How to Choose the Best Matcha
What's the Best Matcha?
While it may seem like all matcha tea is the same, there are variations of matcha that are produced using substitutes. You might be wondering how you can tell the difference between the two and what to look out for when purchasing ceremonial grade matcha.
Why Drink Matcha?
Matcha tea has many benefits, such as reducing stress and anxiety through the presence of the amino acid: L-theanine. However, nowadays, since consumers aren’t aware of the difference between matcha powder and green tea powder, businesses get away with selling people fake matcha. Therefore, while people think they’re getting antioxidants and health benefits, they’re really just drinking green tea grounded up into a fine powder.
What Does Matcha Taste Like?
At the same time, if what you bought is actually matcha tea, how do you know it’s top quality matcha? Well, there are certain factors to look out for here. First, there’s the taste. As mentioned above, L-theanine is the main component that attracts consumers to the tea, since it has various health benefits. All the components of matcha combined create a milky, umami flavor in the tea. So, the smoother your matcha tea is, the higher the quality. On the contrary, the more bitter your tea is, the lower the quality of matcha.
How is Matcha Grown?
Another factor is the quality of the leaves. You want to make sure that you’re drinking just the tea leaves, and that any other part of the plant is removed. If there are still chunks of matcha in your mug after stirring it once or twice, or chunks in your water bottle after infusing the powder with water, then something’s not right there. More than likely, what had happened was that either the stems or the veins were not separated from the tea leaves, and if you don’t realize it right away, then you’ll be drinking chunky green powder in your water.
Matcha is Powdered Tea
The fineness of how grounded the leaves are will determine whether or not you’re drinking high-quality matcha tea. If the leaves are finely grounded in the mill, that means that the leaves are juvenile and fresh. Yet, if the leaves produce clumpy and rough powder, that’s an obvious sign that the leaves were too old and therefore, will not contain as much health benefits as the younger leaves would. The finer the leaves, the better tasting matcha you’ll be drinking.
The Color of Matcha
The emerald green color is another factor you should watch out for when purchasing matcha powder. This is the easiest way to determine whether or not what you’re purchasing is top notch quality. Take a good look at the powder in the container. If you see that the powder looks like a dull green/dark yellow, that means you’re purchasing low-grade matcha. The best kind of matcha is a vibrant green, with no color even remotely similar to yellow. When you purchase a loaf of Wonder bread, you want to make sure that it’s perfectly white, right? You don’t want to look at the Wonder bread and see specs of green on it, because that’s a sign of mold. That’s also a sign that it will end up making you sick. Although drinking a dull green cup of matcha tea won’t make you sick, it won’t provide you with the necessary nutrients and antioxidants, as much as a vibrant green cup of matcha tea would.
Different Grades of Matcha
Matcha powder is produced in different grades. Ceremonial matcha powder is the original matcha that originated from Japan. Much like I mentioned above, when choosing a matcha powder, look for the fullest shade of green as opposed to the dullest. Ceremonial Although ceremonial matcha powder may be pricier than other types of matcha powder, you get the highest of qualities by purchasing the ceremonial powder. Ceremonial matcha powder contains all of the factors that high-quality matcha should have from the perfect shade of green to its umami taste.
The other grades of matcha are mainly used for cooking, or making a thick Starbucks-like drink. Not every type of matcha powder is used for drinking, which is why for kitchen purposes, there’s: Ingredient grade matcha, kitchen grade matcha, and cafe grade matcha. There is also classic grade matcha, but since that’s also used for drinking purposes, it wouldn’t be grouped in with the other three. Classic grade matcha ranks below ceremonial grade matcha, but it’s still of high quality and can be used for various purposes.
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