It’s also everywhere because its unique flavor makes it a versatile ingredient, delicious as a drink or latte, of course, but also so good in desserts, oatmeal, smoothies, snacks and more. You can even slather it on your face to get your skin all glowy.
But how do you know that what’s in your cup (or your recipe) is the good stuff? Here are three important ways to make sure you’re using top-quality matcha.
1. What color is it?
Before you invest in a matcha, find a way to take a peek — either check it out online or see if you can get a sample. Overall, you want to seek out matcha that’s a bright, vibrant green. A paler, more yellow-shaded matcha means the tea leaves were harvested later in the year, and will be both less flavorful and less nutritious. The paler, less nutritious matcha, called “culinary grade,” is used as an ingredient in noodles, ice cream and other products.
2. How does it taste?
It seems obvious, but flavor is one of the best indicators of good-quality matcha. A really good matcha will have umami flavor that balances out the bitterness that comes with the antioxidants in the tea. Umami, the fifth taste (along with sweet, salty, bitter, and sour), a savory or meaty flavor, is not natural to tea; it is cultivated by shading the tea leaves before they’re harvested. This extra step leads to more balanced and savory matcha.
3. Is it frothy?
If you’ve ever seen a proper Japanese tea ceremony, you know that everything is done in particular ways to ensure guests get the most good health and enjoyment from the experience. The matcha is made a certain way, including whisking in hot water. Whether you’re at a proper ceremony or just drinking matcha at home, look at the cup or bowl after whisking. If you see tiny, uniform bubbles, that means the matcha was finely ground, a sign of good quality. Large, irregularly shaped bubbles indicate coarsely ground matcha, a no-no.
We love to really geek out on matcha—if you do, too, check out this deep dive into the green stuff by Pique Tea.
They also recently launched Sun Goddess matcha, an ultra-pure, ceremonial-grade matcha we love. It’s been quadruple-screened for toxic mold, heavy metals, pesticides and radioactive isotopes. And it’s designed for mindfulness, shaded 30% longer than other brands to produce more l-theanine and a truly delicious, creamy, umami flavor. Try it today.
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