However, the culinary grades matcha available in the market are often too astringent, barely discerning any matcha flavor in baked goods. In Japan, matcha is not separated into two categories like this because people look at individual blends and their characteristics when evaluating matcha quality. Both the grades are of high quality with only difference in their color and flavor profiles. You can easily differentiate ceremonial and culinary matcha apart by looking at the color. However, this does not mean that culinary matcha is of substandard quality. If you’re trying to kick coffee, switching to matcha is a healthier choice, with two-thirds the amount of caffeine compared to a cup of joe. Mostly consumed with hot water, ceremonial matcha is of a vibrant green color. Yame is a city in Fukuoka Prefecture which is famous for gyokuro tea, and has begun to make good matcha. Please read the next article to learn more about how matcha is produced. Naturally, matcha from Uji is expected to be good but there may be a price premium because of the brand name. But even then, there is an element of subjectivity which may affect your experience. The processed leaves (tencha) should be stored in a refrigerated room if not being immediately ground into matcha. Ceremonial grade matcha is the highest grade of matcha. The best matcha is made in Japan, but you should also check the region of Japan where the matcha was produced. Our humble suggestion is that it is not. Ceremonial grade matcha is made from the youngest tea leaves with all the stems and veins removed to obtain a very smooth flavour and texture. Matcha tea is typically classified as being either culinary-grade, premium-grade, or ceremonial-grade. There are too many factors to set out exhaustively. Storing tencha (or matcha) at cooler temperatures is important to preserve freshness. They are not as pristine as ceremonial but are somewhat better tasting than the cooking varieties. This is such a helpful article. Matcha of the highest quality would be made using only first harvest tea leaves, while others may comprise a blend of first or second harvest leaves to keep costs low. You should note that the former is more on the bitter side. It is also graded based on the end product, which should have a noticeably vibrant green colour, superior flavour and an excellent terroir. Lower-quality matcha is referred to as culinary-grade, but no standard industry definition or requirements exist for matcha. Ceremonial grade matcha is made with leaves that have been entirely deveined, and all stems have been removed. Then you can decide if a matcha product on offer is worth its asking price. Copyright Content 2017-2020. The typical mixture ratio for ceremonial grade matcha is approximately two grams per cup, or about a half teaspoon. Ceremonial Grade Matcha. Ceremonial matcha is an inseparable part of tea ceremonies. The grading system is actually quite misleading, as Culinary and Premium-grade Matcha are not lower quality than Ceremonial-grade matcha, they are just grown differently so that they may better suit different purposes. Matcha used in ceremonies is referred to as ceremonial-grade, meaning that the powder is of a high enough quality to be used in the tea ceremony. Ceremonial grade is the highest grade. It has a fresh, delicate flavour and which means it can be enjoyed by itself without being sweetened or added to anything. Most often people wonder which one of the two they should choose. It is hard to find outside Japan. We adopt it for convenience and because it has become an accepted norm in America. Shizuoka and Nishio  (both nearer to Tokyo) are also known for matcha. It has a great taste and flora in itself. Most matcha companies outside of Japan divide matcha into two types of matcha grades; ceremonial grade matcha and culinary grade matcha. These higher grades have a brilliant green color, rich aroma, and a distinct, but not bitter taste. The delicate taste will be spoiled by milk, chocolate or other ingredients. Matcha that does not bear the label of being ceremonial grade is called Culinary (cooking) matcha. No government or international organisation regulates the use of the “ceremonial grade” classification. The best type of matcha for lattes is to use either our Superior Ceremonial Matcha or Organic Ceremonial Matcha. Whisking it with hot water will make its delicate taste emerge. It is instead graded based on multiple factors across a spectrum. It rarely has blends or flavors added to it. The shading process is the most important step in matcha cultivation. Our JAKU organic ceremonial matcha also comes from first-harvest tea. Matcha is one variety of green tea that has a lot more to offer when compared to regular tea. Ceremonial grade matcha is made from the youngest tea leaves, with the stems and veins entirely removed. And, top of all, you must be aware that Japan grows the best matcha in the world. The youngest tea leaves are picked and used to make this matcha because they have the maximum amount of chlorophyll in them. We get this question all the time. Make sure that the matcha you choose is only from organic farms. It is possible to use our Latte Blend Premium Culinary Grade matcha to make matcha lattes, but we discourage this. So, do check the month on the box or cover to understand 2nd or even 3rd harvest. It is made to be whisked with hot water and savored. Young tea leaves and buds picked for Ceremonial Grade matcha are harvested during Ichibancha (literally meaning “first tea” or First Harvest season from late April to May) and is regarded as the highest quality one can consume. Thereafter, a, We work with tea estates, factories and blending experts to create matcha blends tailored to your needs. You can use our other ceremonial grade matcha powder blends to make lattes, but the costs will quickly add up. While, culinary grade matcha is used as an ingredient in cooking, baking, and making smoothies, grapes, and desserts. Most of the nuanced flavors will also be lost amidst the milk and sweetener. After harvest, the tea leaves are sent to a factory to be steamed, dried, sorted and cut. But for better or worse, these matcha grade labels provide many overseas matcha fans an easy means of categorizing matcha. Obesity and stress have been my main concern in the past, but the regular intake of green tea has changed my life. The different shading techniques and duration of shaded growth are important variables for the grower to decide. All rights reserved by, By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our, Green Tea For Weight Loss – All You Should Know About It, Green Tea K-Cups And Ways of Reusing The Used K Cups, Midori Spring Matcha Review [Organic Ceremonial Emerald Class Matcha], Kirkland Ito En Matcha Green Tea Blend [Tea Bags]. This is the first of several articles that go into greater detail on how to understand the different factors that affect the quality of matcha. You should always try to obtain more information based on these few criteria, and most tea companies are more than happy to share it! However, being expensive by nature, ceremonial grade matcha is commonly a part of traditional ceremonies. Also, you must note that the color of the matcha also depends on its origin, harvest time, and organic farming. In fact, you will be ingesting the whole leaf when you consume matcha and this is the main reason why it has higher amounts of caffeine and antioxidants than normal green tea. Japanese tea ceremonies revolve around this grade of matcha. The idea is that “ceremonial grade matcha” is higher quality and “culinary grade matcha” is of a lower quality. Non-organic farms use synthetic chemical fertilizer and pesticides to influence the taste.