Use of matcha, otherwise known as green tea powder, as a beverage in modern drinks has spread to our homes and cafes after being used copiously in Japanese and Chinese tea ceremonies for centuries; though there are many versions of green tea, matcha is the premier quality powdered green tea existing on the market currently. And as you take the drinks can you tell that there are different grades of matcha?
What Is The Difference Then?
Well, when used to prepare green tea, matcha is always served with sweet wagashi in Japanese cafes. This is one use the powder. As ceremonial-grade tea, the powder is used in preparing tea or adding flavor in other drinks. The other use is as culinary-grade matcha: used to add flavor in foods such as wagashi, soba noodles and mochi.
This uses help to define two grades of matcha: the “ceremonial grade” and the “premium’ which can be sold as both organic and no-organic matcha by retailers. This article compares these different grades but first let us look at the differences between organic and non-organic matcha.
Organic matcha and non-organic matcha
Marketers around the world argue that organic is a superior choice. To be certified as organic the tea this measures are to have been followed in growth and harvesting
- No use of insecticides
- No use of additives and artificial chemical
Due to the hassles involved in raising the plants, this is the most expensive matcha
The non-organic type is where chemicals and fertilizers are used to enhance growth and production.
- However, the difference in tastes between the teas select is insignificant. It all depends with the consumer’s choice. But there is also the satisfaction in knowing that whatever you are drinking is free from insecticides.
Now to the main part of this article where we discuss the difference between Ceremonial and Premium grade Matcha.
This is the grade of tea grown for the specific purpose; to be used for drinking and in drinks. From the growth stage to the processing phase, a lot goes on so as to come up with the high quality powder otherwise bang goes any fond hopes of coming up with high quality pure grade. The tea plants are grown in a cool shade to keep off the sunlight. only the finest leaves and tea buds are selected from the harvest
- Handpicking out the finest tea buds: only the top buds, either the first or the second one. are selected to be used
- Drying: drying is done indoors, to avoid any sunlight. This treatment ensures that the match remains green. Avoid exposing the leaves to oxygen as it gives it a bad smell and dull color
- This grade is consumed pure: no added ingredients or sweeteners are used. The powder is whipped with hot water in a bowl till a consistent mixture.
- It is pure and with a nice aroma. The final product is a talc-like powder of a bright green color. During grinding, caution is exercised to preserve the amino acids that flavor up the green tea.
- A high-grade powder has a deeper flavor and an intense sweetness.
- The purity and nice aroma makes this grade expensive: a gram of ceremonial grade matcha starts at €20.
Because of the weight of the above evidence, ceremonial-grade matcha is:
- Rich in nutrients
- So green
- Of a rich taste
This lies between the ceremonial-grade tea and the culinary-grade tea. It is created to be used for various functions.
- Designed to be used with additives and additional ingredients to make it sweeter.
- Made from more mature leaves
- It is the wholesale economical
- It has an astringent bitter taste:
- It is used in adding flavor in drinks, ice-creams, smoothies and desserts too
- It is cheaper
Before making an order consider what you want to use the matcha for. The different grades available in the market come with different taste and flavor. Matcha tea is popular because it is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and iron that promote immunity of the body, replenishes the skin and boost metabolism. If you want to prepare powerful green tea then the ceremonial-grade is your choice to go with but if you just wants to flavor up your desserts, cakes and noodles, the premium-grade works just fine.