When it comes to buying Matcha, you really do get what you pay for. Before starting Hello Happy Skin, I bought Matcha from many different places and noticed a huge difference in what I was buying. As a consumer, the most notable difference firstly was price. Then once I used the tea, it was colour I noticed and then it was taste. Having tried so much Matcha now, I am well aware of the quality level I am looking for. Bad quality means minimal benefits, therefore pointless consuming.
It’s easy to be fooled when buying Matcha as the packet descriptions ca be so blaze. Some Matcha is described as 'Ceremonial Grade', 'Food Grade' or 'Ingredient Grade' and even 'Cooking Grade'……. What exactly does this mean? The simple answer is…….TASTE IT! Quality grades has a smoother taste, a better mouth feel, and is generally less bitter. On the flip side, lower grade matcha delivers a coarse, bitter and gritty taste.
Here are some tips for you to consider when buying Matcha.....
Origin: Where is it from?
Where is the region of origin? It is generally accepted that higher quality matcha comes from Japan. There are two regions in Japan widely considered to produce the best. While Matcha is produced in several regions; there are three major regions in Japan for Green Tea production; Uji Kyoto, Shizuoka, and Sayamain. China and Taiwan also produce Matcha, but Japan remains the favorite among aficionados. Personally I would never purchase Matcha not grown in Japan.
Price: How much is it?
Very simply, like everything in life, you can be looking for quality or quantity. Matcha is no different. You get what you pay for. But the price of quality matcha can vary. Research this before buying and compare the next 4 qualities against the price on offer.
Color: How does it look?
Your Matcha should be a VERY bright, almost fluro green. If its not, then DO NOT BUY IT!. Matcha is shade-grown; in this way, the tea leaves are forced to overproduce chlorophyll, which gives matcha its nice bright green color. Lower quality Matcha, by comparison, tends to be made up of leaves that have not been properly shaded, or that may be older and/or harvested from lower on the stalk of the plant; and therefore the color will be yellowish/brownish.
Taste: What does it taste like?
Good quality Matcha should have a sweet, vegetal smell to it. This comes from the amino acid called L-Theanine, again produced by the shade growing process. It is the L-Theanine which gives Matcha that nice, clean-drinking, green tea taste. And since low-quality matcha conversely lacks L-Theanine, it has a strongly bitter and astringent flavor that isn’t tasty or sweet.
Feel: What is the texture like?
Matcha looks and feels more like a fine powder than your typical loose leaf tea. The feel and texture of the powder is also a good way to determine quality versus an inferior product. A high quality grade is very fine and silky, similar to the feel of eye shadow, because its particle size is only 5-10 microns, meaning that it is as fine as baby powder. A lower-quality grade has a bigger particle size, which results in a coarser feel when rubbed between your fingers.
Happy Matcha-ring, Anna xx