Ceremonial, Premium, Basic!
I am sure you met those expressions when searching for matcha tea. But what’s the difference and how do they affect the taste and your experience?
Let me tell you some little and relatively unknown tips so that you can choose the right grades of matcha for your needs and your pocket.
The 3-grade system
Before matcha became so popular, there were only two grades, the ceremonial and all of the other ones. Now, especially in the western world, we tend to use the 3-grade system to describe the matcha tea quality. This system divides matcha tea into either “ceremonial,” “premium” or “basic or cooking” grade. You’re now probably thinking ‘Why do I need to know all of these?’. Believe me, when it comes to buying matcha, it’s useful to know the real differences between a quality matcha and one that isn’t as good as it should be. Also, the different grades are more appropriate for some uses, and not for others.
The 4 main tips you should know
#1 Origin: Matcha originally comes from Japan and is still the top producing country for matcha enthusiasts.
#2 Price: Here you have to keep in mind the 3-grade system and also the phrase ‘you get what you pay for’. It’s not so difficult, is it?
#3 Colour: The greener the better! Farmers grow the matcha tea leaves in the shade, which slows down the growth and turns the leaves into a darker vibrant green. A lower quality matcha has a yellowish tinge or even brownish tone. This is simply because the leaves have not been properly shaded, or they may have been collected from lower parts of the plant.
#4 Taste: It’s always nicer to taste matcha before you buy it. Only then can you be sure that you purchase the right matcha for you, the one you like. For those of you who live in and around Odense, let me tell you that our favourite sushi place in town, ‘Seaweed’, is now serving MaTCHa SoY LaTTe – made by organic premium grade matcha from Matchateria!
Choose the right matcha for your needs
Ceremonial grade matcha tea is the highest grade and it is blended to be served plain. It has a very delicate flavour and is recommended to be mixed only with water and be served as pure as possible. Ceremonial matcha is the one that is used in the tea ceremonies in Japan or tea schools and Buddhist temples.
Premium grade matcha tea is an excellent choice for everyday use, from a morning smoothie to an afternoon matcha tea or latte. The premium grade is a very fine blend and has a great consistency, meaning it dissolves easily in water. The colour of this type of matcha is a vibrant green.
The basic grade is considerably cheaper than the 2 grades above. You can use it as an ingredient to foods and desserts. It has a stronger flavour and it pairs well with sugar and fat. If you are planning to cook and bake with matcha then this grade is the most suitable for you.
Stay tuned & enjoy your matcha