How to Choose Your Matcha
The magic of matcha is truly awesome but not all matcha is created equal and at the first glance of a packet it is not always obvious what the difference is between one matcha and another. The best comparison we can draw is matcha is a bit like a bottle of wine. It can vary based on a number of things like, colour, taste, origin and price. The type of wine you pick may also differ on whether you are going to be drinking it to enjoy on its on own or whether you are going to use it within a recipe. Matcha is exactly the same, the qualities can vary greatly and the ideal matcha may vary depending on how you intend to use it. So what should you be looking at when choosing your matcha? Essentially there are five key characteristics:
Colour – Smell – Texture – Taste – Origin
Colour is one of the most obvious signs of a good fresh matcha. The brighter the green the better. A matcha that is a dull green, almost yellow in colour usually indicates one of a few things- it is from a poor quality harvest, it is well passed its prime or it has oxidised and may not have been sealed in airtight packaging.
When you get to the point of whisking up your matcha observe the texture. You want a nice fine powder that feels silky and has been properly ground down. If you’re drinking matcha in its traditional form – whisked with water, then the process of whisking should generate a nice layer of froth without too much effort.
Also notice how it tastes. A good quality matcha should not be bitter it will have a clean and sweet vegetal taste to it, no fishiness. The highest quality matcha comes from the first harvest and this produces a matcha that is loaded with l-theanine. This is what relaxes the mind and also lends to a sweet delicate flavour which makes it perfect for drinking straight in its traditional style.
It is important to remember that matcha is so versatile and the characteristics of your matcha will differ slightly based on how you intend to use it. If you are looking to mix your matcha in to a recipe or smoothie select a matcha that has a slightly stronger taste, otherwise the green tea flavour will be lost. So an ideal culinary grade matcha, like our Everyday Blend will be lighter in colour than the highest grade Ceremonial Blend, slight stronger in flavour and usually not as sweet.
Other factors to consider are, is the matcha organic or non-organic and its place of origin. Where has it been grown and produced? There are a lot of cheaper imports from China on the market that have been grown in a way that deviates from the traditional Japanese methods of producing matcha. So it’s important to check on these facts before purchasing.
To find out more on the Matcha Tea Haus’ organic matcha there is more detail available on our about us page.