What Makes the Best Matcha Best?
Well, there always comes a point when you get curious about what exactly makes a Matcha, a perfect Matcha.
So what made you search for the best Matcha?
People are becoming especially curious with the increase of Matcha awareness from the bright pictures of lattes, smoothies, and doughnuts on Instagram.
Did you know some people use Matcha even with baking recipes?
If you want to purchase Matcha, there are so many options out there that it becomes confusing as to which ones to even try. With so many online and on the shelves varieties of Matcha, it could get difficult if you don't know the basics.
Talking about essentials, let's get into the basics - what is Matcha precisely?
Matcha is a stone-ground powdered green tea from Japan. It's produced in the regions of Uji, Yame, Kagoshima, and Nishio. It was used by monks to get bursts of energy while they meditated for long periods.
But you know what's the best thing about Matcha?
It provides energy for the day without the crash! Period.
The question remains, what makes premium-quality matcha?
There are a few key things that most impact the Matcha quality. These are the location of origin, packaging dates, packaging style, color, aroma, taste, and texture.
We will touch base on all these aspects. So that you know which ones to purchase and can experience the best Matcha ever!
What does Location have to do with Matcha?
A lot, the reason I want to emphasize over it first is that it's often missed out.
When you find Matcha at an online or a specialty store, the first thing to look for is its origin.
Not every Matcha brand wants you to know the location. Because there are blends of Matcha available from China at a much cheaper rate, but this compromises quality.
It's best if you can find Matcha that specifically mentions the location on its packaging. You shouldn't go with any Matcha that doesn't provide location information.
At times, the packaging may inform you of the country, region and even town. It's best if it's from Japan. Merely because Japanese-made Matcha's are considered the best, much better quality and yes, comes at a higher price as well.
On top of that, look for JAS stamp. The Japanese Agriculture Stamps, like the USDA, is a great reassurance of a good Matcha.
As a rule of thumb, make sure it's ceremonial grade and not "culinary grade". Most brands make both these Matcha. One is for drinking which is ceremonial. Another one can be used in baking or latte, but not really good for drinking.
How packaging dates affect Matcha quality?
Well, Matcha is considered non-perishable. So most matcha has a listed shelf life of 1+ year as long as it is stored in a cool dark place and left unopened.
But I heard that Matcha lasts much less?
Yes, the Matcha lasts only about a month once the package is opened. So you should consume it within 30 days for the best experience. As always, the fresher the better.
What sort of packaging is ideal for preserving Matcha?
Generally speaking, it's great to have it in a tin. That's how Japanese Matcha is packed. But any kind of packaging could be good, provided it's kept in a cold, dark place where there is less exposure to light.
Now practically, that's a tin!
What are the color signs for an excellent Matcha?
Just like an apple a day keeps you from doctor away, the bright green color of Matcha keeps all the bad Matcha away.
The bright green color of Matcha is the sign of freshness. Any shade of brown is an oxidation sign, which isn't good and shows it isn't as fresh as best Matcha.
What makes the Matcha color bright green?
Good question. So if the teas are harvested in an earlier season, it has more chlorophyll and thus is greener and brighter. If the teas are harvested around July, they will be much less bright green, even little brownish and less flavorful as well.
How does Matcha smell like?
Well, that depends. But a good Matcha must have some sort of pleasing fragrance.
Some smell grassy, vegetal, and rather light while others are nutty, savory and toasted.
What else should you know about Matcha?
In a nutshell, as we learned from the Matcha definition, it must be stone-grounded using traditional stone mills. It will have a smooth and velvety sort of texture.
There are many Matchas that are grounded in an electric jet mill. The heat produced there simply destroys the tea's aroma and may affect the benefits of Matcha overall.
Matcha must always be kept at a low temperature, as the coolness will preserve the fresh aroma. Never preserve it in any transparent jars, as the light exposure will cause the color to change.
So what does best Matcha taste like?
A little sweet and a little savory, with a pinch of bitterness.
But again, it depends. Matcha from Nishio, Japan is considered light, drinkable and with minimal notes of bitterness. There's very less
"Umami" in there which makes it fresh and grassy.
The teas from Yame are rather nuttiest and savory.
With all that said, at the end of the day, some people love dark chocolate while others don't. Same is the case with Matcha; it must be ceremonial grade from Japan. But then you may have different taste preferences.
So where to buy Matcha?
Tenzo Tea Organic Matcha complies with all these standards and is loved by customers as a credible Matcha brand.
Try once and you’ll be glad you did!