The world of matcha powder can be a bit confusing to navigate! There are tons of different matcha products out there, covering a wide range of quality and prices –not all matcha is created equal. We’re here to break down the difference between grades of matcha so you can find the best matcha powder for you!
Ceremonial grade vs culinary grade matcha
Broadly speaking, there are two major categories of matcha powder quality: culinary grade and ceremonial grade. They’re both powdered whole green tea leaves, but there are some subtle (yet super important!) differences that determine matcha powder quality:
Ceremonial grade matcha powder is made for traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, and is the highest quality, most delicious matcha you can buy. It’s worlds away from what you can get at most large chain coffee shops, and is intended for use in cases where the matcha’s flavor is most important, like in a matcha latte. Ceremonial grade matcha powder is made from younger tea leaves, which have higher concentrations of nutrients at the time they’re harvested. These younger tea leaves are incredibly rich in l-theanine (an amino acid that’s great for your brain – it reduces stress and promotes calm focus) and chlorophyll (which is full of antioxidants and gives ceremonial grade matcha its vibrant green color).
Culinary grade matcha powder is matcha that’s slightly lower quality, and is made for use in baked goods, smoothies, or other recipes where the taste of matcha isn’t the star of the show. It’s harvested from older tea leaves, which gives culinary grade matcha its more bitter, intense flavor that helps it stand up to the tastes of other ingredients. Some might say culinary grade matcha is suitable for lattes, but we prefer ceremonial grade matcha for the best, smoothest flavor.
Is ceremonial grade matcha worth it?
The bottom line? If you’re drinking your matcha in a latte or as a tea with hot water, we recommend going with a ceremonial grade matcha powder for the best matcha experience. Our Pure Matcha is our favorite – organic, shade-grown, and straight from Uji, Japan, it’s a super affordable ceremonial grade matcha that’s perfect for matcha newbies and daily drinkers alike.
Shop Pure Matcha now and kickstart your at-home matcha routine!