Not all Matcha is Created Equal
Learn to spot the difference between a wanna-be matcha and the real thing. True matcha tea is processed using very specific traditional methods, if matcha is not processed properly it won’t have all its amazing benefits.
Be Your Own Matcha Master
1. Make sure your matcha is 100% Japanese
Only Japan adheres to the strict processing standards that keep matcha’s powerful nutrients intact.
2. Never buy products that claim to be matcha but come in loose-leaf or teabag form
These contain only about 3% actual matcha powder.
3. Never buy powdered “sencha” or simply green tea that claims to be matcha
Neither is true Japanese matcha and both lack its nutrients.
4. Read the label carefully
If it uses terms like “premium” or “hand-picked” then lists sugar or a derivative as an ingredient, run the other way!
5. Understand price
The best matcha tea leaves are generally reserved for “ceremonial” grade matcha which retails for about $30 an ounce. A good mid-grade matcha used for lattes and blended drinks usually retails at $30 – $35 for 2.8 ounces. Good culinary matcha retails around $22 – $26 for 3.5 ounces. As matcha grades get lower, expect fewer nutrients, a more astringent taste and a less vibrant green color.
6. Beware sweetness
If the product is pre-sweetened, it will contain mostly sugar, come from low-grade leaves that lack nutrients, and should be labelled and priced accordingly. These cheap grades generally sell for about $10 per 3.5 oz. Also, keep in mind most matcha teas served at coffee and tea shops contain only about 15% matcha, along with 3% fruit pectin and about 88% cane sugar … ouch!
7. Be color wise
Good quality matcha should be a rich vibrant green. It should also be finely ground and have a noticeably full, fresh aroma.
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Calli O’Brien is a long-time matcha specialist living in Vancouver, Canada. Her experience developing new markets for Japanese matcha tea spans nearly a decade.
Hand-picking matcha tea leaves in Japan, Calli learned the industry literally from the ground up. She has worked with the best matcha Tea Masters on the planet, toured the Japanese mills where the world’s finest matcha powder is still stone-ground to perfection, and managed the development and retail distribution of matcha tea products on three different continents.
Personally invited to speak on matcha’s unique properties at the prestigious Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC, Calli also belongs to a select group of early adopters who first pioneered matcha’s tremendous North American market potential. With exceptional knowledge and a personable nature, she is highly-regarded by matcha tea industry insiders and consumers alike.