Not all Matcha is Created Equal.
With all the talk of matcha in the news and matcha-infused products appearing on grocery store shelves at a range of prices, it should come as no surprise that there are significant differences in quality, taste and health benefits between them. Let's break it down.
First of all, one could grind up virtually any type of tea and call it "matcha" which really just translates to mean ground tea. Here are some important factors to look for when choosing a high quality, great tasting, nutritious matcha:
Where was it grown/produced? For centuries, matcha has been synonymous with Japanese culture. Only the highest grade of matcha (often called ceremonial grade) is used during traditional Japanese tea ceremonies.
Was the tea plant shaded prior to harvest and grinding? Shading the tea plant for about 20 days prior to harvest improves taste and nutritional values. True, high grade matcha should be made from Tencha - a style of processing the shaded tea leaf.
What cultivars were used? Some cultivars - or varieties of the tea plant - taste better than others and there can be a big difference in price between cultivars for good reason!
Is it organic? Simply asked . . . do you really want to drink something previously bathed in chemicals?
When was the leaf picked? First flush, spring picked leaves will yield the best tasting, nutritionally rich matcha.
What is the quality of the leaf ground up to make matcha? Were the stems and large veins removed prior to grinding? were older, less vital leaves used?
Was the tea aged after processing? Matcha is often considered smoother and richer when allowed to mature after processing.
What else is in the cup? It is no secret that matcha products being served in one of the world's largest beverage chains and elsewhere contain up to 80% sugar! Other common additives in matcha are starches or other stabilizers. Fine, high quality matcha is a natural product that we believe should be consumed in its purest form to achieve the best health benefit.
These are some of the variables you should consider when buying and consuming matcha.
We're extremely proud of the two fine, ceremonial grade matcha teas that we offer at Modern Steep. We source these directly from two individual, highly acclaimed tea masters in Japan. Indeed, we've set the bar high and are confident that once you try them, you'll experience the difference that comes from integrity and expertise in tea growing, matcha production and sourcing.
Come by for a taste! Live Better. Drink (Awesome) Tea.