Tag Archives: Matcha Tea Powder

What Should You Know About Drinking Matcha Green Tea?

What is Matcha Green Tea?

Matcha green tea is a type of green tea that comes in powdered form. Matcha tea is prepared by whisking matcha powder with hot water, which forms a frothy liquid. Matcha powder is also sometimes used as an ingredient in foods and non-tea beverages (such as smoothies).

Long used in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony, matcha has recently gained popularity among tea drinkers in Western countries.

Matcha vs. Green Tea

Unlike most green teas, matcha contains the entire leaf of the Camellia sinensis (the species of plant used to make green tea, black tea, oolong tea, and white tea).

The Science Behind Matcha’s Health Benefits

Although there is a great deal of scientific evidence for the health benefits of green tea, very few studies have specifically focused on matcha.

The available research on matcha includes a preliminary study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food in 2009. In tests on rats with type 2 diabetes, researchers found that treating the animals with matcha led to decreased levels of cholesterol, blood sugar, and harmful blood fats. What’s more, matcha appeared to protect the rats from liver and kidney damage.

According to the study’s authors, matcha may contain higher amounts of epigallocatechin 3-O-gallate (a potent antioxidant) than other forms of green tea.

While research on the specific health benefits of matcha is currently lacking, some studies suggest that regular consumption of green tea may offer a wide range of health benefits. For instance, green tea appears to prevent age-related cognitive impairment, reduce risk of stroke and diabetes, keep blood pressure in check, and strengthen bones.

Additionally, there’s some evidence that green tea may help prevent several forms of cancer, including prostate cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and colorectal cancer.

Where to Find It

Widely available for purchase online, matcha is sold in many natural-food stores and tea shops.

O Matcha Tea

How to Make Matcha with Dr. Andrew Weil,. M.D.

How to Prepare a Great Bowl of Matcha.

What you need to make matcha green tea…

  • Organic Matcha (Organic Matcha).
  • A Matcha Bowl (Chawan).
  • A Bamboo Matcha Whisk (Chasen).
  • A Bamboo Matcha Scoop (Chashaku).
  • A Linen Tea Cloth (Chakin).
  • A Matcha Sifter (Furui).
  • A Measuring Cup.
  • Thermometer.

FYI: If you try to use western utensils to prepare matcha, it most likely will not turn out well. It’s best to use traditional utensils outlined above as they will enrich your matcha experience and greatly increase your chances of making the perfect bowl on matcha.

Brewing Suggestion…

Our brewing suggestions for preparing both usucha (thin matcha) and koicha (thick matcha) are shown below. Please note, you can’t make koicha matcha from an usucha matcha, so please make sure you know which type of matcha you have before preparing it. In addition, there are other slightly different variations of preparing usucha and koicha that you may have learnt and enjoy using. If so, please feel free to use that method instead.

 

STEP 1: 

Preheat the matcha bowl by filling it about 1/3 full with hot water. Then place the whisk facing down into the hot water to wet the tips of the prongs (not the whole whisk!). Once the bowl has thoroughly preheated, empty out the water and dry the bowl out preferably with a cloth such as a chakin. Set the whisk aside and then measure out 70ml/2.3oz for Usucha, or 40ml/1.3oz for Koicha of hot water into a measuring cup and leave it to cool.

STEP 2:

Use the bamboo scoop to measure the matcha powder, about 2 scoops for Usucha, or 3-4 scoops for Koicha, and place it into the bowl. Note, sifting the matcha prior to measuring out the matcha is highly advisable to remove any clumps of powder.

STEP 3:

Once the water that was measured out in STEP 1 drops to 70°C(158°F)-80°C(176°F) pour it into the matcha bowl.

STEP 4:

Take the whisk in one hand and hold the rim of the matcha bowl with your other hand. For Usucha, whisk the matcha briskly in a W motion using your wrist (not arm) until the matcha has a thick froth with many tiny bubbles on the surface. For Koicha, the idea is NOT to make a frothy consistency with a fast whisking action like usucha. Instead, a slower kneading action from left to right, up and down, and a gentle 360 degree rotating action as shown in the image (to the left) can be used to make a thick consistency. The resulting tea should be reasonably thick, smooth and without froth.

We’ve added this video for your instruction in preparing matcha.

How To Make Matcha

This is the best Matcha tea brand review we’ve found.

Matcha Green Tea Brand Reviews & Buying Guide: Matcha Madness!

This is the best Matcha tea brand review we’ve found.


Matcha Madness has begun. Let me introduce you the the magical world of matcha in my own special way. Buy reviewing a wide selection of brands, surveying them based on color, price, taste and packaging. And I will give my own tips and tricks for enjoying matcha green tea as a part of your healthy, Zenergized lifestyle. Let the matcha madness begin..

Not all matchas are created equal

..If you learn anything from this post, let it be that.

Disclaimer: This review is not scientific by any means and is based on my personal reviews. Matcha reviewing is, like most food-type reviewing, quite subjective. In other words, you might totally disagree with me, and that’s ok. However, colors and numbers don’t lie, so that helps a bit. 

Matcha Authority. Why do I call myself a sort of matcha expert? Well I will admit I have never been to Japan (where most matcha comes from) and I could not describe to you all the intricate details about the production process, history and more. Though I do know a little from research. But what I am an expert in is taste and use of matcha. In other words, I know a good matcha when I see/taste it!!

So yes, I do have a bit of expertise on matcha green tea since I have been drinking it almost every day for a little over a year now. I bought my first tin of matcha at the American Tea Room in Beverly Hills for about fifty bucks (big splurge on tea!!) after the salesman gave me a very long, very passionate spheel about how amazing it is. Among other things, he said it had a Zen-inducing effect that not only energizes you in a non-jittery way, but calms you to a sort of Zenned out feeling that only amazing matcha green tea can provide. It contains about half the caffeine (or a bit less) as standard coffee, though the normal caffeine jitters you may experience with coffee have never effected me with matcha – even after a giant tablespoon-ful scoop into a smoothie! The release of caffeine is said to be at a slow rate and thus jitter-free.

Basics and FAQs:

What is matcha? Matcha is green tea, yes. But it is not like the tea you find in tea bags. Matcha is not steeped. it is dissolved because matcha is a very fine green powder. Matcha powder is the ground up leaves of green tea. The leaves are harvested, dried and eventually ground up into powder after going through an extensive and (I think) magical processing process. Matcha powder is ground up green tea leaves, so you are actually consuming the whole leaf. For this reason it is extremely high in antioxidants, thus having a wide array of healthy living claims and supposed benefits.

Why should I drink matcha? I cannot tell you why you should drink it. But I will tell you why I drink it. It successfully switched me over to green tea from coffee in my daily routine. I now drink coffee about 1-3 times a month, as opposed to 1-3 times a day in my old routine about five years ago. Living in NYC, I was a self-proclaimed coffee addict. I’d hit up my fave spots at least once a day to drown my sorrows (or fatigue) in a cup of Joe. Well soy lattes were my thing actually. I finally switched from coffee to chai, but the sticky-sweetness of most coffee shop chais were not satisfying me, so I still dabbled in the dark coffee bean bevies. But finally! Matcha seriously kicked my coffee cravings to the curb. Now I crave the green stuff, packed with antioxidants. The stuff that makes me feel Zenergized. Yes, I like that word. Plus the bright green color brightens my day!

How to drink it? I rarely make matcha in the traditional sense, which is by very lightly (almost) boiling water, then using a matcha whisk to dissolve the matcha into the water. Then you drink the green matcha tea. Once in a while I will drink it like that, but rarely. I drink my matcha in smoothies or lattes – but mostly smoothies! I add about one teaspoon of matcha to a large vegan protein shake. I also love matcha lattes when I go to coffee shops like Urth Caffe and Peets. Even Starbucks makes a great vegan matcha latte if you ask for soy. Non-vegans: do not drink matcha with dairy. It supposedly ruins the whole antioxidant effect. Soy or almond milk are my preferences. Use the search bar on my site to find all my many matcha-infused recipes. My matcha shake is my fave.

What is good matcha? A high quality matcha will appear bright spring green in color. Color is VERY important when assessing matcha quality. Imagine a bright green bunch of fresh spinach versus a muddy, wilted, army green bunch. Color not only equals better flavor (most times) but it also equals more antioxidant power. I am amazed how poor in quality some matcha is. Muddy brownish matcha is (to be blunt) pretty nasty stuff. So if you have not tried high quality matcha and think you “don’t like matcha” — just find a way to try a high quality variety and then make your true assessment. Not all matchas are created equal!

Organic? I only buy organic matcha, but you can decide for yourself. Organic matchas come in an array of qualities, as you will learn from my review. Organic does not equal high quality, even though organic matcha will be more expensive than a similar non-organic counterpart.

Storage? Keep matcha away from light, moisture and heat. You can store it in a cool dark place along with your tea bags, or in the fridge. You can even store in the freezer if desired. The most important point of fridge storage is to make sure condensation doesn’t seep into your matcha (moisture!) or that smells from your fridge are allowed to seep into the matcha .. it easily picks up aromas. I either store it in the “butter” compartment in my fridge, or in a cool dark place. I always consume my matcha within two months, usually one even. The faster you consume it, the fresher the flavor and color will be .. as with most pantry foods. That is why it is actually better to buy matcha NOT in bulk. Smaller amounts will be consumed faster than a huge tub of the stuff.

Price? Matcha is not cheap. And you DO get what you pay for in most cases. Matcha that is super cheap and seems too good to be true, probably is. You can see my guide for price variations. But in general, expect to pay $20-50 for 30g of highest quality matcha. And $20 is pushing it. If $30 for “tea” is out of your budget, think of matcha as a splurge item and buy it once in a while. But buy the good stuff. Nothing is worse than buying a tin of “bad” matcha to save a few bucks, then hating it altogether. If you are going to buy matcha, buy matcha.

Quality? For Americanized shopping purposes, there are two basic words to look for: ceremonial and culinary. Ceremonial matcha is in general (and if labeled honestly) the higher quality of matcha. Culinary is a lesser quality, meaning it may have a more bitter and muddy flavor and less bright green color. However, check out my review for discrepancies. Sometimes brands will also carry a “premium” variety – or something even “better” than ceremonial. This is usually a special origin of tea or has a special preparation. One store I visited has one for over a hundred bucks because it is hand-made by monks (or so the sales guys said). I’m sure it is amazing, but quite a splurge item for matcha lovers!

Origin? I strictly only buy matcha from Japan. I do not buy matcha from China.

Color is an important indicator of quality. Spring green please..

Nice and green..

Not so much..

Bad batch? In my guide I note how many times I have purchased a certain brand. If only one time is listed, you have to keep in mind that I may have received a bad or good batch. Kinda like wine. Sort’ve. If matcha has been sitting in a storage warehouse for too long or very freshly shipped it may vary in quality once opened. So if I bash one brand that you tried and love, please let us all know in the comments. Or if I love a brand you didn’t care for, tell us that also. Comments will be very helpful to gain a full spectrum of opinions in this review! nd to open eyes to other brands to try. Lets chat matcha!

Brands? There are MANY brands of matcha. This is just a small selection. I will try to add more brands as I try them. If you run a matcha brand and would like to be included in this post, please leave a comment so we can get in touch. I am happy to add more brands to this list. But to be honest, this was a very expensive undertaking, so I will not be buying many more brands to try (well, anytime soon that is!) So donations of samples are much appreciated!

How I reviewed: I opened fresh packages, assessed the color by eye, then spread out a sheet of samples. For taste testing I dry-tasted each brand. The colors are quite obvious to see differences, the taste takes a keener sensibility. I did my best to let my palate judge flavor. All prices are based on what I paid, not retail value.

Japan vs China. With the Fukushima radiation disaster, many green tea lovers became worried if green tea production would be effected. Well, to be honest, I do not think anyone has a 100% answer on this issue, but you can research on many green tea producer sites and read their explanations for how everything is indeed ok. The main reason being proximity to the blast. But even still, some China matcha is avaiable for those who want to steer clear. Me? I 100% choose Japan matcha over China. Simply because I have never really tasted a premium China-origin matcha. Japan is where matcha was born and they have perfected the process from leaf to container. So while I agree it is a scary issue to talk about and analyze, right now, I personally have not seen anything to deter me from Japan-origin matcha.

So are you ready to browse these beauties?.. I was! This was fun. And I will NOT be buying more matcha for a while..

Lets begin!

And here is my one sheet guide! – detailed results follow

Kathy’s Matcha Brand Review
Number rating scale: 1-5, 5 being the best
In a hurry: skip down to see my list of matchas I would buy again.

Top Shelf Matchas — From Japan and Organic

Brand 1: Encha
Info: Encha sources from the best organic farms in Japan. “Encha’s principle of selecting matcha grades is identifying the natural strength of pure organic matcha and no need to add sugar in your preferred way of drinking matcha! Directly working with the farmer, we select the perfect strength of pure organic matcha that matches the intended pairing ingredient, it being water, vegan non-dairy milk, milk, fruits or baking ingredients.”
Reviewed Blends: Latte Matcha Grade, Ceremonial Matcha Grade
Origin: Japan
Color: 5
Taste: 5
Tasting notes: grassy, bright, uplifting, fresh
Container: thick fresh-lock sealed bag/pouches
Organic on label: yes
Cost/Weight: $24.95/30g for ceremonial — $26.95/50g latte grade)
Cost per gram: .83/g — .54/g
Number of times I have purchased it: 1
Bottom line review: I tried the latte variety first and was not expecting much from a “latte grade” but this was off the charts impressive for the price of this matcha. The ceremonial grade was also superb! Top notch. I could not imagine a better matcha. The color was a beautiful, perky spring green. Very impressed with this company and I adore their branding and communication with their customers about the organic farms that they source from. New fave for sure!
Would I buy it again? Yes
Buy it: Encha Life Online Store

Brand 2: DoMatcha
Info: DoMatcha may look familiar to you if you shop at Whole Foods, because it seems to be one of their main matcha brands they carry. DoMatcha comes in both organic and non-organic varieties. This is my go-to matcha when I need to buy one in-store on a grocery shopping trip because I know Whole Foods will always carry it! (may vary by location) DoMatcha has a wide variety of products including matcha to-go packets and even a super high quality “Master’s Blend” variety for $50.
Reviewed Blend: DoMatcha Organic Ceremonial Matcha
Origin: Japan
Color: 5
Taste: 5
Tasting notes: bright and grassy
Container: Tin with an inner bag, pull-tab can
Organic on label: yes
Cost/Weight: $29/30g
Cost per gram: $0.96/g
Number of times I have purchased it: 10+
Bottom line review: Love this brand. I have never been disappointed in the quality. I always buy the organic ceremonial variety. Beautiful color and sturdy bright flavor.
Would I buy it again? Yes
Buy it: DoMatcha Green Tea, Organic Matcha

Brand 3: Urth Caffe
Info: A popular cafe here in Los Angeles, Urth sells matcha in a variety of grades. I love both the expensive organic variety as well as the less expensive variety (Harayama matcha I think).. Note: when you order a matcha latte at Urth, you by default get the less expensive blend, but you can ask to upgrade to the higher quality variety for an added cost. Highly advised!
Reviewed Blend: Urth blends
Origin: Japan
Color: 5
Taste: 5
Tasting notes: bold, grassy, light bitterness
Container: tins with interior bags
Organic: Yes.
see store for cost
Number of times I have purchased it: 5+
Bottom line review: Love this brand, the matcha is not the best I have ever tried, but very high quality and the brand seems highly dependable. I am excited to splurge on their premium blend at some point.
Would I buy it again? Yes
Buy it: in store or matcha gift set online

Brand 4: O-Cha
Info: Direct from Japan matcha! This is not organic, boooo, but quite lovely. The same company does sell an organic matcha that I would love to try in the future. It is only $25 for the same amount so I would guess that the grade is less premium, but I do not know for sure right now.
Reviewed Blend: Super Premium Matcha, Ceremonial Grade
Origin: Japan
Color: 5
Taste: 4.8
Tasting notes: grassy, bright, creamy, mellow
Container: tins with iner bag and plastic seal tab
Organic on label: yes
Cost/Weight: $29.25/30g
Cost per gram: $1/g
Number of times I have purchased it: 1
Bottom line review: Fabulous matcha at an excellent price! Not as spring green as the two matchas above (in direct comparison) but very deep dark green with much lightness.
Would I buy it again? Yes
Buy it: Hibiki-An Matcha

More resources – online stores that are not on Amazon – matcha shipped directly from Japan:
O-Cha
Hibiki-an

Brand 5: American Tea Room
Info: This premium tea store has a variety of matchas and carries the first ceremonial matcha I ever tried. In the black tin. Amazing. I was hooked at first taste and view of that spring green-mazing color! Well, it better be good for $50, right? 🙂 On the website: “Handcrafted almost entirely from gyokuro leaves, this rare, organic matcha has a gorgeous chartreuse color with a profoundly sweet, fresh aroma and a light iodine note.”
Reviewed Blend: Ceremonial Organic Premium Matcha
Origin: Japan
Color: 5
Taste: 5
Tasting notes: grassy, bright, creamy
Container: tins with interior bags
Organic on label: yes
Cost/Weight: $50/30g
Cost per gram: $1.67/g
Number of times I have purchased it: 3
Bottom line review: Super lovely. If you really want to try amazing matcha without any risk of poor quality, give this brand a try. They often offer sales and coupons if you join their email list.
Would I buy it again? Yes. And if you ever need to buy me a gift, this will surely suffice 🙂
Buy it: ATR

Brand 6: Taste of Kyoto
Info: Taste of Kyoto is another organic brand that I have love. It offers a variety of matcha products including reserve and culinary. I have tried both and will review both below.

Reviewed Blend: Taste of Kyoto Reserve Organic Matcha
Origin: Japan
Color: 5
Taste: 5
Tasting notes: bright and grassy
Container: Tin with an inner bag
Organic on label: yes
Cost/Weight: $42/60g
Cost per gram: $0.70/g
Number of times I have purchased it: 2
Bottom line review: Excellent high quality matcha at a premium price. I wish they had a smaller size than 60g, but the cost per gram is great for this quality.
Would I buy it again? Yes
Buy it: TASTE OF KYOTO Matcha Green Tea, Reserve

Reviewed Blend: Taste of Kyoto Culinary Organic Matcha
Origin: Japan
Color: 3.5
Taste: 4
Tasting notes: bright, mild
Container: Tin with an inner bag
Organic on label: yes
Cost/Weight: $26/60g
Cost per gram: $0.43/g
Number of times I have purchased it: 2
Bottom line review: This is probably my favorite “culinary” variety of matcha. Normally you think the quality will greatly suffer with a culinary blend, but this brand really stands up. Granted it is not as good as the reserve variety, but for the price, it far exceeds my expectations.
Would I buy it again? Yes
Buy it: Organic Ceremonial Matcha 30 Grams

Brand 7: Dr. Mercola
Info: We all know of Dr. Mercola, health guru and wellness authority, yes? Well now he has a matcha. I am certain he has slapped his label on a high quality matcha supplier, but he found a good one!
Reviewed Blend: Dr. Mercola’s Royal Matcha – see it on DrMercola.com
Origin: Japan
Color: 4.9
Taste: 5
Tasting notes: bright, grassy
Container: Tin without an inner bag, pull-tab can
Organic on label: yes
Cost/Weight: $28/30g
Cost per gram: $0.93/g
Number of times I have purchased it: 1
Bottom line review: High quality matcha, if you are a Mercola online store shopper or Mercola fan, give this one a try.
Would I buy it again? Yes
Buy it: Royal Matcha Green Tea (Organic)

Brand 8: Pure Matcha
Info: Pure Matcha is a fun brand because they offer high quality organic matcha but they also have a black tea powder and a red tea powder.
Reviewed Blend: Pure Matcha Organic Ceremonial Matcha
Origin: Japan
Color: 5
Taste: 4.9
Tasting notes: bright, light, grassy
Container: Tin without an inner bag, pull-tab can
Organic on label: yes
Cost/Weight: $21/30g
Cost per gram: $0.70/g
Number of times I have purchased it: 2
Bottom line review: Great, dependable high quality matcha.
Would I buy it again? Yes
Buy it: Pure Matcha, Premium Ceremonial Grade Matcha

Brand 9: Eden
Info: Eden is a popular and expansive brand of organic products. Eden is a favorite of mine for everything from canned lentils to tamari. Eden only carries one matcha, but it is quite impressive, not to my surprise.
Reviewed Blend: Eden Organic Stone Ground Matcha
Origin: Japan
Color: 5
Taste: 5
Tasting notes: bright and grassy with calm flavor
Container: Tin without an inner bag, pull-tab can, outer box
Organic on label: yes
Cost/Weight: $37/30g
Cost per gram: $1.23/g
Number of times I have purchased it: 1
Bottom line review: This is a great matcha at a premium price. The quality you expect from Eden products is on display here. Beautiful!
Would I buy it again? Yes
Buy it: Eden Organic Matcha Tea, Green Tea Stoned Ground 1 -Ounce Tin

—- End of my top shelf list picks – Below brands may not be organic and from Japan —-

Brand 10: Aiya
Info: Aiya is a brand I recently discovered. They have high quality matchas, and carry a variety of blends. They offer a ceremonial matcha (reviewed) as well as a premium blend which is even more expensive at about $50 for 30g, so I imagine it is amazing. They also offer a less expensive cooking grade blend. Their online store sells a variety of matcha accesories too.
Reviewed Blend: Aiya Organic Ceremonial Matcha
Origin: Japan
Color: 4
Taste: 4
Tasting notes: bold, grassy, light bitterness
Container: Tin without an inner bag, pull-tab can
Organic on label: yes
Cost/Weight: $24/30g
Cost per gram: $0.80/g
Number of times I have purchased it: 1
Bottom line review: Give it a try! Great color and flavor. A sturdy high quality matcha.
Would I buy it again? Yes
Buy it: Organic Ceremonial Matcha 30 Grams

Brand 11: Hibiki-An
Info: Direct from Japan matcha! This is not organic, boooo, but quite lovely. The same company does sell an organic matcha that I would love to try in the future. It is only $25 for the same amount so I would guess that the grade is less premium, but I do not know for sure right now.
Reviewed Blend: Super Premium Matcha, Ceremonial Grade
Origin: Japan
Color: 5
Taste: 5
Tasting notes: grassy, bright, creamy
Container: tins with pull tabs, no bags
Organic on label: no
Cost/Weight: $38/40g
Cost per gram: $1.05/g
Number of times I have purchased it: 2
Bottom line review: Beautiful green tea at an excellent price! If you do not mind not having your matcha organic, this is a great find.
Would I buy it again? No. I would however, try the organic version which is only $25/40g… interested to try that next!
Buy it: Hibiki-An Matcha

Brand 12: Doctor King
Info: Doctor King calls its matcha the “finest organic ceremonial matcha” and lists a variety of health claims in their marketing.
Reviewed Blend: Organic Ceremonial Matcha
Origin: Japan
Color: 3.5
Taste: 3.5
Tasting notes: muted, a bit grassy, mild bitterness, not very bold
Container: plastic container with an interior silver bag
Organic on label: yes
Cost/Weight: $21/30g
Cost per gram: $0.70/g
Number of times I have purchased it: 1
Bottom line review: I had high hopes for this brand but… The UK website is a bit unimpressive with its excessive health claims. This matcha had really great color, but the flavor was not matching the color, which was odd. I am not a fan of the plastic packaging and sloppy labeling either.
Would I buy it again? No
Buy it: DOCTOR KING Ceremonial Organic Japanese Matcha Green Tea 

Brand 13: NourishTea
Info: NourishTea is an impressive brand that carries a wide variety of teas. They only offer one matcha variety.
Reviewed Blend: Organic Happy Matcha (no type specified)
Origin: Japan
Color: 2
Taste: 2
Tasting notes: muddy flavor
Container: Tin with an interior bag
Organic on label: yes
Cost/Weight: $23/80g
Cost per gram: $0.29/g
Number of times I have purchased it: 1
Bottom line review: I love this brand and I know for a act that their other teas are impressive – I have tried a few loose tea blends – but this matcha just doesn’t measure up. I’m glad they tried to reach out to matcha fans, but maybe they should find a new supplier and up the price if need be to ensure quality.
Would I buy it again? No way
Buy it: Nourishtea happy matcha

Brand 14: Maeda-En
Info: This is another matcha brand you may spot at Whole Foods. It is actually the second brand I tried. I wanted to save a few bucks so I purchased the “cheapest” brand at Whole Foods. It (the Skiki variety) was not impressive. However, for this review, I bought the ceremonial blend and was very impressed. But it is not organic.
Reviewed Blend: Maeda-En Ceremonial Quality Matcha
Origin: Japan
Color: 5
Taste: 5
Tasting notes: creamy and bright, grassy
Container: Tin with an inner bag, plastic lid
Organic on label: no
Cost/Weight: $20/28g
Cost per gram: $0.70/g
Number of times I have purchased it: 1
Bottom line review: This is such a great ceremonial matcha, however it does not appear from the labeling or website to be organic, which is a huge bummer and deal-breaker for me purchasing it again. However, if you do not mind non-organic, give this a try. Just be SURE to buy the ceremonial quality variety. I have only seen the lesser quality variety at my local Whole Foods stores, so buying online is advised.
Would I buy it again? No because it is not organic.
Buy it: Maeda-En Mtcha Cermonial Quality

Brand 15: Tealux
Info: Tealux is a brand that carries a wide variety of teas and a wide variety of matchas. I clearly bought a lower grade matcha from Tealux, as their website calls this cooking matcha, so I would be excited to try their ceremonial variety, as I am guessing it will far exceed the one I tested here.
Reviewed Blend: Tealux Uji Premium Organic Matcha (not the ceremonial blend)
Origin: Japan
Color: 3
Taste: 3
Tasting notes: muddled, bitter
Container: opaque bag
Organic on label: yes
Cost/Weight: $23/113g
Cost per gram: $0.20/g
Number of times I have purchased it: 1
Bottom line review: This is cooking matcha for sure, I would never advise drinking this specific variety. For use in baking, yes. The Tealux brand is obviously an authority on tea, so I am anxious to try the higher quality version.
Would I buy it again? No (But a the reserve variety is worth trying)
Buy it: Premium Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder Uji Kyoto Japan By Tealux (4oz) *Tealux fans, see the links below this post to buy the ceremonial blend version, which is probably much higher in quality..

Brand 16: Matcha Source
Info: This premium matcha is ceremony grade and comes at a premium price. But it is worth it!
Reviewed Blend: Kama Matcha, Ceremonial Grade
Origin: Japan
Color: 5
Taste: 5
Tasting notes: grassy, bright, creamy
Container: tins with pull tabs, no bags
Organic on label: no
Cost/Weight: $48/30g
Cost per gram: $1.60/g
Number of times I have purchased it: 1
Bottom line review: Super lovely. I was all ready to RAVE about the color and flavor of this matcha but then noticed that it is not organic. At this price, I would’ve expected it to be!
Would I buy it again? No. At this price I can find an organic brand, although if you are not concerned about organic, this is a lovely matcha.
Buy it: Kama Matcha 

—–

Matcha From China — my personal view: not advised to buy

Brand 17: Kiss Me Organics
Info: Kiss Me Organics appears to only sell one variety of matcha: culinary grade. It is a bulk bag. I was eager to try this brand in hopes that it would be a good value opportunity. This is a Chinese-origin matcha.
Reviewed Blend: Organic Matcha, Culinary Grade
Origin: China
Color: 3
Taste: 2.5
Tasting notes: light grassiness, mellow yet somewhat bright
Container: metallic opaque bag
Organic on label: yes
Cost/Weight: $25/113g
Cost per gram: $0.22/g
Number of times I have purchased it: 1
Bottom line review: I find it a bit misleading that the website does not clearly state that this matcha is from China. You have to read the fine print on the package to find that info. For a culinary matcha, this product was average. However, this was the best China-origin matcha that I reviewed in my selection.
Would I buy it again? Maybe for a bulk matcha baking project
Buy it: Matcha Green Tea Powder – ORGANIC 

Brand 18: Matcha DNA
Info: This is an organic brand from China with individual matcha packets. I was super excited about trying a per-packet brand, but sadly, this brand did not deliver.
Reviewed Blend: MatchaDNA Organic Matcha
Origin: China
Color: 1.5
Taste: 1.6
Tasting notes: muddy, bland
Container: opaque bag with individual packets
Organic on label: no
Cost/Weight: $24/85g
Cost per gram: $0.28/g
Number of times I have purchased it: 1
Bottom line review: This was not good matcha.
Would I buy it again? No
Buy it: MatchaDNA Certified Organic Matcha Tea 

Brand 19: Swanson
Info: Swanson is an online store with a variety of products like vitamins and suplements. This matcha says it is “Dr. Bob” approved because it refers to Dr. Robert DeMaria, an author of Dr. Bob’s Guide to Optimal Health. The brand looks sound and trustworthy, however the matcha doesn’t speak to that.
Reviewed Blend: Swanson Organic Matcha
Origin: China
Color: 1.9
Taste: 2.3
Tasting notes: bitter, lightly grassy, a bit bland
Container: plastic container with a scooper included
Organic on label: yes
Cost/Weight: $18/50g
Cost per gram: $0.36/g
Number of times I have purchased it: 1
Bottom line review: No very impressive.
Would I buy it again? No
Buy it: 100% Certified Organic Matcha Green Tea 

Brand 20: EatGreenTea.com
Info: An online store with one variety of matcha from China. They also sell edible green tea leaves
Reviewed Blend: Organic Green Tea Powder
Origin: China
Color: 2.5
Taste: 3
Tasting notes: bitter, a bit grassy
Container: metallic opaque bag
Organic on label: yes
Cost/Weight: $25/100g
Cost per gram: $0.25/g
Number of times I have purchased it: 1
Bottom line review: Love this brand, the matcha is not the best I have ever tried, but very high quality and the brand seems highly dependable. I am excited to splurge on their premium blend at some point.
Would I buy it again? Yes
Buy it: Organic Green Tea Powder

Bottom line review: Here are matchas I approve!..
(note: I personally buy organic + ceremonial grades)
Encha, DoMatcha, American Tea Room, Taste of Kyoto (any variety), Aiya, Dr Mercola, Eden, Pure Matcha, Maeda-En, Urth Caffe, Matcha Source Kama Matcha, Hibiki-an, O-Cha,

What brands am I missing? What are your faves? Comments section open!

Not a sponsored post: I purchased every single matcha in my survey (no freebies!) so you know I have nothing to gain in calling one brand better than another. This is in no way a sponsored post! I do provide links to amazon available products from my review, and I do get a tiny percentage of any purchases from those brands. But that is pretty much it. Matcha samples for future reviews will be accepted, but I will always disclose that info. 

Matcha Health Benefits

Matcha Tea

AS AN ANTIOXIDANT POWERHOUSE

Matcha vs. Green Tea

Unlike most green teas, matcha contains the entire leaf of the Camellia sinensis (the species of plant used to make green tea, black tea, oolong tea, and white tea).

In cultivating matcha, the plant is shade-grown for several weeks prior to harvest. After harvesting the plants, processors grind the leaves into a fine powder.
Uses for Matcha

Some proponents claim that matcha contains more antioxidants than other forms of green tea. In addition, matcha is purported to promote weight loss, lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure, support detox efforts, enhance mood, reduce stress, increase energy, keep blood sugar in check, and stimulate the immune system.

The Science Behind Matcha’s Health Benefits
Although there is a great deal of scientific evidence for the health benefits of green tea, very few studies have specifically focused on matcha.The available research on matcha includes a preliminary study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food in 2009. In tests on rats with type 2 diabetes, researchers found that treating the animals with matcha led to decreased levels of cholesterol, blood sugar, and harmful blood fats. What’s more, matcha appeared to protect the rats from liver and kidney damage.
If you never eat these 3 veggies, You will burn belly fat every day
According to the study’s authors, matcha may contain higher amounts of epigallocatechin 3-O-gallate (a potent antioxidant) than other forms of green tea.While research on the specific health benefits of matcha is currently lacking, some studies suggest that regular consumption of green tea may offer a wide range of health benefits. For instance, green tea appears to prevent age-related cognitive impairment, reduce risk of stroke and diabetes, keep blood pressure in check, and strengthen bones.Additionally, there’s some evidence that green tea may help prevent several forms of cancer, including prostate cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and colorectal cancer.

How is Matcha Made?

Matcha is traditionally been cultivated by hand but newer methods of machinery have more and more farms producing Matcha with machines

Matcha is made from shade-grown tea leaves also used to make gyokuro. The preparation of matcha starts several weeks before harvest and can last up to 20 days, when the tea bushes are covered to prevent direct sunlight.[4] This slows down growth, stimulates an increase in chlorophyll levels, turns the leaves a darker shade of green, and causes the production of amino acids, in particular L-Theanine. Only the finest tea buds are hand-picked. After harvesting, if the leaves are rolled out before drying as usual, the result will be gyokuro (jade dew) tea. However, if the leaves are laid out flat to dry, they will crumble somewhat and become known as tencha (碾茶). Tencha can then be de-veined, de-stemmed, and stone-ground to the fine, bright green, talc-like powder known as matcha.[5]

It can take up to one hour to grind 30 grams of matcha.

The flavour of matcha is dominated by its amino acids. The highest grades of matcha have more intense sweetness and deeper flavor than the standard or coarser grades of tea harvested later in the year.

Health Benefits of Matcha

What are some of the Health Benefits of Matcha Tea?

One serving of matcha tea is the nutritional equivalent of 10 cups of regularly brewed green tea


  • When you drink matcha you ingest the entire leaf and receive 100% of the nutrients of the leaf
  • Matcha powdered green tea has 137 times more antioxidants than regularly brewed green tea.
  • One cup of matcha = 10 cups of regularly brewed green tea in terms of nutritional content

Amongst its many health benefits, matcha…

  • Is packed with antioxidants including the powerful EGCg
  • Boosts metabolism and burns calories
  • Detoxifies effectively and naturally
  • Calms the mind and relaxes the body
  • Is rich in fiber, chlorophyll and vitamins
  • Enhances mood and aids in concentration
  • Provides vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium
  • Prevents disease
  • Lowers cholesterol and blood sugar

Matcha tea is an easy and simple way to add powerful health benefits to your everyday diet.

Why is matcha better than loose leaf tea?

Every day, countless people throw away valuable antioxidants and minerals. While seemingly unimaginable, that’s exactly what happens when you brew a cup of green tea because water can only extract a fraction of green teas benefits. The majority actually remains unused, trapped in the tea leaves. In reality, the only way to truly take advantage of green teas full potential is to consume the entire leaf. But that doesn’t mean you need to start eating tea leaves. The simplest solution is to just enjoy a bowl of matcha. Because matcha is straight, stoneground tea leaves, matcha provides you with green teas powerful arsenal of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids in a way no other green tea can.

In fact, to even begin to match the potency found in a single serving of matcha, you would need to drink at least ten cups of brewed green tea. When it comes to helping you achieve and maintain optimum health, matcha is without equal.

Matcha Health Benefits

Matcha Tea Health Benefits

It’s a unique challenge to present something as both 1) an epicurean experience unlike any other, and 2) a superfood that is quite possibly the healthiest substance one can put into one’s body, bar none. To our knowledge, no food or beverage can make both claims. Great wines are some of life’s finest pleasures, but anything more than small quantities can have adverse effects on health (not to mention make you drunk or bankrupt you).

Superfoods, including pomegranate, gojiberries, wild blueberries, acai berries, mackerel, sardines, fresh turmeric, ginger, cacao, avocado, dark winter greens, walnuts, pumpkin, and regular green tea — among others that make up the bulk of the bulk of the breakaway diet — are both healthful and delicious, but, even in the hands of very skilled cooks, they don’t really qualify as “transcendental” epicurean experiences in the way that, say, a glass of Romanée Conti does.

Drinking highest-quality artisanal matcha is like drinking Romanée Conti AND getting at least 10x the health benefits of the superfoods listed above. This has been a true epiphany for me: it’s as if my doctor told me that the greatest gift I could give my body and brain is have a few glasses of DRC with every meal, AND that it would result in better focus/concentration, weight loss, fresher breath, bolstered immunity, and an elevated mood that sure feels like what the Buddhists call satori, a kind of calm euphoria. Where do I sign?!

 

Matcha Tea 101

Matcha is a special kind of green tea from Japan. The Japanese characters used for matcha are

   抹 茶

which mean “ground tea” if we take them literally. And we do. Matcha is the type of green tea served in formal ceremonies in Japan.

It neither looks like nor tastes like any other kind of tea. It looks like hallucinogenic green cocoa, behaves like a perfectly pulled espresso, and tastes like baby green vegetables that might have been cooked by Ferran Adria: perhaps blended microgreens, straight-up chlorophyll, young bamboo, and raw sugar, served in a small cup.

It’s used mainly in formal tea ceremonies in Japan, but we’re doing our best to convince people that one needn’t formally “study” tea to enjoy it. You can just . . . make a cup. You could make it on the run, at breakfast, with a cookie in the mid-afternoon, before (and after) a yoga class, before an especially important meeting, on a hike (really!), during a meditation session, or right before you get in your car after you’ve had a glass or two of wine.

It has many distinguishing features, but the top four are probably:

  • Form of tea leaves. Unlike all other teas, including green teas, matcha is finely ground.
  • No steeping. Matcha isn’t steeped, it’s “eaten.” You simply pour hot water over the powder, froth it (either with a special handheld bamboo whisk or an electric milk frothier), and drink the thick tea.
  • Off-the-charts health properties. Matcha is full of naturally occurring antioxidants and amino acids; roughly 20 times those of regular green tea.
  • It’s A LOT like really good wine. Terroir (conditions in which it’s grown) is hugely important, it has a balanced acid structure, a very long finish, and it pairs exceptionally well with food.