No two green tea matcha powders are created equal, and the wrong matcha powder can leave a bitter, unpleasant taste in your mouth—not to mention cheat you out of powerful nutrients. Therefore, it is important to know how to tell the difference between high quality matcha and lower quality imitations. Here is a brief guide on how to identify high quality matcha.
Taste is probably the top indicator of the quality of your green tea matcha powder. How does your matcha powder taste? Lower quality matcha powders have a bitter or grass-like taste. High quality matcha powder, meanwhile, has a natural taste with a hint of bitterness—and a hint of sweetness if it have been lightly sweetened. The taste, overall, is very smooth. We at NutraMatcha lightly sweeten our matcha with a 100 percent natural blend of stevia and monk fruit. It’s enough to add a little sweetness while still letting the natural taste of the ground green tea leaves shine through.
If you want to determine how your matcha powder will taste before preparing it, smell it first. It should have a fresh and inviting smell when you first open in the package or container. If your matcha has a stale smell to it, it either is old or was produced with the stems and branches attached.
What color is your matcha powder? High quality powder should be spring green in color, indicating that the leaves of the green tea plant alone were ground while the stems and branches were discarded. If your matcha powder is yellow or brown in color, this indicates a lower quality powder that includes the stems and branches in addition to the leaves.
How does your matcha powder feel? Higher quality matcha powders have a silky texture to them. If your matcha powder feels rough or gritty to the touch, then it was not ground thoroughly enough for optimal matcha drinking.
Finally, where is your matcha powder from? While Japan, China, and Taiwan all produce and export matcha, matcha aficionados still favor Japanese matcha above all others. Check the country or region of origin of your matcha. If your matcha is not Japanese style matcha, then chances are you do not have the highest quality matcha powder.
If you feel that you have high quality matcha powder but still aren’t seeing the results you want in your matcha powder, verify that you are preparing your matcha using the proper tools and preparation techniques. Check out our blog post titled Tips for Better Hot Matcha for some essential tips on hot matcha prep.