Matcha is a type of green tea; it is a finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves (watch how we make our matcha in the video below). Matcha is considered a more powerful version of regularly brewed green tea; instead of steeping and removing the tea bag, one would be consuming the entire tea leaf that was ground up into fine powder. Matcha is the favorite of centuries-old Japanese tea ceremonies, and its pleasant taste and health benefits make it a favorite of many tea-lovers today. Matcha powder is whisked in a bowl with hot water to create a frothy, bright green, and nourishing beverage.
1- What is matcha? What is the difference between matcha and green tea?
2- What makes Japanese matcha different?
While green tea is harvested in many regions throughout the world, Japan produces the highest quality matcha. China has introduced tea to Japan in the 7th century, but since then, a unique tea culture has evolved and lead to matcha. Also, Japan has one of the strictest farming regulations in the world.
3- What are the health benefits of matcha?
Matcha is believed to have many benefits, such as being a rich source of antioxidants, a metabolism booster, and having the ability to increase endurance and promoting focus. Please check this article for more details and for research behind those presumed benefits.
4- What is the difference between "ceremonial" and "culinary" matcha?
In general, matcha graded as "culinary" is a more affordable version of matcha powder. It is of lower quality (dull color, unpleasant aroma and flavor, etc.) and the cost of its production is low, hence the cheap price. On the other hand, matcha graded as "ceremonial" is of higher quality (jade green color, richer aroma, pleasant flavor, etc.). Watch this video to learn more.
5- What is the difference between thin (usucha) matcha tea and thick (koicha) matcha tea?
Thin (usucha) matcha is when tea is brewed with more water and less powder, and it is the most common method of preparing matcha. The vigorous whisking at the end will give usucha matcha the popular frothy layer.With thick (koicha) matcha, the rich viscosity is created by gently massaging the tea with the bamboo whisk and slowly pouring in the water until the desired thickness is reached. Thick tea is prepared with approximately three times the amount of powder as the much more popular thin tea. Watch this video for a demonstration.
6- Why certain types of matcha are more expensive than others?
Why is matcha expensive? Producing high-quality matcha is truly an art! It is a labor intensive process that is influenced by many factors. Food grade, or culinary matcha, is relatively inexpensive. The price goes up when choosing high-grade matcha powders that are appropriate for tea ceremonies. This video explains why sometimes ceremonial matcha can be very expensive.
7- What does matcha taste like?
This greatly depends on the quality of the matcha you are drinking. With excellent quality matcha, you should expect vegetal grassy notes, subtle sweet nuttiness, and pleasant bitter undertones if any. When matcha is prepared right, using the proper grade, it will have an irresistible flavor.
8- What is the best matcha powder?
There are many brands and different types of matcha green tea; how do I choose the right matcha powder? This is an extremely important question as there many online and in-store brands to choose from. To truly enjoy matcha, you need to be able to identify excellent quality. Details to pay attention to when making your selection are price range, packaging, origin, color, odor, and finish. Please read this article or watch this video for more details on this topic.
9- Are there safety concerns with matcha?
Is matcha safe? While it is reassuring to know if your matcha is organically farmed and free of pesticides, it is also important to make sure that the matcha you are consuming is free of pesticides and lead contamination. At Matcha Konomi, we test our matcha to confirm absence of radiation or lead contamination, and the results are available to the public. Click here to view results.
10- Is organic matcha better?
Organic matcha is not necessarily better than conventional matcha. In fact, with non-organic ceremonial matcha, there is a potential of reaching a higher umami profile, a sweeter taste, and a more vibrant jade green color. The reason for that is that the most robust and the sweetest tasting leaves will attract more bugs, and it impossible for them to survive without the application of pesticides which is strictly regulated in Japan. Given that it is a non-organic matcha, we test it for pesticides contamination as customer safety is our priority; NO pesticides detected above permitted levels. Our non-organic (conventional) ceremonial matcha variety is called Amaya Matcha.