The Best Matcha: A Comprehensive Guide to Finding the Perfect Cup

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If you’re new to drinking matcha or a professed matcha addict, I’ve been researching a range of Japanese (and non-Japanese) matcha brands to identify the best matcha on the market.

best Matcha green tea
Best Matcha green tea guide

Read on for my recommendation of great-tasting matcha brands to boost your energy and enhance your health!

Japanese matcha is a worldwide hit!

Vibrant green, finely ground matcha is insanely popular around the world with people from all walks of life appreciating a frothy cup of these specially grown and processed green tea leaves.

With products like matcha ice cream, matcha cake, and even matcha lip balm, it’s easy to forget that this is one of Japan’s most esteemed ceremonial teas with thousands of years of tradition behind it. 

What is matcha?

Matcha is a type of green tea that is made from shade-grown tea leaves of the Camellia sinensis variety.

Matcha green tea flavor
Matcha green tea

Dry but tender green tea leaves are ground into a fine powder, which you can whisk with hot water to create a frothy, bright green tea.

Matcha is traditionally used in Japanese tea ceremonies and has been enjoyed for centuries in Japan after being introduced to the country by Buddhist monks from China in the tenth century.

Match is enjoyed because of its quality, refinement, unique flavor and health benefits, as it is rich in antioxidants and other nutrients.

The Best Matcha: My Top Picks

We’re used to matcha lattes and shots, but not all matcha is the same.

If you’re ready to become a discerning consumer of matcha, you need to invest in a great quality Japanese matcha, made from shade-grown tea leaves, which produce a more delicate flavor and a brighter green color.

Thankfully, it’s not impossible to get this caliber of matcha outside of Japan!

My goal in this short round up was to find matcha powders that not only tasted great but also provided the most health benefits.

Here are the five best matcha brands that are all flavor, without the bitter aftertaste that lower grades of matcha may have.

1. Ippodo Tea (Kyoto Since 1717) Premium Organic Matcha 20g
$40.00 ($57.14 / Ounce)

Ippodo Tea Co. is a family-run traditional Japanese tea company that has been producing high-quality matcha for over 300 years.

This 20-gram tin of premium matcha is one of the best in Japan with a vibrant green color, natural sweetness, mild astringent taste, and satisfying umami.

It is also a great choice for making Koicha, the thicker green matcha paste, to enjoy its intense flavor. 

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02/06/2024 02:08 pm GMT
2. Marukyu Koyamaen Premium Ceremonial Grade Matcha 40g
$21.53 ($15.38 / Ounce)

Marukyu-Koyamaen is another Japanese tea company that has been producing ceremonial matcha for generations.

The 300-year-old Ogura Uji tea company has produced one of Japan’s foremost teas, packed for freshness in an authentic tin that delivers outstanding value for money.

This is the perfect partner for making a frothy and warming Usucha matcha (regular).

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02/06/2024 02:08 pm GMT
3. Harney & Sons Organic Everyday Matcha 453g
$58.01 ($3.63 / Ounce)

Harney & Sons is an American tea company that sources its matcha from Japan from small family farms in Uji.

Their shade-grown leaves are stone-milled for a fine powder that sieves beautifully. Harney & Sons matcha is internationally rated for its smooth texture and sweet, grassy flavor.

This everyday matcha sieves beautifully for your morning latte!

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02/06/2024 02:08 pm GMT
4. Ocha & Co. Traditional Stone Milled Organic Japanese Matcha 100g
$32.00 ($9.14 / Ounce)

This delicious matcha has an intense green color and rich, complex flavor from the Yabukita and Okumidori cultivars used.

It is grown by small and discerning producers in the Southern Alps of Shizuoka.

400 meters above sea level, with the best conditions for producing fine green tea. Ocha & Co.’s fine stone ground matcha is perfect for smoothies!

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02/06/2024 03:08 pm GMT
5. Teapigs Organic Premium Grade Matcha 500g

Teapigs is a UK-based tea company that sources its matcha from Japan.

Their matcha is known for its smooth texture and sweet, grassy flavor. This bumper pack is ideal for matcha addicts as a serving is only two to four grams.

Users find that this matcha tastes buttery and fresh. Vacuum sealed for freshness!

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The Best Matcha: Buying Guide

Matcha can vary widely in quality because of factors like the region where it was grown, the processing methods used, and the age of the tea leaves.

That’s why I researched the brands I’ve shared with you here.

There are a lot of duds out there but here’s what to look for to get the best cup of matcha outside of Japan.

Quality

You’ll only know the right matcha by doing your research.

Matcha quality is determined by factors that include the grade of tea leaves, growing conditions, and processing methods.

The highest grades of matcha are the most expensive, but they are worth the money because of their vibrant green color, smoother texture, and richer flavor.

Origin

The best matcha is produced in Japan. Look for matcha that is sourced from reputable growers in Japan’s tea-growing regions, such as Uji, Shizuoka, and Kagoshima.

Matcha tea from Japan
Best Matcha is from Japan

Matcha from these regions has a more nuanced flavor profile and a smoother texture.

Color

The color of matcha powder is a useful indicator of quality.

High-quality matcha has a vibrant green color, but matcha that is dull or yellowish, as this may indicate that the tea leaves were not processed properly.

Texture

Choose matcha that has a fine, powdery texture, as this will ensure that the tea dissolves evenly in water and produces a smooth, frothy texture.

Avoid matcha that is clumpy or grainy, the tea leaves were likely not ground finely enough. Gritty or coarse matcha determines low-grade tea.

Packaging

Packaging counts too. Quality matcha will be packaged in airtight containers to protect freshness and prevent oxidation.

Avoid matcha that is sold in clear or translucent packaging, as exposure to light degrades the quality of the tea.

Aroma

I love the fresh, grassy aroma of matcha, and I am sure you do too. Matcha with a dull or stale smell may have been made from low-quality or old tea leaves.

Taste

Matcha should have a rich, complex flavor with a slightly sweet aftertaste. The flavor can vary depending on the quality of the tea leaves and the region where it was grown.

The Best Matcha: Frequently Asked Questions

faqs abaout matcha green tea

What type of matcha is best for drinking?

Ceremonial grade matcha, made from the youngest and most tender tea leaves is the best matcha for drinking. You’ll immediately notice its smoother taste and vivid green color.

What is the highest grade matcha?

Ceremonial grade matcha is the highest grade matcha, made from the youngest tea leaves, and is the most expensive due to its quality.

What is the best matcha to try for beginners?

If you’ve never drunk match before, a great beginner’s matcha is culinary grade matcha. It’s good and strong, but less expensive than a ceremonial matcha. This is the kind of matcha you can use in cooking or adding to smoothies.

What are the benefits of drinking matcha?

Matcha is high in antioxidants, boosts metabolism, and promotes relaxation. It also contains amino acids to help improve your focus and concentration.

Final Thoughts

There is a real difference between the generic matcha powders and formulas you’ll find on the shelves in Kroger, and a delicious ceremonial tea that has been shipped straight from the tea plantations of Uji.

Elevate your matcha drinking with one of these delicious matchas that give you a healthful taste of Japan. 

If you are looking for a great matcha set to partner your fine tea, why not read my article: “Best Japanese Matcha Sets for Beginners”?

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