The matcha green tea craze has taken hold hard in the West, including the UK as a pretty new thing, even though it has been important in Asian culture, especially in Japan, for over a thousand years. This means that there are an increasing number of places offering you the chance to buy organic matcha green tea powder.
Not all organic matcha tea powder, however, is created equally. Matcha tea quality is determined by a variety of elements, including processing, provenance, and packaging. When researching the best place to buy organic matcha green tea powder, you should keep the following in mind.
Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder Origins
The origin of top grade organic matcha green tea powder is the most significant feature you need to be concerned with when looking to buy the best; where does the matcha come from? Is it from a single source – single-origin matcha – or from multiple sources? What is the location of the matcha tea farm?
Because the Japanese tea ritual was invented in Japan, authentic matcha must always come from there. Even if Korea, China, or Taiwan can – and do – cultivate and process matcha, the quality of such tea will never rival that of Japanese matcha tea.
While Japanese green tea powder in general is superior, the very best matcha is cultivated in certain specific regions of Japan. Because Japan is such a diverse country, not all of its soil or geographical circumstances are conducive to producing the greatest matcha powder.
Matcha tea was really ‘invented’ in Uji, a small town near Kyoto. Uji’s geographical characteristics, rich-nutrient soil, and altitude, to name a few, make it the place to be for producing the greatest matcha tea powder you’ve ever tasted!
It’s the equivalent of drinking Champagne that isn’t from Champagne… Uji Matcha is the genuine birthplace of Matcha, with a unique terroir and specific taste. Organic matcha green tea powder from Uji is what has become known as ceremonial grade matcha in the West.
At How Matcha, we are very proud to both make use of it to create the matcha tea beverages we offer in our Marylebone café and to offer it for sale to the larger public in the form of organic matcha green tea powder they can make (extensive) use of at home.
The hue of good quality matcha tea should always be vivid green, thus the greener the better! This is due to the plant’s shade conditions as it grows, as well as the harvest time and placement of the leaf harvested within the tea plant itself.
Matcha from the initial harvest, the top of the plant, and tana shaded is always the top standard. Tana shading involves constructing actual shading structures around the tea plants in their final stages of growth, a more complex process that not all matcha tea producers bother with, but it’s the standard in Japan.
The lowest quality matcha green tea powders are not very green at all, being yellowish or even brownish instead. That suggests the tea plants they were created from were not shaded appropriately. That’s why they haven’t turned green.
It also usually indicates that they are not from the first harvest, in the spring or early summer, but rather an autumn or winter harvest. As a result, this matcha will be quite bitter. Matcha should never be light green or brown and while it should have a vegetal taste it should taste jarringly bitter.
The organic matcha green tea powder we use – and sell – at How Matcha is the bright – very bright – green it should be. Any that is not this Kermit the Frog level bright green is not used, and it’s certainly not sold to those customers hoping to buy the best organic matcha green tea powder.
Matcha Green Tea Powder Texture
The best organic matcha green tea powder is always stone milled, and top grade matcha tea should feel smooth and silky between your fingertips when rubbed between your fingers.
You can do the “paper test” by smearing a pinch of matcha tea onto a piece of white paper. If it leaves a long, clean line, it is of good quality. Poor quality matcha teas don’t dissolve as well, even in boiling hot water, often due to the fact that the leaves they were created from are from lower on the tea plant and thus thicker.
What is the significance of texture? Just that no one wants lumpy matcha. We certainly don’t at How Matcha – our signature matcha lattes would be a lot less popular if they were lumpy rather than creamy and silky smooth – and we don’t want our customers to have to put up with lumpy matcha tea at home either, so we ensure that the organic matcha green tea we use and sell is as silky as it should be every time.
Matcha Green Tea Taste and Aroma
As you want to enjoy your matcha – however you choose to consume it – taste and aroma are very important when it comes to buying organic matcha green tea powder.
The smell of matcha tea will tell if it is good quality matcha tea or not, just like wine. The powerful and vibrant aroma of high-quality matcha tea entices you in. You must taste the sharpness of the antioxidants, but the sweetness provided by the amino acids in the shading process must be the star.
As a result, look for a stronger, sweeter scent. Also, if you find a flavored version, you should avoid it. You can add all kinds of add-ins and flavours to matcha after it is prepared, and many of them create excellent beverages, but matcha green tea powder should not start out with anything other than the green tea goodness you expect!
If the only flavour you detect is bitterness, the matcha tea is of poor quality. The best matcha tea powder is one that has a sweet taste to it. A top quality matcha tea can strike a balance between bitterness and sweetness. Umami, as the Japanese would say. When matcha is properly shaded, amino acids build up in the green tea leaves, giving it a sweet aftertaste. It’s probably not your cup of tea if it tastes bitter…
Matcha Green Tea Froth
We’ve all seen the luscious, frothy matcha that makes us drool. That’s what you’re looking for in a high-quality matcha tea! After whisking, the best matcha tea powder will have a thick frothy foaming surface, not simply a thin layer with small air bubbles. The higher the matcha’s quality, the more foam it will produce.
At our Marylebone café we focus on providing the best matcha tea experiences possible, from hot and cold traditional matcha green teas to matcha lattes, matcha shots, matcha bubble tea and more. And to achieve this, we make use of only the finest organic matcha green tea powder.
One of the things that is so cool about matcha is that lots of these beverages can be recreated at home. However, you’ll need the same high quality matcha tea powder we have access to to do so. Buying organic green tea matcha powder from How Matcha online ensures that you will.