How to pick the right matcha for you?
Can’t decide whether you should buy Ceremonial, Premium, or Culinary matcha? Does the color of matcha affect its quality? How to identify the right matcha for you? If you’re new to matcha and looking for answers to these questions you’ll find them here. There is so much to know and love about matcha and its diverse health benefits but it is important to remember that all types of matcha come from the same plant and are carefully hand-picked for different purposes.
Despite the ever-increasing popularity of matcha, many people do not understand the uniqueness of it. Matcha cannot be categorized as just another green tea. Every year, after being shade-grown to boost its nutritional properties, the ‘tencha’ leaves are hand-picked, steamed and the dried leaves are ground finely into powder slowly to secure its benefits to the best. Fun fact: It takes our stone mills a full 45 minutes to ground 30g of matcha powder! This can be done faster but this leaves the matcha scorched, reduces nutrients and results in a bitter taste.
With that in mind, the color of matcha does define its quality. You can say ‘the greener the better’. The abundance of chlorophyll in the matcha tea powder gives it the vibrant green color that we all love. Before we dive into more details just remember that the grading of matcha tea doesn’t mean that it lowers the quality and benefits. Matcha is categorized in different grades to serve different purposes.
To understand the purpose and use of each grade, let’s find out how we can make the best use of every grade:
Ceremonial; Matcha for sipping
Ceremonial grade matcha is for matcha tea lovers who enjoy it in its pure form. Ceremonial grade matcha means that only the tencha leaves of the first harvest of the year (the richest in nutrients and most flavorful) is used for this. It has an abundance of chlorophyll and L-theanine that gives it the most vibrant green color and sweet mouthfeel with earthy tones. So, for all those people who want a healthy shift from coffee, Ceremonial matcha tea could be a great solution to not only keep you focused and calm but also give many extraordinary superfood health benefits.
Premium; Matcha for blending
If you want to mix up your matcha with milk and other liquids Premium would be your go to. Premium grade is not much different than Ceremonial grade when it comes to the quality, color, and benefits. It is indeed a bit more versatile and still palatable for those who love to enjoy matcha with a twist. Premium grade matcha is perfect for blending into different drinks or smoothies. Most matcha lovers prefer it with honey, agave syrup, latte, frappuccino, iced-tea, cocktails or even with the morning porridge.
Culinary; Matcha for cooking/baking
Think of all the delectable desserts and dishes; Culinary matcha can be a healthy and fragrant ingredient for all such recipes like cake, ice-cream, breakfast muffins, chocolate truffles, donuts or pancakes. Just like Ceremonial and Premium matcha are grown to be drank, Culinary matcha is grown to be used for cooking or baking. Without compromising its benefits, the culinary grade is mixed with a harvest of a bit more matured leaves for a strong and astringent flavor. It is ideal to be used in cooking or baking, as it has a strong flavor that is noticeable when mixed with other ingredients.
It’s important to mention that there is no official body or certification for the different matcha types. A ceremonial grade from one brand can unfortunately be cooking quality. We have seen this mostly with Chinese brands that sell cheaper cooking matcha as premium or ceremonial matcha. :(
So, whichever type of matcha you end up using, it is important to keep the purpose of each grade in mind for the best taste and result. For delicious matcha recipes, you can check our blogs and try your favorite.
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