We can’t sing Matcha’s praises enough. We love everything about it: it’s sweet, grassy flavor, the energetic lift it gives you, its rich history, and its antioxidants, just to name a few. If you’re new to Matcha, you might be thrown off by the terminology, though. Specifically, you might not understand what the grading system really is, what it means, or why it affects pricing. Picking the right Matcha depends on what you’re using your Matcha for and what you’re looking for in your Matcha! Here are some guidelines to help you make the right choice.
If you’re looking to try Matcha for the first time, we strongly recommend going with a Ceremonial Grade Matcha. This Matcha is made with top-quality Japanese green tea and ground between two large stones until it becomes a powder. The process of grinding is noisy and tedious. The stones produce only 30 grams of Matcha per hour, which is about how much Matcha goes into a Ceremonial Grade Matcha tin. The grinding itself creates a cacophonous sound.
The difficulty of manufacturing Ceremonial Grade and the quality of the tea help explain its higher price point, but so does the flavor. When you whisk a cup of Ceremonial Grade Matcha, you’ll get a vibrant, dark green that almost looks like emerald. The tea will be less astringent and the flavors more complex. This is what makes Ceremonial Grade Matcha so decadent that it was once only enjoyed by people of high status in Japan.
When to Use Ceremonial Grade
When preparing Iced Matcha or a traditional cup of Matcha, your best bet is Ceremonial Grade Matcha. Because there’s nothing masking the flavors of the Matcha, you want a Matcha that’s amazing on its own. In fact, to cover up the delicious flavors of a Ceremonial Grade Matcha would be a mistake. With just hot or cold water added to this powdered green tea, you’ll be able to enjoy the nuanced flavors that make Matcha so highly sought-after.
The other high-quality Matcha available through Art of Tea is Grade A Matcha. Grade A Matcha, which is sometimes called Cooking Grade Matcha, is a lower quality Matcha than Ceremonial Grade, but is still full of the flavor and antioxidants you’re looking for in a cup of Matcha. When made into a traditional Matcha, this powdered green tea is still vibrantly green, but isn’t the rich jewel tone you get from Ceremonial Matcha.
When to Use Grade A
As the phrase “Cooking Grade” implies, this Matcha is excellent for using in recipes, like smoothies, baked goods, and more. It’s also a great base for Matcha drinks like hot or iced lattes. Because of its lower price point, it’s also frequently used in cafes.
Whichever Matcha you choose, if you go for an Art of Tea Grade A or Ceremonial Grade Matcha, you’re sure to enjoy your Matcha. And be sure to try multiple types of Ceremonial Grade to ensure that you’ve found your absolute favorite Matcha!