What’s matcha taste like? Many people are asking what is the best matcha tea, but without asking why to make matcha in the first place.
It’s more than a daily drink, the matcha nutrition boost is unparalleled and can bring your health and wellness to a new level – without the catch.
We've updated this list to be up-to-date for 2021 and beyond! Cheers.
What is the Best Matcha Plant?
Actually, matcha is from the green tea tree Camellia sinensis. Although most commonly seen as a bush or shrub, for nearly a millennium Zen monks and tea masters in Japan have cultivated heirloom varieties of the matcha plant.
Why is Matcha Expensive
Is matcha rare? Some matcha tea’ s are rarer than others, and that’s what separates the ceremonial matcha benefits, in contrast to the poor quality at national corner cafes.
Furthermore, since the delicacy of high quality matcha can be a premium price point, learning the reasons of why is matcha expensive can guide you.
It’s gotten to the point where brands are hoping you’ll search for cheap matcha powder without understanding what you’re missing out on.
That’s why we review what makes good quality matcha, including where matcha is from, and how to make an affordable matcha choice.
Myth or Fact: People who like matcha love powder green tea of all kinds
It’s a myth that just because you’ve had a matcha you like, that you’ll love matcha (powder green tea) of all kinds out there. Most are low quality, which is matcha that is bitter and is likely to turn you off.
If that’s been your experience, it means you should try a high quality, premium ceremonial grade matcha. Ceremonial matcha has the most green tea benefits, and the very best flavor, making it a great place for anyone to start.
What type of Tea is Matcha, and Looseleaf Amazon Tea like Guayusa vs. Matcha Tea Powder
So how is matcha different from other teas or caffeinated herbs? Take guayusa leaves for a moment, these are from the Amazon, brewed similar to tea, and comparable to matcha as a regional delicacy, and for its sharp rise of popularity.
Since matcha also is a regional delicacy – although from the other side of the world (Japan) – somehow people have come to think of this South American region as superior for all tea growing. Some also mistake Kenya, and China.
Japanese Matcha Green Tea
Many people forget that Japan is the one and only authentic source of green tea! Plus, it’s a myth that matcha tea can grow elsewhere. Real matcha green tea can only grow in Japan, so always double check the origin.
Note: Be careful of green tea products originating outside of Japan. For example, from South America some products might translate directly as “Amazon Green Tea Powder,” but the reality of this ‘Amazon matcha’ is that it’s not the real deal.
- See imitation matcha to learn more about matcha origins, and how authentic matcha is cultivated each harvest season in Japan, unlike other countries.
Each Tea Leaf Sprouts Matcha Powder of a Different Quality
Each harvest season, the tea master decides to target matcha powder qualities which will help develop the necessary range of premium and culinary grade matcha for the year.
Since matcha green tea is used for recipes, baking, foods, and a host of different health drinks – each which rely on special flavors and characteristics – it’s important to have a matcha for each of them.
Furthermore, many people ask what the ceremonial and culinary grade matcha health benefits are, and this is part of that question.
Ceremonial vs Culinary Grade Matcha Health Benefits
The Tea Master will select each green tea leaf for how it will contribute to the type of matcha. This is a very involved process, where each tea plant is given just the right attention over the course of the harvest season, and throughout each of their long lives. The result is just the right balance of matcha benefits.
- You can also see more about matcha’s growing climate in Japan, and the steps to make ceremonial grade matcha to understand why it’s the one true matcha source.
Fun Fact: No one knows how long tea plants can live for, but the oldest on record is over 600 years.
Review of Matcha Kari Teas
Here is our Summer review for each of the matcha green tea options, you can select based on green tea health benefits and preferred flavor. It can help you get a sense of the benefit of matcha tea drinking.
We also compare our matcha green tea powder organic options with our very best matcha green tea powders. Spot the differences with this matcha guide:
Chef’s Choice Culinary Matcha is a traditional culinary matcha tea. It is an affordable choice for baked goods, with sublime and bold flavors. Recommended for those who prefer an astringent taste profile, or as an accent flavor in sweet lattes. It is a higher grade than ingredient grade matcha.
Generally not a sipping matcha, but comparable for matcha health benifits because of the EGCG antioxidant. Caffeine content is about 30mg per serving.
Organic Chef’s Choice is a culinary matcha tea that is USDA Organic certified. It is similar in flavor and health benefits as the Chef’s Choice, but is 100% Japanese USDA organic matcha powder, and slightly more in natural sweetness.
Recommended use for culinary and baked foods, and as a barista matcha for cafes. Caffeine content is about 30-35mg per serving.
Whole-Leaf Matcha Tea Bags answer the question of green tea w matcha. You can get the benefits of matcha in a traditional tea bag, and a great segue to the differences between matcha and green tea.
Unlike regular green tea bags, matcha comes from a special grade of tea leaf called tencha. By enjoying the whole leaf matcha tea bags you experience looseleaf green tea but with matcha power.
Only tea-bag in the United States with 100% Matcha Tea Leaves. Plus, it takes the hassle out of how to make matcha. Emerald green tea, about 30mg caffeine per serving.
Summer Reserve Matcha is an exclusive Japanese matcha’ with powerful health properties and an affordable price. It is a traditionally grown matcha tea, blended from summer harvest tea leaves. It is bolder than our Single Estate OG and contains good levels of L-theanine, the calming amino acid of matcha tea.
Caffeine content is about 35-40mg per serving, and is often enjoyed plain as well as in a latte. This is a barista edition matcha and a best seller for cafes, as well as people switching from coffee lattes.
Single Estate OG is a USDA Organic matcha green tea from Japan. It is unparalleled for its price and natural sweet and savory flavors. Approaching a ceremonial grade matcha quality, this sipping matcha is perfect to drink plain, everyday.
The ratio of L-theanine to caffeine is slightly more potent than Summer Reserve. It is calming and drives a clear mental focus similar to higher end matcha teas.
It boasts strong levels of antioxidant polyphenols, and stimulating amino acids. Caffeine content about 40mg per serving.
Ceremonial matcha tea, and convenient single serving matcha. Take with you anywhere with a premium ritual matcha, get all the benefits of matcha in each pack.
Simple as pour and shake, matcha on the go is a high grade matcha for sipping. And has the savory, umami and natural sweetness fit for the ceremonial name. Some call it the perfect blend of convenience and morning ritual.
Each matcha single serving is a gateway to mindful relaxation, and focus. Caffeine content about 35-40mg per serving.
First Harvest is a traditionally cultivated matcha green tea from Japan. It is preferred as a daily balance of health benefits and calming energy, as well as palatability. First Harvest matcha tea is befit for first-timers in the world of matcha, as well as experienced tea ceremony participants; a true sipping-matcha
Caffeine content about 40mg per serving, with a noticeably longer calming, focus energy due to the increased L-theanine content.
Superior Organic matcha is an entry grade of ceremonial matcha tea, a significant jump in polyphenols, flavonoids, and amino acids from the Single Estate OG. The matcha taste is savory with a grassy aroma and color.
For those who prefer USDA organic matcha for their health, Superior Organic Matcha is the best-choice to leave no matcha tea benefits on the table
Tenchi is one of the world’s only true ceremonial organic matcha. Most of the USDA Organic matcha tea on the market is actually barista grade or culinary grade, just labelled the wrong way.
Tenchi matcha tea gets its name from the balance of heaven and earth, and brings the highest form of organic matcha health benefits, and is grown on Japan’s oldest and most authentic matcha tea farm.
Every batch of matcha is allowed to cure for at least one year to optimize flavor and health benefits of matcha tea. Virtually no astringent or bold flavors, with maximal natural sweetness and savory flavor of matcha for an organic green tea powder.
Tenchi is the matcha for someone wanting the best matcha tea for health benefits, while keeping an organic green tea. Caffeine 40mg/serving.
Morning Ritual is a ceremonial matcha, produced from tea leaves harvested only at the very beginning of Spring. This first flush tea is the choice of matcha with the highest L-theanine which balances affordability.
It is recommended for plain drinking everyday, and comes with the Matcha Kari Starter Set because of its ability to give the benefits of matcha in a calming experience and middle price point.
Morning Ritual matcha tea is empowered by a savory complexion and high levels of amino acids, polyphenols, and caffeine, with the zen energy boost that is the strongest matcha tea for its category. Caffeine 40mg/serving.
Full-bodied, creamy flavor and the second highest quality matcha tea available. Matcha tea from an heirloom cultivar of green tea harvested over 800 years in Japan. Specially cultivated matcha for the most satisfying flavor, energy boost, and health benefits of green tea powder. Second only to Master’s Blend.
Limited supply is produced each year. Vibrant green, rich aromatics, and very best matcha for daily ceremony. Caffeine content about 40-45mg per serving.
Undefeated in the world of qualities of matcha tea. The highest grade ceremonial matcha tea in all of the world. Master’s Blend matcha tea is extremely rare and scientifically studied for the highest overall content of amino acids, matcha nutrients, antioxidant EGCG and other polyphenols, flavonoids, and matcha micronutrients.
Only the very youngest, greenest matcha tea leaves are used to become this powdered green tea. The choice of Tea Master’s for important Japanese Tea Ceremony ‘s , and can be made as a thick matcha tea. Superior sweetness without any astringency.
The Bottom Line – Ready to Drink Matcha Everyday?
Now that you know the varieties of matcha tea, you can choose which one to bring into your day. If you still have questions, you can take the Matcha Quiz, and review our Ultimate Insider Guide to Matcha Green Tea.
Also, be sure to check out the 15 Most Common Matcha Questions for quick answers.
-Team Matcha Kari