Everything About Matcha and The 6 Best Matcha Powders
Matcha, it’s the delicious powdered green tea that forms into a frothy brew.
This special green tea is made from whole shade grown green tea leaves. It’s super healthy and a prized possession in Japanese tea ceremonies. Perfect for anyone looking for a healthy coffee substitute or wanting to become a Zen master.
Matcha powders also give you a refreshing stimulant effect to boost cognition and get you going when you need it, without the jitters.
But, there are TONS of different brands of matcha powders and it can be a pain in the butt finding the best product for your needs.
In this article, we will break down everything you need to know about matcha so you can choose the best matcha green tea powder on the planet.
6 Best Macha Green Tea Powders (2022 Reviews)
After reviewing all of the matcha green tea products on the market, we’ve narrowed it down to a few products that are the best you can buy. These are all ceremonial grade organic matcha powders with exceptional quality and vibrant green color.
1. FGO Organic Matcha Powder
2. Alovitox Matcha Powders
Culinary grade MATCHA GREEN TEA POWDER – Alovitox only uses the freshest, shade-grown green tea leaves to create our original Culinary Grade Chinese Matcha Powder.
No additives or artificial preservatives, just whole raw green tea leaves carefully selected and ground into a perfect powder full of antioxidants, amino acids, and other immune-supporting, heart-healthy nutrients!
3. Encha Organic Matcha Powders
Encha organic matcha is an exceptional brand of matcha powders. They pride themselves on being an organic farm to cup company. They work directly with their farms for quality assurance and grow only the finest tea leaves. An overall awesome product.
4. DoMatcha Organic Brand
DoMatcha’s powdered green tea is very high quality. This specific product is from the summer harvest where only the finest tea leaves are plucked for preparation. Their supplier is based in Uji, Kyoto and has been in the tea business for 300 years. All the matcha they produce is pure, clean, organic, and additive-free. An overall excellent option.
5. Akira Matcha Powders
Jade Leaf matcha is premium organic ceremonial grade matcha at a fair price. The company was started because they wanted to provide high-quality matcha at a decent price as they were frustrated with how expensive good matcha powders can be. This matcha is a solid choice for someone looking for a fair priced high-quality matcha.
6. Pure Matcha Powders
Pure matcha powders brand is another high-quality brand of organic ceremonial grade matcha. They ensure that all of their matcha is fresh and doesn’t lay around for months prior to purchasing. They source their organic matcha from Uji and Nishio two of the places in Japan where all quality matcha comes from. An overall great brand of matcha.
What Exactly is Matcha?
If you want to choose the best matcha product it’s important that you first understand what matcha is so you can tell the difference in quality.
Let’s go over the basics.
Like all tea products, matcha comes from the Camellia sinensis plant.
The difference is the way matcha is processed compared to typical green tea leaves.
Matcha starts as shade-grown Gyokuro tea leaves in Japan. The reason these tea leaves are shade-grown is to enhance the chlorophyll production in the plant. This gives Gyokuro green tea leaves their dark green color and unique grassy flavor.
Matcha tea leaves are then plucked by hand and steamed to prevent oxidation allowing the leaves to keep their dark green color and beneficial nutrients.
Next, they air dry the leaves. At this point in production, the tea leaves are called “tencha”.
The Japanese then meticulously clean, grade, and remove the stems of these tea leaves before turning them into matcha.
Instead of rolling the leaves (like with green tea) they are stone-ground into a micro-fine green powder called matcha. A good matcha powder will be super fine and display a vibrant green color.
Matcha comes in two main grades: ceremonial grade, and culinary grade. Ceremonial is the highest quality matcha meant to be drunk on its own, while the culinary grade is usually used in cooking.
So very simply, matcha is a finely ground green tea powder made from whole tea leaves.
Matcha Tea Grading
Matcha tea is categorized into 3 different grades with ceremonial being the highest quality and culinary being the lowest quality. If you’re looking to drink the best quality or using matcha for a tea ceremony, stick to ceremonial grade products. If you’re looking to cook with the green tea, the culinary quality will do just fine.
Ceremonial Grade Matcha
This grading category of matcha is grown with the purpose of drinking and use in traditional tea ceremonies. It is usually recommended that you consume ceremonial grade powder without sweeteners or additives since it is the purest product. The price of ceremonial grade matcha is usually more expensive than the other grades.
Ceremonial grade matcha is made from the youngest and freshest tea leaves picked from the first harvest of the year out of 4 yearly harvests.
Premium Grade Matcha
Premium grade matcha is the “in-between” quality of matcha which is produced from the second and third harvests of the year. True tea connoisseurs will not recognize this grade as authentic matcha but it is still a very high-quality tea at an affordable price.
This category of matcha is usually considered the best bang for your buck because it still contains quality green tea leaves with all the health benefits but at an affordable cost compared to ceremonial grade.
Culinary Grade Matcha
Culinary grade is the third grade for matcha tea. This product is produced from the oldest tea leaves which are closest to the bottom of the tea plant. Culinary grade matcha will contain less of the healthy antioxidants and phytochemicals, so it is usually used for culinary purposes like cooking and baking.
Benefits of Matcha Green Tea
Matcha has many scientifically proven health benefits associated with it.
Most of these benefits come from antioxidants called catechins (which help prevent cancer), L-theanine (an amino acid which provides relaxed stimulation), chlorophyll (which helps detoxify the body), and various other vitamins and minerals.
With matcha, since you’re consuming the whole tea leaf, you get more of these components.
Some Health Benefits Associated With Matcha are:
- Antioxidants help prevent cancer and other diseases 1
- Can help increase cognitive ability with caffeine and L-theanine 2
- Can help aid in weight loss 3
- Can help aid in liver detoxification with chlorophyll 4
Also, drinking matcha alone instead of sugary drinks will be a huge win in the health department. This is why some companies even claim it can help aid in weight loss. If you’re substituting sugar and dairy drinks for matcha powder, this is going to be better for your health.
How Much Caffeine Does Matcha Contain?
You may be wondering, “how much caffeine is in matcha?” This is a good question to ask since it’s important to know how energized you will get from drinking matcha tea.
The answer is, it depends on how much matcha powders you use but you can typically expect around 50-70 mg of caffeine per cup.
This is still less than a cup of coffee which is usually around 130 mg per cup.
So matcha usually contains around 50-70 mg of caffeine depending on how much powder you mix in your concoction. Also, remember that matcha and green tea both contain L-theanine and catechins which work in synergy with caffeine to give you a stable relaxed stimulation. The stimulant effect you get with matcha powders is much gentler than drinking a dark roast coffee.
How to Choose The Finest Matcha
When choosing any high-quality product it’s important to know what to look for. This is especially the case with matcha because the quality and type of green tea leaves make a big difference in the taste and benefits you experience from consuming it. So, let’s review the criteria you should evaluate your matcha on before selecting your favorite product.
The country the tea leaves originated from is very important. It is generally recognized that Japan is the leading producer of matcha and higher quality green tea leaves come from there. Japan even uses matcha in their traditional tea ceremonies so you know that they take their craft seriously.
In Japan, the regions which are known to produce the highest quality matcha are Uji, Kyoto and Nishio City in Aishi. These two areas account for most of the production of Japanese matcha. Other countries such as China also produce matcha, but they don’t take their craft nearly as seriously as Japanese do so they are generally lower quality.
So in summary, go for Japanese matcha grown in either Uji or Nishio City and avoid low-quality Chinese matcha products.
How Leaves Were Grown and Processed
In order to get a wide range of health benefits matcha is known for it’s crucial that you stick to an organically grown matcha powder. This will ensure that your matcha powders contain all the beneficial amino acids, vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll, and powerful antioxidants.
Low-quality matcha products can contain chemicals and pesticides and none of the beneficial antioxidants, minerals, and other phytochemicals that the tea leaf contains when it is grown organically.
When selecting matcha, look for a powder that is bright green and does not look dull. When the powder is bright green this signifies that the matcha has been properly shade-grown and transported. It will contain all the beneficial compounds if the color is vibrant.
Stay away from dull or light green matcha powders because this may signify that the tea was not organically grown or properly transported and packaged.
Texture and Taste
Matcha powders should be fine and mix easily when using a whisk. The powders should also taste slightly sweet and pleasantly grassy. Low-quality matcha products can be thicker, bitter, and too astringent. Stick to matcha products that are delicate, fine, and pleasantly vegetal tasting.
Matcha tea needs to be packaged properly to block out air, sunlight, and extreme hot and cold temperatures. If the product is not packaged properly to block out these elements it can ruin the quality of the tea.
In general, make sure when you receive your product it is tightly sealed and the powder is shaded from any extremities. It’s best if you store your matcha in the cabinet away from sunlight and humidity.
Tools Used With Matcha
While no tools are absolutely necessary to make and drink matcha, there are a few traditional tools that most true tea drinkers will consider purchasing alongside their matcha powders to prepare correctly.
Chasen (bamboo whisk)
This is the traditional bamboo whisk which is designed to produce the perfect amount of froth when mixing your matcha powders. This is the most essential tool in a matcha tea set and if you had to choose one, this would be it.
Chawan (ceramic bowl)
Matcha bowls are meticulously handcrafted and come in various different sizes. These are the bowls that are used to whisk the powder and sip the liquor from. Deep bowls are usually used in the winter because they help keep the tea hot and shallow bowls are usually used in the summer because they allow the tea to cool off.
Chasaku (bamboo spoon)
This is the traditional long and thin spoon made from bamboo. This tool is used to scoop the green powder into the chawan where it is then whisked with the chasan.
How to Make Matcha Tea
In order to produce the best cup of matcha filled with its many health benefits and delicious vegetal taste, it’s important that you prepare it correctly.
The first thing you need to do to make the best cup of matcha on the planet is to buy high-quality matcha green tea powder.
You can’t make good matcha with poor quality tea.
You will also need a matcha bowl, matcha whisk, a teaspoon or matcha spoon, and a sifter (sifter is not mandatory).
After you’ve got awesome matcha powder, a bowl, and whisk there are a few steps you need to follow to make matcha correctly:
- Heat your water to around 175 degrees and pour it into your bowl to warm it up
- Place your matcha whisk into the hot water to warm it up as well
- Remove your whisk and water from the bowl
- Dry the bowl
- Using your teaspoon or matcha scoop place 1-2 scoops into your sifter or bowl
- If using a sifter, sift the matcha into the bowl
- Pour 3-4 ounces of 175-degree water into the bowl
- Use your matcha whisk to whisk the powder in a W motion until frothy with tiny bubbles
- Sip slowly and enjoy!
What is the best matcha tea for weight loss?
Any high-quality premium or ceremonial grade matcha powders made from organically grown tea leaves will be the best in combination with a healthy diet if you are looking to lose weight.
Is it ok to drink matcha every day?
Yes, it is fine to drink matcha every day. Matcha has been shown to have certain health-promoting compounds like antioxidants and chlorophyl that can aid in a healthy lifestyle.
When should you drink matcha tea?
It’s best to drink matcha tea in the morning, before a workout, or after lunch for afternoon alertness.
Is it ok to drink matcha at night?
Yes, it’s fine to drink matcha at night. Although if you are someone who is sensitive to caffeine you may want to consume your matcha in the morning instead of later on in the day.
Is matcha tea better than green tea?
Matcha tea is not necessarily better than green tea as they are both made from the same tea plant and both offer their own benefits. Although, there are some people who claim that consuming matcha gives you more health benefits because you are ingesting the whole tea leaf instead of steeping the chemical constituents out of the leaves.
Is matcha tea better than coffee?
Matcha is not necessarily better than coffee it’s just different. Matcha comes from green tea leaves while coffee comes from beans. Green tea has less caffeine and also contains L-theanine so it provides a more calmer stimulation. Coffee on the other hand contains more caffeine and a stronger buzz.
Does green tea clean out your system?
Green tea contains caffeine which can work as a stimulant to move your bowels as well as antioxidants and chlorophyl. It does not necessarily clean out your system but the caffeine it contains can stimulate bowel movements while the chlorphyl can aid in detoxification.
Enjoy Your Match Tea!
You should now understand everything you need to know to select the best matcha powders for your needs. If you’re looking for the highest quality product, choose a ceremonial grade powder that was organically grown which has a bright green color and fine powder.
If you just want to use matcha powders for culinary purposes like cooking and baking, you can purchase a culinary grade product.
On the other hand, if you don’t care to have the highest quality and are just looking for a powder that still contains the healthy compounds and tastes great, go with a premium organically grown product.
You can see all of our recommended picks at the top of the page which showcases our full matcha powders reviews.
Enjoy your cup of matcha green tea!