. Especially, in a dark container. This, to prevent air, light, and extreme temperatures. These conditions could damage the tea profile, making it bitter and opaquing its unique flavor. So, always look for airtight cans or resalable bags that are opaque, and store your matcha tea in a dry and dark place to keep its freshness.
Ever heard of the saying “if you pay peanuts you get monkeys”? Well, that applies to matcha too! So if you see a 100gr of matcha for $30, be assured that is NOT good quality matcha tea.
Pure and Single Origin
Make sure you know where you get the matcha tea from. Lead, radiation and even multiple origin leaves are often a concern in the matcha world. So always look for pure, radiation-free and lead-free matcha tea from a single origin.