Matcha has recently become wildly popular in the health and food and drink industries. It is a green tea extract traditionally processed and consumed in Japan; however, it is now an international favorite that can be used in tea, coffee, and a variety of desserts. It also provides an array of benefits including antioxidants and helping with concentration.
We've rounded up our 10 favorite matcha powders to help you find the one you need! Our favorite choice is Matcha Konomi's Akira Organic Matcha powder for its mild, sweet flavor and aroma, fine texture, and size options. Our buying reviewed by a certified tea sommelier will also walk you through several factors to consider when choosing matcha powder, such as matcha's side effects, growing location, grade, and color. Check out our buying guide below for other top picks!
There are several factors that go into buying a matcha powder that will match your tastes. In the next section, we'll go into more detail to help clarify all you need to know.
Matcha originated in China but it is commonly grown and processed in Japan. Japan is considered to be the matcha capital of the world thanks to its growing conditions and generations of experience.
If you are interested in traditional and authentic matcha powder, the cities Uji and Nishio are two of Japan's main matcha producers. The origin of the product will be listed in the product description or on the packaging if you want to verify authenticity.
While Japan is the top exporter of matcha, this product is also produced and exported by China. Chinese and Japanese matcha have different colors, textures, and flavor profiles.
Since Chinese matcha is grown in the sun, it has tannins, a chemical compound in food and drinks that give them a bitter taste. Tannins also give Chinese matcha yellow and brown undertones. This matcha is made by hand, so the powder has larger particles in it and an inconsistent texture.
Japanese matcha is stone-ground, giving it a fine, uniform texture. This matcha is grown in the shade in the final weeks leading up to the harvest, boosting chlorophyll and nutrient production. That's why Japanese matcha has a bright green hue and is sweet and savory, called "umami", with little to no bitterness.
Despite matcha having its roots in China, its artistry was perfected in Japan and it was assimilated as the centerpiece of the Japanese tea ceremony. True matcha is considered to come only from Japan, and it's recognized for its vibrant color, smoothness, sweet-umami flavor, and quality.
Because tea plants in Japan are covered for the last few weeks before harvesting to promote and increase the chlorophyll content, the final product is much smoother and sweeter with no bitterness.
Think about what you would like to use your matcha for. Matcha powders are available in three different grades: ceremonial, latte, and culinary.
Ceremonial matcha comes from the first spring harvest of tea leaves which are usually sweet, tender, and vibrant green. It is consumed as a tea on its own, and comes with a delicate and balanced flavor profile and often a higher price tag. Latte grade is not as common as ceremonial and culinary. It is also harvested from first spring leaves after the leaves for ceremonial matcha are picked. It has a similar flavor as ceremonial, though not as delicate and with a slight bitterness.
Culinary matcha is harvested at a later time during the summer. The process of the sun converting L-Theanine and antioxidants into tannins, this grade usually has a more bitter and earthy flavor than ceremonial matcha. Because of its potency, it is used for baking and mixing in drinks to make the taste last.
Similar to wine, matcha is sold in a very wide range of quality levels. Its quality is determined by where it is grown, how it is cultivated when it is harvested, and how it is processed.
Grade designation and pricing are entirely up to each company that sells it, so that means ceremonial grades from different companies can tremendously differ in quality. I always recommend purchasing matcha from a trusted source!
Color is an excellent predictor of the quality of a matcha product. Quality matcha is brilliant green because of the excess chlorophyll produced by its growing and process.
A bright, vibrant green color is an indicator that your matcha is high in antioxidants and has been harvested and processed correctly. If matcha has been stored for too long or not properly sealed, it will lose its color and become a dull forest green or light green.
If you want to understand how matcha powder is produced and how this affects the quality, you'll want to look out for what parts of the plant are used to make your matcha powder. Expert farmers make sure to remove stems and only produce powder from green tea leaves.
You will also want to see if it is ground on a stone mill, which is usually made from granite. Because granite is a soft stone, it does not produce much heat when grinding the leaves, maintaining all of its flavors and nutrients and resulting in a refined, uniform powder.
If the powder isn't ultra-fine, the residual grains will be in your cup when you drink it. The finer the powder, the more palatable it is for first-time drinkers and matcha experts alike.
After harvesting, steaming, and drying the leaves, they are then de-veined, de-stemmed, and stone-ground to a fine, bright green, talc-like powder. If your matcha's texture feels grainy, then it is not a quality one. It's not about being palatable; it's about understanding the quality of matcha and having full knowledge of what you're consuming.
Because some matcha powders can be bitter and earthy, some people want the health benefits of matcha but do not have the acquired taste for it. To meet this demand, some suppliers have started adding sweeteners to make their matcha taste sweeter. Cane sugar is the most common sweetener used. Other companies use artificial sweeteners like Stevia.
However, if you are a health nut or enjoy products that are free of additives, you may want to consider sugar-free powders. Since high-quality matcha powders have sweet undertones, the more you drink, the less sugar you'll need as you become accustomed to the flavor.
Matcha is well-known for its ability to improve one's health. Unsweetened organic matcha lowers blood sugar, encourages weight loss, and can reduce chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease. Frequent consumption of sweeteners can negate all of these benefits, causing obesity, chronic diseases, and blood sugar issues, for example. So, if you're a matcha lover, and consume it daily, an unsweetened powder may be better for your health.
Ground tea leaves are the only ingredient for matcha, so its many benefits come from the fact that you’re consuming the leaf directly. If you decide to make drinks, lattes, or concoctions that need to be sweetened, then it's better that you get quality matcha - which will always be unsweetened - and then sweeten to your preference.
Air-tight containers are essential for preserving your matcha powder. Exposure to light, extreme temperatures, and air can alter the flavor profile, making your tea dull and bitter.
Opaque, air-tight containers are best for maintaining the freshness of matcha powder. Resealable bags and tins are great options for storing your powder and keeping it fresh. Place your container in a cool dark place to protect it from humidity and sunlight. Many companies also add that their matcha powders should be refrigerated upon opening to maintain their freshness.
Storage is crucial to preserving the freshness of matcha. Once opened, its exposure to oxygen, heat, humidity, and light shortens its life. So once it's open, it is best to consume it within three months. It's important to always keep your matcha in an airtight container to reduce oxidation, which destroys several nutrients. I personally prefer to keep it in the refrigerator to preserve its freshness.
All of the matcha powders below are categorized based on their origin, grade, price per gram, and if they are free of additives. Continue to read to find the matcha that meets your needs!
*Please note that these products were chosen by our writers after extensive research. They are not necessarily affiliated with or recommended by Daniela Titiun. For more on our selection process, check out our content policy.
Ippodo Tea Co.
Superior Ceremonial Blend
Ceremonial Grade Matcha Green Tea
Sun Goddess Matcha
Organic Ceremonial Matcha
Organic Matcha Latte Mix
Latte Grade Organic Matcha
Organic Japanese Matcha Green Tea Powder
Organic Matcha Powder
Best for Everyday Use
Best Powder for Beginners
Best for Caffeine Lovers
Best Portable Packet Option
Best for Traditional Tea Drinkers
Best for Matcha Connoisseurs
Best for Cafe-Style Drinks
Best Matcha Powder For Lattes
Best Powder for Versatility
Best Matcha Powder for Smoothies
|Origin||Uji, Kyoto Japan||Uji, Kyoto, Japan||Kagoshima, Japan||Kagoshima, Japan||Uji and Kagoshima, Japan||Kyoto, Japan||Uji and Kagoshima, Japan||Uji, Kyoto, Japan||Yokkaichi, Japan||Mt. Fuji foothills, Japan|
|Packaging||Tin, resealable pouch||Resealable tin and pouch||Resealable can||Single-serve sachet||Resealable pouch||Resealable tin||Resealable pouch, jar, packet||Resealable pouch||Resealable pouch||Resealable pouch|
|Amount||1 oz.||1.4 oz.||2.8 oz.||28 sticks, 1.98 oz. total||1.06 oz.||0.7 oz.||17.6 oz.||1.06 oz.||3.5 oz.||3 oz.|
|Origin||Uji, Kyoto Japan|
|Packaging||Tin, resealable pouch|
|Origin||Uji, Kyoto, Japan|
|Packaging||Resealable tin and pouch|
|Amount||28 sticks, 1.98 oz. total|
|Origin||Uji and Kagoshima, Japan|
|Origin||Uji and Kagoshima, Japan|
|Packaging||Resealable pouch, jar, packet|
|Origin||Uji, Kyoto, Japan|
|Origin||Mt. Fuji foothills, Japan|
Daniela herself has a great video of how to make the perfect cup of matcha, so watch it and get some great mixing tips from a certified tea sommelier!
We added some questions below that a lot of people have about matcha powders to satisfy your curiosity and put your mind at ease!
Since matcha powder is made from stone-ground tea leaves, it does contain caffeine. The caffeine content of matcha is less than black tea but more than most green teas since the entire leaf is crushed and consumed instead of removed after steeping. Matcha powder can contain anywhere from 45 grams to 60 grams of caffeine. Different powders will have different caffeine contents.
If your primary reason for consuming matcha is for increasing concentration and focus, check the amounts of caffeine and L-theanine in your matcha powder.
L-theanine is an amino acid backed by numerous human trials and has been clinically proven to reduce stress and anxiety. It pairs great with caffeine, as it reduces tremors and caffeine jitteriness while improving cognitive function and alertness. Find a product that has a 2:1 ratio of L-theanine to caffeine to get the most out of your study session or workday.
The ratio for matcha powder to cup depends on the size of your beverage. For many people, two grams of matcha powder for 70 to 80 grams of water creates a wonderfully sweet cup that isn't watered down or too overwhelming.
You can also use a scale to measure out your powder, but if you don't wish to deal with the hassle of a scale, you can measure one teaspoon of matcha powder to one-third or one-half cup of water.
Here are even more things to help you make the perfect cup of matcha or whip up a nice matcha latte.
This expert reviewed the contents of the buying guide for accuracy and provided factual corrections when necessary, as well as extra tips and advice. They did not participate in the product selection process, nor are they affiliated with any of our choices unless explicitly stated so.
Author: Jack Currie
Updated by: Catherine Ford, 12/7/2021
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