Every little bit of matcha powder is precious – & just a few tips go a long way when it comes to using matcha.
Chances are you already know what matcha is — a finely powdered, strikingly bright green tea with a long list of remarkable health benefits — but you might still be wondering — exactly what do you do with matcha and how can you best use this green tea powder? Is there a wrong way to make or prepare matcha?
From the first purchase to preparation to recycling your matcha tea tin, we've outlined as many do's and don'ts we could think of when it comes to adopting the daily ritual of drinking matcha. By the end of this article, you’ll know exactly what to avoid when making your matcha tea. But more importantly, besides those common mistakes, you’ll also acquire some valuable tips that every matcha tea customer should be aware of when shopping for and caring for their daily matcha routine.
DO purchase high-quality matcha grown, cultivated, and processed in Japan.
Wondering how you can tell good quality matcha from bad quality matcha? You can easily make a big no-no with matcha before you've even tried preparing your first matcha latte. This is because not all matcha is created equal. However, you can set yourself up for success by looking for brands that import their matcha from Japan, as the processing is often more consistent than in other places.
When choosing what matcha to purchase, we recommend looking for bright green, sweet, and umami-smelling Japanese-grown matcha, which you can trust has been lab-tested for purity and produced by farmers who have refined their production technique over the past 800 years.
DON'T buy lower-priced, generic matcha that could be unsafe.
In comparison, low grades of matcha come from producers outside of Japan or heavily commercialized farms that are focused on quantity over quality which could mean unfriendly contaminants… that’s just one more thing you don’t have to worry about when choosing a reputable source! `
The color difference is an excellent way to spot the difference between Japanese vs. Chinese Matcha. High-quality Japanese matcha is a bright green, while Chinese matcha is often dull and has a yellow-gray hue in comparison.
DON'T try and open up your matcha pouch like a bag of chips.
We know you may have the gut reaction to open up a bag of matcha like a bag of chips out of pure excitement – but let us stop you right there. (We promise the wind will be beneath your wings again momentarily.)
Matcha is such a finely-powdered tea that if you open your matcha like a bag of chips, the powder would likely spread everywhere, and you'd end up losing a considerable amount of the matcha you just purchased. There is no worse feeling than wasted matcha or staining your favorite white t-shirt with it.
(P.S. matcha stains come out with vinegar if you do get some amount of powder blast-off when opening)
When opening your matcha, DO use a pair of scissors and place down a piece of paper.
It's best you reach for a pair of scissors and set down a piece of paper underneath you when opening your matcha. Then you can take your tin where you just removed your pouch of matcha and flip the container to cover the corners of the clipped part of your matcha pouch. Then, you can flip it over and seamlessly pour the matcha from the pouch into the tin with little to no matcha powder flying through the air.
If a fair amount of matcha does manage to spill on the piece of paper you can pick it up, crease it, and then tip the residua matcha back into your airtight tin container. And if you don’t mind, there’s nothing wrong with just leaving your matcha in the bag it comes in, inside the tin.
For an excellent clear, and visual explanation, we recommend watching Dr. Weil's clip on opening up matcha right below.
How much matcha per cup you should use?
Just 2 grams of matcha powder (or 1/2 teaspoon of matcha) can provide you with all the health benefits of matcha tea. When preparing your cup of matcha, start by making a thin paste with your matcha tea powder and a small amount of hot (steaming, but not boiling) water. Then you add more water as desired. We recommend 8-12 oz.
If you are new to matcha, we recommend adding more water.
DON'T store your matcha in direct sunlight or high heat – no clear mason jars for matcha.
We know that matcha's bright emerald color can be so beautiful to look at, but leaving it out in a mason jar on your kitchen counter will rapidly damage your matcha's quality, taste, and nutrient density. You can't just leave your matcha tin open on your kitchen counter for weeks at a time – the more time that goes on, it would likely lose its flavor, freshness, antioxidants, and bright coloring if not consumed relatively soon.
Matcha is very sensitive to heat, humidity, and light. Still, oxygen is the number one threat. Oxidation (i.e., exposure to oxygen) can rapidly deteriorate the nutrient-dense compounds in matcha, such as its catechins – while light exposure destroys chlorophyll. Rest assured, leaving your matcha out for a day isn’t going to ruin it, but as a general rule of thumb make sure to keep it airtight in the freezer…. More below:
DO store your matcha in an airtight container somewhere dark and cold – like in the fridge or freezer.
Wondering if matcha should be refrigerated? Often, people do opt to store their matcha in their fridge or freezer. By storing your matcha somewhere dark and cold like in your refrigerator, you will increase your matcha's shelf life and keep its quality and color intact. In addition, we recommend you store your matcha in the tin that it comes in, which when closed tight forms an airtight seal. That will protect it from being freezer burned… or tasting like dinner leftovers.
Don’t have an airtight container on hand for whatever reason? If you’ll be consuming your matcha within the next few weeks you might be better off keeping it on your counter/in your pantry in a dark, shaded place that doesn’t get hit with direct sunlight.
DON'T forget to put your matcha back in the freezer or fridge.
Your matcha powder is cold when you take your matcha tin out from the fridge. If you were just to open the tin and leave it too long, your matcha could be exposed to the warmer air in your home, resulting in condensation that could lead to freshness-damaging exposure.
As a rule of thumb, keep your matcha in the freezer between servings. When it’s time for a serving, pull it out and take a couple scoops, and place it back in the freezer while you’re setting up the rest of your daily matcha ritual.
DON’T feel like you have to let your matcha thaw before making a delicious bowl.
Compared to other teas, matcha is especially sensitive since it is such a fine powder with a lot of surface area. For that same reason, it’s not recommended to allow your matcha to thaw from the freezer before making your daily bowl.Instead, simply remove your container from the fridge, make your serving of green fuel, and place it back in its cool place. It’s good to note that introducing hot water to frozen matcha powder won’t negatively affect the taste of your tea.
DO remember to measure your matcha.
Matcha is made of whole, green tea leaves. So remember, a little matcha really goes a long way. Just 1-2 grams of matcha is a lot of matcha jam-packed with nutrient-dense compounds that can taste quite strong when prepared with 6oz of water or less.
Newcomers to matcha usually pay more attention to their daily serving size, to get it ‘just right’, but once you’re in the groove of daily matcha it can become easier to skip the measuring utensil (chashaku or teaspoon) altogether! Although a higher serving size isn’t going to hurt you, we recommend keeping up the good habit of measuring your matcha! It’ll last longer, and you’ll still get a balanced energizing effect.
People often use one teaspoon (2-3 grams) of matcha powder to prepare a strong cup of matcha. If you are new to matcha or are having it later in the day, it can be nice to prepare ½ teaspoon (or 1 gram) of matcha. This is because matcha does contain caffeine, though the body processes it differently than coffee caffeine.
You can shop our matcha tea scoops here.
DON'T assume clumps are a bad sign, but DO use a sifter or sieve to remove clumps from your matcha.
Once you've measured your matcha, you may notice that it seems clumpy. And for the record – lumpy matcha is a good thing! Clumpy matcha is a sign of high-quality matcha – the matcha powder is milled so finely that the matcha grains have electrostatic forces around them.
Some sources will report the opposite to try and justify why their matcha is “clump free”, but the reality is this is a cheap shot to try and cover up a notable difference between high quality matcha, and low quality matcha which tends to be drier, and less nutrient rich.
Place your sieve or sifter over your tea bowl or whatever your container-of-choice may be and shake the matcha to start moving through. You can also use your spoon or bamboo scoop to scrap and help the fine powder pass through and break apart.
And if you’re super keen on an “instant” clump-free matcha, our Space Matcha™ is a leading matcha technology using some of the same processes as NASA to create astronaut food… it’s really the only one out there!
So be careful of brands that say otherwise!
Pro tip: Do remember to rinse off and whip down your strainer after use before you put it away… otherwise you might end up with matcha powder in your cupboard. You can shop our Japanese-made sifters (matcha strainers) here.
DON'T combine boiling water with your matcha. DO let the water heat up until it steams or cools down for five minutes after boiling.
The perfect water temperature for preparing a warm cup of matcha is around 176°F (80°C), as hotter temperature water actually scorches and burns the matcha powder, giving it a bitter taste.
If you don't have an electric kettle where you can select a specific temperature, you can boil your water and then add some water to cool it down. Let it cool down for a few minutes until steam barely escapes from the kettle, or transfer to a different cup to help cool it down. A general rule of thumb is each time you pour your boiled water into another container it cools down by around 10°F.
DO use a bamboo whisk, electric frother, or shaker bottle when mixing your matcha. DON'T use a spoon.
Do you whisk your matcha well enough? Good whisking is one of the critical steps to master when preparing delicious matcha. Good matcha is whisked until a thick, frothy, and tiny bubble layer forms on the top, and you can see a clear green liquid underneath. If you have large bubbles or much of your matcha is still visible on the surface, keep on whisking.
We don't recommend you use a spoon to whisk your matcha, as this often leads to a clumpy and disappointing outcome. Traditionally, matcha is made using a bamboo whisk. Using a bamboo whisk, use a shallow bowl and whisk together your matcha and water in a zig-zag-like pattern, agitating the mixture for around 3 minutes.
Though if a spoon is all you have, well that’s ok then. A blender is also a good in-a-pinch option.
DO use an electric frother or shaker bottle to make matcha quicker. DON'T use an electric frother in a low glass or bowl.
Using an electric frother can speed up your daily matcha ritual if you are cutting it too close for work and you haven't quite mastered using a bamboo whisk yet efficiently. However, if you are on even more of a time-pinch, then opting to make cold-brew matcha is the fastest when you throw it into a shaker bottle with some filtered water and shake vigorously for 30 seconds to one minute once you are out the door.
Just be careful not to use your electric frother in too shallow a cup or bowl, as it will lead to some green splash and can be pretty messy. Instead, use the electric frother in taller glasses to avoid overflow. You can also agitate the top of the water to increase the froth and bubbles at the top.
DON'T combine syrup sweeteners until a frothy layer is formed from whisking. DO whisk it in with an electric frother.
If you enjoy preparing your matcha with honey or some other sort of syrup, such as maple syrup, it is best to wait until your frothy top layer of bubbles has formed to add to your sweetener. We find that an electric frother works best at combining syrup sweeteners with cold-brew matcha and hot matcha.
DO explore different ratios of water and matcha to learn your preferences. DON'T use too little water if you are new to matcha.
A good starting point is around 8 oz of water to 1 tsp of matcha. If you prefer a thicker style of matcha, you can opt for 6oz, which is also great for using in matcha latte recipes that also call for chai tea or coffee.
If you’re new, extra water can help you get used to the matcha flavor, and also allow your stomach some time to adjust to the potent antioxidants. If your stomach starts to feel uneasy after your first matcha or two, a quick solution is to drink a couple ounces of almond milk (or similar).
DO use a mason jar or shaker bottle for matcha on the go. DON'T forget to secure the lid.
Alright, we can't argue that there's a substitute for the meditative quality of whisking matcha up using a bamboo whisk. But if you are tight on time or traveling and want to keep matcha in your life for an extra energy boost or to beat jet lag, there is nothing better than combining your matcha and water in a bottle and shaking it up. When preparing matcha on the go, a mason jar or a shaker bottle is really all you need.
Just remember to secure the lid and shake (leave room at the top). And as a warning – if you haven't tried an iced mason jar matcha, it may just become your favorite way to enjoy your matcha.
Suppose you enjoy the umami flavor notes in matcha. In that case, we recommend preparing your matcha cold or allowing your water to come down to room temperature before whisking together your matcha and water. Our Tenchi organic matcha is an exceptionally flavorful blend if you enjoy umami and iced matcha.
The colder preparation will favor the amino acids (umami flavor) in the matcha more, whereas the warmer the brew, the more the catechin antioxidants become present in the flavor. Some people prefer that, but it’s up to you. In either case, you’ll be impressed just how different cold vs. hot matcha can taste!
DO combine matcha with other flavors. DON'T be afraid to mix with matcha.
Some people consider matcha to be more of an acquired taste. If you find that is the case for you, then it can be helpful to combine matcha with different ingredients to give it a better taste.
Matcha can be a great addition to some popular beverages you are more familiar with (flavor profile-wise) – such as a chai tea latte or an iced coffee latte. For example, adding a shot of matcha to an iced vanilla latte is a great way to get an extra health boost if you are an avid coffee drinker. It's also an excellent way to begin transitioning from coffee to matcha.
DO let your dog lick your matcha bowl clean – DON'T give them too much without speaking to your vet first.
Did you know your four-legged friend may also enjoy the health benefits of matcha alongside you? Green tea can substantially impact your pet's health – green tea can give your pooch fresher breath, stronger bones, and dry skin and itch relief, to bark off just a few. If you are interested in giving your dog more than just a few licks of matcha green tea, you can check out our blog post, where we delve into the latest on the benefits and risks of green tea for dogs. Nothing is proven for canine health with matcha, however some of the preliminary research sure is interesting!
DON'T drink aged matcha. DO try and enjoy your matcha within 60 days of opening and store correctly.
Matcha generally has a shelf life of about one year, though once a container is open, we recommend trying to enjoy your matcha within 30-60 days of opening. We give a range of days because if you properly store your matcha in a cold, dark place such as your fridge or freezer, and you remember to allow it to come to room temperature to avoid oxidative damage – your matcha will stay fresher longer.
Bear in mind that long term benefits of matcha tend to kick in with about 1-2 servings a day, so even if it can stay fresh for a while, any given container likely won’t last you extremely long either.
Matcha doesn't expire, but DO looks for signs of matcha losing it's bioavailability
Wondering if matcha ever expires, goes bad, or spoils? It does not! However, if you have matcha that has been opened for over 60 days and not finished — or perhaps has been sitting on the shelf in an air-free container for over a year — there are signs to look for that your matcha is not fresh.
Normally when matcha has lost it's bioavailability — ie some of the amazing nutritious compounds in matcha have broken down and are no longer available — is when matcha loses its smell, turns a duller, yellow color, and may even take on the smell of other products in your fridge if you are storing it near foods. It will also likely not taste as sweet, and takes on a more bitter flavor profile.
If you DON'T like the taste of matcha or you feel your matcha is no longer fresh but you don't want it to go to waste, DO use it topically or in other recipes.
Sometimes the flavor of matcha isn't for everyone, and that is OK! You don't have to let that matcha go to waste. If you've recently opened up matcha but didn't find it to be your fancy, then we recommend using it topically for your hair or skin.
Check out our articles on:
- The benefits of matcha for hair health: make a matcha hair mask at home
- The benefits of using matcha for skin health: different face masks you can make using matcha.
- Matcha can also be used topically when pregnant to help ward off hormonal acne.
You can also try incorporating it into more baking recipes, cocktails, and smoothies.
Check out all of our matcha recipes here! We especially love using older matcha in baking recipes.
DON'T throw out your matcha tins once you're out of matcha. DO reuse and recycle your matcha tins.
Have you ever repurposed any of your magnificent empty matcha tins? Instead of simply throwing out your matcha tins, you can wash them out and use them in various creative ways. For example, you can use your container to plant a succulent, store spices, use it to make a DIY candle with leftover wax from old candles, or stay organized by storing loose household items like screws, loose change, or safety pins.
If no uses come to mind, rest assured that our tins are 100% stainless steel and recyclable. The tins are necessary to preserve the quality of our matcha, which is packed fresh after grinding. Since they are necessary, we take the recyclability of them seriously!
DO set up a dedicated matcha-making station. DON'T let yourself get messy making matcha.
Whether matcha is already a daily ritual for you or you are trying to make it one, having a dedicated matcha-making station can really elevate your whole matcha-making experience. Without it, preparing matcha can be messy business. At matcha.com, we sell various matcha starter kits and accessories you can add to have the ultimate matcha-making arsenal at home.
DO add matcha to your next summer cocktail or mocktail.
Have you ever added matcha to a cocktail concoction at home? Nothing is better than adding a shot of superfood to a less-than-healthy indulgence. Matcha is the perfect addition to your next summer cocktail recipe. If you are looking for some inspiration, we have a fantastic matcha melon cocktail with optional vodka that may help alleviate anxiety and manage social stress, or a matcharita that gives the classic margarita a healthy, low-calorie twist.
The bottom line: DON'T overthink making matcha. DO get creative and experiment.
There are traditional steps to take when making usucha (thin tea - like an iced matcha) and koicha style (thick) matcha, but you don't need to learn the Japanese tea ceremony or use a bamboo whisk if you don't want to. Instead, you can opt to use a shaker bottle if you love cold brew matcha – or maybe you prefer to use a blender for a refreshing smashed iced matcha latte.
Whatever way you decide to make your matcha, we think you will love the ritual you create around sipping on something that feels so special.
When it comes to the do's of drinking matcha tea, we recommend always using good matcha to set yourself up for success. From there, you can experiment and test different temperatures and ratios and start adding different flavor combinations and matcha latte recipes; there's no right or wrong way!
DO order more matcha before you run out!
At Matcha.com, we maintain close relationships with generational Japanese matcha growing partners. These are largely family-based farming cooperatives who we work with closely.
We understand the intricacies of how important what they do is. We pride ourselves on providing the absolute highest-quality matcha powder available for your health and wellness needs
If you’re new to matcha, DO try our matcha sampler. And if you’re just running low and ready for a restock… then you know what to do!
Have some of your own matcha do's or dont's you've learned through trial and error? We'd love to hear from you and may just add it to our list. Send us a message on Instagram!